History demonstrates that people leave companies because of bad leadership, according to Cecil Fernandes, executive director, business disruption and innovation at Access Community Services.
Fernandes told HRD that this stems from a lack of influence, as leadership in itself is a learning process.
“As such, I’ve clearly communicated and coached my executives to be consistent. Inconsistency breeds lack of trust and that’s lack of influence,” said Fernandes.
“When you’re consistent, people will know who you are, who you say you are, and what you’ll do is what you said you’ll do.”
Fernandes added that it’s important to be a good listener because when you listen you hear the issues of the day.
“To listen is an act of great courage. When you listen and then act, your people will see you really are behind them,” said Fernandes.
“And be a good visionary, with a clear vision you’ll know where you’re going and your people will know where you’re going.
“People want to have a strong clear vision. If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. Create a pathway and your people will follow.”
Fernandes said that it’s crucial for HR professionals to have strong emotional intelligence and to be authentic.
“Being too hard or too gimmicky, is so transparent that your people will see it and switch off. Because it will not mirror what is actually happening,” he said.
“Engaging and collaborating with all key stakeholders and the community are critical of the role of the HR director.”
Fernandes added that he is currently focused on disrupting and driving the desired culture of the organisation.
“Any technology that allows you to predict what’s happening next is taking off right now.”
He said that if you’re going to integrate AI tech it’s important to look at the data you have and what the data is saying.
Fernandes added that “data doesn’t lie” and it doesn’t miss anything important. HR teams can then get a personalised snapshot of anything in terms of an individual that they wish to see without having to go through records, emails or previous interactions.
“Equally, it’s critical to understand how these technologies work. It’s about asking the right questions, and then rather than hoping and relying on other people, HR has to make sure that AI is working for them - not the other way around.”