We can provide coaching to line managers in order to heighten their awareness and choice of action around their HR and management responsibilities. If there has been a complaint from an employee about a Line Manager’s behaviour, we can come in and provide mediation/coaching on the matter: We will identify the employee’s complaints and the details surrounding the complaints.
Listen to the manager’s side of the story. From experience, stress, short deadlines and tight budgets can skew employee and manager perspectives on details. There could be facts affecting an employee’s performance i.e. family issues, a death or illness in the family or a divorce that the employee is grappling with. These facts are not necessarily excuses to allow an employee to get away with bad behaviour, but highlighting them can make a manager empathize more with added personal pressures that employees are dealing with on a daily basis.
We can also conduct role play sessions with the manager to show him/her appropriate behaviour, when it comes to dealing with their employees in future, during this, we will observe and take notes on management style. We will then present notes to the manager on our views on how similar situations can be handled in future.
Speaking at a one-day seminar in London, Ulrich, professor of business at the University of Michigan, urged the HR profession to take on the dual role of coach and architect to their line managers.
He explained, “HR should be able to inspire managers and help them to understand what they do well and badly.
“HR needs to work with managers to build a blueprint which gives them choices to help them make decisions.”
Ulrich urged the HR delegates to get line managers more involved in the profession by getting them to conduct best practice studies and put HR issues on the agenda in staff meetings. He predicted that as HR took on a more strategic role, it was increasingly likely that chief executives of the company would come from an HR background.