HR Leadership Developing High-Potential Employees

Press Release : February 24, 2010
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Interview with: Daljit Singh, Director Talent Management, Baker & McKenzie

Queensland, Australia, February 24, 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To ensure the next generation of leaders in an organisation, it is essential to identify the individuals who have the potential to grow into successful directors. Human Resources (HR) directors need to be able to facilitate the coaching, mentoring, and provision of the right experiences and environment that will help to nurture and develop the talent of leaders in their organisations. Spotting a potential leader is not too hard, according to Daljit Singh, Director Talent Management at Baker & McKenzie, but what is more important is what you do with that judgement. A speaker at the marcus evans HR Summit 2010 taking place at the Gold Coast, 10 12 March, Daljit Singh highlights the key challenges facing HR executives in Australia and New Zealand, and offers his strategies on recognising leaders and aligning them to organisational goals.

What are some of the challenges facing HR executives in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, and how can they overcome these issues?

Daljit Singh: Fully engaging employees in the organisation, that is that they identify with organisational objectives, feel connected and behave in constructive ways to help achieve the organisational purpose, is a significant challenge for HR professionals. The concept of engagement is related to morale and spirit, which has recently been tested in a number of organisations, particularly those that underwent restructuring, redundancy or downsizing in the last year. Although Australia and New Zealand are now seeing some positive economic growth, it is still a very challenging environment for organisations that want to retain their best employees as things begin to pick up again in their industry sectors.

There are a number of ways of engaging employees. HR directors should help management effectively communicate where the organisation is heading, how it is performing, what the business results are, and the implications for employees. Transparency is very important to ensure that trust is engendered. Despite the need to tighten the belt during the downturn, smart organisations continued to invest in employees development. As financial rewards in many companies have been restricted, HR directors need to ensure that people get more recognition in other ways positive feedback, recognition for their contributions and also their sacrifices through the difficult times, and so on.

How do you inspire employees to go the extra mile?

Daljit Singh: A lot of that has to do with leadership. People need to understand how their work fits in with the goals of their organisation, how their role and responsibilities fit into that of their team, that they are making a real difference and that this is being appreciated. Employees develop a sense of ownership when management share more information, listen to their views, communicate very clear expectations, and provide them with development such as coaching, mentoring and meaningful feedback. At our firm we have a number of initiatives to improve the quality of coaching, which includes helping to stretch people who are already performing very well to perform at a higher level.

How do you recognise leaders within your company?

Daljit Singh: We try to identify the high-potentials by looking at their current performance (high-potentials usually have good or outstanding performance) together with their learning and development abilities that will help them grow further. Identifying these attributes is how we define employees with high potential. The signs are often quite visible.

After we have identified our future leaders, we then make sure that a lot of additional attention is given to them, that they are mentored in such a way that encourages their career development. We believe that formal training programmes are important, but that these should not be the bulk of the efforts. It is important to give people experiential exposure to further develop their skills – experience is the driving force, supported by formal training. For example, we expose them to a global perspective, giving them the chance to work in other offices in another country for six to 18 months. Our experience is that most of them who get this experience and coaching progress to become leaders in our organisation.

How can HR better align to the organisations needs and goals?

Daljit Singh: The way to align to the organisations goals is to have a very high sense of interest and curiosity about the business. HR people who do not have the desire to improve the organisation do not perform as well as they could. That is the number one issue.

Secondly, it is important to cultivate relationships across the broad spectrum of the organisation with as many people as possible. Get to know the people at every level of the company – HR really needs to get the pulse of the people and the organisation. Understanding the business and the relationships are two very important factors.

The third is having a broad mindset and an understanding of the human factors that lead to high performance. These include the need to give people clear performance expectations, the right level of resources and tools, coaching, career guidance, and recognising and rewarding their performance. If one thinks systematically about these driving forces of performance, we will begin to add value in our initiatives. HR directors need to have all of these three skill sets to become valued business partners and to help steer their organisations forward.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313
Email: press@marcusevanscy.com

About the HR Summit 2010

This unique forum will take place at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 10 – 12 March 2010. Offering much more than any conference, seminar or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on the way forward for diversity in the workplace, developing leaders within the organisation, and effective HR strategies.

For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at http://www.hranzsummit.com/DaljitSinghInterview

Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the worlds leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit http://www.marcusevans.com

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