Managing Human Resources

What Does It Mean?

Female employee meeting with female human resources manager in office

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Managing human resources refers to the functions that a manager performs relative to the organization's employees. Managing Human Resources can also refer to the act of providing the management actions the employees of the Human Resource Department

Managing human resources includes, but is not limited to:

Planning and Allocating Resources

No business has unlimited resources. Managers must divide salary budgets among their employees. Workloads must be divided. Managers decide who gets what training and who gets the best projects.
Who gets the newest computer and who is stuck with the old one until the new budgeting cycle rolls around? In addition to physical resources, where does a manager spend her time? Who does she help? All of these things are part of the planning and allocating resources.

Providing Direction, Vision, and Goals

A manager should be the leader of the group. Managers not only divide the work but direct how employees should accomplish the work. They set the goals. Depending on the type and level of the group, managers may set overarching goals, allowing the employees the opportunity to set their own lower-level goals, or they may take control of the entire process. Both are appropriate, depending on the situation.
Vision is a key task in managing your human resources. If your employees cannot see the big picture, they are less likely to perform to their highest level. Managers need to have a vision and share it properly with the team.

Developing an Environment in which Employees Choose Motivation and Contribution

Managers determine what type of environment is best for their department. Good managers ensure that gossips, bullies, and slackers are all either coached into proper performance or terminated. Bad managers allow these people to overrun the department, creating a tense and unhappy environment. A good environment will motivate employees, and they will choose to perform at a high level.

Supplying or Asking for the Metrics that Tell People How Successfully They Are Performing

Managers must provide feedback. Without that framework, employees don't know where they need to improve and where they are doing well. This is most successful when metrics are built around clear, measurable goals.

Offering Opportunities for Both Formal and Informal Development

A manager's job isn't just to get the work done but to help his or her reporting employees succeed. Managers should personally coach employees, and provide opportunities for formal developmental training, such as classes and stretch projects. You can provide coaching through formal mentoring relationships or by providing feedback on a regular basis.

Setting an Example in Work Ethics, Treatment of People, and Empowerment Worthy of Being Emulated by Others

A good manager shows her staff how to behave. She is ethical, treats people fairly, and gives people the independence they've earned. Managers who play favorites, steal credit or discriminate against their staff are damaging the business's most important resource - their people.

Leading Organization Efforts to Listen to and Serve Customers

Managers often see the customers as more important than their own staff. This is not true - good staff management leads to good relationships with the customers. Customer relationships are critical and the business profits by managers who make customer service a priority.
Managers have a duty to both the customer and employees, and when she takes care of both, success is more likely.

Removing Obstacles that Impede the Employees' Progress

Managers help their people when they clear the path for success. Should employees need approval from senior leadership for something, the manager helps facilitate the approval. Should an employee need a training course, or specialized instructions, or assistance with a project, the manager helps facilitate that.

A manager is interested in her employees' success and works hard to clear the pathway for that success. A manager who wishes to succeed focuses her efforts on ensuring the success of her employees.