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Being an HR manager is not an easy task. You are often viewed as an enforcer or an enemy, it’s easy to grow frustrated with other employees when they break the rules or don’t listen to your advice. It’s a lot of responsibility and stress without a lot of rewards.

Know the laws.

You are responsible for understanding and making employees understand laws surrounding overtime pay, discrimination, family leave, and harassment. However, you are not a cop or enforcer, you are an adviser. Ultimately, individuals have the free will to make their own decisions. You will establish better rapport with other employees if they view you as an expert and not an authority figure. And don’t be surprised when most people don’t listen to your advice. At least until you establish more credibility.

Know the corporate structure.

Do your best to break out of the HR bubble. Go to larger meetings within the company and learn as much as you can about the rest of the business. This can help you establish trust with other employees and help you shed the label of “the HR guy.” With trust comes rapport and increased credibility from those around you, helping your effectiveness in your role.

Know the learning curve.

At the beginning, your priority should be establishing credibility. Develop relationships with upper management, supervisors, and staff—everyone in the company—so that those you work with will trust your advice. Set an example early, showing employees to work hard and stay focused. Make them want to work as hard as you do. If you are complacent or mediocre, people around you will grow bitter and not seek to be better.

Know how to influence change.

You can best influence change through effective communication. Mostly you have to change attitudes surrounding HR activities. If employees complain that their time is being wasted with a training seminar, for example, show them how this is an investment in preparing them for success.

Make sure that you deliver your message in a friendly and clear way. Don’t tell employees “You can’t…” because this is a turn-off. Let them know that you are their partner in problem-solving, not merely an enforcer of the rules.


For more advice on how to be an effective HR manager, contact us today!

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