What does this mean for Human Resources Professionals?
By Jenny Kazan-Mills, SPHR
Today, the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia will be viewed by people around the world. Athletes representing 88 countries will be participating in the opening ceremony and competing in the various sports which are part of the Olympic Games. The pageantry and excitement is majestic and represents, for a two week period and possibly beyond, a world interconnectedness and passion for excellence. The spirit of competition and teamwork is demonstrated by athletes working together to pursue individual and country dreams.
Human Resource professionals are challenged every day to work with business owners to develop strategies to maximize human potential in organizations. The potential of our employees is similar to Olympic athletes in that with strong leadership and mentorship each of us can strive to achieve our individual goals and potential. This in turn can increase the effectiveness and performance of the organization for which we work.
Why is strong leadership important? One leadership theory practiced in high performing organizations is “servant leadership”. Servant leaders focus primarily on the growth and well-being of people which can result in more productive and engaged employees. Traditional leadership generally involves the exercise of direct authority by “top management,” which can create less productive work environments. The servant leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Are the leaders in your organization effective?
Why is mentorship important? Mentorship is a relationship between a more seasoned and experienced professional and a less experienced individual. It’s intended to be an ongoing relationship of learning, dialogue and challenge. It’s the transmission of knowledge and experience, and the mentor provides continuous support to the mentee. From an organization’s perspective, identifying high potential employees and creating a mentorship program can result in a high performing organization. Have you identified your high potential employees and initiated a mentorship program in your organization?
So, as we watch the opening ceremonies this evening, let’s think about how we can maximize the potential within ourselves and our employees.