There are two major types of managers in the business world – staff managers and line managers. Staff managers head up revenue-consuming departments, such as accounting or human resources, that support line management operations. Line managers head up revenue-generating departments and are responsible for achieving their organizations' main objectives through policy and decision-making activities. However, even though line managers are responsible for mainly helping to generate revenues, they still have a fair number of administrative responsibilities.
Line Manager Role
Line managers are responsible for attaining an organization's performance goals, such as those for earnings, market share and operational excellence. A line manager's department works with other line management departments to develop targets or goals for achieving performance objectives, and then works to meet them. A line manager sets targets, in other words, and leads herself and her employees in hitting them. Line managers also have many administrative responsibilities, including performance of various human resources-related functions.
Human Resources Responsibilities
Organizations of a certain size cannot succeed without effective staff human resources activities to see to a vast number of legal and regulatory HR requirements. But many HR departments in large organizations simply can't do everything on their own and need line managers to perform certain HR-related tasks. For example, line managers frequently fill out performance appraisals and applicant interview documents. Also, line managers generally maintain records on their employees, fill out salary increase recommendations and document training, counseling and even termination actions.
Provide Written Reports
A direct function of the line manager is the development and improvement of employees, supervisors and any subordinate managers. Line managers are also responsible for supporting occupational safety and health programs among their people. Many aspects of employee performance development as well as safety awareness and mishap investigation activities are administrative in nature. For example, line managers are expected to regularly provide written and other reports on employees' work output activities as well as any employee on-the-job injury events.
Attend to Administrative Issues
If you're a line manager, you should plan on consistently setting aside time to attend to administrative issues. Line managers must also be able to keep accurate records and reliably document an array of activities occurring within their departments. Frequently the eyes and ears of their organizations, the feedback line managers provide to other departments is crucial. For example, line managers report on budget matters to accounting departments and staff matters to HR departments, thus allowing their organizations to efficiently utilize scarce resources.
- BusinessDictionary.com: Line Manager
- BusinessDictionary.com: Staff Manager
- University of Warwick: HR Discretion: Undertanding Line Managers' Role in Human Resources Management
- Personnel Today: HR and Line Managers: Speaking Line Managers' Language
- PeopleStreme: What is Employee Performance Management?
- EHS Today: Line Management Key to Successful Safety Program
- HR Management: Exclusive Report: Line Managers Think HR is Neglecting the 'Small Stuff'
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