What skills are needed to make a successful Human Resources Manager? Some believe it’s their expertise in the different aspects of Human Resources and advanced problem-solving skills, while others think it’s the high level of comfort HR Managers display in communicating with employees.

The truth is there are several different qualities and characteristics that make Managers successful. These are the five most essential skills that are shared amongst all good HR Managers:

1. Communication

When it comes to communication, one mistake many HR Managers can make is to speak more than listen. This is a particularly easy trap to fall into as you gain more experience in the position: an employee comes to you with a problem you’ve encountered many times before, so you’re tempted to try and solve the problem as quickly as possible and move on. What many in HR forget is that, often, people don’t want you to solve their problem so much as listen to them while they work it out. Dismissing them without listening disempowers people from finding their own solutions and may actually make the situation worse.

Listen and do no interrupt employees when they come in to see you, and be sure to communicate with them that they have your full and undivided attention.

2. Approachability

As an HR Manager, one way to guarantee you won’t be able to do your job well is to create an unwelcoming environment within your office. If employees are scared to speak with you about their problems, then there’s absolutely no way for you to resolve situations that otherwise require your expertise.

Successful HR Managers typically maintain an open door policy and create an inviting, comfortable atmosphere that encourages employees to feel safe and openly share their concerns.

3. Motivation

One of the primary roles of HR Managers is to help guide employees toward achieving their career goals, both internally and beyond. Every employee has different goals and objectives to achieve, and successful HR Managers are fully committed to motivating them. They know and understand what motivates different employees and strive to become a source of encouragement for them.

4. Organization

Proper HR management requires an orderly approach. The ability to organize files, manage your own and others’ time well, and maintain a high level of personal efficiency are necessary skills for successful HR Managers. You’re required to deal with other people’s lives and careers, so when a Manager requests help with something that’s time-sensitive and includes several different moving parts, a good HR Manager is able to handle it all efficiently.

5. Discretion and Ethics

HR Managers are privy to a lot of private information surrounding their employee’s personal and professional lives. They serve as the conscience of the company and are responsible for ensuring that employees are following all of the proper policies and regulations. HR Managers are responsible for finding the balance between maintaining a sense of authority while keeping their employees confident that they can be trusted with confidential information.

HR Managers must be able to keep secrets and handle sensitive information appropriately, only divulging it to authorized people while keeping the employee’s best interest in mind.

Although there are many other traits that can contribute to the success of an HR Manager, the five listed above serve as the foundational elements shared by all successful HR Managers.

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