With the world having been turned upside down and most business strategies ripped up and redrawn, leaders are seeking clarity. For HR and Talent practitioners, there’s an urgent need to provide leaders with clarity on one fundamental question: How do I lead now for the future?
Without clarity on this, many businesses won’t succeed. The question HR and Talent practitioners must ask themselves is: do we know what type of leaders and leadership capabilities we need to take us into our tomorrow? If you gain clarity on anything in the next quarter, make it this.
A Leadership Framework provides greater clarity
Even in the pre-COVID world, two of the top five biggest challenges for organisations were aligning people strategies to business objectives and driving culture change1, both of which you’d struggle to achieve without an effective leadership framework. COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have triggered many HRDs to review their frameworks, asking themselves whether they are still fit for purpose. Are these still the right key leadership competencies to take our business where it needs to go? With this question ringing in many practitioners’ ears right now, I thought it timely to share some practical tips gleaned from my experience over more decades than I’d dare to mention, having designed more frameworks than I care to recall.
A Leadership Framework outlines, in a very practical way, what leaders at all levels within your business must know and must do to be effective. A good framework not only sets consistent standards and expectations but when used in combination with assessment also provides clarity to leaders in terms of their personal development priorities.
Leadership frameworks, and competency frameworks more generally, are a key tool for selection, development, and performance management, helping to translate your organisation’s strategy and values into expected employee behaviours. Most (89%) high performing organisations have core competencies defined for all roles, compared to only 48% of lower-performing companies2, which I suspect is down to the ability of a good framework to act as the much needed ‘glue’ to bind people and strategy together.
As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done; measurement of behaviours against a well-designed competency framework helps to align focus and motivation to the attitudes, skills, and behaviours needed to achieve an organisation’s strategy. It provides employees with greater clarity over what’s expected from them, reduces subjectivity in performance ratings, and provides transparency in the performance management process.