I use to think the title ‘HR Partner’ was played out and it probably was for a time. There was a point a few years ago when every HR Pro had to change their title from HR Manager, HR Director, etc., to HR Partner. It always made me feel like we were all apart of a bad cowboy movie, ‘Giddy up, Partner!’
Posts Tagged Leadership
Businesses around the world face a changing normal, where it’s hard to say what things will look like in one year, much less six months from now.
Recently, at a conference I was asked how I develop good leaders. “First,” I responded, “you need to know what a good leader looks like.”
As you prepare to develop leaders, which type of person do you want to be? Do you want to know what you’re looking for in potential leaders and be able to find them? Or do you want to hope somebody comes and finds you? It’s your choice.
Even with COVID-19 reshaping the talent marketplace, companies are still challenged to make sure the right talent is in place for long-term objectives. Talent strategy is just as crucial as financial, marketing, or operational strategies in driving future success. The ability to develop, recruit and retain the right people—at high velocity—to fill talent gaps created by the evolving business strategy is a DEFCON 1-level priority.
Q: I manage a division with 40 employees. About half are happy working remotely, getting paid their usual, in no hurry to return. The other half however, are public-facing employees who can’t work remotely. They’re being paid their base salary, but not their commissions. In other words, they need us to open in order to make ends meet.
It’s a challenging time. Political divisiveness is rife. Economic gaps get wider. And now, the world is on edge over the health and economic impact of a new virus. It’s clear to me that employers must become the trusted entity in peoples’ lives, in addition to the source of earnings, career and job fulfillment. Any company that fails to do this will lose top people, lose top customers and fail to achieve its financial goals.
As an organizational psychologist, I’m curious about the role of leaders in a virtual work world with uncertain futures. Leaders are looked to for guidance during these uncharted times, but assuming we have to revert to command-and-control leadership to get everything done is wrong. Collaborative leadership is desperately needed at this moment in history.
Why Collaborative Leadership?
Can you feel and see the rumblings of the next phase of the COVID-19 crisis on the horizon? We’ve been in a mix of constant change, uncertainty and regulatory direction. People are getting antsy. People are getting even more expressive and emotional. The feeling isn’t all good either. With the inevitable lifting of restrictions, people are voicing their opinions on timing, the extent of movement and political posturing is growing. To be honest, this next phase can be almost as unsettling as the front part of this time in our history.
You may be sitting at home right now, asking yourself this very question! I wonder what my CEO prefers I do in my role. It’s a valid question, and one I find that great HR leaders already know the answer to, because they ask the question, often!
I hope you’ll join Richard Lowery, Chris Mullen, and me for the SHRM webinar: Learning from Times of Uncertainty: HR's Critical Role in Business Continuity on Tuesday, April 7, at noon ET. We look forward to having a candid conversation about HR’s vital role in business continuity with the HR community!
In the weeks since COVID-19 proceeded to turn our workplaces inside out, I have received dozens of calls from my fellow CEOs looking for insights and advice. Many are asking SHRM about best practices for protecting their workers and transitioning to a virtual operation.
Others are looking for help making hard decisions about furloughs, layoffs, and sustainability of the enterprise itself.
“Come on. You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you.”
I’m watching my baby make the transition to “toddler,” and it’s a bittersweet moment. No longer will she stay where she’s put. She’s going to start exploring the world, and that exploration will only speed up as time goes on.
Things are crazy right now. That’s not a secret. You may be tired, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. That’s okay. No one expects you to have all the answers – right now or frankly ever. They do expect you to get answers. They do expect you to make the best decision with the information you have in front of you.
“Don’t be afraid.”
The leader who says this to an employee either is very much afraid or lacks even a scintilla of empathy. In either case, the statement (or response) is so bad.
First, it is remarkably disrespectful. Don’t tell people how to feel!
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been very clear about what his organization does with its brilliant jerks: It gets rid of them. As he has said in the past about them: “Some companies tolerate them. For us, the cost to effective teamwork is too high.”
Netflix aspires to develop a “Dream Team,” which they define this way:
If you haven’t watched the series, Cheer, on Netflix yet, you must! It’s great.
How can managers become measurably more effective? To answer this question, I studied crucial moments. I wondered in moments when the stakes are high, and the pressure is on, do managers remain calm, candid, direct, and willing to listen? Or do their direct reports describe them as angry, closed-minded, rejecting, even devious? And, how does either style affect results and relationships?