Self-Assessment: The 5 Abilities Only HR Superheroes Have

By Sara Pollock

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Do you have what it takes to be an HR superhero? Learn what you can do to make your superpowers stand out from everyone else by assessing yourself to see you're a leader or if you could use a little work.

1. Ability to Develop Themselves

HR leaders with strong self-awareness and the propensity to develop themselves are able to better identify other self-developers in their talent pool and workforce. They also are generally more positive, productive members of their team and have a strong personal foundation to help themselves and others grow professionally.

If your results show that you have weak self-development skills, make it a point to work on the skills you scored low on. You can also share the chart with someone else and have them assess you to get a better picture of the skills you need to develop. Having characteristics of self-development only helps you grow personally so you can better help others as well.

2. Ability to Develop Others

Effective employee reviews aren’t something leaders do at employees; reviews are something that leaders do with employees. Use these questions to gauge and establish employee alignment with your organization, then follow up accordingly to solicit feedback from employees regarding how they’re managed.

This gives the employee the chance to provide upward feedback in a conversational dialogue, rather than a formal review setup, and gives managers and employees great insight into each perspective. 
 Ability to Consider the External Audience

In HR, it’s all about the internal audience, the employees and workforce behind the company. But what about those outside of the office walls? The customers?!

“When comparing HR leaders to all other leaders in our database, they were rated significantly more negatively on their ability to understand the needs and concerns of customers. In many ways, the function of HR is focused on internal problems, but the lack of understanding of the external environment often caused others to view some HR leaders as not in touch with the issues facing the organization. HR leaders were also rated more negatively on their ability to represent the organization to key groups.” — Jack Zenger & Joseph Folkman, HBR

Understanding the external environment is crucial to making smart HR decisions. Planning and working with blinders on is not the way to HR Superhero status.

4. Ability to Have a Strategic Perspective

Only 29% of total employees can correctly identify their company’s strategy out of six choices, so it’s safe to say HR leaders could be thrown into that mix. In fact, HR leaders have been negatively rated on “their ability to have a clear perspective between the big picture strategy and the details” thus losing perspective on long-term, bigger business issues. Destined HR Superheroes are able to engage executives with their focus on long-term strategy and don’t get lost in the day-to-day work of HR.

Ask yourself:

  • What are our company’s goals, vision and strategy?
  • What’s one thing I can do now to help us be more effective in reaching this?
  • What’s one thing I can work towards to help us be more effective in reaching this?
  • What’s my personal role as an HR professional in the big scheme of our company goals, vision and strategy?
  • What’s one thing I can do to better support others in their role to achieve this mission?

5. Ability to Think Quickly and Pivot Faster 
“HR leaders were rated significantly more negatively on their ability to anticipate and respond quickly to problems. A number of items noted a general lack of speed and urgency to respond and react quickly. On a number of occasions, we have watched as senior executives ask for a program or process to be rolled out quickly only to have HR respond, ‘It takes more time than that — we need to slow the process down.’ While at times that is necessary advice, too often it is the first response given by HR without considering what could be done to speed the process and move quickly.” — Jack Zenger & Joseph Folkman, HBR

HR Superheroes are able to prioritize top-level concerns and plan for future changes because knowing the right balance between planning and being agile is crucial to achieving organizational goals.

About Sara Pollock: 
As the head of the Marketing department, Sara makes sure that ClearCompany’s message, products and best practices reach and assist as many HR practitioners as possible.

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