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H.R. and line managers interaction - Essay Example

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With changes in the business environment changes in the organizational structure became necessary. One such change has been involving, delegating and empowering the line mangers the responsibility of HR functions as they interact regularly with their subordinates…
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H.R. and line managers interaction
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Download file to see previous pages This suggests that the line managers should be aware of the link between the management of human resources and the strategic direction designed by the top management. However, the contribution of the line managers in playing the role of HR functions has been challenged. The middle managers or the line managers interact most frequently with the employees and hence play a vital role in any organization. The top management is busy formulating the strategies, goals and objectives and plays the role of transformational leaders (Thornhill & Saunders). Under the circumstances the line managers are expected to have the ability to inspire, motivate, direct and facilitate change by encouraging the employees to become committed to the organization. Bond and McCracken (2006) contend that the line managers should become more involved in HR functions at the operational level. A study at the NHS revealed that the middle managers did use their discretion on a number of issues which implies that the HR strategy is operationalized at the NHS. Line managers are definitely in a position to translate the HRM policies in an organization at the operational level. However, line managers may not be able to cope with the additional responsibilities given to them. They may feel stressed or may be unable to handle the HR functions (Renwick, 2003) and doubts have also been expressed whether they possess the necessary skills and knowledge (Whittaker & Marchington, 2003). This situation, according to Bond and McCracken, can arise when the line managers are not adequately trained and hence lack discretion and maturity. When a subordinate asks for leave the line managers are between positioned to ascertain how this leave would impact the work at the organization. The line manager must also have the ability to motivate the leave applicant to work extra hours in case of emergencies. This requires the use of discretion and calls for maturity on the part of the line managers. When line managers are not adequately trained they are not competent enough to make the right decisions and this situation may not be fair to the staff. At the same time, the line managers may be unable to embrace HR functions as they remain preoccupied with their primary responsibilities and the HR duties remain low on priority, emphasize Brandl et al (2009). Thus, the HR personnel must know the areas of priorities of the line managers before assigning responsibilities so that the right functions are delegated to them. Brandl et al also find that the line managers are keen to handle HR functions such as motivation and staff welfare but they are not keen to take on responsibilities of team building and coaching or in managing conflicts. The purpose of involving the line managers is to free the HR personnel for policy matters, to reduce costs and to enhance employee motivation. This is in view of the belief that direct interaction with the employees enhances competitiveness and production (Larsen & Brewster, 2003). The input from the line managers is significant as it enables the HR to institute and frame the rewards policies. Moreover, certain issues may be too complex for the HR personnel to manage. Since the line managers are in direct contact it may be easier for them as it enhances the decision-making process which according to Budhwar (2000) is one of the most effective tools for employee motivation. For best results the line managers have to work in conjunction with the HR practitioners as it could lead to greater achievement of corporate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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