Help People Become Happier in the Workplace as a HR Manager

Do you enjoy a job that comes with high levels of responsibility, but with rewards and career progression opportunities in line with that? You may well find that the role of the HR Manager is for you. The HR Manager is singularly focused on shaping the company culture and ensuring that employees have high levels of job satisfaction and engagement in the workplace. It can be a tough job that involves hard decisions. It can also be enormously rewarding, both professionally and personally.

What does a HR Manager do, exactly?

The role of a HR Manager is one that isn’t always understood by their peers, but there are three particular tasks that HR Managers need to be aware of, which will have a direct impact on employee happiness.

1)     Building a performance culture

HR Managers need to be focused on ensuring that the workplace offers progression opportunities and has accountability. They are responsible for organising performance reviews, building a performance system that applies to the employees and ensures that the best performers are elevated while the underperformers are managed and, if necessary, removed from the organisation. Done well, a performance culture inspires and drives employees towards greater success.

2)     Creating a positive workplace culture

Everything from the location of the organisation, to how complaints are handled, and how information is distributed around the organisation is integral to creating a positive workplace culture. If the ‘grapevine’ spreads toxic rumours, if people are quitting because they feel mis-treated or underappreciated, and if the entire organisation is still working at 11pm, then HR has lost control of the workplace culture. Understanding the need for work/life balance, ensuring that information flows through the organisation in a transparent and clear way, and clamping down on any instances of harassment, bullying, or other toxic behaviour, are all part of workplace culture.

3)     Establishing clear career pathways for every employee

One of the standard questions in interviews is “where do you see yourself in five years.” It’s the HR Manager’s role to make sure that career development pathways are in place so that as many people achieve those goals as possible. It’s core to the satisfaction that the employee will feel with their work.

Who makes a good HR Manager?

Not everyone has the personal qualities to handle a job in HR. Some of the key traits that will help a HR Manager be great at their job include:

1)     Highly organised

HR Managers need to be able to multi-task and handle conflicting priorities. HR is, effectively, a service job, and people will expect resolution quickly.

2)     Critical analysis

Being able to “read” a situation quickly and come up with an appropriate response is core to the HR’s job. It’s important that a HR Manager can quickly respond to claims of harassment of poor treatment, and react to put out the proverbial fire before it becomes too damaging.

3)     Communication skills

HR Managers need to be highly articulate and communicate with whoever they’re speaking to on the right terms. In addition, HR Managers need to be skilled negotiators, and understand how to find the middle ground that allows all parties to walk away happy with the outcome. On the flip-side HR Managers also need to know when not to communicate, and when a person’s confidence needs to be maintained.

4)     Be Empathetic

Ultimately, the HR Manager’s role is entirely focused on people, and this means that they need to have a deep understanding of what motivates a person and what might be the underlying cause of any distress. While the HR Manager is a representative of the company to employees, it’s important that the HR Manager remains constantly focused on the fact that they are managing humans.

Taking that step into HR management

The average salary of a HR Manager in Australia is close to $90,000 – this is a high-pressure job, but the remuneration acknowledges that. If you believe that you have the personal and professional qualities to succeed in this field, then an ICI Diploma of Human Resources will set you on the right path.

The course will teach you how to manage everything from the onboarding of employees through to the various circumstances with which they may leave the organisation. It will also turn the HR Manager into the voice for salary packaging, development, company culture, performance management, and the many other strategic roles the HR Manager plays within the organisation.

The ICI Diploma in HR Management is generally completed in 24 weeks, and the ICI Advanced Diploma is 31 weeks. It is a fully online course, giving you the flexibility that you need to complete it in your own time. At the conclusion of it, you will have the groundwork for an exciting new career trajectory in a field where there will forever be demand – as look as there are companies there will be a need for human resources.

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.