How to be a Productive and Successful HR Executive
The top corporations in the world would not have attained their level of success without a strong foundation to build on. Each foundation must be supported by pillars that ensure the stability and strength of the corporation. One of these pillars is Human Resources which is engaged in the management of the most valuable but most overlooked asset of any organization: its people.
During the era of strategic planning; when companies adopted linear-thinking management principles, roles in the organization were strictly defined and delineated. The Human Resources Manager was more of an adjunct to Accounting or General Administration because hiring people was congruent to paying salaries and benefits.
Nowadays with globalization and the evolution of technology, strategic planning and linear-thinking processes have been rendered obsolete. The global business environment is in a perpetual state of motion as political, social and economic barriers are slowly being torn down. The need to foresee change, design courses of action and implementation are more important than strategy design because if businesses are to survive change, it must be able to adapt.
Of all the assets an organization has in its arsenal, only people have the ability to adapt. Thus, the value of the HR Manager in the organization is greater. He is no longer referred to just as a manager but an Executive. He is not longer an adjunct to any department; he is a strategic partner in the organization.
But what qualities are needed to become a successful HR Executive?
1. Ability to understand the human element.
Most top level executives will point to experience as the most important quality of an HR Executive. But experience is a vast concept. If there is experience required in any aspect of HR work, it should be in the area of understanding the human element. There are companies that hesitate to invest in the human asset because of the unpredictable nature of people. But it is precisely in their unpredictability that makes people valuable assets in times of change because they can be molded to accept new roles and responsibilities. A successful HR Executive is one who can harness the innate skills and talents of individuals and make significant contributions to the success of the company.
2. Ability to incubate a productive culture.
The challenge of managing a group of unique individuals manifests itself in the culture that incubates in the working environment. Companies have lost millions in revenues because its culture proved to be disruptive to productivity. It did not matter what their work experience was or level of certification, if the people who work together are not right-fit, productivity will be compromised. Again, during the era of linear management, the Curriculum Vita was the focal point in hiring. If a candidate had glowing credentials, he would be hired. With the demands of the New Economy, right-fit has become the call-to-action. The challenge for today’s HR Executive would be to recruit and assemble a team of individuals whose values, purpose and vision are aligned with each other and the company’s. It’s no longer what select individuals do which determine the success of a company; it’s the strength of the collective.
3. Ability to communicate.
Communication in HR takes on a different meaning and presents new challenges because the HR Executive has to deal with individuals who are unique entities. The individuality of people is shaped by their experiences which is why each person responds differently from another. Whether communication is channeled through writing or verbal avenues, the approach should be different but the message should be the same. A successful HR Executive is one who can adapt his vocabulary and language to suit an individual yet cascade the common message intended for the organization.
4. Ability to motivate.
The best Human Resource Executives are able to motivate because they know what it is like to be on the other side of the corporate fence. They see the value of the human asset because they can relate with people through shared experiences. The key to people lies in inspiring them to do better. It’s not as simple as conducting a cheerleader’s speech; it’s having the ability to dig down deep from the recesses of their own experience and letting their people know and believe that they are capable of accomplishing anything they set their hearts and minds to. It’s about winning their trust and experience that if everyone performs to the best of their abilities, everyone wins!
5. Ability to work with people.
Working with people is about building relationships with them. You don’t have to like everyone you work with, but you should have the ability to acknowledge who they are, how they perform their job and what they can do for the company. Every person has some measure of intrinsic value and the challenge for the HR Executive is to find it and develop its full potential for the benefit of the organization.
The Human Resource Executive has grown in prominence in the corporate hierarchy and this is rightfully so. In his capable hands lies the ability of the corporation to not just survive but thrive in periods of uncertainty and this is with its people.
Felix works with the outsourcing company called SmartVirtualAssistant. He enjoys writing about recruiting, marketing and entrepreneurship.