HR training for line managers is nothing new but it can often be overlooked. A UKCES Employer Skills Survey found that 7 out of 10 UK employers offer no management training at all to first time line managers. And while 58% of employers believe that leadership and management skills are lacking, only 37% of employers were actually investing in management training programmes.
Line managers, supervisors, team leaders all tend to be promoted or recruited to their roles because of the skills, experience and competence that they show in their chosen line of work or career. For example, your business might have a fantastic IT helpdesk call handler, and the next step on that career ladder is for them to become a helpdesk team leader. But whilst they have lots of technical know how, do they actually understand what it takes to manage a team of people and deal with the myriad of issues which that presents? Probably not, and that is when it is important to ensure that businesses broaden the knowledge of their line managers and provide them with HR training.
Why is HR training important for small businesses?
The first thing to be clear on is that you are not expecting your line managers to instantly become HR experts. What you are expecting though is for them to grow in skills and knowledge through relevant training so that they are confident and comfortable in dealing with typical day to day people related issues. For small businesses, this is vitally important as the overwhelming majority of small businesses will not have their own HR department. So it is line managers who fulfil this role, often with the support of external HR consultants as and when needed.
What type of HR training courses are available?
The HR training will either take the form of an in person or online course open to anyone. If the small business has a relationship with an HR provider, then this provider may deliver bespoke in-house training for all the line managers within the business so that there is a consistency of approach. There are some key elements of HR which all line managers should be trained on:
- Absence management – Line managers should understand how to deal with both short and long term absences as well as how to respond to other types of absence such as time off for appointments and emergency leave.
- Discipline and grievance – This is a key area of HR understanding for line managers so that they know how to handle such matters and don’t leave the business open to tribunal claims.
- Staff Performance – Knowing how to get the best out of their team is vital for all line managers. They need training in how to carry out probation reviews, 1-1s, appraisals and other formal performance meetings as well as other softer skills such as coaching in order to support the development of their team.
- Recruitment and selection – Making sure you have the right people in your team is crucial and line managers need to understand their role in recruitment and selection. Training in this area of HR is important to ensure that managers structure their process to give them enough information to make the best decision and also to make sure that the process is fair, equitable and does not discriminate against candidates in any way.
Depending on their size, some businesses will have a full programme of HR specific line manager training courses whereas for others it will be more ad-hoc. One size doesn’t fit all but equipping line managers with basic HR skills and knowledge will help them and the business in the long term.
Can HRX help line managers with HR?
Line managers have a wealth of resources available to them in the HRX Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base is regularly reviewed and updated, and provides handy checklists, guides and forms so that line managers have resources at hand to support them in their day-to-day people management. Contact us now to find out more about our free 30 day trial.