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HCM Strategy Director Southern Europe at Oracle @mhacheB
The latest Fortune World's 50 Greatest Leaders list reveals a group of “extraordinary men and women transforming business, government, philanthropy, and so much more” – dynamic and creative individuals each facing huge challenges in their industry or role, but equally proving to be very successful leaders.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, appears at the top of the list for his commitment to constant innovation in a highly competitive industry. At number four is Pope Francis, who uses social media to engage with young people and make the Catholic Church more accessible to a broader audience. A less conventional entry at number six is Taylor Swift, who has created a new model for earning in the music industry and who successfully manages her brand and millions of fans worldwide.
So what do these three very different individuals have in common that makes them such effective leaders? They share a willingness to continuously evaluate and transform their approach, and just as importantly a deep understanding and connection to peoples’ needs.
The power to connect with virtually anyone, anywhere has transformed our way of life. We are connected in so many ways – by smartphones, by social media, by new economic models like crowdfunding, and by the interests we share with individuals all over the world.
We also keep finding new ways to connect using the latest digital, social, and cloud technologies, and the best leaders always seem one step ahead when it comes to predicting how these tools will bring us even closer together. When it comes to managing people in a business, it’s crucial that HR understands and caters to employee expectations when using the latest collaboration technologies.
Many organisations believe that HR’s digital transformation comes down to deploying the latest solutions, but really these technologies are merely a means to an end. What’s more important is placing employees at the heart of the business’ strategy, at which point companies can put the tools in place to fit their requirements.
For a transformation to be successful, HR leaders must be fully engaged. They need a strategic understanding of their employees.
For a transformation to be successful, HR leaders must be fully engaged. They need a strategic understanding of their employees. They must constantly listen to peoples’ concerns and re-evaluate their approach to match, whether this means rethinking line management strategies or providing employees with technologies to help them collaborate more effectively.
In short, to encourage people to engage and connect with the company’s values and goals, HR leaders need to make employees feel they have someone who truly understands them looking out for their best interests.
At this point many of you may be thinking “But I’m compliant. Every year I run an employee survey with amazing results”. That may have worked in the past, but it’s no longer enough. HR leaders must be more proactive – whether by holding open panel sessions with employees, for example, or by having more frequent discussions with them about their careers.
From the adoption of a new HR application to full-scale digital transformation, a more engaged workforce makes it easier to align employee expectations with wider business strategies and this begins with great leadership. Whether HR leaders model themselves on the Pope or Taylor Swift is up to them.