5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Human Resources Management Skills

If you’re a small business owner, you may feel that Human Resources Management (HRM) only applies to large companies and corporations. But effective HRM provides strategies for managing employees in any size business. If your business hires employees on any level, HRM policies can help you improve every aspect of recruiting, safety, employee training, hiring and even firing. Gaining new skills in HRM can help you better deal with every aspect of your business’s human resources.

  • Let your employees work together, share ideas and develop a sense of ownership over their jobs and the workplace. When workers feel free to share ideas, it helps them to be more productive and more effective in their jobs. Give them the freedom to express their thoughts and utilize their creativity whenever you can.
  • Build relationships with your staff, colleagues and managers. This is done by expressing concern for others, treating people with respect, trusting them to want to do their jobs well, and giving them your full attention when required.
  • Create an environment that encourages your employees to perform better and recognizes their efforts when they do. It’s easy to overlook a job well done, simply because it’s expected that employees perform adequately. But if you have an employee who has been struggling to improve and she finally makes noticeable progress, let he/her know you noticed. It can help him/her to improve even more just to know you’re aware of him/her efforts.
  • Learn to communicate clearly, whether in writing or verbally. Communication skills can be learned. In fact, if you struggle in this area, take a few eCourses to help you improve your skills. This is one of the most important things you can do to improve your HRM abilities.
  • Lead your team by example rather than simply direction. This will help your employees respect you much more because they can see you’re not asking them to perform tasks you’re unwilling to perform.

Recognize what works and what doesn’t work in your HRM and eliminate ineffective procedures. Develop systems for monitoring success and learn to adapt your policies as needed to ensure your business is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

How to Attract the Talent You Want

  • Treat every candidate with respect for their interest. Whether you are recruiting inexperienced new graduates or C-level executives, give every candidate the respect they deserve as people. Being honest, open and professional is critical to candidates’ perceptions of your company. Never violate this rule in your talent-finding formula.
  • Create a professional hiring process; then follow it. Explain the hiring process to all candidates; follow it religiously. Depending on the authority level of different jobs, you’ll need to vary your process at times. However, to maintain your professional credibility, you must follow the process you have explained to the candidate.
  • Design a positive process for candidates that don’t “make the cut.”  Have you experienced the horrors or heard about other candidates who were told that they would hear from a company after an interview, only to hear nothing? Employers who practice this “policy” must not realize the damage they do to their reputation and brand. Candidates have friends and family who are also consumers and can refer other talented people. Outstanding leaders develop a formula that offers dignified ways to deliver a professional “no” message.
  • Create a hiring formula that gives you flexibility.  Your recruiting and hiring formula should recognize that you may sometimes need candidates with unusual educational or behavioral qualifications specific for the job, department or team. A winning talent-finding formula allows you to be consistent, but flexible when necessary. If you want to consistently attract the best talent, make flexibility your trusted partner.
  • Create a pleasant “candidate experience” for all job seekers and recruits.  You might compare this component to the popular branding goal of creating a positive “customer experience” for all consumers who contact your company. Treating all candidates with respect, keeping your hiring process consistent, and having a professional communication strategy for non-hires increases your probabilities of attracting and hiring the best talent available.

Consider using some or all of these suggestions to create your effective plan and winning recruiting programs. If  these features sound like basic human courtesy and respect more than textbook HR principles, you’re right.

Whether you are recruiting for a part-time mail clerk or a Vice President of IT, the candidate will judge your leadership ability—and your company—by the way you manage the hiring process. Your company faces no more risk when hiring a lower-level employee than when interviewing executive suite candidates. Your professional hiring process should be consistent for all candidates.

For example, the inexperienced part-time candidate may have an older sibling or family member who is eminently qualified for an open executive position. Further, lower level candidates may not be shy about telling everyone in sight about the treatment they received when interviewed by you or your company. If it was a positive experience, he or she may sing your praises. Conversely, if it was a negative experience, the candidate may be equally vocal in recommending that family and friends not buy your company’s products or services.

Join the fraternity of outstanding leaders by designing a professional, effective talent-finding formula. Your career and employer will reward you many times over.

How to Manage Your Gen Ys

If you’re like many managers, your employees are increasingly gen Ys who bring valuable qualities to the workplace. they’re willing to work long hours. and they relish working for organizations whose values matter to them.

To attract, retain, and get the most from Gen Ys, create the right kind of work environment. Start by emphasizing your company’s values, reputation, and community involvement to Gen Y job candidates. They often prefer to work on their own schedules, so be fexible about asynchronous work. Where possible, performance management should focus on task completion, not time spent.

What You Should Do Before Your Staff Members Go On Vacation

When a member of your team goes away for a few days, who will handle that person’s job duties? It is important to identify which pieces of their jobs need to be covered when your staff members take leave for any reason. Choose other employees on your team who can best cover certain parts of their coworkers’ jobs and have them train on those early on. Always have a back-up person for the pertinent processes in your office in case someone needs to take some time away.

Another important question to ask is whether or not your team member can complete parts of his or her job before leaving the office for a vacation. If there is a project you know will come up while that person is away, ask them to put in a little extra time and hard work before going away. This will ensure important reports, projects, or any other time-sensitive parts of their jobs will be performed before employees take time off. It will also likely make their first days back in the office a little easier because they’re not playing as much catch-up.

Finally, how can you mitigate the amount of vacation time an employee will need to spend being plugged in? With important projects out of the way beforehand and other employees available to fill in for vacationing team members, it all seems done, right? Not quite. It’s important to also consider questions from other colleagues and outside entities directed toward your vacationing staff member. Always make sure your employees set their out-of-office emails and voicemails to direct inquiring parties to the next available person.

While these steps for preparing for your staff member vacations seem like no-brainers, it takes careful strategy from you as a manager, as well as well-defined expectations from your team. Talk with them individually about their commitments and other skills to find out what they can help with while their coworkers take time away. Explain that their extra dedication will ensure more relaxation when they also take vacations from work. Have them document their job duties and general tips for coworkers who may fill in for them.

With a well-designed leave preparation plan, your employees can take much-needed vacation time while still providing the support you need for your team. They will also be willing to put in the extra time and effort leading up to their days off when they understand that this will allow them more freedom to turn off their phones and spend quality relaxing time away from the office.

4 Things Your Employees Need Most From You

Figuring out what your people want can feel like an intricate puzzle, especially when different employees require different things. Here are four things most employees need to be successful:

  1. Role clarity. Tell your employees what their roles are, what you want them to achieve, and what the rules are for getting there.
  2. Autonomy. People want something interesting to work on and they want to be trusted to do it well.
  3. Accountability. Holding people accountable is not just about being fair. It also sends a message about what is and what isn’t acceptable. This is critical for employees who are trying to figure out how to succeed.
  4. Praise. Everyone wants to be recognized when they’ve done something right. You can motivate employees by highlighting their strengths and not harping on their weaknesses.