August 12, 2010 at 11:12 am #108017
Calling all supervisors and managers here!
Don’t be afraid! Team up with your HR and take on the challenge of managing your folks! You can do it! We believe in you!! Resources and tools are here to help you and I (HR) am here as well.
So I received a request for a desk audit and before I even contacted the employee I asked both the first level and the second level supervisors, “have you talked to your employee?” No. He/she asked for the audit and we are complying. Folks, this isn’t a free for all. You don’t always get what you asked for. And if you’re going to ask for a desk audit, you must be prepared to explain why. So I challenged the supervisors to have a discussion with their employee. Why do you want a desk audit? What are your expectations? Perhaps there is an issue here that can be solved outside of a desk audit.
So as HR I provided talking points and resources to the supervisors to guide their conversations with the employee. We need to find out what sparked the request and will a desk audit even resolve the problem.
As HR we really need to equip our supervisors with the information they need to do their job. Despite the recent law proposals to mandate training for a certain amount of time in a certain location with certain subject areas, it’s not the best method in my experience. You don’t become a supervisor within 40 hours of classroom training–nor will you remember it! Training is on-going, in-depth, and repetitive. We have to change the way we do business, not just the requirements for getting the job done.
August 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm #108033
Dead-on. Plus I think managing is both trial by fire….and talking to others who have managed before so you can walk through situations and learn you are not alone.
August 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm #108031
Angelica “Angie” WorkmanParticipant
Great Post! We as HR have to remember to ask the obvious but important questions from our supervisors sometimes :o)
August 12, 2010 at 9:15 pm #108029
I completely agree! Do you have any ideas for training mid-level employees in leadership training? We need to put employees on a track towards leadership and supervisory experiences before they are thrown into the job. This is the only way that we can start having leaders and not just “managers” in our workforce. Any ideas are welcome!
August 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm #108027
Nichole I have a question. Why is it that HR seems to define its role so narrowly? To me it’s really about organizational development first and technical things like benefits announcements second. Yet often it seems like it’s the other way around. In fact I don’t even understand why HR is separate from training…aren’t these functions really the same? Employee development?
August 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm #108025
The “technical things” are the things that have a day-to-day impact on whether jobs get announced and people get paid. My agency is in the midst of paying out a lot of money to staff who were excluded from OT pay because of a technical error. As I tell our customers, HR regs are written in a language like legalese that uses English words but is not completely English – you can’t hum a few bars and fake it to do the job right. HR defines its role first and foremost as doing the things it uniquely has the responsibility to do.
August 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm #108023
There is an interesting article in the August issue of “Human Resources Executive” magazine that HR’s job with relation to Flextronics International — a 200,000 employee organization — where management issues such as centralization are seeing change on a global scale. Flextronics is a large compnay with 80 locations in 30 countries. From page 21 of that magazine, “As a result of it many acquisitons, the company found itself relying on a hodgepodge of different systems for tracking and managing its employees…” which would seem to create an image of a conglamerate rather than a single entity with tight controls. Workforce planning, for example, was impossible – according to its vice president. One solution they used was to bring together HR reps from their locations worldwide to help design consistent global processes which took about 2 months. Anyway, I found the article pretty insightful and a good example of leadership at its best. An interview with the vice president Debi Hirshlag, and others) may be viewed on YouTube at:
August 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm #108021
August 26, 2010 at 11:13 am #108019
@ Dannielle- I agree with Kate’s response. Those technical things are the difference between someone receiving leave for an emergency (i.e. continuing to get a paycheck during their personal emergency), someone begin paid on time, someone filling a vacancy in time, etc. Everything is last minute and everything is an emergency. I would love to be involved more whole heartedly in employee development and training (my background actually) but I’m sucked into the staffing and employee relations/discipline areas 150% of my time. And while I go through each step I constantly bash my head in the wall saying IF ONLY I CAN TRAIN ALL MY EMPLOYEES AT ONCE ON THE BASICS THEN MAYBE I CAN SAVE MYSELF SOME HEART ACHE!! But who has the time? Shoot, I already take work home and work late hours but it doesn’t make a dent in the work. I believe my supervisors are sympathetic to my time but an ER is an ER. No way to go around it.
But sometimes I think supervisors don’t try to help themselves either. They see a bumpy road and try to pass on the buck. Supervisors have more power and support than they realize. You can ask a question. You can have a conversation. Be mindful of what you say but our world is so vast that you can find talking points and case law and resources online in a simple search!
Joan– I will email you those points today 🙂
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