People leaders are vital to the overall success of your organization. The most highly cited reason for a good employee leaving is poor leadership, regardless of the industry or the size of the organization.
Good leaders should support their teams by helping them align goals, connecting them with training/mentoring opportunities, recognizing progress, managing career development plans, and soliciting feedback. This is the ideal scenario, but not always the reality. That is where HR comes in. HR needs ensure leaders are well-developed, in order the lead the rest of the organization down the right path.
Below are five areas in which HR should focus in order to get the most out of their leadership team:
Help your leaders become better coaches. Parallels between leaders and coaches are in abundance; a good coach can lead a team to victory, and a lousy coach can lead a team to failure. The same is true for leaders. If employees set their goals with their managers, they are more likely to succeed. Success requires a leader to be in-tune with the initiatives of each employee. Leaders can become more in-tune with their team through quarterly goal setting and weekly one-on-one meetings.
A great tool to keep track of individual and team goals, as well as those one-on-one weekly meetings, is 15five. 15five allows for continuous employee updates and keeps employees and leaders engaged in how the daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly activities of each employee can impact the team. A tool like 15five will help your leaders succeed as coaches.
You want your employees to feel safe and encouraged to provide open and honest feedback to their leaders. That doesn’t just happen overnight, and it certainly won’t happen by telling people they are safe to say anything. You need a tool that allows for anonymous feedback. For feedback on company and cultural questions, TINYpulseis a great tool. You can measure how your employees feel and how they are performing instantaneously.
Feedback mechanisms should also be in place for a quarterly review of your leadership team. Allow direct reports to fill out reviews on their leaders, so they can see where they are succeeding and where they are failing. An excellent tool for peer reviews is ReviewSnap. ReviewSnap allows HR to set up all the reviews based on 250+ competencies.
If your leaders are driven enough to get to that level of success, chances are they want to know how to keep improving themselves. According to betterworks, 52% of leaders want to become better leaders. As an HR leader within your organization, you can do a number of things. First, you should identify, develop, reward, and retain your highest performing leaders. Ensure your high-quality leaders are happy and are dedicated to your company. For your leaders that need a little fine-tuning, you can purchase materials, such as career development books and create a book club. GadellNet has found two books that have been great for our up and coming managers, Radical Candorby Kim Scott and Leaders Eat Lastby Simon Sinek.
Seek outside training for your leadership team through a company like TrueU. Create your own leadership academy within your organization to develop the next round of leaders. We’ve created one that we are pretty proud of, at GadellNet. We bring in leadership experts to help round out the curriculum and discuss hot issues within the organization and how to solve them.
HR should ensure their leaders are enabling career development for their direct reports. Career development discussions help leaders understand their employees. It also helps keep employees motivated. These discussions should happen annually. A clear training plan for the employee should come out of these discussions.
The Predictive Index is a great support tool for these conversations. GadellNet uses these during the hiring process to ensure we are finding the right people for our open positions and for our culture. The Predictive Index is a great tool to help gain understanding about what motivates your employees and how to communicate with them. Advisais a great resource for The Predictive Index and for growth-based training tools.
HR should have mechanisms in place for their leaders, to find mentors. Your leadership team should have a person they can go to for advice, to bounce ideas off of, and who can help them make the right decisions in hard situations. As an HR leader, it’s important to facilitate a mentorship program for your leaders. I would recommend using mentors outside of your company. It is always good to have an outside perspective and to discuss situations with someone who isn’t emotionally invested in your company. A great mentorship program for your top tier leaders is Vistage.
The impact a good mentor can make on a leader cannot be understated. As an HR leader, you should start this program with a specific purpose in mind, set a format, and who is able to participate.
Your leaders are all capable, smart people. Helping them reach their potential will help your organization thrive.