Ah yes. The leader is only as good as their team. It's true everywhere, so why wouldn't it be true in the world of HR?
So HR Leaders, the question is this - how good is your team of HR direct reports? Do you have a world class team or did you settle? If you're not a leader, look around - how is the strength of the HR team around you? Perhaps the bigger question is this - how do you evaluate whether your team of HR direct reports is world-class or something far less?
Here are 3 questions to answer to give you guidance from Mark Efron and the Talent Strategy Group:
As a CHRO, you may believe that your HR team already performs at a high level. We hope they do, but we would like to hear your answers to three questions:
1--Would your company’s best leaders and employees say that your core HR processes are flawlessly executed, easy to use, and getting the results that top executives and employees need and want?
2--Are your team members able to influence top executives on difficult topics, changing the executive’s mind where needed through a deep understanding of the business and strong command of the relevant facts? And, perhaps most importantly,
3--Does the executive team trust your direct reports with their corporate lives?
If you can affirmatively answer each of those questions, you’ve built an outstanding CHRO team and your CEO should be thrilled with your deep succession chart.
A typical CHRO’s response to those questions ranges from “sort of” to “we’re still working on that.” When we ask about the specific plan to elevate the quality of their team, there is none.
I like all of the questions provided, but I like a mix of #2 and #3, which can be combined effectively when evaluating each member of your team with the following question:
Would you send your direct report to any meeting on your behalf with limited prep and be confident that they wouldn't hurt you?
Any meeting is code for one with important people - top executives, key clients, etc. The same influence and trust topics outlined kind of all come down to whether you'd trust your direct report to represent you - and at the very least, do no harm, but in more ideal circumstances - help progress the meeting to an outcome you'd be proud of. An extension of you.
What about it? Go through your direct reports - would you send them to any meeting to represent you?
I'm fortunate to have hired a lot of people in my career about whom I can answer that question as "yes". But no one hits every shot.
For deeper notes on the construction of an HR Team, check out my book - The 9 Faces of HR.