HR leaders urged to use power wisely

There are good HR leaders and there are excellent HR leaders. One expert says what separates the two is how well excellent leaders use their ‘power’

HR leaders urged to use power wisely
“HR can put the HR leader in highly emotive situations,” said Ying Yuan Ng, executive director, human resources and organisation development at Singapore Economic Development Board.

Ng said there are a number of ways that these situations can be addressed and one of that is taking stock of an HR leader’s ‘inner work’.

For example, figuring the kind of power that an HR leader possesses, she said.

“All HR leaders have a certain degree of power,” she told HRD

“It could be influential power, expert power, [or] positional power.”

She emphasised that power alone is not a bad thing; the key thing to remember is that you recognise and understand the power you have and how to use it in the most constructive manner.

“What matters is how we use that power,” she concluded.

“Use it only in service of your HR role and anchored on your values.”

Ask yourselves if you have the ears of the leader, the trust of the employees, or influence towards your peers, she said.

“One of the key roles of an effective HR leader is to understand the employees, be their advocate and ensure the organisation’s leaders are aware of the issues and feedback from the ground so that the people agenda is taken care of,” she further explained.

“In addition, the HR leader should be clear where the organisation’s leaders are coming from in terms of directions and decisions, and ensure that the employees understand and are aligned.”

To be effective, an HR leader should be able “to see things from the point of view of each stakeholder, and gel different stakeholders together,” she said.

Ying Yuan Ng is set to present more tips on how to become an excellent leader at the upcoming HR Leaders Asia 2016 on Wednesday (12 October).

Click here to learn more about the upcoming event and to secure tickets.

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