With the ever-changing workforce and the emerging trends in Human Resources, being a manager is no easy task. With all the advantages of a diverse workforce and the benefits of technology, it’s become quite a challenge for the HR department to ensure the smooth running of an organization. You not only have to deal with your usual duties, but also be ready to lend an ear to any employee, any time of the day, and make sure that people enjoy working for your company. The duties of an HR professional can never be strictly defined. You need to be flexible and literally keep your door open all the time. The climb to the managerial position is steep but worth it if you love what you do . It involves added responsibility and a certain skill set. We’ve compiled a list of underrated skills that will make your journey to the top smooth and hassle-free. Read on to see if you have the qualities of an HR manager! If not, do not fret for they can always be acquired.

Polish Your Multitasking and Organizational Skills

Being organized is essential for a successful day at work. You need to complete your tasks on time but also be mindful of the unscheduled work that may be thrust upon you. You can’t very well say no to an employee who wishes to discuss her maternity leave because you want to complete your monthly payroll. Making time for unexpected visits and disturbances is part of your job description. Your organizational and multitasking skills should be excellent to be able to handle your team and ensure that everything is handled seamlessly. Every employee needs to feel included and that their concerns will be handled with the utmost care. The better your multitasking abilities, the easier it will be to ensure that the employees and the management are satisfied with the HR team.

Hone Your Communication and Negotiation Skills

Communication skills are as important to an HR professional as gold is to a goldsmith. Your work involves having to deal with a lot of people and you can’t really do your job well if you fail to communicate effectively. You need to be able to communicate in the right way . A humane approach to human resources problems is appreciated. You’re dealing with people and feelings. Express the appropriate emotions when the situation calls for it. For example, it won’t hurt to be sympathetic when you’re firing someone. When you’re making the person’s life harder, you might as well be gentle about it.

One of the skills which will greatly aid you in your career as an HR Manager is your negotiation skill. One of your job roles is to be a mediator. You have to bridge the gap between the employees and the management when one arises and also between the employees themselves. Your negotiation skills will come in handy when both parties are unwilling to sway from their viewpoints. Effectively negotiating in a fair manner that is acceptable to both parties will save a lot of time and energy which could be better utilized working towards the company’s objective. It helps to nip the problem in the bud.

Knowledge of legal affairs

A good HR manager should be aware of all the legal formalities pertaining to his job. The HR is usually in charge of firing and recruitment and all the paperwork that goes along with it. In today’s scenario, with laws popping up everywhere and lawsuits as common as they get, it is very important to stay compliant with all the laws. Getting embroiled in a scandal is extremely messy and should be avoided at all costs. As a manager, it falls to you to stay updated about all the recent laws and updates and to ensure that all your doings fall within the legal framework.

Alas, math isn’t something that can be left behind at school. As an HR professional, you need to be fairly good at calculations. You are in charge of the employee salaries, fringe benefits, job listings, and submitting a turnover report to the management. Fringe benefits are a sure way to keep the employees motivated and happy. All the companies have such benefits in place and you need to make sure that you’re not left behind. Productivity increases when an employee is satisfied and isn’t constantly looking for better opportunities elsewhere. You need to be good in managing the funds and coming up with innovative ideas within the budget.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace

A healthy mix of different backgrounds, genders, education, and experiences makes for a diverse and inclusive workforce. The advantages of a diverse workforce can’t be stressed enough. Having a diverse workforce projects the right image and attracts the best candidates. That’s all well but managing the workforce and ensuring a harmonious environment falls on the HR’s shoulders. It’s very probable that a diverse workforce will cause more problems and friction without the right guidance. It becomes your duty to make people realize that there’s so much more to gain by working together; to mappreciate the differences rather than see them as obstacles. Being exposed to different perspectives is important for an individual’s professional and personal growth. People want to work in an environment that challenges them and helps them grow. It becomes your duty to provide such an environment. Accenture has taken this one step further and launched its ‘Inclusion Starts With I’ youtube series. It ranks number one on the Thomas Reuters Index of the World’s Most Diverse and Inclusive Companies.

Tapping into the employees potential

Old workplace traditions no longer cut it. Millennials are taking over the workforce. They became the largest segment in the workforce in 2016. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials will constitute 50 percent of the US workforce by 2020 . As an HR, you have to put your thinking cap on to make sure that you are catering to the needs of this generation. This generation is not a stickler for rules and traditions but instead focuses more on growth and the work culture. Statistics reveal that only 12 percent of the employees leave for more money while 43 percent stated that it was due to the culture, benefits, and growth. You need to make your employees feel that working nfor your company is the best move for them professionally. The work culture plays an important role in the productivity of an employee. The right work environment is conducive to bringing out the best in an employee. When they are happy and feel appreciated at work, they will strive to do better and even surpass expectations. You can win over this generation by rethinking your perks and benefits strategy, culture, and foster a fun, interactive environment that focuses on development, health, and wellness.

Employees appreciate it when they feel that their work matters and their supervisors are invested in their growth and development. Everyone loves a little pampering. Employees love it when they receive feedback. No one will want to work in a company where there is no potential for growth and their work is not being valued. As an HR manager, you need to take the lead and collaborate with the department heads and managers to establish a system of coaching and regular feedback. Coaching is an underrated technique which will work wonders in bringing out the true potential of an individual. It will push them to be innovative and great leaders. For this, you will have to provide coaching at all levels and instill a sense of responsibility towards achieving the company’s goals and objectives.

Leadership and Integrity

Last but not least, your leadership abilities will truly define your career as an HR manager. Being an HR manager, people will look up to you for guidance and answers. You need to be knowledgeable enough to do your work with confidence. Being at the forefront may be a little daunting, but it is what is expected of you. You need to lead by example and motivate others to follow suit. If you want to be a great leader, you need to have the courage to take risks. It may seem like a leap of faith, especially when it’s a new venture but that’s how you take the company forward. It may seem difficult but it will be worth it at the end. You need to strike the right balance between being friendly and taking charge when the situation calls for it.

Reputation is very important and you need to have the right one at your workplace. Trustworthy is a tag that you should want to be associated with. Employees come to you for a myriad of reasons and they need to feel that you will make the right decision. You should be impartial and objective. People will not open up to you if they don’t believe you have their best interests at heart or if you are not trustworthy. Integrity is a quality that will take you far in life. You are ethically obligated to maintain confidentiality. When you maintain confidentiality, you show your integrity to the organization and its employees.

Rising to the top of your chosen field requires dedication and hard work but it need not be strenuous if you go about it in a smart way. The first step is to understand what the work entails and make sure that you possess the necessary skills to tackle it. Without these skills, it is unlikely that you will secure the coveted job or if you will be able to do justice to the role. You should never stop learning and constantly strive to better yourself. Human Resources is vast and every experience is unique. Having the required skill set will definitely ensure that you make a great manager!