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Effective Delegation for First Time HR Managers

Effective Delegation for First Time HR Managers

Being a manager of department is rarely an easy task, but managing a whole human resources (HR) department can be tricky, especially HR effectivenesswhen it comes to delegating tasks and doling out work. You're in charge of a group of people, who will go to your for answers to employee questions about benefits, time-off and school reimbursement, and you'll also be coordinating other projects with people from other departments.

Sounds pretty intimidating, right? Perhaps, but it doesn't have to be. The best HR managers are those who know how to effectively delegate tasks between their staff so the work is better spread out and everyone contributes their strengths and talents.

Read on to learn the best tips for effectively delegating work and get it done right the first time within the HR department.

Let go of your insecurities

Though you may appear confident and at ease with your subordinates, inside you're screaming. As a manager of the department, you have so many pressures. Some managers worry about how their associates will perceive them if the manager continually doles out work and seems to do nothing.

meeting effectiveness

Remember that you're the manager, and it's okay to pass off work onto employees. It's your job, after all. Never fear that as a manager you will run out of work. You won't. There's always something to be done in the HR department. Don't be afraid that by delegating tasks, you won't have any left for yourself.

Most manager projects take up much more time and require more dedication so let yourself get used to assigning tasks to your employees. If you have all the work, they won't have any.

You can also find new ways to use your time more effectively. As your employees work, you might be working with other departments to coordinate projects. Now you have the time to do it.

Know your team's strengths

As you are the HR manager, you probably had a hand in hiring some of your staff. You should already have an idea about their strengths and weaknesses, which will help you decide which tasks to assign to which person.

team strengths

Everyone on your team is going to have a different set of skills, and it's up to you as manager to help your employees use those skills to excel at their job. Take their requests into account. If you know one employee is no good at data sheets, give that task to another employee. Play to their strengths to create a team that excels at all aspects of HR.

If your team has down time or an empty Friday, set up training times where your employees can help each other build their skills. After all, they all have to learn data sheets sooner or later. Teach them how you'd like them done and let them add their own input.

Get rid of the 'I-can-do-it-faster' mindset

As a manager, you probably remember your days of completing these same tasks that your employees are doing right now. When new projects come in, there's no doubt that you already know how to do the work, but here's the thing: you don't have to.


Can you do the work faster? Probably yes. Should you do the work anyway? No. Your employees will never learn to do new tasks if you don't delegate work to them. You will have to sit down and go through the process with them, but now you have a trained worker who can keep doing this particular task when it comes up again.

Even if your subordinate's work is not as good as you think you could do, learn to let it go and instead provide useful feedback. Which areas did they struggle with most? Which aspects looked the best? By providing feedback, you'll give your employees some direction and the next time the task comes up, they'll have a better handle on it.

The point is that you don't have to be a martyr and carry the load by yourself. Share it. You'll still have plenty of work to complete, and now you have one less things to worry about. 

Keep yourself organized

At any given time in your department, you will have several tasks and projects that you and your team will be working on. Milestones will be met, and your team will need direction on where to go next or what step to take. It will be up to you to keep all of your projects in order so your team completes the right step for the right project.


In order to properly delegate work and direct your employees, a good HR manager must be extremely well-organised and ready to find any fact or figure at a moment's notice. You also need to be aware of who is completing which task and what the due date is. This is not the time to be losing information and forgetting dates.

Keep your files organised both on your computer and in your filing cabinet. Your filing system should be simple, probably kept alphabetically so your staff can easily look up employee benefits. Your email inbox should also be organised. Most email servers like Microsoft Outlook allow you to flag emails in certain colours. Red might mean urgent and green might be FYI. Even if you don't reply to an email right away, if it's flagged, you'll at least know that it has to be addressed sooner or later.

Communicate often and efficiently

HR managers know how important it is to be able to communicate with their staff especially as new projects begin and work delegation is necessary. All HR personnel should know protocol for new employees and how to properly file maternity leave forms, and they should know where they can find any answers as they go about completing your work.


Meetings and group emails both play vital roles in effective communication between HR managers and their employees. You should be holding meetings weekly to touch base with your group and answer any questions. These meetings don't have to be long, but they do give you a chance to see where the team is at with any projects, and you can further adjust who is doing what if new challenges arise.

For other announcements and changes, emails can work just as well, and it's incredibly important that HR managers notify their staff if any big change or update needs to be shared. Emails give your staff something to refer back to as they go along completing their task, and they'll help them keep track of who is involved in each project.

Make sure your emails are clear and concise. You don't want to bog down your team so state first what you need done and who should do it, then elaborate. Finally, welcome any comments or questions.

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Helen Sabell is CEO and Principal of The College for Adult Learning. She is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. Helen established The College for Adult Learning for mature, work-experienced learners and mid-career professionals seeking professional development options and work ready qualifications, which are relevant, adaptable and flexible. Connect with Helen on LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

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