Marshall Alston opens a discussion about leadership in business and human resources, providing input from his HR career of over 25 years.
Being a leader is always a challenge, especially in the fast paced, ever changing business world. Leading a business is hard work as it involves knowing the company from the ground up, including every aspect of operations and how to continually grow and expand the business. Being a good leader in human resources is even more of a challenge. Not only do you have to have all the understanding that a regular leader has but you must also understand how to lead people effectively and make sure you are leading the business in the most efficient way possible. If this sounds like a though job, it’s because it is. But don’t panic, HR professional Marshall Alston has collected some tips to help you be the best leader you can be.
One of the most important things that all great leaders should know is the art of communicating skillfully. Being able to communicate effectively with your staff will help produce better results and help boost employee morale. Not only is verbal communication important in talking to and understanding your staff, but written communication is essential in producing policies that are reader friendly and therefore more likely to be understood and respected by staff members.
- Think outside of your job
Being in HR can often lead to you feeling outside of the main workforce in the company, as your work generally doesn’t consist of the day to day running of the company. This can lead to you feeling out of the loop quite quickly, meaning you can lose sight of what your staff need from you. You can help avoid this by attending regular team meetings, making it a point to know key figures in the main business so you know who to contact should you need to know anything. To be a great HR leader you need to know your employees, their needs, their likes and their dislikes.
Listening to people is quite similar to having good communication skills however this does not always mean they go hand in hand. Too often, people can have excellent communication skills when it comes to telling people information, but don’t listen to what people are actually saying. In order to lead a good work force efficiently and effectively you need to know what they’re saying. If a new change to business is being received negatively, you need to know about it in order to strategically combat it. Marshall Alston has found that the best leaders often have an ‘open door’ policy, meaning their employees know they can go to them with any issues they have.
- Lead by example
In your role as a leader, you need to be presenting the best version of yourself possible. This will help employees to see you as a respected figure, and will know they are in capable hands. Following all the codes of conduct, as well as adhering to policies will help your employees maintain the same behavior. You want to act the way your staff members should, so they can follow your lead.