Thursday, April 19, 2012

Altar of Sacrifice

Human Resources pros are often put in an awkward position. When we're truly committed to making our organizations better, to supporting the people on the front-line more effectively, and are willing to make hard decisions to make work better, we can find ourselves in a tight spot. The issue has to do with making sure the right leaders are on board. I see a regular stream of writing about the search for talent, but much of that is focused on sourcing and managing staff level positions. I'm not talking about those hires...I'm talking about making sure the leadership team can actually create an environment where those staff people will feel good about working for your company.

That's not easy.

I Like HR Because I Can Help People
Really? If you want to focus all of your time on helping people you need to volunteer somewhere. HR is a key driver of business results, and making sure the employees (read here => the reason every organization is successful) are respected and supported with good leadership is essential. The challenge looms larger when HR becomes aware of a leader who simply can not handle their role any longer. It doesn't mean that leader is a bad person, but it does mean they are not doing what the organization (read here => the employees they are supposed to be leading) requires that they do.

Now for the Hard Part
What does the committed HR pro do when faced with this knowledge? Let's assume you've already taken the appropriate steps and provided both feedback and an opportunity to improve. Now what?

You move them out of your organization, that's what.

If your colleagues don't agree, push harder. We are asked to report on all sorts of impossible to control issues such as: turnover, employee morale, and engagement. It is actually embarrassing to some degree that other leaders still try to wash their hands of any responsibility for these issues and punt them over to HR, but it still happens. I get it. 

If we're held accountable for issues at the unit or department level, then we have a professional obligation to push for ineffective leaders to be moved out of the organization as quickly as possible. Don't our employees deserve good leadership?

How About You
Do you know which leaders in your organization have lost their ability to lead? Could you produce a list right now of two or three that you know shouldn't be interacting with your staff? Let me ask you this...what are you going to do about it?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of dickstaub

1 comment:

  1. An excellent, thought-provoking piece. It's a hard thing to do to persuade others to believe in your instinct that some people are just a bad fit, and need to be 'liberated'. For me, the key is in being consistent and identifying clear, easily-recognised traits that they cannot deny are dragging others (or the business) down.