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10 Worst Mistakes Every HR Manager Should Avoid

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Ankkita Chauhan
January 14, 2016

It’s often said that mistakes provide great learning opportunities. However, it's much better not to make mistakes in the first place. Human resources management in itself is a complicated process. sumHR frees HR managers from all management worries and help streamline HRMS process, but certain things cannot be rectified by sumHR either, like the common mistakes HR managers make.


So, here are the top 10 commonly made mistakes by HR managers.

I hope HR managers are all ears for this one.

1) Micromanaging


It is a common trend for HR heads to delegate work to employees and then continually supervise them in every step of the way. Supervision is necessary to a limited extent. But if you go overboard, it will have different effects on different people. Some would do anything to earn the trust of their manager and some would get used to being micromanaged. Employees should be accountable for their own work. The challenge is to eliminate the need for HR managers to hover over their subordinates.

2) Playing favorites

Playing Favorites

It’s human nature to like somebody more than the others, but it’s best to keep favouritism out of office. If HR managers assign key roles or assignments to a certain few, or an alliance is formed between a boss and an employee, it will affect the other employees. This can demoralize the employees and that would indirectly result in reduced productivity at work. Lyndon B. Johnson had once quoted, "There are no favourites in my office. I treat them all with the same general inconsideration". Thus, it is best to have no favourites at work.

Also read: 5 Best HR Practice You Should Follow To Keep You Workplace Happy

3) Socializing too much with employees

Socializing With Employees

If HR managers are friends with employees then it will result in everybody thinking alike and as quoted by Walter Lippmann, "Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." Managers should have great relationships with their employees, but it is best advised to always have a professional curtain. HR managers would lose their authority if they socialize too much with their team members or employees. It can also result in employees not dedicating their full resources to productivity, attendance and attitude. It is the duty of an HR manager to keep the right balance at work, in being a management representative and a friend."

4) False commitment (when recruiting)

False Promises

When recruiting a potential candidate, an HR manager sometimes sweetens the compensation package, promises a promotion, highlights a growth potential or provides a better cultural fit. But sometimes the organizations fail to live up to its promises and the growth that the HR managers promised during recruitment don’t survive in reality. Though it is really tempting, an HR manager should refrain from making promises which may not be delivered. This common HR mistake leads to disappointed employees in most organizations.

5) Lack of written policies and standard operating procedures (overlooking the importance of an internal HR audit)

Lack Of Written Policies

HR managers need to draft out policies for leaves, attendance, etc to reflect the standard of acceptable behaviour in an organization. A common mistake made by HR managers these days is leaving everything disposed to interpretation as situations (or problems) arise. This happens because of not making adequate policies for employees. Rules and policies shrink the window of unprotected work ethics.

6) Incomplete employee profiles

Incomplete Employee Profile

It's important for organizations to keep employee profiles (basic information, work history, salary details, etc) updated at all times for compliance reasons. HR managers who don't implement such rules in their organization are actually making a substantial yet common human resource mistake. They must also stay fluent in employment laws and regulations because an unclassified employee can be a costly mistake.

7) Thinking that proper training is unimportant / disregard towards training

Training Is Unimportant

HR managers sometimes show disregard towards the training requirements of the employees in order to cut down on certain futile investment. But they don't realize that proper training is a very necessary and valuable investment for a wrinkle-free workflow. Training helps employees to fully engage with the company's work and develop their skill set. This benefits the company in the long run.

8) Hasty hires

Hasty Hiring

Managing a team or playing the role of an HR manager has its own ups and downs. Being an HR head, a person needs to cope up with the workload. Meeting the hiring needs of a company could be helpful but trying to fill a required position in haste or not fleshing out exactly why you’re hiring, could lead to a disastrous mistake. Hurrying recruitment is a common HR mistake and can lead to recruiting the wrong people for your team. Investing enough time in hiring the right people for the right job ultimately help build the company for success.

9) Not delegating tasks properly or being too authoritative

Not Delegating Tasks Well

Employees who do not have clear goals end up muddling through their day. HR managers have to maintain a proper routine of setting and delegating tasks because if an employee is clueless about his work, he won’t get any work done. HR managers who do not delegate adequate authority to their subordinates can face a lot of mishaps later as employees do not get room to make decisions and complete tasks.

10) Employee privacy

Disclosing Employee Privacy

HR Managers have a lot of responsibilities, but the matter of employee privacy shouldn't be considered trivial as compared to the other issues. HR managers may pass a harmless comment unknowingly, which can disclose an employee's personal information in front of his coworkers. Disclosure of personal information should only be done with an employee's knowledge and consent.f

Avoiding these top 10 HR mistakes will help get through difficult tasks as smoothly as possible, while protecting the company from potential litigation and other damages. Identifying potential problems sooner can make a world of difference in the success of your business.

Let us know in the comments section if you agree with these mistakes. Please feel free to add on to the list if you have some valuable opinion.

Do you want to streamline your HR processes and have an incredible HRM experience? Get a sumHR HRMS free which comes with payroll software, attendance management system, performance managementATS. Get started Now

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Written by
Ankkita Chauhan
Ankita is a content writer at SocioSquares. She has 4+ years hands-on experience in copywriting, marketing and social media.
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