The challenges facing HR leaders are uniquely complex. Research shows that CEOs expect their HR leaders to promote, role model and police their organisation’s values and culture. This is both a privilege and a burden for HR, and it’s constant. No other function’s behaviour is continually observed in the same way. At the same time, HR must be fully engaged in the hard business realities of driving the kind of performance that delivers results. HR must now demonstrate effective ROI. All this is in addition to providing vision, direction and empowerment to your own function.
Given that HR have special responsibility for upholding the organisation’s values, and building an effective culture, it’s even more important to feel comfortable with who you are as a leader. In addition, HR often take on the role of coach and advisor, and building trust at every level is core to success. We also help you to enlarge your circles of influence and control, so that you can extend your reach. Our Executive Coaching recognises the complexity of these challenges, and helps leaders to find their own way.
In order to influence at the top level, HR need to be visible, credible and included. ‘Winning a seat at the table’ is just one of the common themes that we help clients tackle, to ensure that HR leaders are valued and respected. HR can be a political minefield, and can get caught between the functional tensions that are essential to success today – for example, driving for profit and quality at the same time. Yet, HR are expected to always protect the organisation’s values, and to stand up for what is right and fair.
Another unique challenge is the way HR can only have impact through others – at every level. Transactional services may be largely under our control, but any organisational change, eg. to operational or customer-facing delivery, demands proactive partnership with our stakeholders and client groups. If we want the impact of HR to be transformational, we have to collaborate with line managers and business leaders.
Research shows that the relationship and understanding between CEO and CHRO are critical to the effectiveness of the HR function. The Maturity Institute call this HR Maturity, and it’s an essential part of HR leadership. Our executive coaches will help HR leaders to transform these conversations and turn the CEO into a strong advocate for HR.
As well as collaborating effectively with colleagues at the top table, HR leaders need to establish effective partnership between their HR professionals and the business at every level. Once the relationship between CEO and CHRO is in place, this will drive collaboration throughout the organisation.
We have worked with leaders from many countries, sectors and functions for over 20 years, and we bring this depth of experience to the particular challenges faced by leaders in HR. Leadership in HR presents unique dilemmas, and we’ve lived them ourselves in corporate life. We help HR leaders and managers to tackle and enjoy the challenges of growing pace and complexity.
We work with HR directors, managers, HRBPs …. it isn’t about the job title, it’s about your commitment to lead your HR team and yourself and create a new framework for success. Our coaching is often virtual so that it can fit into your schedule and budget. Where you want to work as a group of HR leaders or managers, we will work with you to design a session that will take you forward together and address the particular challenges you face in your organisation.
Our 7 Enablers provide an effective framework for HR leaders to evaluate themselves as well as their function. Our online Self-evaluation is one place to start. It may be a good idea to involve your team early, in evaluating themselves. Because we concentrate on areas that HR can control, we can quickly help them to make changes. Get in touch if you’d like to trial the questionnaire.
Alongside this, we can also consult HR’s stakeholders using a 360-degree version of the questionnaire. It’s helpful to engage them early, and use this to reboot the relationships. It’s likely that your business leaders and HR’s client groups will need to work on their side of the bargain, eg. providing information readily and involving HR early.
We then tailor our HR Team Workshops. We can facilitate these for you, or support you in taking the leadership role yourself.