The Gray Line Between Human Resources and Management

in spite of of company size, industry or location, Human Resources plays a basic role in the success of any organization. Typically, “Human Resources” is defined as the department or individual within a company that is charged with recruiting and training the organization’s employees, and managing the required employment responsibilities. However, many human resource roles overlap with management, so it behooves every company to define their various roles and responsibilities to avoid confusion, duplicate work or mistakes.

HR’s dominant Responsibilities

Human resources professionals use many, many hats. First and foremost, HR creates legally compliant policies and procedures, and ensures they are being followed. Most employee-related activities provided by HR can be distilled down to three dominant roles:

  1. Identifying, implementing and supporting all applicable local, state and federal employment laws.
  2. Defining and maintaining an ethical and specialized ecosystem for all employees.
  3. Establishing effective hiring systems, employee orientations and performance management systems.

HR must also address a wide-reaching list of responsibilities including:

  • Recruiting, hiring and terminating
  • Job descriptions
  • Attendance programs and disciplinary standards
  • Performance appraisal systems
  • Establishing corrective action and termination processes
  • Unemployment requests
  • assistance plans, including vacation, leaves-of-absence and sick pay (PTO)
  • Processing and managing Workers’ Compensation claims and other safety issues
  • Processing payroll

Following HR-recommended procedures allows a company to comply with state and federal laws and creates an ecosystem that is specialized, safe and fair. HR also roles as advocates for both employees and the business because they focus on creating positive employee relations and a productive work ecosystem.

Management and Supervision

Managers and supervisors, in addition to their own stated responsibilities and duties, are expected to manage the performance of their employees and related aspects of that role. The job of the manager is to know the company rules and to ensure that both they and their staff are following them, and to make sure business needs are being met. Managers and supervisors monitor employee performance, and coach and guide their staff to meet or go beyond expectations.

basic Boundaries

Management should NOT be performing HR roles. It important that the management team knows when they are to include or defer to HR, and that they have a clear understanding of the boundaries that separate them.

These boundaries will vary from company to company. For example, in some businesses, HR is responsible for recruiting and interviewing, and will bring in management during the final selection course of action. Other businesses, however, have management conducting their own interviewing and hiring, and only include HR during the onboarding and arrangement stages

In all situations, when the law is involved, HR should be included first. HR should be at the front, guiding management by the maze of legal responsibilities and risks. Human Resources also plays a meaningful strong role in coaching management in effective communications skills and other topics designed to enhance employee relations.

In summary, management and supervision are the leaders who are tasked with monitoring, managing and guiding their staff to meet or go beyond their possible. HR shows management how to do this legally and ethically. And once HR has defined these legal boundaries, they should step out of the way and allow management to do their job.

If your business is facing any HR or management challenges, we invite you to contact CPEhr to analyze how we can assist you in any of your human resource or employment needs. Visit our website at http://www.cpehr.com for more information.

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