There was a time when the responsibilities of the HR department were limited to just the hiring and orientation part. But today, HR leaders and managers have a commanding role to play. From building the company’s culture and sustaining it, employees’ training and development, to their overall satisfaction, the bucket of an HR leader is always full of such challenging tasks.
The pandemic has further brought into the limelight the value of HR leaders. In these unprecedented times, they have shouldered the responsibility of supporting people to navigate the new normal. Right from keeping the people motivated and productive, the HR leaders are on their toes to avoid hiccups in daily operations.
With low barriers to entry in HR, many want to make a career in the department. But is it really that easy? Well, what differentiates a successful HR leader from others is their dedication and passion towards making a change. Their hunger for growth and learning further helps them to ace in their role. So, do you have what it takes to be called a ‘Fearless HR Leader’? Find out below.
- The Key Lies in Powerful Communication
One of the HR functions is to bridge the communication gap between the management and people. An HR leader must communicate powerfully. Powerful communication is all about sending messages that the employees and other stakeholders of the organization believe in. With such communication, the HR leaders convey their understanding of the message and keep the workplace grapevine at bay.
A prerequisite of sending a powerful message is to think through all the doubts, concerns, and questions that may arise from the recipients. With proper responses to these queries, an HR leader can maintain the trust and assurance of the people. Powerful delivery of messages is especially helpful when management introduces any change or transformation in the organization.
- Have a Solution-Oriented Mindset
Let’s first point out the different issues that may arise when people work together.
- Conflict between two or more employees
- Employees union dispute against the management
- Downsizing the workforce
- Bad hire(s)
- The workforce that is disengaged
When these problems take surface in an organization, great and fearless HR leaders analyze the issues at hand and figure out win-win solutions for everyone. They look at the root cause with a solution-oriented mindset and think critically to straighten things out. Moreover, a great HR leader has the ability to foresee the initial signs of any untoward circumstances and based on the predictions, they undertake preventive measures immediately.
- Embracing Technical Agility
Be it hiring, drafting HR policies, payroll, or employee management, these tasks entail oceans of data. As an HR leader, if you are still relying on spreadsheets to manage this data, it’s time to take a technological leap. A myriad of advanced applications and digital platforms save HR leaders a lot of their time. And an HR manager or leader may fall behind if they fail to leverage time-saving advantages.
Tech advancement plays a crucial role in onboarding new talent, internal communication, and facilitating continuous feedback to the employees. When executed smoothly and on time, these processes increase employees’ confidence in the organization. On the flip side, when failed to embrace technology, the HR department, as a whole, will have a hard time retaining and attracting the best and the brightest people.
- Follow Honesty and Integrity
Sounds very basic and simple, isn’t it? Yet honesty is a thing that can only be practiced by the bravehearts. HR leaders often have to make quick decisions. Being honest and transparent in moments of crisis can boost the morale of your team by leaps and bounds. The honesty of an HR leader is also put to test during exit interviews, candidates’ rejection, termination of employees, etc. Only the fearless HR leads and managers can furnish the candidates with honest feedback in these situations. From an eagle-eye view, honest HR leaders and executives are indispensable to building trust among the people of the organization.
- Keeping Abreast of Business and Industry Insights
In an organization, the human resource department is not an independent unit. Nor does an HR leader work in a silo. It is imperative for the HR leader to fully understand the company’s goals, missions, business model, and products or services that the company offers. Also important for the HR leader is to be fully aware of what’s going on in the industry.
With insights into the company’s operations coupled with the know-how of the industry, an HR leader can better coordinate with other departments and avoid bad hiring. All in all, with their knowledge of people combined with business understanding, HR leaders can seamlessly integrate innovative solutions to business problems.
A Mini Case Study of a Fearless HR Leader who Embraced Technology to Solve the Issues at Hand and Made a Business Impact
A Global Energy Firm
- Outdated and ineffective learning delivery and compliance training.
- Limited know-how among employees as to why a customer-centric workforce is vital to improving customers’ journey.
HR Solving the Issues:
Neeta, Interim HR Change & Innovation Director
Finding the Root Causes:
Neeta found out that there were inefficiencies around completing training courses that were mandatory.
Neeta made digital HR a reality for this organization with a training app. With the app, the employees can collect badges and obtain scores. It is again with the same app that training completion can be tracked in percentage. And if an employee doesn’t complete the training within a set span, their email access was restricted.
Neeta’s HR digital transformation resulted in an almost 100% uptake on the tests. Even the compliance training span came down to 3 months from 9 months. The beta trial for 400 employees received a positive response. As a result, the app was then rolled out for 4500 employees of the company.
Today, along with being a people person, a great and fearless HR leader needs to have a perfect mix of compassion, business acumen, technical know-how, honesty, and integrity. With these traits and skills, an HR leader can facilitate better decision-making or influence the decision-makers to make correct decisions for the betterment of the organization.
So, are you a fearless HR leader?