3 Ways HR Can Help Develop Better Managers
HR functions touch every part of an organization, from onboarding and offboarding to communication and benefits administration. You’re uniquely positioned to see across teams and up the org chart. So, in many organizations, HR is also responsible for training managers, or leading the leaders.
Similarly, no one in your business is better positioned than managers to recruit and coach employees and ensure their compliance. After all, managers are most often workers’ point of contact with the rest of the company, So, how can HR train managers to be better at recruiting, coaching, and compliance? Keep reading to find out.
This article is part of a series on HR Leadership. Read more here.
How to Train Managers to Be Better Recruiters
Ideally, managers in your organization hire for the teams they manage. While direct recruiting occasionally falls on HR teams, HR pros usually take responsibility for how a company approaches the entire recruiting process. That includes training hiring managers in how to interview job candidates.
One of the best ways to share best practices with management is through roleplaying interview scenarios. Managers need practice to become interviewing experts, and the stakes are too high to refine their approach through trial and error in actual interviews.
So, HR should consider conducting regular training sessions to make sure managers get the practice they need. Every few months, gather your entire management team together to train. There, managers can share tips, tricks, and other best practices regarding a variety of topics, including recruiting and interviewing.
Great ideas can come from these training sessions, especially when two managers have an opportunity to roleplay interviews. For example, starting each interview with some light small talk, or learning the best way to respond to a certain question from an applicant. This exchange of ideas spurs innovation and empowers each manager to rethink their own approach.
HR should also develop a Manager Manual that compiles recruiting best practices, compliance details, and communication templates. Include instructions for how to conduct phone screen and face-to-face interviews as well as a list of “red flags” to look out for. Remind managers of how to avoid discriminatory practices in recruiting. Provide templates for how to communicate with applicants at each stage of the hiring process.
Having all of this information in one place makes your Manager Manual an excellent reference for corporate training sessions and individual manager coaching.
How to Train Managers to Be Better Coaches
Just as HR trains managers, managers are responsible for coaching employees to perform at their best.
You might consider implementing weekly 1:1 meetings between managers and direct reports. During these meetings, both manager and employee can freely discuss everything from performance to current projects and development.
For weekly 1:1 meetings, the employee should set the agenda and send it to their manager at least 24 hours in advance so the manager can prepare and make additions. Then, the employee should follow up with a summary within 24 hours after the meeting. This helps both manager and employee hold themselves accountable. Using a human resources information system like BerniePortal, 1:1 agendas and summaries can be documented in a single, convenient location that HR can also access as needed.
But of course, like interviews, 1:1 meetings also take practice. HR can include roleplaying performance management meetings in regular manager training. This fosters great feedback and helps the entire manager group crowdsource possible solutions for given situations.
If you’ve identified a new tactic that managers can use in their 1:1 meetings, you can have your managers try it out in a training session. For example, starting each 1:1 meeting with a recap of the previous conversation.
Again, when a new technique becomes a best practice, be sure to include it in your Manager Manual, too. Then, new managers can familiarize themselves with the process, and current managers can review it as a refresher.
How to Train Managers to Be Better at Compliance
Even great managers need a refresher when it comes to compliance. Corporate policies and government regulations are always changing, which means your managers need to stay up-to-date with the latest practices, no matter the issue.
Believe it or not, roleplaying can also help managers stay compliant. Consider, for example, that your team has decided to terminate an employee who wasn’t meeting their goals or even making progress toward them. It’s a good idea for managers to always work with HR when an involuntary termination is necessary, and you can help them by roleplaying the conversation beforehand.
Through roleplaying, managers and HR can get on the same page and identify any potential risks associated with the termination and the difficult conversation that goes along with it. Then, after the conversation, HR can use this example for manager training sessions as a learning opportunity for others.
Your Manager Manual should not only be updated with best practices, but also with details about relevant policies and regulations where manager compliance is expected and required. This could include a termination communication template and a list of termination FAQs managers can use to prepare for these conversations.
For more on how to better train your managers and employees, check out our BernieU course, “How Employers Can Master Managing Employee Performance.” HR managers may also be interested in 5 Books Every Manager Should Read and 5 Essential Books for HR Professionals.
You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with HR leadership and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:
- BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
- HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
- HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
- BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
- HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics
HR pros want to grow in their careers, and there’s no shortage of opportunities for...