Managing Employee Relationships: Being Firm Without
In the case where managers become very familiar with their
employees, Adesola explains how to regain control without jeopardizing the
The first step is to clearly understand the difference
between being a friend and a leader/boss. She says "Sometimes when your friend
does something that's clearly not right, you don't outrightly condemn what
they've done. That is because your friend always expects you to be loyal. It
may even take a while before you eventually let them know what your true
feelings are, and you are very careful about how you pass the message across.
As a leader, it is different. You have both the interest of your
employees and the business to protect. You should give feedback as soon as
issues come up to deter unwanted behaviour or performance. That is because
individual actions in the workplace can have devastating consequences for other
team members and the business. So, I say you need to be firm, honest with them
about their actions and consequences of their actions. You need to quickly
course correct. The leader is always meant to lead, guide, train, and bring out
the best in that employee."
Also, you must be consistent with your approach. Your
employees/colleagues must always know what to expect. Do not be firm on issues
today and ignore misbehaviour the next day. It sends mixed messages. If you
have set performance, behavioural standards that are aligned with the
organization's policies, goals, and objectives, you must be consistent in ensuring
that you are encouraging those.
Lastly being firm and resolute does not equate to being
unkind and unfeeling about our colleagues' personal struggles. We must show
them we are as equally concerned about them and their welfare as we are about
getting the job done.
There is no perfect leader, and we will not always get it
right, but we must be willing to learn from our mistakes and grow as leaders
For First Time Mothers: Managing the Home and
takes a village to raise a child. Adesola advises building a support system
around you to help ease the burden of the career and personal life. Get a
support system that works and that is on your side. What do I mean? I mean,
have a mentor when it comes to work, this might be a senior colleague within or
outside the organization. Belong to groups for career women where people share
ideas with regards to such things. Belong to a support group who you can share
your struggles with and get wise counsel.
a mentor or more is so important. Sometimes your mentor may be a role model not
within your immediate vicinity, but you have access to online or via social
media. Go for people who have done what you are about to do and have succeeded
doing it. People who have walked the path you want to walk. I know sometimes we
think that no one has ever been through the struggles we are going through.
is never the case. There are always people who have had similar journeys. The
great thing is that they help you walk that journey faster and avoid the same
pitfalls they fell into while on their own journey. So, you do not need to make
the mistakes that they have made, it does not need to take you 10 years because
they help you collapse it into 4 years through their shared experiences and
guidance. They know where the roadblocks are and can quickly advise you.
the home front, you will also need a strong support system. It does not have to
be just your husband, it can be other family members, neighbours, and friends
too. Communication is key with all of those you need in your corner. Since you
are a first-time mum and juggling a career, your home support system needs to
know and understand your present needs.
what changing jobs will mean and how it will affect other areas of your life,
what it will take. Talk to them, actively seek their help, and let them know
the exact type of support you need. For instance, you will need to let your
husband know where exactly you need him to pitch in to support you at home. Let
him know the sacrifices you may both need to make to succeed in this new phase
in your life. A lot of times we get stuck because we have not effectively
communicated and reached out for help.
How Women Can Gain Insights about Opportunities
for Growing their Career in HR and Tech
The key here, Adesola says, is to join relevant human
resources and tech groups. "By joining the relevant groups, conversations are
happening every day, people are inspiring each other, people are sharing
opportunities, etc. That is how you can do it. Join the groups, volunteer in
the groups, and participate actively in what is going on there. There's so much
resource that is at our disposal these days, that it is almost impossible to
not know how to get ahead.
But in terms of the opportunities, they are there. Register with
the relevant bodies and associations in these industries, so that you receive
information about webinars that are happening, training etc, all those things.
So, it is about being connected with the right people and developing the right
relationships. And you can do that by belonging to the right associations that
support your career aspirations.
Also, mentors, because they also are people who can connect
you to the right resources and people. Developing relationships with senior
people in your profession as well as developing the right relationships,
internally and externally, of your organization. So that is it.
On Fostering and Encouraging Other Women to Embrace
this question, she asserts that the first step to embracing each other and
becoming cheerleaders to one another is acceptance. First, accepting who we are
as women, accepting our beautiful sides and flaws, successes, and
give ourselves this negative self-talk, because of the way society has
reflected back who we are, because somebody said something, or society thinks
something, or culture says you shouldn't have a voice because of your gender,
and those kinds of things, depending on what part of the world you come from.
These are real issues. Then we pass this attitude to other women.
prevent that and ensure that we continue to be each other's greatest
cheerleaders, we must make sure that we embrace ourselves, we need to identify
our unique qualities and what makes us. That is why I say knowing your
strengths, knowing your weaknesses. I read a beautiful quote recently, and it said, "to try to be a man is a waste of a woman" That is a beautiful quote, and it
underscores the fact that we are uniquely and deliberately crafted as women to
be just that, 'WOMAN'.
we find ourselves, when we discover who we are and why we are, it is easy to
support and celebrate the next woman. We do not see her as competition, because
our journeys are different. We recognise that each woman's success and
achievement pave the way and makes it even more possible for other women to
Harris is now a Vice President in America, she has made it easier for other
females to aspire and attain the same. If a woman becomes the first female
Managing Director of an organization, she has paved the way for other women to
rise easily into that position. So, it is about perspective and understanding
that we each have our unique place, we all have different paths we must walk,
and as we support other women in their journey to the top, we open the doors
for ourselves and millions of other women to rise as well.
On Managing Impulsive Bosses Who Do Not
Before labelling anybody, Adesola first advises taking
an outside-in approach to understanding what the boss has to deal with daily in
terms of employee, resources, time and so on. She advises employees to try the
- Take an outside-in approach; put
yourself in their shoes and try to understand your boss as a human being
and relate with her as such. When you understand people, you find better
ways of communicating with them and having them com So learn how to manage
your boss also.
- Always seek further clarification
when given tasks. Ask questions to ensure you and your boss are on the
same page about what needs to be done. Get all the details that will allow
you to meet their expectations.
- Seek advice from other senior
members of the organisation or your mentors about how to relate better
with your boss.
In the end, if all of this does not work to improve the
relationship, it might be time to exit such situations. First, weigh the pros
and cons of the relationship. Is value being added to you? Are you improving as
an employee? As an individual? Or are you becoming less effective and losing your
sense of self-worth and value. Your evaluation of the environment would aid
Growing to Become Head of HR While Working for Only One Company...
would say it is very possible because I have seen that happen. In the bank
where I started my career, the staff who started at very junior levels
eventually rose through the ranks to lead various departments and divisions.
think the important thing is to ensure you are developing yourself whether
within one organization or across different ones. Build capacity, expand your
knowledge of several areas of the business in the company because as the head
of HR, you will be required to sit with various heads of businesses and the
board in meetings. At these meetings, it is expected that you can
contribute to all discussions ranging from Finance to issues about Marketing
ability to engage effectively will depend on the knowledge, experiences, education,
and exposure you have acquired over the years. All these come into play when
you want to rise to the top of your career ladder. As the Head of HR, you would
be interacting with different people who represent the organisation in various roles,
and you must be able to speak their language. So yes, it is possible. It is not
always the case, but it is possible.
Dealing With Criticism and Negative Feedback
say do not throw the baby with the bathwater, right? So, when it comes to
negative feedback, you want to leave your emotions at the door, even though we
are all emotional beings and obviously, words will hurt. If the feedback is
focused on addressing wrong behavior and or performance, try to stomach it and
focus on the aspect of the feedback that relates to how you can improve in the
is on a personal career journey. That is the truth. And so, you need to be
selfish with your career journey and keep your emotions in check, take the
feedback needed for you to improve and grow, positive and negative. We all wish
things could be said to us in nicer ways but that is not always the case.
the outside-in perspective helps as well. You know, the person giving the
feedback could have had a bad day that had nothing to do with you, and the
criticism can come from those situations. If that is the case, try not to let
it get to you, talk to a friend or family to get it off your chest and go on
with your day.
if you're talking about constant negative criticism that focuses on attacking
the individual instead of the work or behaviour, then I would say that is not
right and you may want to exit that type of toxic environment.
that Predicted the Success of the Ladies on the Panel
lot of things come together to result in the success of individuals. For the
women on the panel discussion, Adesola alludes to some factors in addition to
the earlier requirements of having a strong support system both on the
professional and personal level. She discussed extensively around the following
- Clarity of vision of where they
wanted to be
- Finding the right mentors to guide
- Putting in the hard work required
- Seizing opportunities when
- Tenacity and doggedness; never
- A non-compromising and strong
- Developing the right network and
Women Development We Can All Embark on
On the development of women, she alludes to the importance
of starting from your immediate network. More women are dealing with things
that you are probably not aware of that is why we must all be perceptive and
"I recognize some of the women I work with are at different
stages of their lives and because I've passed through some of those stages - whether it's the person who's still fresh out of school or getting married or
becoming a new mother - I try to support them. We have had instances
where people have had to work from home for a while, because they did not have
a support system like a nanny. It truly is recognizing what stage of life or
season each woman and being there to help where we can. It is also about
creating an environment where they feel free to discuss and ask for the help
and support, they need.
In terms of opportunities within the system. I always try to
challenge them to see and take on opportunities that exist for both males and
females within the company. But conversations like the one we had with
the panellists on IWD always make me see I can and should be doing more. So, we
Women hold a unique position in life. We are nurturers, we
are builders, and we have what is called 'intuition'. Those are special gifts
that have been placed in us by design. These are great attributes that make us
uniquely positioned to be great leaders. So do not dispel them. Do not put them
away. Use them to help you build capacity, exploit them to help you produce
better, relate with people better, and ultimately help others and you shine.
Those would be my parting words.
To get more insights from other leading women across
Nigeria, click here to listen to the full conversation.
You can also schedule a consultation to speak with Adesola today to learn how Workforce Group can
help you engineer female inclusion and empowerment in the workplace.
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