There is a very good reason why organisations should be making sure that their people managers are properly equipped to do their jobs effectively: a failure to do so creates significant risk.
Any business process is only as strong as the weakest link and as we’ve already discussed in a previous article entitled The Strategic HR Role of Line Managers, most HR processes rely on the involvement of front-line managers, or at least they should.
Unfortunately in many situations the front-line managers, through no fault of their own but the culture and procedures employed by their organisations, are that weakest link.
Whether it’s asking the right questions at an interview, carrying out the right employment checks on a new starter or handling a performance issue in the correct way, if managers are not doing the right things then the organisation is exposed to risks.
Yet too often organisations act as if having a policy or a process written down on a piece of paper is sufficient to ensure that the process gets followed when experience consistently demonstrates that it’s not. Ringing any bells?
Similarly, getting a group of managers in a room for a briefing on the disciplinary process and expecting that they will have complete recall of that information when it’s actually required 6 months down the line is an unrealistic expectation but again, in reality, this is what happens in many organisations.
The only effective way to ensure that your people managers are doing the right things at the right time is to provide better on-the-job access to tools and information, so that they can easily and quickly get relevant information at the point that they need it and be prompted to carry out important tasks at the right time, and in a consistent and compliant way.
Unless managers have effective on-the-job support, organisations will continue to be exposed to unnecessary risk.
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