Coaching and development. Managers need both skills and knowledge to execute HR responsibilities. Make sure the necessary coaching and development is in place. This will give them confidence in effectively managing their duties.
Be honest. If you are introducing a new strategy or policy and it will involve a lot of line managers’ time and resources, be honest with them and ask them how they feel about it. Involving them like this will automatically make them more engaged and cooperative.
Timing of communications. When you are trying to communicate with any audience, timing is vital. Don’t try to communicate with your line managers during the busiest time for business because it is unlikely you will be heard. Pick your moments to communicate carefully.
Listen and respect. It is likely that they will have different views and attitudes to certain things but this does not mean that they are less important. In order to build an effective relationship you need to listen and respect their views and take on board what they say.
Equip them with the right tools. If you are relying on line managers to manage many of the day-to-day duties of people management, ensure that you give them the tools and equipment to make this as easy as possible. Self-service technology can significantly reduce the administration requirements and save line managers valuable time.
Support. Make sure the HR department is there to support line managers when needed and make sure line managers know HR is there to support them!
Personal performance objectives. Make people management responsibilities part of personal performance objectives as this demonstrates corporate sponsorship of HR activities as being crucial to the business.
Make HR’s role and contribution clear. Explain the role of HR as a strategic partner and showcase the benefits that it can bring to the business. Provide examples of how HR can add value to the business on a strategic level now that it has moved away from tactical activities.
Recognise them as strategic partners of HR. Line managers should be recognised as strategic partners of HR and given recognition and reward for their responsibilities
Give praise. If line managers have implemented a new policy successfully, engaged employees effectively, or are just doing a good job, make sure you tell them!