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Recent Poll Results: What HR Practitioners Need From Their HR Leaders

The Chapman Consulting Group’s July study, in which 93 HR practitioners across Asia Pacific Japan nominated the most important quality they look for in a local or international HR Leader, showed up some interesting results.

The most important quality sought in a leader, as chosen by 43% of respondents, was that leader’s ability to profile HR in a way that earns the support of the business. This was narrowly ahead of the second most popular quality sought by 32% of respondents, being the leader’s ability to act – to cut out the noise and focus on results. 15% of respondents felt that the HR Leader’s ability to mentor and coach the regional HR team was the most important, with only 7% of respondents nominated the HR Leader’s ability to structure and develop a well functioning HR team beneath them as the most important quality.

What the July survey results show, according to Matthew Chapman, Managing Director at The Chapman Consulting Group, is that HR practitioners want their HR Leaders to engender the support of the CEO and leadership team to pave the way for results further down the tree. ‘If the HR Leader leads by example and is commercially focused on the key business issues, this can ensure that the rest of the HR team is aligned to the core business strategy’, said Chapman.

In terms of 32% respondents seeing the HR Leader’s chief role as being to ‘cut out the noise’, Chapman went on to say that this is particularly important in the matrix and complicated organisational set-ups we often see across Asia Pacific Japan. ‘By providing a filter or buffer to the rest of the HR team on global HR issues or business issues that require counsel, the HR Leader can reduce the amount of distraction to the regional or local HR teams’.

Despite the coaching and mentoring side of a HR Leader’s role finishing as the third most important priority in this survey, with 15% of votes, Chapman still feels that this is a critically important quality sought by many HR teams in their leader. ‘As much as the HR team wants to feel that HR Leader has the support of top level Business Leaders and can reduce the politics, they very much require the HR Leader to value add from a career development perspective. Career-minded individuals want to be coached on their weaknesses, know clear steps on how to get to the next grade and be confident thatthe HR Leader is aware of their strengths’.

That just 7% of respondents indicated that HR Leaders should be most focused on building an effective and well structured HR team, doesn’t come as too much as surprise. ‘If the HR Leader can’t earn the support of top level business stakeholders, cut out the noise from global and business stakeholders which could potentially distract the regional/local HR team, or provide adequate coaching to their team, then the design or the framework of the team matters little to individuals in evaluating the effectiveness of their leader,’ ended Chapman.​

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