Effective Human Resource Leaders of Organizations
Human resource leaders influence the behaviours, feelings and attitudes of employees toward an organisation. They set the pace and provide direction for other workers to see better what is in store for the future (Young and Poon, 2012). They are able to accomplish this function based on organisational objectives. In this context, through human resource leadership, better coordination of human resources can be ascertained, and workplace conflict therefore controlled. Considering how diverse the current work set ups are, such guidance is particularly vital as it is only in its existence that workers can be made to view things from the same angle (Brewer and Brewer 2010). As such, HR managers essentially harness employee effort jointly, thus allowing for the progression of teamwork in general.
In light of this, since workers are obliged to work alongside each other in the place of work, it is important for the human resource leaders in place to offer them supportive leadership. Doing so will permit workers to better understand each other, and keep them from developing tension that may interfere with how they conduct their jobs. As well as that, the right leadership will boost productivity and performance of these workers by limiting emotional exhaustion, and boosting morale at the same time. Bearing that in mind, in human resource leadership, the managers should be skilful enough to pinpoint the needs of both the group and the individual. In so doing, it can then become easier to harmonise the goals of these personnel with that of the organisation.
Essential leadership skills
Human resource managers occupy a key position in leading other employees. It is based on this that they have to firstly, take charge of their own self to be able to guide others as required. In this context, such leaders have to acquire a vivid picture of their own selves as this will then enable them to better lead in execution of tasks within the firm. With reference to this, Cottrell (2010) portrays self-awareness as an essential activity for HR leaders given with this; they can better know where their strong and weak areas lie as managers. Once they are able to do this, they can then capitalize on their strong areas, and work to improve their areas of weakness.
In line with this, Young and Poon (2012) identify six skills that a human resource manager needs to possess to be effective at their job. These comprise communication skills, analytical thinking, decision making skills, delegation, and leadership skills. With these, the individual can be better positioned to structure a personalised and effective leadership style.
Why are communication skills important
Communication is among the key roles that an effective human resource manager has to play given this position is linked to a number of communication-based roles. These comprise trust building among employees, critiquing, and performance analysis (Chuang. 2013). As such, HR leaders with well-developed communication skills will a play significant role in advancing the success of employee, hence that of the firm. Bearing that in mind, interpersonal skills need also be applied in this case. This is because the leader has to not only be able to pass information to others, but also be in a position to listen when required to. For workers to attain their maximum potential, they must be listened to by their leaders, and be treated with respect. Leaders also need to exchange messages as needed, while factoring in the individual personalities of the workers as any contrary action will limit competitiveness and productivity of such personnel. Indeed, as Brewer and Brewer (2010) mention, most leaders will hear what they are told perfectly. Even so, only a few of them can genuinely attend, and be sensitive to the perceptions and feelings of those whom they are in charge of.
Further, it is only where leaders possess the ability to listen actively that they can then be recognised as having the needed communication skills given such circumstances will allow for real understanding on both ends. In addition, it is depicted that where such understanding is attained, all members can be fit perfectly into the team, and the leader can better facilitate to maximise individual performance. As such, the leader will not only be able to guide workers on what they need to do, but also provide strategy on how the same can be accomplished. Bear in mind, it is only where the human capital grasps the company mission and vision that they can be in a position to commit, and actively engage in bringing it to realisation.
In this connection, Hamel and Breen (2013) also confer that effective human resource leaders must be able to deliver their messages in an accurate manner, particularly when dealing with a diverse workforce. Employees from different backgrounds, cultures and personalities may misinterpret or misunderstand information on account of such differences. As such, leaders who understand this will be keen on how they select their words, and the manner in which they convey their messages. This means that the leaders must be keen on developing both their verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Often, the result of this is that employees will want to reciprocate in a positive manner as they will feel important, and as a consequence, better performance of the organisation can be attained.
As an illustration, at the multi-industry firm Virgin, the HR managers have made it a habit to listen to their workers on a continuous basis. Employees are encouraged to not only share their opinions but also engage in debates with their leaders and colleagues alike. This makes them feel valued, and therefore increases their inclination to innovate. As such, the organisation is able to maximise on ideas on one end, as employees feel motivated to stay on and give their best to the firm on the other end.
Critical thinking and decision making skills
Young and Poon (2012) also confer that successful human resource managers are apt at looking into all facts before they make any decisions as this enables them to be strategic in their decision making. They will critically analyse the state of affairs to be sure to develop plans that will benefit the firm. As such, effective leaders need to be forward thinkers and results-oriented. They must possess the ability to look into all issues regardless of how divergent such issues may be, and make proper decisions based on the same. For instance, given the variation in culture between the Chinese and Americans, a human resource leaders working in a multinational firm with such individuals may want to deal with them accordingly. The Chinese are more submissive to authority figures and will therefore look up to such individuals for guidance, and be likely to follow direction given without question as they deem this disrespectful. The US workers on the other hand, will question the figures in authority to have their own input factored in during decision making.
An effective HR leader dealing with both of these individuals will thus be best off coming up with guidelines on what needs to be followed, but still leave room for adjustments to be made in the event some employees come up with workable ideas. With all employee needs considered, the chances of success can then be maximised. Taking that into consideration, effective HR leaders must be able to look into divergent aspects upfront and from this, come up with concrete decisions. They need to be able to not only make out opportunities, but also develop ways through which to turn challenges into openings. As an illustration of this, when the global economic recession occurred in 2008, the FedEx human resource leaders initiated a recruitment freeze. The company ceased to take in any more new workers for that period. In so doing, the firm was able to safeguard its workforce, thus ensuring that its operations also continued uninterrupted. The decision to protect the workplace environment helped the company ascertain that employees felt its commitment, and in turn, employee morale was maximised. This vividly exemplifies a case where a challenge is turned into an opportunity in the long run.
Further, as regards critical thinking, human resource leaders have to be informed on what should go into reports, and speeches. Items such as memos also have to be well constructed. Without analytical thinking skills, a human resource manager will not be able to produce such documents as needed. Not to mention, it is evident that the internal business environment will keep changing just as much as the external one owing to different political, economic, social and technological issues. To be able to adopt best human resource practices that will match these changes therefore, the human resource practitioner has to critically analyse the trends to determine what will affect the company. In this manner , the leader can best come up with a strategy that will back the company objectives(Hamel, 2013).In addition to this, it is clear that human resource leaders will time and again, be entrusted with organisational data, and information on the entire workforce. As such, the manager needs to be able to always prioritise the needs of the company when it comes to the usage of such information. Critical thinking skills will come handy in such situations given any unauthorised access to such data may lead to disruption of the company’s strategic plan, and therefore lead to grave consequences.
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