Helping line managers understand their HR role (Toughest HR question)

Need to understand HR largely consultative
By Brian Kreissl
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/25/2011

Question: How does HR get line managers to recognize their role in managing human resources?

Answer: This might come as a shock to some, but HR is a management function. It exists to facilitate increased managerial effectiveness and to assist managers with some of their more sensitive, time-consuming and administrative people management tasks, yet line managers also have a role to play. It’s a bit of a cliché but, to some extent, every manager is an HR manager.

Managers need to understand HR’s role is primarily a consultative one and HR isn’t there to replace managers’ decision-making authority. While HR can provide coaching, guidance and organizational parameters around succession planning, performance management, staffing, compensation, training and development, and termination of employment, line managers exercise significant managerial discretion in those areas.