Line Managers’ HRM Responsibilities

The direct handling of people has always been an integral part of every line manager’s responsibility, from president down to the lowest level supervisor. For example, one major company outlines its line supervisors’ responsibilities for effective human management under the following general headings:

1. Placing the right person on the right job.
2. Starting new employees in the organization (orientation)
3. Training employees for jobs that are new to them.
4. Improving the job performance of each person.
5. Gaining creative cooperative and developing smooth working relationships.
6. Interpreting the company’s policies and procedures
7. Controlling labor costs.
8. Developing the abilities of each person
9. Creating and maintaining department morale.
10. Protecting employee’s health and physical condition

In small organizations, line managers may carry out all these personnel duties unassisted. But as the organization grows, they need the assistance, specialized knowledge, and advice of a separate human resource staff. The human resources department provides this specialized assistance. In doing so, the HR manager carries out with three distinct functions:

A line function: The HR manager directs the activities of the people in his or her own department and in related service areas (Like the plant cafeteria). In other words, he or she exerts line authority within the HR department. While they generally can’t wield line authority outside HR, they are likely to exert implied authority. This is because line managers know HR has top management’s ear in area like testing and affirmative action.

A coordinative function: HR managers also coordinate personnel activities, a duty often referred to as functional control. Here the HR manager and department act as the “right arm of the top executive” to ensure that line managers are implementing the firm’s HR objectives, policies, and procedures (for example, adhering to its sexual harassment policies)

Staff (assist and advise) functions: Assisting and advising line managers is the heart of the HR manger’s job. The HR manager assists in strategy design and execution by helping the CEO to better understand the personnel aspects of the company’s strategic options. HR assists in hiring, training, evaluating, rewarding, counseling, promoting, and firing employee. It administers the various benefit programs
(Health and accident insurance, retirement, vacation, and so on). It helps line managers comply with equal employment and occupational safety laws, and plays an important role in handling grievances and labor relations. It carries out an innovator role by providing “up-to-date information on current trends and new methods of solving problems”—such as today’s interest in instituting systems for measuring human resources management’s strategic impact. It plays an employee advocacy role: It helps define how management should be treating employees, makes sure employees can contest unfair practices, and represents the employees’ interest within the framework of its main obligation to senior management.

The size of the HR group and the number of HR specialists reflects the size of the company. For a very large company an organization chart can be drawn for the HR department alone. At other extreme, the HR organizational chart for a small manufacturer may contain a total of only five or six staff.

Examples of HR Job duties includes,

Recruiters: Search for qualified job applicants.

Equal employment opportunity (EEO) coordinators: Investigate and resolve EEO grievances, examine organizational practices for potential violations, and compile and submit EEO reports.

Job analysts: Collect and examine information about jobs to prepare job descriptions.

Compensation managers: Develop compensation plans and handle the employee benefits program.

Training specialists: Plan, organize, and direct training activities.

Labor relations specialists: Advise management in all aspects of union management relation.

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