This article on qualities of leadership every HR leader must possess was originally published in March 2019. All relevant statistics and copy have been updated as of January 2021.
In today’s modern workplace, HR professionals have faced incredible challenges. Navigating the changes of a COVID-19 business environment and balancing the mental well-being and health of their teams during an undoubtedly difficult time has forced HR leaders to step up in ways unseen before.
But, one thing remains the same — HR professionals are one-of-a-kind. Working in a fast-paced profession comes with the responsibility of seeking new and innovative solutions to develop employees’ qualities of leadership and improve performance and productivity in the workplace.What does it take for an #HR professional to be successful in our #virtual workspace? @ClearCompany says any great #leader should strive to improve these 3 skills:
While we continue to navigate the current business climate, it is more important than ever that HR leaders possess the skills to handle any given situation the right way, without any complications. After all, they’re the go-to resource when issues occur. Whether you’ve been in HR for six months or six years, it’s important to implement a process that can cultivate your skills to help manage your daily tasks, align goals and improve your overall productivity.
In today’s dynamic workforce, HR professionals need to:
1. Be Organized
For many HR leaders, each day consists of carrying out simultaneous responsibilities and tasks. From constant flows of new paperwork coming in and going out to new tasks being thrown left and right, it can be hard to juggle everything at once. Tack on the consistent changes companies are facing, and you can see how quickly the workload of an HR professional can pile up. Therefore, it’s essential that everything within your department is organized efficiently.
Maintaining a well-organized workload means that when those issues or challenges do transpire, you’ll know how to deal with them the right way, without it having too much impact on your day-to-day work. According to a survey, a 32% contribution to employee burnout is an unreasonable workload. With the right systems in place, you can track insights that might indicate employee burnout, keep one another accountable, and store the historical data you need.
To become more organized in your procedures, try:
Working to stay on top of responsibilities. In the fast-paced, evolving world of HR, professionals are tasked with an abundance of responsibilities. From managing payroll, recruiting, training, conducting employee reviews, and keeping up on benefits, policies, and compliances, it can be hard to manage everything at once. With the right Talent Management System, you can easily automate and organize HR tasks. By automating administrative and laborious tasks, you will increase efficiency and gain time back previously wasted on mundane tasks. Automation eases the burden of performing repetitive tasks, so you are able to focus your time and attention on strategy and insightful ways to improve employee development and culture.
Tip: Need help getting organized this year? Check out these 5 tips for busy managers.
Keeping your records in check. Many employers understand the importance of retaining and securing employee records. However, it’s not always easy to stay on top of it. When your company is onboarding new employees and keeping track of existing employee personnel, it can be very difficult to manage every document without a proper automation system. Automating your records can reduce the timely process of having to dig through mountains of paperwork to find what you’re looking for, enabling you to standardize every record from employee scheduling to performance reviews. Without the need to go through every single document, you can remove the mistake of human-errors of any kind. An added advantage of automation is your ability to ensure compliance, even if you work across multiple countries.
Did You Know: HR teams process 10 to 60 onboarding documents per employee? Ditch the paper and start using a paperless onboarding strategy.
2. Be a Good Communicator
As an HR professional, you serve as a liaison between employees and other managers, so clearly relaying information to others is a key component to every aspect throughout your day. When you have open communication with your employees and teams, it builds trust and makes them feel valued within the organization. Simply delegating tasks left and right and not retaining employees’ input won’t help their performance.
Effective communication in the workplace can build strong team relationships, empower healthier team collaborations, and push teams toward their goals. Yet, creating the right conditions for HR leaders can be challenging. Companies and organizations that communicate effectively are 4.5x more likely to retain the best employees. With the right communication skills, you’ll be able to de-escalate issues that may arise in a clear and concise manner.What are the necessary skills of great #HR professionals in our modern workplace? @ClearCompany says, and #leader needs these 3 skills:
With remote work becoming increasingly popular, HR leaders need to stay aware of signs of isolation and burnout amongst their employees. Studies show that as remote work becomes more standard, employees are facing higher levels of stress and loneliness. HR reps need to equip themselves with the tools and training necessary to identify these signs and support their teams. Practicing active listening and understanding the meaning behind what their employees are saying will help HR departments keep their employees engaged and feeling connected.
Some ways you can practice active listening include:
Asking specific questions. The best way to identify solutions to help your teams and improve employee performance throughout the workplace is by always asking the right questions. In addition to setting up one-on-one meetings, an automated feedback tool can highlight and identify certain challenges that keep your employees from performing at their best.
Tip: During one-on-one meetings, instead of asking “How are things going?” try asking questions such as “I’ve noticed that you’ve been struggling with X. What can I do to help you improve?” Asking specific, pointed questions shows that you understand each employee’s role and you are willing to do anything you can to get them back on the right track.
Provide insightful, timely feedback. Any type of feedback is great for your business. When performance goals are set in place, it's essential to give your employees constant feedback on the progress they’ve made toward their goals in a timely, consistent manner. Through a performance management platform, you can promote an environment of continuous feedback and coaching of employees. Utilizing the best communication practices, you can offer real-time feedback for better improvement while forging stronger relationships with your employees. Remember, feedback is most beneficial when it is actionable and presented in real-time.
Did You Know: only 58% of managers think they give enough feedback?
3. Be Flexible
What separates a good HR department from a great one? Adaptability. In the talent management industry, each day is different from the rest. And, as we’ve seen over the course of the last year, unpredictable circumstances can arise. Employees may leave their roles, disagreements may begin over how to tackle a task, and new projects and deadlines may appear throughout your day. When changes are presented, it’s essential you handle them effectively.Organizations are relying on their HR departments more than ever before. For companies to remain successful, @ClearCompany says they need to make sure their #HR #leaders are practicing these 3 skills:
Being adaptable in HR is one of the greatest qualities of leadership you can have in and out of the workplace. When you work with others, you may discover new solutions to perform administrative responsibilities, uncover developmental opportunities for employees and leaders, and influence change in the workplace. It’s one thing when you find great ideas and another to implement them.
Great HR leaders are ones who remember to:
See the bigger picture. The key to fostering a healthy and positive work environment is to never get too comfortable. Let your big picture look beyond the walls of your organization. These days, many talent management teams are embracing technology to help them stay better connected with their remote employees. Implementing a reliable software solution allows HR teams to automate recruitment, payroll, employee benefits, and training. These tools allow you to open your time up for real human interaction to stay connected with your employees and discuss workplace needs. Your employees expect you to be flexible, transparent, and engaged in helping them assess growth opportunities that will elevate them throughout their careers. With the bigger picture in mind, you can make decisions to benefit your employees while still considering what’s best for your organization.
Bonus Material: Download the Total HR Tech Stack for insights on the benefits of consolidating your technology.
Organizations are relying on their HR departments more than ever before. For HR professionals to succeed in their roles, they need to refine their talents and capitalize on opportunities for development. At ClearCompany, we are dedicated to helping HR professionals develop their skills through our highly-adaptable performance management solution. With our user-friendly and integrated solutions, HR professionals are supported in all aspects of their talent management process, leaving more time for strategic and innovative thinking. Are you interested in learning more about how you can leverage technology to achieve your talent management goals? Reach out to one of our experts or sign up for your free demo today.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.