Putting the HUMAN into HR

September 19, 2016


Big Data HR Integration is here...


The challenge is how an organisation blends a robust yet agile HR system with the individual professional development program to produce metrics, analytics and results!


In recent years, there has been a strong move towards Continuous Feedback HR review models, that offer mentoring and coaching in a practical and on-the-job format. 


No more can we (the business leadership team), wait on the HR Department to perform the annual performance appraisal process, to give our employees their opportunity to have an opinion and input into their professional development. Employee's won't wait! More than ever, the need for Leader's to engage their employee's and give them feedback in real-time, with the added capability of being able to support and develop the aspects of their performance that need to improve or are ready to go to the next stage, is a necessity.


Often, I find that Leader's believe their Cultural experience is their Engagement strategy. If people are happy they will stay! If we look at this image created by Deloitte University Press, we can see how Culture and Engagement differ and yet need to blend.



With a focus upon the Engagement Strategy, as a certified coach and experienced business woman, I can speak specifically to the issue of outcomes derived from the provision of professional development. A qualified coach, who also has the experience in business leadership to offer mentoring, can bring new dimensions to a performance and raise an employee's sense of challenge and inspiration to stretch themselves outside of their comfort zones. So what if you are a Leader without formal coach training, can you be the coach your people need?


In essence, anyone can be a coach. (Of course, a suitably qualified coach will have specific skills in driving to a particular outcome and has a library of frameworks to work within.) When coaching, rather than giving your employee the road map, instead you are giving them the destination and supporting them to create the route. You will use questions rather than commands and directives and you will support them to bounce around in that space whilst they navigate road blocks and dead-ends. The importance is in knowing the specific destination (outcome) including all nuances. 


My experience has been that Leaders do well coaching processes to technical outcomes but struggle when coaching behavioural or mindset issues. As would be reasonably expected. We human's tend to do what we know, and there is no exception with coaching, unless one has been trained accordingly. The nuances in any outcome are largely the personal challenges that may prevent that person / employee from achieving the ultimate outcome. The difficulty here is we are each a tad delusional as to what our actual challenges might be. The coach creates a safe environment for the employee to expose those 'challenges' or vulnerabilities, without any fear of reprisal (one of the most important aspects of coaching).


Example: Polly wants to become a section leader over a team of 6. She has the technical experience and proven capabilities to produce high quality results in every aspect of her role, other than when dealing with potential conflict or difficult personalities. They tend to roll over her. In order for Polly to achieve her desired promotion, she must demonstrate her ability to handle these personality traits. Polly needs help! Her Coach will ask questions around her perceptions of conflict, what is conflict and when is conflict not conflict but something else... etc. 


All too often, key talent is let go as the Leadership above them doesn't know how to harness or realise their potential. The Leader feels frustrated and the revolving talent door keeps turning.

My opinion (for what it's worth), invest in your Leader's and give them coaching / mentoring tools that equip them to understand themselves on a deeper level as they pay-it-forward and add immense value to those who report to them. It creates an all round development situation. 


The HUMAN aspect of HR is again emerging as a critical component in the organisations where excellence is the standard of preference. Allowing employee's to have a voice is much easier to manage, when that voice is met with educated ears; ears that know how to separate the narrative from the plot and know what to do next.


We human's crave the HUMAN experience. Modern working life is all about experiences. The organisations who value this and work on delivering this as a priority along side sales and service models, have the edge in talent attraction.


A final note: To develop talent in an organisation where the back-end of the business systems and process lack, is a little like popping milk through the Soda Stream, a bit of fun but quite pointless!



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© 2016 Helen Treloar