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Chloe Gan, associate director of HR at arvato Systems, shares how HR is crucial to a business and how it can play a bigger role in organisations.
What was your first HR job, and why did you choose HR as a profession?
I have more than 13 years of a generalist background in diversified industries, including retail, pharmaceutical and IT. My first HR generalist role was with Levi Strauss Malaysia.
The reason why I chose HR as a profession is because I enjoy working with people and I find satisfaction in helping others.
I personally think HR is the backbone of the company and it is an important value driver for a successful business operation.
HR is involved right from the moment any candidate steps into the company – from interviewing, hiring, onboarding, training, learning, performance management, exit management, etc.
How does your company endeavour to build a supportive workplace for its employees?
At arvato Systems Malaysia, we value the authenticity and diversity that every employee brings to the business.
It is our commitment to provide a supportive and empowering workplace – a working environment that is positive, open and flexible.
To generate this inspiring culture, our HR function undertakes a wide range of initiatives to engender a dynamic and enjoyable working environment, staffed by people who care about doing the best for their team and this is what I enjoy the most.
Can you describe a regular workday at your company?
Honestly, I don’t have a regular workday – this is why I love being in HR so much.
Every day, we have different tasks and ad hoc requests from various parties, making our work life very interesting and challenging at the same time.
What is the best career advice you have received?
I have learnt that success is not something that can be accomplished overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, effort, time and dedication.
How do you think the HR function will evolve in the next five years?
The concept of the HR business partner is nothing new. It has been known to HR professionals for some time now.
The transformation into an HR business partner model is motivated by the conviction that HR should contribute significantly to the company’s success.
I think in the next five years, HR professionals will continue to embrace technology which will enable them to drive the HR function more effectively and become more commercially relevant to the company.
Is there anything you feel HR can do better to play a bigger role in organisations?
There is a rising demand for HR to add value to the growth of the business. Companies now view HR as a strategic partner and not just a supporting function.
At the same time, they are also recognising the importance of building their HR function’s capabilities to contribute to their business’ success.
Hence, I think the priority for HR now is to build its value proposition to its key stakeholders, employees, customers and investors.
HR should also move from a bottom-up perspective to a top-down perspective by understanding the business and its key objectives.
I feel that HR professionals should aim to proactively engage stakeholders, establish ways to attract and retain talents, manage diversity in the workforce, leverage on technology in our daily work and manage organisational change and transformation.