Guest post by J. Evans, Written by J Evans exclusively for ingage.net
Human resource (HR) managers are the backbone to any good team. They assemble members based on compatibility, and juggle everyone’s strengths and weaknesses in order to avoid the toxic cut-throat culture that threatens every workplace. This is why Glassdoor reviewed companies across 38 industries and found that company culture was 12.4 times more likely than compensation to predict whether an employee leaves. This is important because internal conflict and the resulting competition are often the driver of employee dissatisfaction.
To manage is not enough — employees need a leader with a vision. HR managers tend to perfectly fill this position, because they already possess certain people-oriented and task-oriented qualities that can only be further refined with training.
Read on to know the key skills that HR managers have to focus on.
Foresight to develop their members
An HR managers’ task is to bring out the best in their team and maximize their potential. However, training doesn’t just improve skills. As our previous article has highlighted, an extensive training and development program can improve employee motivation while also having a direct impact on sales and productivity.
Creating a thorough program isn’t as simple as a one-size-fits-all regimen. It requires an extensive analysis of every team member, both in theory and application. Fortunately, organizing onboarding programs and other training can help an HR manager and their team get ahead.
Keen eye for business
These team results have to effectively match the company’s business goals. This means that HR managers need to extensively analyze the industry and its performance as well. These skills are often developed early on in HR management training. A strong HR management curriculum will highlight the importance of a business, particularly through in-demand skills like business communications and operations management.
While some have a natural talent for watching market trends, it is hard to beat experience. Business skills can be further honed through constant research. For example, a personal learning schedule keeps you up-to-date on the ever-changing dynamics of the global business climate.
Cultural fluency and sensitivity
A team is composed of different members from various backgrounds. An HR manager, as an individual, cannot be naturally exposed to all environments. But that doesn’t mean that diverse employees have to either sink or swim if they don’t match the dominant culture.
Recognizing differences is the first step to accepting them. Culturally fluent leaders adapt their style to be more effective with all of their colleagues, and consequently minimize miscommunications and conflict.
Consistent ability to empathize
Even if HR managers aren’t experts on every cultural difference, a persevering empathy — understanding feelings of unfamiliarity, isolation, or pain — will allow them to engage and assist every individual.
This creates a culture of employer-sponsored wellness and a safe mental health space that counters burnout in employees. Stress is a significant part of work that exacerbated under Covid-19, and being patient with everyone gets a team through challenges collectively.
Solid grasp on soft skills
Strong emotional intelligence is only solidified with good listening and communication skills. This allows HR managers to deliver the right support, advice, and guidance tailored to every situation.
In her book entitled Soft Skills Hard Results, Anne Taylor discusses that analytical leadership is no longer enough to guarantee business success. Effective employee engagement is what motivates and inspires a team, and her practical people skills guide highlights the approach of deeply focused, value-added thinking and sharing for those who desire success.
To become leaders, HR managers need to step up. Responsibility is never an easy task, and often requires assertive and bold decisions to be made. These decisions should be fair and considerate of all team members, as they can often determine the direction of the entire company.
Organizations at their core are groups of individuals that find strength collectively. It is on HR leaders to harness this strength by applying the leadership skills above into their daily work.
About the Author
J Evans is a freelance writer passionate about thought leadership and workplace trends. Her topics aim to give professional leaders the information they need to make the best decisions for their respective organizations. In her free time, she enjoys knitting and the occasional jog.