What's HR's Role in Leadership Development?

5 Ways HR Can Impact Leadership Development

Angela MacDonald Oct 19, 2017 8:41:00 AM

One of the many responsibilities of HR is to make sure their company has the right people in the right leadership roles, and that leaders at all levels of the organization are successful in those roles. The more effective your leaders are, the more engaged your employees become, which can lead to higher performance and more valuable contributions. HR can have a significant impact on empowering leaders to use their skills and support your organization’s success. Here are five ways that HR professionals can create a positive impact in the development of their organization’s leaders:

Business Strategy

What are the key leadership roles that affect business strategy? Consider noting the main responsibilities of strategy-focused leadership roles and identifying the direct correlation between the role and the strategy. This way, you’ll be able to more clearly identify which leaders have the experience required to take on strategy-focused initiatives.

Current Leaders

For existing leaders, consider looking at areas of development and inspiring them to improve their skills. By celebrating where your current leaders excel and identifying where they can do better, you’re not only affecting the quality of your organization’s leadership – you’re also impacting the rest of your employees. The stronger your leaders are in encouraging and empowering their staff, the more engaged and motivated those employees become. Win-win.

Team Performance

This one builds off of the point above. As leaders inspire their teams, engagement goes up – and so does performance. HR comes into play by equipping leaders with tools for staff. Coaching, training, the opportunity to work with a mentor, and more – all these steps can be initiated by a staff member or team leader, but it’s up to HR to put them into place. The result? A more engaged, motivated, productive team, with additional employees who have a vested interest in developing their own leadership skills – basically future-proofing the investment your organization makes into leadership development.

Rewards Program

Don’t have a rewards program in place? Consider putting one together and making it leadership-focused. Find ways to celebrate successes in leadership and helping staff become more aware of the ways in which the organization’s leaders impact everyone. This can be a great motivator for leaders to keep doing what they’re doing, and for other employees to feel encouraged to take on more leadership responsibilities. A quick reminder: not all leaders are the social, rally-the-troops kind, which means that some could be overlooked. Consider aligning a rewards program with the strategic plan for the business, so leaders of all kinds have an equal shot at getting recognized.

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Advocacy

Often, team leads are going to have a good sense of who might excel in particular roles. As an HR professional, encourage your leaders to advocate for their employees, and work with your leaders to position staff in the best possible way. This will require an in-depth understanding of the competencies required as a leader, and as an employee reporting to that leader – something you probably know a lot about. The goal is to align the right people with the right role, and this happens best when HR and organizational leaders work closely together to develop employees.

Leadership development is vital to the growth of any company. Beyond the basics, HR can have a real impact in developing their company’s leaders – and not just your current leaders, but future ones as well. Soon, you and your leaders will be working in tandem to create a world-class leadership development program!

Topics: Leadership development, 360 Assessments

Angela MacDonald

Written by Angela MacDonald

Angela is the Manager, Client Success and Training at McQuaig where she consults, educates, trains, and develops clients in regards to successful hiring, onboarding, and developing the best staff.