11 Tips to Help You Become a Successful HR Manager

By Abby McCain - Nov. 15, 2022
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Being a Human Resources manager can be a fulfilling and interesting job, but it takes more than a certification to be successful in this role.

Keep reading for tips on becoming a successful HR manager and a list of skills you should develop as you work in this role.

Key Takeaways:

  • Maintain day-to-day communication with employees to stay informed about them – don’t just reach out when there’s an issue or you need something from them.

  • Show interest in employees as individuals and take a genuine interest so that you can personalize your human resources management to each person.

  • Work closely with managers from all departments to stay connected with what’s going on across the company.

11 tips to help you become a successful HR manager

11 Tips for Becoming a Successful HR Manager

  1. Focus on the Big Picture

    This is a common flaw of HR managers: they get so focused on hiring the best new people that they forget about the ones they already have.

    The engagement of the current employees is part of the big picture. It’s just as important as getting the best workers on board. Are your recognition, review, and growth policies on par with your recruiting efforts? They should be.

    As an HR professional, you have to balance a wide variety of responsibilities, including the five main responsibilities of HR:

    1. Recruitment and selection

    2. Learning and development

    3. Performance management

    4. Succession planning

    5. Compensation and benefits

  2. Do the Little Tasks Well

    It’s easy to become mechanical or even lazy in completing your everyday tasks once you’ve done them for a while. As an HR professional, however, it’s important to remember that your daily tasks can have a huge impact on employees’ professional and personal lives.

    As a result, doing every task you’re given well and on time is key to being a successful HR manager.

    Some of these tasks include:

    • Collecting and distributing resumes

    • Onboarding and training employees

    • Facilitating employee benefits enrollment

    • Maintaining employee relations

    • Setting and building company culture

    • Ensuring a safe and respectful work environment

    • Resolving conflicts

    • Administering any disciplinary actions

    This is just the tip of the iceberg for what HR managers do, but it’s a good reminder of how many of your tasks make a direct impact on the health of the organization and individual employees.

  3. Maintain the Passion

    To employees, HR managers often represent the rules and needs of the organization. As a result, they’re often perceived as cold and distant.

    If you lean into this perception, you will become cold and distant. If you lean into your passion for helping people or making organizations healthier, however, you’ll quickly become a more effective and positive leader.

    Your own drive will inspire the people you’re trying to recruit, as well as the current workers in the organization.

  4. Take a Positive Approach to Communication

    Each change and transition a company goes through affects its employees, and even the best changes can cause employees to react negatively if it’s not properly communicated.

    HR managers must keep the communication lines within the entire organization functional at all times — not just during times of change.

    Regularly communicating with employees about day-to-day concerns will make it easier for you to communicate when bigger announcements and transitions come down the pipeline.

    You’ll have a strong rapport built, making it easier for employees to hear what you’re saying, and you’ll know your employees better, making it easier for you to speak to and care for them effectively.

  5. Show Up Where They Work

    When you act like a principal who only interacts with employees when you call them to your office to warn them about something, they’re going to be scared of you.

    To combat this, be proactive about showing employees that you’re human and that you care about them — not just the rules. Get out of your office and show up where they work. Chat casually, ask questions, and let them suggest ideas.

    Show some support — which is what HR is all about — and you’ll create a better working environment by default.

  6. Show a Genuine Interest in Each Employee

    Personalization is the key to effective human resources management. When you’re communicating with someone from the staff, it’s important to take their preferences, personality, age, and goals into consideration.

    As an HR manager, you have to keep tabs on everyone. You can’t inspire them to do a better job with generalized motivational talks. If you push them toward their personal goals, however, you’ll get much better results.

  7. Collaborate With All Departments

    You have a responsibility to choose and support the right workers for each department. In order to do this, you have to learn what the individual needs of each department are.

    Work closely with managers so you can develop appropriate HR practices and trainings that will actually benefit their teams instead of causing them more stress.

    In addition, when a department is hiring, defer to the manager’s preferences and opinions as much as possible — after all, they’re the ones who have to work with the new employee, not you.

  8. Develop a Mentorship Program

    Providing mentors to newly acquired workers gives them the guidance they need to learn how to do their jobs well, grow professionally, and take initiative. It also helps them get connected more quickly with the rest of their team.

    Mentoring should not be improvised, however. As the HR manager, you should create a clear mentorship program complete with goals and results monitoring. Work with other departments to do this to get their insight and ensure their needs are met with this program.

  9. Stay Flexible

    HR managers who never revisit or adjust their policies and procedures quickly become ineffective and even harmful to their organization. In HR, you work with people, and people are complex and change quickly. As a result, you need to learn how to be flexible and adaptable.

    Stay up on new HR trends and best practices, continuously analyze your efforts and the organization’s culture, and try new ideas for professional development.

    Health companies are flexible companies, and you can lead the way in this by showing flexibility in all you do.

  10. Use the Right Technologies

    Human resource information and applicant tracking systems are constantly being upgraded. You have to stay on top of new technologies to keep improving your effectiveness as an HR manager.

  11. Know Your Vision

    You can’t wait for your organization to define what your role is — more than likely your leadership will expect you to bring your own ideas and practices to the table.

    You know what human resource management is all about, so find your vision for yourself, your department, and the entire organization. Then, take initiative to make it a reality by suggesting your ideas, developing new skills, and trying new practices.

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Additional Skills HR Managers Should Have

Here are some skills HR managers should work to develop and strengthen in order to be successful:

  • Communication

  • Budgeting

  • Confidentiality

  • Adaptability

  • Empathy

  • Data analysis

  • Conflict resolution

  • Staying calm under pressure

  • Assertiveness

  • Active listening

  • Strong sense of ethics

  • Understanding of compensation and benefits processes and laws

  • Understanding of legal compliance

  • Understanding of workplace safety laws and regulations

  • Time management

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to become an extraordinary HR manager. It takes a lot of work, experience, and consistent experimentation with new techniques. The tips above will help you start your journey toward greatness in this profession.

Abby is a writer who is passionate about the power of story. Whether it’s communicating complicated topics in a clear way or helping readers connect with another person or place from the comfort of their couch. Abby attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she earned a degree in writing with concentrations in journalism and business.

Author

Abby McCain

Abby is a writer who is passionate about the power of story. Whether it’s communicating complicated topics in a clear way or helping readers connect with another person or place from the comfort of their couch. Abby attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she earned a degree in writing with concentrations in journalism and business.

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Topics: Building Culture, Employer branding, Hiring Talent, Skills shortage, Top Talent