The degree of interaction between employees and managers is far higher than that between the employees and HR. Since they deal with each other on a daily basis it’s obvious that managers can create a better work culture through a positive interaction with their team. Whenever issues show up in the work place employees tend to first draw their manager’s attention to them rather than HR’s. A competent manager can resolve it immediately without needing HR’s intervention.
As I said, Managers can improve HR’s visibility at workplace. There are situations when HR won’t be able to reach out to all on a one on one basis but they can get those done with their manager’s help. E.g. some of the HR tasks like submitting the annual appraisal form, communicating any particular procedure changes to all employees (Leave request submission in portal) etc
The ultimate goal of a business is to improve productivity of your workforce by providing a satisfying work culture. Managers can create a good first impression at work place and can keep it lasting forever throughout the tenure of the employees in order to keep them motivated. It is in their hands whether to make an employee quit and increase recruitment cost or to reduce costs by attracting and retaining the best talent and promoting them for professional advancement.
I have seen some managers showing their appalling attitude when an employee is planning to leave their employer. Don’t be that guy!! Rather show that how critical they are to you. They matter so much to you and to your team. Once in a while share something about your family rather than sales numbers so that they can open up to you. By showing that you truly care about each of your team members you, as a manager, can play the HR role very well!!
Buy some time to find out the real reason for his resignation and if you can’t convince him to stay, be happy for him. Tell him that if later at any point he wants to come back he still has a home there. Sometimes he can give you a good reference to replace him and he will be honest to that potential replacement when asked about his experience with you and your company.