Read this article to learn about the major characteristics and qualities of a successful personnel manager in an industrial organisations !

Without a successful personnel manager, an organisation can be compared with that of a ship without rudder. The success of an organisation, to a large extent, depends on the efficiency and effectiveness with which a personnel manager discharges his duties and functions.

For proper discharge of the assigned duties, a personnel manager should have prerequisite qualifications and qualities. To be successful in his job, a Personnel Manager should be a specialist in personnel psychology, organisation theory and behaviour and as such be an effective adviser to top management in organisational as well as being able to organise his own department as well as in the organisation; he should promote goodwill and release the latent and inherent energies of his employees and associates for the benefit of enterprise.


He should be an expert in personnel administration; he should have the knowledge of various laws governing labour and industry; should have adequate knowledge of behavioural sciences and their application to industrial organisations.

As pointed out by Northcott, “The personnel requirements are admittedly high, but a profession which deals with so large a part of industrial life will always be held in honour and calls for men and women of sterling qualities.”

As far as the knowledge a personnel manager should possess is concerned, Prof Julius has emphasised the following areas besides specialization in personnel management:

(i) Philosophy – This is necessary in order to explain human nature and conduct.


(ii) Ethics – This is concerned with moral and value judgments.

(iii) Logic – This is concerned with the rules of reasoning for a particular behaviour.

(iv) Mathematics – To know exact relations between quantities, magnitudes and systems.

(v) Sociology – This deal with forms and functions of human groups and their behaviour.


(vi) Anthropology – This is concerned with environmental and physical relations to people’s social as well as cultural patterns.

(vii) Medicine – This is concerned with the well-being of people.

(viii) History – This records and explains important past events.

(ix) Economics – This is basically concerned with the optimum use of scarce resources for the maximum satisfaction and profits.


(xi) Political science – This is concerned with how people are governed and how they govern themselves.

The qualities that a personnel manager should possess include the following:

(a) Problem-solving technique:

A personnel manager should know the art of solving problems being encountered from time to time.


(b) Intelligence:

A personnel manager should be intelligent enough for analysing the situations for objective reasoning, and for creative thinking.

(c) Sense of vocation:

A personnel manager should have a sense of vocation and faith in humanity.


(d) Leadership qualities:

A personnel manager should be in a position to inspire, motivate, and direct employees to achieve the objectives of organisation.

(e) Capacity for persuasion:

A personnel manager should have the capacity for persuasion coupled with patience and tolerance.


(f) Integrity:

Personal integrity is utmost essential lest the employees lose confidence in a personnel manager.

(g) Cooperation:

A personnel manager should be ready to cooperate with the subordinates in times of difficulty.

(h) Coordination:

A personnel manager should be ready to coordinate the subordinates activities.


(i) Feedback:

A personnel manager should have constant feedbacks about the performance of the staff he recruits in the interests of the company.

In addition to the above-mentioned qualities, a personnel manager should be friendly in nature; tactful in getting things done through the employees; sympathetic towards employees; should have pleasing personality; should have sophisticated tastes and habits in the work environment; should be well-groomed and should be capable of working with and through other people.

He should have an ability to generate trust amongst his peers and develop a sense of acceptability, recognition for himself as well as his ideas of communication with readiness and fluency.

His facial expression with colleagues and employees should encourage confidence, convey interest in work, allay distrust and promote work-culture within the organisation.

To sum up, a personnel manager should be a person who has the human relations skill, conceptual skill to see the big picture and predict situations (rather than to react to problems as they occur), and should be sensitive to behavioural issues relating to personnel in organisations.


The Ten Commandments of a personnel manager can be listed thus:

(i) Sense of social responsibility,

(ii) Sense of vocation,

(iii) Capacity for leadership,

(iv) Personal integrity,

(v) Motivating skills,


(vi) Attractive and gentle personality,

(vii) Courtesy and social awareness,

(viii) Foresightedness,

(ix) Professional knowledge, and

(x) Knowledge of human behaviour, organisational behaviour and other related disciplines.