We live in times when organisation, team and individual agility are of critical importance to business outcomes. Agility is driven by properly enabled people leaders.
There is however a substantial difference between empowerment and enablement. While many people leaders are empowered to make business decisions, they are frequently not properly enabled to do so. Namely, they are not equipped enough with the relevant resources, people data, tools and/or training.
Paradoxically, more often than not, employee data is still perceived as the domain and the accountability of HR teams, and HR teams rarely receive sufficient company resources and tools to invest in quality, descriptive, let alone predictive and prescriptive data that would enable them to support leaders in their people-related decisions and interventions.
And this is where the vicious circle closes.
It is therefore vital for both HR teams and people leaders to gain access and to leverage HR data, including AI based collaboration data, in order to feel enabled and be accountable for employee engagement and retention. That said, I’d like to briefly discuss why people leadership enablement is becoming more important year over year, and how the combination of training and advanced team collaboration data can support leaders in their agility and making evidence-based, people leadership decisions.
In today’s volatile business environment, leaders need to make data-informed decisions fast, based on quality, actionable, insights related to both business and people management.
In the BANI world (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, and Incomprehensible) we need to properly equip people leaders to be effective, engaged and to create safe, close-knit, continuously learning communities for their teams. As argued by Amy Edmondson, people must feel psychologically safe at work to be vested, eager to take risks, innovate and to support each other in a resilient way. They also need to keep improving their ways of working to remain responsive to the demands of the business environment. And this can only be done if we provide leaders with:
In order to be able to build and lead teams through today's disruptive times, and transition to hybrid ‘workscapes’, people managers need to have their oxygen masks put on first. And they need to get the right ‘oxygen mix’, with companies investing enough time, energy, and resources in supporting people managers.
In the increasingly remote work environment, effective collaboration is founded on trust and transparency combined with accountability. This can only be achieved through a combination of a strong culture, great quality collaboration tools, and last but surely not least, quality team collaboration data.
According to Rob Cross, Professor at Babson College, “being able to see the patterns of connectivity within groups really helps a leader make more targeted decisions to improve group effectiveness than simply holding more Zoom calls or virtual happy hours”. As he further lays out, it allows leaders to see which assignments they should engage people or their connections for, and how they can avoid creating silos or work overload.
And this is where Organization Network Analysis (ONA) proves invaluable while ensuring ethical, non intrusive, team level perspective. Especially now, as many companies are in the process of transitioning to a more remote-mature operating model. ONA helps leaders monitor collaboration patterns conducive or detrimental to employee engagement, productivity or knowledge sharing and innovation.
It provides people leaders with the right predictive and prescriptive insights based on which they can continuously improve their team’s dynamics, agility, and effectiveness. With ONA at hand, the decisions on what needs to be improved don’t come from the executive or the HR team. They are made by the enabled people leaders themselves.
In recent years, we’ve seen a global shift in what is expected of leaders. Managing employee data and talent engagement and retention is no longer the domain of HR only. However, in order to enable leaders to make the right decisions, they must be supported with:
Only with these two elements, will leaders be able to navigate the new, so called BANI times.
If you’d like to discuss the topic in more detail, reach out. We’d ll be delighted to shed more light on how Network Perspective can help you enable your organization’s leaders to make the right decisions.
The article was originally posted on the networkperspective.io blog