What Makes HR Look Good in the Board Room – if indeed they even get there!
Its easy to see the results of the Sales Director, the Operations Director and to review the numbers of the Finance Director. These things are tangible and measurable and tend to receive the majority of the Board Room focus because of this very nature.
Most organisations will tell you that their people are the most important resource they have and that looking after them and developing them is paramount. So why is it that the person who is Head of HR is often not represented on the Board and if they are, they often have to shout loudly to be heard?
The answer may be contained in just one word: ‘evidence’. People are not machines; they cannot be counted as a stock number and additionally, unlike stock, they have a thing called choice!
There are no norms – all people are exceptions to a rule that doesn’t exist
Fernando Pessoa – Late 19th Century Portuguese Poet
Hence HR people are often left with unquantifiable results. Being experts in their own field they can see what strategic decisions have to be made in relation to developing a productive, engaged workforce but with no statistical evidence this can be hard to justify.
Dan Harrison’s 30+ years of research into what makes people successful in the workplace, in particular roles and working in particular teams now gives us the very analytics needed to:
Identify the success behaviours required to perform in a particular role
Produce profiles against which to recruit successful candidates
Assess for leadership, BCs, values-based behaviours, remote working EI and much more
Conduct progressive engagement surveys upon which to make strategic engagement decisions as well as individual ones
Armed with such analytics, the HR professional stands a much better chance of making effective business cases in the Board Room!
You’ve just completed a great project, met the deadlines and brought it in on budget. You are feeling good but nobody says a word? As days go by nothing comes back and you start to doubt your success. The internal dialogue ramps up to a point where you become totally focused on whether or not you did indeed complete a successful project. You venture to ask a couple of questions of the people from whom you may have expected some positive feedback but the bemused looks set you back even further so what’s going on?
Unconscious behaviour patterns are playing out here. You may have a high need for recognition and appreciation because your external reference system means you value other peoples opinions, external qualifications etc in order to measure your own success. Internally referenced people, on the other hand, measure their success against their own internal measures. They include the word ‘I’ to a large degree in their conversation and don’t need others to tell them they have done a good job. They will be bemused when externally referenced people ask for feedback and unconsciously view it as ‘needy’.
No feedback needed, thanks
Internally referenced people don’t take kindly to feedback because unconsciously they have a high degree of certainty that they are right (they are not always of course!). The unconscious thinking is that ‘if I don’t need feedback then nor does anyone else’. Consequently they don’t give it out and if they do it can sounds contrived and awkward. This type of behaviour can often come across as ‘confidence’ and will invariably help the internally reference person up the promotion ladder. They can also be very hard to give feedback to so here is a tip for you –
If you want to give feedback to an internally referenced person start with ‘Of course you probably already know this ……..’
A common thread often found in organisations is where managers and leaders have been promoted after demonstrating skill and success in operational roles. Unfortunately, many then appear to struggle to get to grips with the new role, and seem to lack some of the necessary skills and competencies required to make the step to becoming a successful leader for their teams.
The behaviours and resulting ramifications can often be seen and felt in the day to day workplace. Despite this, it can be difficult to pinpoint where to focus to help these people to develop more effective behaviours and strategies to improve these skills and bring better success in their role.
What could that focus look like?
This is a group overview of 40 managers, who have been objectively measured against 10 Leadership competencies.
If you were to look at the 9 areas of leadership competency in the graph below… which areas in particular would you say need some focus?
If you just look at the red areas then ‘Impact and Influence‘, ‘Leading People‘ and ‘Communication‘, in the first instance, perhaps? And then maybe ‘Achievement Orientation‘ and ‘Resilience and Perseverance‘. There doesn’t really seem to be any issues with ‘Problem Solving‘ skills or ‘Learning Agility‘. There’s a lot that could be improved across the amber areas as well to bring those skills up.
What could that look like and feel like in this organisation?
Perhaps a group of managers who are great at resolving issues, fighting fires, and taking learnings from experiences, success and mistakes and applying it to new situations.
However, perhaps some of them may not be so great at taking the lead in achieving the company’s mission and objectives, influencing and engaging their teams to contribute towards the company’s goals or communicating effectively with their teams to let them know what is expected of them.
Maybe a group of managers where some may have been promoted because they are good at their job – but haven’t yet been able to develop the leadership skills they need in their more strategic and influencing role.
And so if you look at the individual list view of those 40 managers below, who would you say could really benefit from some development and support to be able to better succeed in their role?
Clearly, everyone can always benefit from development and support. In this case, it would probably be helpful to get a better understanding of what is going on with Tuan Nyugen. And it would be worth looking at what additional development would be helpful for Adela Olga, Annalisa Elba, Shelby May and Minerva Dixon to improve their leadership skills.
It’s also quite easy to see who could make up a cohort for some skills development around ‘Impact and Influence‘ (last column), or Communications skills (2nd to last column).
And maybe it is apparent which managers could be considered for a benchmarking success exercise to support succession planning and recruitment plans. leaders skills and competencies
Visualise your Group Data
This is just a snapshot of the high-level Organisational Analytics data available just across these 10 Leadership competencies. You can also get data for your people and your organisation on:
Culture of your organisation
Individual’s alignment with your organisation’s core values
Individual and collective engagement factors and fulfilment levels of those engagement factors
Collaboration and Team competencies
Emotional Intelligence competencies
Remote Working competencies
How helpful would this data be for informing your people development plans, culture and engagement programmes and succession plans?
You can find out more about Organisational Analytics here. leaders skills and competencies
If you would like to discuss how Organisational Analytics can help support your business objectives and people plans please contact Pat Hutchinson: email@example.com or on 07768 922244
Communication is one of the most important skills a successful leader can develop. Effective communication is the tool to inspire, align a team around common goals, build trust and negotiate delicate situations.
Ineffective communication can leave teams feeling out of the loop and lacking in confidence and motivation. It can even result in a complete breakdown in trust between leader and employee/team. This in turn has a huge impact on productivity and can result in absenteeism, raised levels of sickness and staff churn. If you happen to work for a visionary company who recognize the importance of effective communication you will have been on the receiving end as well as seen the benefits of training in such skills.
Here are 5 areas you could consider if you want to do a bit of work on your own communication skills and style.
What do you feel you do well? Where could you do a bit better? And what could you put in place to help with that?
5 tips to improve your communication skills
How our communication is received will depend on the perception and viewpoint of the person receiving it. This means that it can be open to interpretation. However, the intention and the interpretation can often be miles apart. It is important to remember that it is the interpretation and not the intention that triggers action. So, if we want that action to be positive and progressive, we must take the utmost care with our communication.
You can read more on what effective communication can look like in this blog.
Are you interested in how we can help with developing this and other leadership skills for yourself or your team? Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07768 922244