The pandemic disrupted the way businesses operated and leaders were finding themselves having to pivot their management styles in more ways than one. To say it was a challenge is an understatement. It was also an opportunity to transform the way HR leaders operated and lead their businesses to success. Many not just survived but thrived. While it’s been exhausting for HRD’s Global 100 HR leaders, it’s also been incredibly gratifying, and their outstanding contributions have been rightfully recognized on a global scale. Employsure’s Head of Talent Acquisition, Mary Blake is one of 20 winners from Australia. Mary shared her challenges, solutions, and key takeaways from the past two years below:
“Ensuring the business continued to run smoothly while keeping up with the constantly evolving directions provided by the Health and State government; all while prioritizing the mental health of staff front of mind was one of the most challenging times of my career as an HR leader. Being empathetic, making sure staff were heard, and understanding the micro nuances of the people I was working closely with were my top priorities.”
“Needing to have stringent non-negotiable boundaries that wouldn’t blur the lines of when the workday began and ended helped immensely. I maintained my social connections and professional network of like-minded leaders virtually throughout the pandemic, which was an outlet for me to be able to exchange thoughts, and ideas and brainstorm over solutions and practical tips which were later implemented in the business.
Mary Blake’s advice for leaders is to remember the importance of authenticity. “Authenticity always shines through. As a leader, you are in a privileged position to shape and develop people both on a personal and professional level. When you are authentic and vulnerable, you show your employees that it’s okay to not have a solution for everything. Figure out what makes you authentic and what drives you.”