As the economic downturn continues and teams are slimmed down, organisations are increasingly relying on line managers to take on responsibilities previously under the remit of specialisms such as HR, according to Randstad’s Workpocket HR guide.

While these responsibilities may be new and unfamiliar to line managers, if fulfilled they present an opportunity to drive employee engagement and enhance workforce productivity – crucial outcomes as businesses struggle to achieve more with fewer resources.
As Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK and Middle East, comments: "The second half of the past decade has thrown up some of the most challenging conditions many of us have ever witnessed. Far from being a short-lived blip, the upheaval of recent years has provided the catalyst for transformational shifts in the economy. The ways organisations deploy, develop and motivate talent are more crucial to survival and success than ever. Line managers have a pivotal role to play in this process."

Yet there is often a gulf between the potential impact a line manager can have and the reality within organisations. Coupling new and unfamiliar responsibilities with the need to manage the day-to-day work of the team, it is little wonder that many line managers also report feeling over-worked and stressed.

Randstad’s 10th annual Workpocket HR guide provides accessible and practical advice for line managers to assist them in fulfilling their new HR responsibilities. Additionally, the guide provides best practice insights for HR professionals themselves, as they too cope with managing large changes brought about by the economy and new legislation. The guide includes examples from leading organisations including Aviva, O2, McDonald’s, Essex County Council and Centrica.

In a 12-page section dedicated to the line manager role, the Workpocket HR guide highlights three concurrent functions for the line manager to embody:
Line Manager as Leader – creating a vision for the future; identifying and planning for change.
Line Manager as Manager – focused on the achievement of short term goals; creating an atmosphere of certainty and stability.
Line Manager as Facilitator – a source of coaching and advice; paving the way for forward progression.

Advice on the day-to-day application of these functions, including guidance on recruitment, motivation, appraisals and training and development, is also provided. Mark Bull adds: "The Randstad Workpocket has been crafted by employment experts as a key reference source for anyone dealing with HR and employment issues. As line managers face the tough task of delivering on a new and unfamiliar set of responsibilities, we are pleased to be able to provide guidance to them in understanding and embracing their evolving role."


About Workpocket
The Randstad Workpocket is a comprehensive reference guide for everyone who has dealings with employment issues and is particularly useful for SMEs. The Workpocket is updated annually to take account of changes in human resources’ best practice and workplace legislation. The 2012/13 issue is the 10th edition in the UK.

The Workpocket is designed to be used by organisations of all sizes, helping them to deal with the constantly evolving Employment -related legislation and recruit and retain talent in a complex and competitive employment marketplace. Best practice points in this year's Randstad Workpocket include: the AWR legislation - a practical approach; putting a value on the HR role; the recruiting process; diversity and equal opportunities; the employment contract; retaining and managing talent; harnessing social media; training and development;reward systems; tax and statutory payments; pensions; good health and safety practice; discipline and grievance; and employment tribunals.