Human-Centered Leadership in HR and L&D: The Future of Business   

human centered leadership in hr and l and d

Discussions around digital transformation in companies encompass an increasingly wide range of topics, all centered around large-scale change within organizations. These changes span everything – from technology, all the way to the impact on HR and L&D. That’s why experts like Jeremy Blain, author of The Inner CEO: Unleashing Leaders at All Levels, uses the term, “Business Transformation” when referring to organizational change.

The Strategy Implementation Institute has pinpointed that 63% of companies are failing in their digital transformation programs. Why? Because they focus on what they must do, instead of how to do it. In other words, they are business-centered instead of human-centered.

The situation is critical. 8 out of 10 leaders don’t know how to accept uncertainty, the volatility of the market, and the complexity of the macro-economic situation. They’re not upskilling themselves and their teams to face the changes that occur in a transitioning society. Consequently, this has direct repercussions on workforce wellbeing.

most crucial human centered leadership traits

What is Human-Centered Leadership?  

Human-centered leadership is putting people first, regarding their environment, social relationships, and state of mind. To do so, a leader must be aware of the situation at hand and be able to be decisive despite upcoming uncertainty.

During the pandemic, only those leaders who investigated at operational level were able to successfully acknowledge the vulnerability of their employees (and themselves). Their teams were involved in planning decisions from the beginning, so they performed better at their tasks.

Companies should consider a major restructuring of the Human Resources’ manifesto which is relevant and applicable in the modern workplace. From highlighting the importance of delegation, to implementing agile methodologies; all these new principles must be embraced by the workforce mindset at all levels to standardize a more autonomous, self-aware, and reliable way of working.

digital transformation and challenges in leadership

Autonomy and Empowerment: The Starting Point  

Good leaders are purpose driven. They consider success as the achievement of a series of events that combine people and collaboration. They understand that milestones are not accomplished without a collective approach to instill the company’s goals. To get that uniformity, they need to be empathic, analytical, champion communicators, and know when to pivot quickly.

The fundamental foundation of leadership is empathy, but the fuel of work is autonomy. Leaders who know how to empower their team members fill them with confidence to make decisions when needed, ensure a space where workers feel free to decide while being responsible for their own choices. This has been proven to improve team performance and engagement.

A good example of empowerment is the concept of Reverse Mentoring, where leaders ask for advice from employees. People, organizations and leaders build mutuality, and the workforce feels motivated and keener to adopt radical changes.