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Managers 'should balance empathy and leadership'

23 February 2012

Businesses seeking to manage their workforce effectively have been reminded to ensure they strike the right balance between empathising with staff and doing what is best for the company.

Dean Hunter, managing director of HR consultancy Hunter Adams, told HR Zone that while it is vital to understand workers' personal needs, this issue must not be allowed to dominate decision-making.

Managers who are too tough on staff risk alienating vital team members, but on the other hand, giving too much power to workers will remove much of their motivation, undermining the entire business.

Mr Hunter said that a "suitable power balance" should therefore be found, ensuring that workers feel supported and valued, without giving them so much leeway as to undermine their respect for management.

"Getting on with people as an HR director or manager is certainly not the same as being everyone's best friend," he explained.

The importance of engaging staff properly was recently underlined by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which stated that failing to do so can lead to demotivation and escalating concerns over job security.

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Categories: Functional Practices, Human Resources

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