As stated in my previous leadership post, an excellent leader has systems by which and through which the business or organization is managed. This makes it much easier to manage well. These systems help keep your leadership stool in balance – a balanced focus on employees, on customers, on finances, and on operations. In this post I’ll focus on the basis for having employee, or human resource, systems.
Human resource systems are essential to excellent leadership because, collectively, the employees are the business, especially to customer perception. Therefore an excellent leader should assure that all employees are treated well and that there are channels for their voices to be heard by senior leadership.
An excellent leader absolutely must have compassion for employees. This can be demonstrated to the employees by assuring that all members of management treat employees well. The biggest single factor in employee satisfaction, other than fair pay, is the employee’s direct boss. If the direct boss treats the employee fairly and communicates well there is a good likelihood that the employee will feel satisfied, especially if senior management is also fair, communicates well and demonstrates beyond question that they value the employees.
There is absolutely no reason for a boss not to treat employees well – certainly never any excuse for an employee to be abused even in the slightest.
Three examples of important parts of an excellent human resource system that can prevent abuse of employees are:
- A strict, well written, thorough policy essentially stating that absolutely no sexual harassment will be tolerated
- A well written, detailed policy on employee discipline for poor performance or unacceptable behavior
- A well written management policy and procedure manual clearly stating, among many other things, that abuse (verbal or otherwise) will not be tolerated and that this could lead to immediate dismissal from the business or organization
The first two policies should be clearly spelled out in the Employee Handbook and all three should be thoroughly written into the Human Resource Policy and Procedure Manual. The first two policies should be thoroughly covered during employee orientation during the employee’s first week of employment within the organization. The third policy should be thoroughly covered during the first week on the job for any new members of management.
If you, as a senior leader, have excellent versions of these essential pieces of a human resource system then you have made your job of management much easier and have taken at least one step in assuring that you have a world-class business or organization.