13 june 2019

With special thanks to the CHRO community

How do you, as a leader, successfully deal with tomorrow’s challenges?

And more importantly, how do you ensure that your company is ready for those challenges? During the 2019 CHRO Day, chief human resources officers and young potentials explored this question. Setting: an idyllic castle. Keynote speakers: Professor Frederik Anseel and Biologist Patrick Van Veen.

> Turn the tables

To work well together, teams must be on the same wavelength, but how do you get that right wavelength? A CHRO sharing his experience with a young potential is a good start. Yet for your team to make real progress, success is best insured if it engages in reverse mentoring. It’s proven, according to Professor Frederik Anseel, "a team only makes progress if young potentials are given the opportunity to share their knowledge with their more experienced colleagues". In this way, they create a common language.

> Identify your kingmaker

Think outside the box. Biologist Patrick van Veen invites us to see how animals deal with change. Chimpanzees, for example, have a formal and informal leader. When change is on the horizon, the formal leader consciously seeks support from the informal leader. He instinctively knows that the other chimpanzees only accept change if the kingmaker is on board with the idea.

Interestingly, the same applies to the business world. If you want to convince your employees to support change, you need to identify the informal leader in your company. Convince them. This can be anyone: a receptionist who greets you and your co-workers in the morning. Or an employee who has worked in your company for over 10 years. Change is more easily accepted when the informal leader accepts it.

> Build strong working relationships

Leaders often encourage their employees to work together, however, working together does not in itself lead to better results. It is the quality of the co-worker relationship that influences the overall quality of their work. Colleagues who work together, yet don’t have a strong working relationship, do not deliver higher quality work. Colleagues who work together and get along fine, however, do deliver higher quality work.

As an HR manager, encourage your colleagues to get to know each other better. Encourage them to catch up over a cup of coffee. Or simply by putting their mobile phones away during dinner. In Patrick van Veen’s words: behave like monkeys. Monkeys too understand the importance of good relationships. And they do this by making time for each other and – yes, exactly –checking each other for fleas.   

> Continue to the original article about reverse mentoring    

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Written by

Maxim Schelstraete

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

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