Leadership Collaboration and HRO Success
Workplace trends show an alarming move towards aloof management and distanced leadership. The gap between leadership and the workforce may prove to be every Human Resource Officer’s (HRO) nightmare. The Army records two important facets to improving an HRO’s success, encouraging and developing a learning environment and engaging leadership in a collaborative relationship with their workforce.
As most HROs know a Root Cause Analysis approach coupled with a non-punitive environment is key to keeping negative events from occurring and recurring. Communication is foundational to these teams. The workforce needs to understand and embrace the event analysis process while leadership encourages forthright discussion without fear of judgment. To do this, the army suggests creating an environment of learning, learning from mistakes as well as more traditional learning opportunities.
In addition, technology and AI are creating fear in the current workforce surrounding the impending changes, both real and imagined. Up- and Re-skilling are urgently needed to keep the workforce relevant and working at a level appropriate for HROs. There is a current disconnect between what schools are producing and what workplaces need. Alternative schools with cutting edge technology and highly-skilled teachers are moving to shrink this gap, however, in the interim, current leadership can work towards improving both coursework availability and corporate attitude toward taking the time needed to learn these necessary skills. As a leader, be open to interruptions as an example of an action-oriented, learning environment. Put down the struggles with numbers, the most popular cause of discourse between levels in a corporation, and focus on the issues that matter to your HRO, like safety.
Engagement is an asset to every HRO, at all levels of a corporation. Engaged employees make fewer mistakes, take fewer days off and are more likely to be productive contributors to the company. What companies may not realize is engagement is also contagious. If leadership is aloof and distanced--disengaged, then the workforce will be too. The use of email and the internet creates a convenient way to communicate but it is done so at the cost of the efficacy of that communication and at the relationship and engagement of those involved. Think about how facial expressions, intuition, and body language influence not only the way an idea is presented but also the level of transparency in communication.
Perhaps it’s time to re-institute the face-to-face meeting and focus those opportunities around safety related issues. The remedy to a disconnected leadership team is to create environments that invite team members to learn about the day-to-day operations from C-Suite members to facilitate meaningful interactions between leaders and employees.