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The primary reason human resources and line managers should work together is because both parties have a vested interest in ensuring the company achieves success. Through working together, line management becomes more proficient in tactical human resources functions. This frees up time for human resources professionals to devote more time to strategic HR management.
The human resource department’s main function is to support the workforce needs of the organization. HR and line managers should communicate regularly and frequently to determine the skills and qualifications required for seamless operation of department functions.
Whenever there’s a vacancy in a line manager’s department, an HR recruiter or employment specialist and the line manager review the job description for accuracy and completeness. During the recruitment and selection process, HR advises line managers on how to identify qualified candidates and existing department staff capabilities.
Strategic planning between HR and line managers involves reviewing projections concerning future business demands to determine whether to train current employees to prepare them for promotion or to recruit candidates with higher level skills to augment the current employee knowledge base.
By working together on immediate and future staffing needs, HR and line management benefit from reduced cost per hire and turnover. In addition, the organization benefits from appropriate succession planning and adequate staffing.
Training and development is an HR function that prepares line managers for a number of leadership tasks. One such task is conducting employee performance appraisals. Human resources trainers develop learning objectives based on line managers’ understanding of the organization’s coaching philosophy.
Leadership training topics include how to provide employees with constructive feedback and how to conduct fair and unbiased assessments of employee performance. HR and line managers should therefore work together to ensure the organization maintains a consistent approach to performance management. Inconsistencies within an organization’s performance management system negatively impact employee job satisfaction, which is another reason HR and line managers should work collaboratively.
Workplace conflict is inevitable whenever department employees represent different cultures, work styles and personalities. When conflicts arise, line managers typically seek the advice of HR in resolving issues between employees or issues between employees and their managers. If there is already dissention between HR and line management, it can be difficult for human resources to determine what underlies the conflict and how to resolve it. A positive working relationship between HR and line management facilitates easier handling of workplace investigations and mediating differences between staff. When HR and line management work together, it’s easier for HR to investigate workplace issues because the human resource staff may have greater confidence that line managers document their employment actions and decisions appropriately and according to company policy.
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