What is a Typical Day Like for a Human Resources Manager?

human-resources-managerA Human Resources Manager holds a pivotal position in a company that affects the lives of employees in meaningful ways. In a large company, a manager may direct activities in a specialized area. In a small company, the job requires a talented person who is a “jack-of-all-trades”, according to the Princeton Review. Maintaining a work force occupies part of every day. Managing a compensation program and ensuring compliance with regulations requires constant attention so that a skilled manager can keep fingers on the pulse of a corporation.

Starting the Day

A Human Resources Manager usually has superior communication skills, and they are helpful in facilitating interaction among staff and managers. A morning may start with advising a customer service team on improving telephone skills. Courtesy and patience are qualities that favorably influence customers, and a representative can make a good impression by using them. Making notes to follow up on improvements is usually the last step in advisory meetings.

An individual conference with an employee who has concerns about discrimination issues requires careful listening and understanding. Asking questions that let an employee describe details about potential issues can help a Human Resources Manager resolve problems at an early stage. When an employee feels singled out, it is helpful to explain that company policies apply to everyone equally. Promising to discuss the issue with an employee’s manager is usually effective. Scheduling a meeting with the appropriate manager puts an item on the agenda for follow up.

Taking a Break

Lunch with a colleague gives the company troubleshooter a chance to network and catch up on goings on in other organizations. A break can provide a refreshing opportunity to get ready for the afternoon’s activities.

Getting Back Down to Business

Spending a couple of hours to finalize plans for an organizational meeting is well spent when it affects the structure of a company. Finding a way to reallocate employees instead of eliminating positions is beneficial for everyone, but it requires research to support recommendations. Department heads who are affected by changes in staffing need to stay in the communication loop, and a few phone calls can usually accomplish all that is needed.

Interviewing a prospective employee or explaining the company benefits program to new employees typically requires an hour or two in the afternoon. Compensation is a matter of great interest to employees, and making sure that each one understands the benefits package eliminates confusion. Regular contact with health insurance providers keeps the channels of communication open so that problems are either avoided or resolved quickly. (See also: What do Human Resource Managers Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act?)

Concluding a Day’s Activities

A company’s electronic documentation regarding human resources is often an area of focus for a manager. Human Resource Management information systems contain vital data that affects the operation of a well functioning organization, and the director of the department needs to have frequent contact with the Human Resources Manager. Meeting at the end of the day can alert both managers to issues that need attention.

As a “jack-of-all-trades” expert, an effective leader is ready to handle a variety of issues. Using knowledge acquired on the job or in an academic setting, a Human Resources Manager performs effectively by gaining information, making good decisions and taking prompt action.