Holistic view needed as workforce has many stakeholders, says Datuk (Dr) Vinod Sekhar
Published by The Vibes
KUALA LUMPUR – Evolution in the workforce is inevitable, and human resource (HR) managers must be prepared to innovate it, conveyed PETRA group chairman and chief executive Datuk (Dr) Vinod Sekhar.
At ET HR World’s NexTech Southeast Asia HR Summit 2022 yesterday, Vinod shared words of wisdom and experience with the audience on the importance of adaptability and innovation in the workforce, and the roles HR managers play to prompt it.
“Innovation is absolute, and technology keeps changing. We have to pivot and be ready to change our position.
“We need to prepare to innovate our own workforce so we are ready for what is ahead of us. These are critical factors in how an organisation succeeds.”
Vinod highlighted this importance as HR managers interact most with the workforce and create a community within their organisation.
“This is the mindset you have to get into. When you come into your organisation, you have to change the way they think, that they are part of the bigger picture.”
The need for HR managers to facilitate innovation also comes from their roles as the “cheerleaders” of an organisation, as they are responsible for ensuring that employees remain satisfied within the organisation.
“You are the people that have to ensure the team feels positive, vibrant, needed, and valued, so that you reach a stage where they do not want to leave their jobs.
“When you combine all those things, they (employees) won’t want to leave. When they are happy, that’s where loyalty and money come in.”
Vinod said HR managers are essential in bringing clarity and grounding to the visions of CEOs, as well as balancing technology with the essence of humanity and the needs of communities.
In accordance with that, he advised the audience to always view situations holistically, as a workforce ecosystem contains more stakeholders than one might expect.
“Fully working from home disconnects an employee from the organisation and their colleagues. We are not robots, we are humans. We have personality traits and needs, and we need connectivity.
“There are times when working from home is needed, but don’t make it a norm. When someone does not interact with their organisation, it does not help the organisation grow, and become an iconic flag bearer for what a company should be. You should be helping the organisation get to the top of the game.
“When people do not come to work, small traders suffer the most. The food trucks and grocery shops that rely on daily wages and customers suddenly lose business. So, this impacts an entire ecosystem, it is not just a simple decision you make.
“You are managers of your ecosystem. You are key players in the kind of people that make up the body of your organisation. Do not underestimate how pivotal your role is.”
Nonetheless, Vinod told the audience not to fear innovation and failure, as they act as lessons to allow individuals to grow.
“You will not always get it right, so don’t fear decisions outside of the box. Failure is just an education.
“The issue is not failure, it’s whether you learn from it and get back up on your feet. If you deal with each mistake as a learning experience, then you are nothing but stronger.
“Do not fear the unknown, do not fear taking chances, and do not fear trying something new,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vinod said innovation is not just in technology, but also in the way employees interact with colleagues and CEOs, ensuring that neither party is disconnected from the other.
He added that the notion of profit is not limited to monetary values, but also includes the welfare and happiness of employees, which HR managers must remind CEOs of their respective organisations.
Vinod concluded his speech by recognising that the support employees give is vital for an organisation, and to not limit themselves as they can achieve success.
“You are also people who can evolve into great CEOs, so don’t limit yourselves where you are. Inspire others, as at the end of the day, the job of the leader is to give hope, inspire, and positivity.”
ET HR World is an inaugural initiative by the Economic Times, catered to the leaders and community of the human resource industry. – The Vibes, December 9, 2022