Great HR Leaders are Made, Not Born! Reasoning it out…

August 21, 20158:47 am997 views

In a bid to discover what leadership in HR truly means, we set out on a journey to enlist the strengths and weaknesses of great HR leaders that set them a class apart. Perhaps this is the right time to evaluate what it takes to be great HR leaders.

Self assured, strategic, keen to set an agenda, ability to make quick considered decisions are some of the traits we can identify with successful HR leaders.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) study, the bad news for HRs is that only 43 percent of CEOs believe their HR functions are well aligned to set priorities straight and motivate employees as a part of people development strategies.

HR leaders are ill equipped with sound industry knowledge to confidently analyse all it takes to bolster HR efforts, while capitalising on the talent to put them to optimum strategic channelization for organisation competitiveness.

Strengths of Great HR leaders

  • They are great mentors who believe in coaching and training the team to lead as one and all. They provide feedback to employees in a polite helpful manner and indicate the importance of each competency that is measured and rated by the HR personnel.
  • Build positive relationships. This is one skill wherein great HR leaders score a high over all the other functions in an organisation. HR is responsible for diversity inclusion initiatives in an organisation, but they should be able to balance the workplace culture to create positive work environment for all.
  • Role models for others. Good HR leaders are source of inspiration for the employees at work since they focus on willingness to create an open culture, wherein employees can approach their concerns to the HR personnel freely. These role models honour communication protocols and adhere to commitment, ethics and always try to elevate organisation standards by keeping up to their promises.
  • Possess functional knowledge and expertise. HR leaders should have sound functional knowledge and industry expertise with experiences to lead the HR function of an organisation. Since employees and employers in most instances are unaware about the change in employment and labour laws, wages act and others, it is expected of HR leader to stay abreast of the industry development and changes to the way HR works to address compensation issues of workers timely.

See: Tips for HR Leaders aiming for Business Leadership

Weaknesses of HR Leaders

Some of the weakness of HR leaders that act as an impediment to achieving their personal career achievements and organisational goals is:

  • They are more internally focused rather than externally. In many ways, the HR function requires personnel to be more focused on internal organisational activities and understand the internal employee problems, while withdrawing them of external exposure – such as customer concerns, client requirements, industry expectations etc. This lack of understanding of external HR environment further translates into being viewed negatively by key groups in a company.
  • They do not anticipate and respond quickly to problems. Most HR leaders lack the ability to anticipate future problems and hence take time to respond to employee concerns. A number of items in HR workings can be noted that generally lack speed of execution and escalation in certain cases.
  • Do not have strategic vision of the future. In general, HR leaders are not groomed, and since no one is born a leader they do not have a bigger picture and clear strategy with vision for future. They are so focused on their “day-to-day” workings that they tend to lose perspective on long-term broader issues. They seem to be complaining for a proper desk and seating arrangements at work, sometimes request a cubicle to focus on confidential matters of company interest, while leaving other broader imperatives at bay.

Great HR leaders around the world make most of their strengths, while working on their weaknesses to embed four key competencies that ensure success in their career growth namely: immediate problem-solving ability and analysis on future, developing connects with the outside world, establishing stretch goals and seeking strategic perspectives to understanding how business works. These traits if ingrained will definitely make every HR personnel an unbeatable HR leader in the business.

Also read: 4 Key Defining Traits of Progressive HR Leaders

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