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The HR Forum

Hello all,

As part of my CIPD L5 I have been asked to do a research proposal. I am not sure whether you saw my discussion back in October but I started with the company I work for in September 15. Since I have started I have employed around 40 new employees and the year before I started the org had doubled in size. As you can imagine moving from a small business to a medium one it doesn't come without it's hiccups. I am working to put all processes and practices into place along with new policies. It has become apparent that some of our managers do not have the necessary 'man management' skills to support the companies growth so that is what I am proposing to research about other companies who have gone through a similar experience and how they tackled issues like 'performance management', 'absence management' , 'difficult conversations' etc. As a HR professional it is my role to support all managers through these issues however I do not feel they can manage these and sometimes have to step in to ensure that it is done correctly and fairly. I also get the feeling that they don't believe that it is part of their job to manage this and I would like to know how to change this for the better without making an enemy for myself.

Please can anyone advise where I could find any journals/articles on the above to support my research? I have had a look on CIPD website and can't seem to find anything on this.

Any guidance will be much appreciated.


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  • "Research into the stress points and key man management issues arising out of rapid expansion"

    I would like to find out what kind of man management issues other organisations/HRM's have come up against when expanding a company from a small to a medium enterprise with a view to finding solutions. I imagine most will come back with management training, possible tailored workshops on HR issues such as recruitment & selection, Discipline & Grievance, Absence Management etc. Our managers work very well operationally but as we are growing we need them to become effective people managers to help grow the business.

    I will also post it on the L&D zone.


    • Hi Lauren,

      I agree with Sarah, have a clear question to ask, and remember that the research word limit is very small for a L5 research project. so do not over complicate the question.

      My thoughts are around do you want you managers to be great managers or great at HR? Great managers will be great at HR. what I mean by this is that if the basics of good management are not in place in the manager initially then they may treat the HR practices you mention in a very mechanistic way by just "going through the motions". Developing a manager who understands how to motivate, inspire and lead is the first step if you want the HR activities conducted well.   It is so important too have an understanding of their reports, their preferred communication style and how to flex to match it, how to give developmental and motivational feedback, an understanding of EQ and how to be able to think about the team and individuals needs at the same time etc. Once these skills are in place managers are far better positioned to carry out the HR practices you mention with more skill and meaning. rather than blindly following a procedure.

      I am not sure where this gets you in terms of your research but worth thinking about at this stage. Maybe the question is what skills do managers need to effectively deliver HR practices?  

    • Good stuff Lauren I guess my only comment would be that you have to conduct the research later on so I often suggest to my learners that they pose this as a question or a hypothesis in terms of proving or disproving something.  So it could be what are the HR implications for rapid growth in SMEs? or something along those lines.

      Maybe you could also look at WERS and ONS data too, or even do some primary research using survey monkey amongst HR professionals on the Community?

      I hope this helps!


  • Hi Lauren

    So just to clarify what is the question which your research is trying to answer?

    Also it may be worth posting this one on the L&D zone as there are lots of L&D professionals who may be able to help with this one.

    All the best

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