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5 Essentials Every Human Resource Leader Should Have

4 Min Read

To be an effective business leader it is important to understand the broad operations and processes that drive commerce and create growth. However, to be a successful Human Resource leader, it is not only critical to understand the basic principles of business best practices, it is also important to be proactive and strategically develop your influence over your organization.

Here are the five standout traits that today’s influential Human Resource leaders all have in common.

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1. Never Stop Learning

Deepening your knowledge of the expanding field of human resources will help you to better manage, support, and lead your HR team. Putting this knowledge into practice can serve to encourage growth and development of not only your HR staff but also of the larger workforce.

Pursuit of life-long learning through an advanced degree and professional certification is necessary to build and refine your HR knowledge. Successful HR leaders display a thirst for understanding the benefits of new HR research outcomes and stay connected to current trends in the HR field. By incorporating your knowledge of best HR practices into your daily life, you can more effectively support your organization’s strategic goals and direction.

Whether you are already working in the HR field or are interested in joining it, The University of Scranton’s MS in Human Resources Management will help you gain the foundational and strategic knowledge you need to excel.

2. Communicate Effectively

Clear, effective messages can boost morale, increase loyalty and even save the organization money. According to Watson Wyatt’s “Communications ROI” 2011-2012 study, organizations that are highly effective in their communication practices are more than twice as likely to significantly outperform peers that are not. Many opportunities exist for you as a human resources leader to develop and demonstrate your communication skills. For example, strong writing skills lead to clearly understood policies and procedures that drive organizational results. Similarly, with outstanding verbal communication skills you can help your workforce to understand better their roles in driving organizational results and motivate them toward peak performance.

3. Practice Values-Based and Ethical Behavior

In today’s highly competitive work environments, the pressure to succeed both personally and professionally is a powerful force. You can demonstrate your personal commitment to maintaining an ethical workplace in two important ways. First, lead by example and consistently adhere to the code of ethical behavior of the HR profession. Second, using the HR code of ethical behavior as your guide, take the lead in advancing your organization’s espoused values to all employees. Because HR professionals often lead the process for fair and equitable treatment of all organizational members, you are uniquely positioned to help build a community of employees who will want to internalize and demonstrate your organization’s values and ethical behaviors.

4. Think Strategically and Act Accordingly

It is tempting for HR professionals to focus their efforts narrowly on building the most productive HR function within their organizations. On the surface this concentration seems to make sense. Today, however, CEOs expect HR professionals to demonstrate more than just HR expertise. They expect their HR professionals to be key partners who help drive their organization’s overall business strategies. To do so, HR professionals need to think strategically, connecting a robust HR function with an in-depth knowledge of their organization’s core business issues and aspirations.

5. Mind Your Metrics

HR professionals have long recognized the value of developing outstanding practices that attract, leverage, and retain the best employees for their organizations. Determining the value of those practices on the organization’s bottom line requires HR professionals to be able to understand and use metrics and key business statistics. From determining employee turnover rates to preparing a cost/benefit analysis for offering a wellness program to calculating the return on investment (ROI) of an employee suggestion program, metrics matter!

We live in a virtual world, and online courses provide a great way to practice leadership skills of working together in groups, which is a critical skill today’s leaders need.

– William Wallick, Ph.D., SPHR, Associate Professor of the online Graduate Human Resources program

The greatest advantage in online courses is especially for those who may be apprehensive and lack confidence in their current communication skill. Being online, the structure offers the opportunity for students to express themselves more effectively in a group or individual discussion, and allows the time to craft well-thought responses that ultimately lead to developing long term strategic and analytical thinking skills.

– Terri Freeman Smith, Ph.D., SPHR. Assistant Professor of the online Graduate Human Resources program and Director of the Undergraduate Human Resources Administration (HRA) program

Learn more about the online Master of Science in Human Resources Management from The University of Scranton or call us at 866-373-9547.

Rankings and Recognition

The University of Scranton is ranked among the 10 top universities in the North offering Master’s programs by U.S. News & World Report‘s “Best Colleges” guidebook. The University of Scranton is also included among the “377 Best Colleges” by Princeton Review, among “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes magazine, among Barron’s “Best Buys in College Education,” and among Kiplinger‘s “Best Values in Private Colleges.”

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