The greatest change for human resources is the shift from processes and operations to be more focused on people. This requires an enhanced skill set—a high degree of emotional intelligence, the ability to strategize about the integration of technology and talent and to communicate large-scale organizational transformation to employees that is easy for them to understand, removing the fear of change. HR leaders spend so much of their time investing in the career development of others, but now is the time for them to also invest in developing their own leadership skills. As HR leaders noted at the Washington, D.C. event, the increasing complexity and importance of talent on business performance and strategy means functional experience and expertise is no longer enough.
Growth and working to become one’s best self was a conversation topic at nearly all of our gatherings. As the competition for top talent continues to intensify, HR leaders who have a mastery of digital and data, understand how to develop employees over time and are strong communicators are best poised to help organizations achieve their human capital goals.
HR leaders spend so much of their time investing in the career development of others, but now is the time for them to also invest in developing their own leadership skills.
Grow your skills as a means to grow the business.
Leaders at the Milan gathering noted that in order for HR leaders to succeed in transforming their organizations, they must be able to reshape their own thinking first. They must master new leadership skills, such as managing multiple stakeholders, encouraging creativity, connecting with other employees both professionally and emotionally, ensuring alignment between individual and corporate purpose and developing next generation talents.
Be a good communicator.
While internal communications may often be overlooked, when done well can be one of the best tools an HR leader can leverage. HR is charged with employee experience and engagement and needs to be able to clearly communicate across the organization. A number of HR leaders shared how they have been investing in developing their own communication skills and executive presence.
Stretch your goals and your appetite for risk.
While stepping out of one’s comfort zone is usually unpleasant at first, it is one of the best ways to grow your people skills. To meet the challenges of tomorrow, HR leaders must be willing to expose themselves to different roles within the profession and not be complacent in their positions. It’s often the same advice HR leaders would give employees: Take on a new role and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. They are part of the learning and growing process.