6 Approaches for the successful devolution of people management duties to line managers

Further to our popular post on ‘Critical HR issues in the devolution of people management duties to line managers’, we have developed six proven approaches in which HR professionals can implement to ensure improved stakeholder relationships and uptake of HR duties by line managers.

  1. Identify and analyse interest and degree of power and influence each line manager has within than organisation.
  2. In order to meet the needs of line managers, HR must operate in an ‘exchange’ relationship with the organisation ensuring that all claimants within this exchange are taken into consideration.
  3. It’s critical to help managers deal with their ‘points of pain’ by adopting standardised solutions and looking at issues from an operational perspective. The ability to build rapport and ongoing mechanisms for line managers to voice their concerns and issues and in turn designing and implementing strategies to address these concerns will assist HR in managing relationships more effectively.
  4. Enhance leadership and culture through the implementation of a constructive and values based framework which improves leadership and bring workers together. Implementing new approaches to leadership by developing positive styles of behaviour,  increases line managers readiness to take on more responsibility for their people. Leadership development is critical in the successful devolution HR duties to line managers. This again further demonstrates HRs’ contribution to business by showing managers how their leadership affects retention and turnover, and how coaching and mentoring contributes to constructive behaviour. By improving the way managers lead people will result in greater devolution of HR duties.  This is then supported by policies and procedures and instruments designed to assist managers in the execution of these duties. In turn, managers are held accountable and rewarded for modeling the desired leadership behaviours.
  5. High levels of quality communication and consultation are more likely to lead to trust and acceptance (even where negative outcomes are possible).
  6. Introduce ongoing support and training in people management duties and offer additional clerical support allowing line managers greater control over who they hire and how they run their business units.

We clearly see that the responsibility of HR, in the devolution of duties, has been to provide the necessary tools and training for managers in effective management of their people.


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