The Hazards of Helicopter HR

Posted August 23, 2017 in Authenticity, Career Management, Communication, Latest News & Insights, Leadership

Don’t let your team fall victim to this all-too-common workplace problem – Glain Roberts-McCabe outlines the pitfalls of a ‘helipcopter HR’ approach, how to avoid it and how you should work towards preparing leaders for the challenges ahead.

We’ve all heard of how helicopter parenting is contributing to the decline of civilization as we know it. Over involved parents are raising over-scheduled, over-praised and over-protected children who become fragile adults struggling to transition into the ‘real world’ where criticisms are handed out more frequently than participation ribbons. Well, the same thing is happening in the workplace. Helicopter HR departments are shielding leaders from the new requirements of leadership by too frequently outsourcing skills that have quickly become non-negotiable. Those skills are “soft skills”.

Traditional approaches to developing leaders simply aren’t working as too many organizations continue to focus on leadership development as a ‘training event’ versus a ‘ongoing journey’. And yet, it’s a journey that is needed to help leaders develop the soft skill behaviours required to manage the ongoing complexities of today’s workplaces. Today’s leaders face a myriad of challenges, including:

More people are involved in the work we do. Fewer and fewer people find themselves working on projects end-to-end, alone.

Speed of change and amount of data is increasing. With change being the new normal and data coming at a relentless pace, leaders need to work with others to innovate new ways of working and know who to talk to in order to pull out the data points that are relevant.

Pressure on productivity. After over a decade of “productivity improvements”, most organizations have hit the wall with what else can be cut, so instead are looking to “engagement” to boost results.

New generation demands. Millennial employees are demanding more mentoring, career pathing and coaching from Boomer and GenX managers who are often ill equipped to navigate these types of conversations.

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