HR Professionals Give a no Confidence Vote for Line Managers

By Andrew Willis
09 Aug 2011

HR survey highlights management skills gap. London, 30 August 2011

Confidence in line managers' ability to cope with day-to-day HR tasks remains low despite over half of HR professionals admitting to handing them over survey reveals. The YouGov survey of HR senior managers in companies with 100 or more employees commissioned by Croner has highlighted the need for organisations to equip line managers with the HR skills and know-how they need, or suffer the likely consequences of their staff feeling isolated, lacking direction and becoming demotivated.

The survey also found that 63% of HR professionals had devolved day-to-day HR tasks such as management of disciplinary and grievance procedures to some line managers. Yet just over half (60%) were only 'fairly confident' that some managers were capable of dealing with smaller day-to-day roles such as booking holiday and recording sickness absence while 62% agreed that maintaining control of such tasks once they had been handed over is a worry for HR.

"The survey showcases a growing, and potentially damaging, uncertainty emerging between HR professionals and line management," commented Richard Smith, Head of Product Development and an expert in HR, at Croner.

"As HR evolves into a more strategic role in many organisations, there's a need to hand over day-to-day HR administration to line managers and free up necessary space without adding to headcount or cost. The trouble is that while line managers are considered well placed to manage these HR issues given their knowledge of, and interaction with, their staff, in many cases they're are not trained or supported well enough to do it effectively. "The outcome is potentially negative all round – line managers become overburdened, staff expectations are not met and HR is distracted from delivering more value to the business with 81% of respondents agreeing that there is increasing pressure on HR to deliver value."

According to Smith the future should be all about giving line managers the skills and confidence they need to generate positive engagement within their teams, and adding capacity that will empower administratively focused HR teams to broaden their horizons. And he says that purpose-designed online HR case management solutions are set to make the difference.

"The success of online self-service HR modules has paved the way and now web-based solutions like Croner Professional are poised to deliver accessible controls and support that will enable line managers to deal with their HR case books much more effectively," he concluded. "Such programs offer an opportunity to bridge the growing divide between HR and line management and provide the tools both sides need to satisfy staff and management expectations and demands."

Notes to editors 

Bridging the gap – how technology can help HR reach out to line management a white paper from Croner is available to download. Simply click here: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 139 senior managers who have HR responsibilities or roles in companies with 100+ employees. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24 and 30 March 2011. The survey was carried out online.

About Croner Professional

This online case management tool allows users to track employment-related issues from inception to completion via a complete audit trail. Case management records are always available including an at-a-glance record of the advice given, any recommended next steps, and all associated documents. Customisable alerts set important action, event or milestone reminders. Further support is available via a telephone advisory service which, in keeping with the 'always on' convenience of the internet, is available 24/7, 365 days a year. There is also access to a knowledge library.  

About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in employment law, HR and commercial legal advice for small & large organisations across the United Kingdom.





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