There are no two ways about the fact that skilled and stable leadership is a critical ingredient for success. A group of people, who come together, no matter in what capacity, need someone at the helm to continually provide the right guidance and direction. Throughout history, the decisions made by political and business leaders have had far-reaching consequences and impacted millions of lives.
Today, when we need visionary leaders to usher in a new way of life and work, more than ever before, the world is staring at a dearth leadership that unites people. In the world of businesses, finding and preparing leaders to drive transformations continues to be a significant challenge. Gartner has listed strengthening the current and future leadership bench as one of the top three priorities for HR in 2020. It says that leadership effectiveness is a challenge all over the world as developing current and future leadership bench is a top priority for 57 percent of CHROs and 63 percent of learning and development leaders. But how can HR execute the development of strong leadership in the future?
Revamp recruitment and performance assessment
A precursor to strengthening organizational leadership is redesigning existing recruitment and performance assessment practices to help identify new talent and skills. The traditional approach of hiring talent for specific positions must give way to a more dynamic hiring process that takes into consideration the changing nature of the role and evaluates talent on their ability to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. This will help identify future leaders who can support businesses in transforming their processes. Similarly, performance assessment and evaluation must not be limited to rigid numbers, but account for intangible achievements like initiative, creativity, and problem-solving. The feedback, promotion, and incentives must also reflect the employee’s ability to drive change and add value, in addition to traditional parameters.
HR needs to ensure that the hiring, appraisal, rewards, and recognition strategy is executed under the overarching vision that has one eye on the future and one on the present to discover high-potential talent and leaders.
Provide relevant training to current and future leaders
Once the right leadership pipeline has been established, it is vital to provide training and knowledge support. Leaders must be supported in developing their own leadership and management style and creating a common framework of leadership throughout the organization. To ensure the success of leaders in the future, HR needs to ensure that organizations are committed to investing in helping leaders continuously learn, adapt, and implement new people management models. This means that leaders need to be educated on their evolving role; they must have the freedom to experiment and customize processes for their teams; they should be trained to develop interpersonal skills, and must be provided access to the right tools and resources.
To help current and future leaders embrace new-age digital processes and develop an employee-centric approach to management, HR must support leaders with relevant training in technical and soft skills.
Support new leadership with innovative processes and systems
Sweeping changes in the identification and training of leadership will bear limited results if the rest of the organization is unable to keep pace. HR needs to recognize that leadership development must be complemented with analogous management processes throughout the organization. This internal, external, and cultural synergy of the leadership model with other organizational processes will bring harmony to the overall workplace culture, and prevent situations where the leadership style alienates or divides a team. Supporting leaders with the required organizational redesign and change to become more agile will help develop efficient workflows and networks as well. HR leaders will need to ensure that leaders and employees work together to co-author the changes to how work is done.
HR must create processes, and policies to enable strong leadership to drive transformation throughout the organization and support innovative approaches to talent management.
Thus, this is an opportunity for HR to help businesses navigate uncertain environments on the back of strong talent. At the end of the day, the fundamental role of HR – to help businesses achieve their goals by effectively managing human capital – will remain the same; however, identifying and honing leaders will become a top priority. By enabling current leaders and cultivating future ones, HR will play an indispensable role in building a future of work that is led by strong and able individuals. This responsibility will also allow HR leaders and professionals to leap from being functional departments to active business drivers as well.