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5 things for HR to reflect on in 2019



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Sameet Kaur Sidhu, Talent Acquisition Manager – Global Delivery Centre (Malaysia), Experian, affirms that the HR fraternity needs to sustain its own welfare, to avoid any torturous burn-outs in 2019.

Globalisation 4.0 trends are being explored at such a rapid pace and close reach that it instills both a great deal of excitement and fear within the global HR function.

With substantial technological disruption already creeping into our homes and workplaces, I can’t help but wonder, can us HR professionals positively embrace this shift in today’s environment? With the certainty of disruption, why is there still hesitation in getting ahead of our individual personal disruption? Is it ignorance or is it the basic fear that with this shift, we will all need to acquire new skills?

While the tactical aspects of HR will continue around compliance and systems, the HR leaders of 2019 will need to step up their game to link HR strategies with the organisation’s. Given the global interest in the APAC region, and vast opportunity this region offers, it is an exciting time to prep ourselves in embracing the glorious change we have ahead in another year of transformation and impact.

Here are five tips for HR professionals to embrace the wave of change in 2019:

1. Embrace personal disruption

In a world obsessed with digital disruption, the only way we can cope with the volatility is to recognise our own need of personal disruption.

Sometimes this can be quite simple, for example, deepening one’s mastery in a specialist area of HR, like change management, or talent attraction. This is when the depth of disruption is key – having a generalised view of wanting to know a little of everything, versus mastering a lot of one thing.

Alternatively, be prepared to jump out. Corporations are getting far more flexible in talent mobility and internal progression, giving us the opportunity to apply the framework of disruptive innovation as an individual. Personally, I jumped to a completely new specialisation (with a parachute of course!).

Of course anytime we start something new, expect growth to be slow. This will help you avoid getting discouraged, even as you put in the time and effort into accelerating your competence.

ALSO READ: Only 26% of CEOs in APAC believe they are initiators of disruption 

2. Look after your wellbeing

Deep, strategic thinking and execution will inevitably take their toll on people, especially where the HR function is already at a high-performing pace to not only keep up, but rather be on the front foot.

There is a term in psychology known as ‘cognitive loading’, i.e. the way in which people process new information and tasks.

This is never a comfortable decision – but some of the highest performers, both in business and sports, have a habit of quitting the wrong things fast.

When we are confronted with a constant state of complexity, new demands or shifts in requirements, not forgetting long extra hours, it is of paramount importance to look after your wellbeing – be it nutrition, exercise, or plain-old rest and recovery. As they say onboard the aircrafts, fix your oxygen mask first, before helping others fix theirs.

The HR fraternity needs to remember to sustain its own welfare, to avoid any torturous burn-outs that will deter us from achieving both our personal or professional ambitions.

ALSO READ: How HR leaders in Asia are prioritising health and wellbeing

3. Conscious quitting takes courage

Whether by choice or by circumstance, every career will get disrupted. Our success is never guaranteed, but often we focus only on how far we need to go, rather than realising how far we have come since, despite having pits and failures along the journey.

And most importantly, there will be times when we need to recognise that the best thing you can do to move forward, is to quit. This is never a comfortable decision – but some of the highest performers, both in business and sports, have a habit of quitting the wrong things fast.

There are plenty of misconceptions around quitting, like “maybe I didn’t try hard enough”, or “winners don’t quit”, etc. But the truth is conscious quitting takes courage. Sometimes not quitting is taking the easy way out, where you can continue to stay in your comfort zone, and don’t need to think about un-learning, or re-learning to bounce back.

ALSO READ: Do you have what it takes to be appointed to the board of directors?

4. Challenge yourself

Pick out a personal challenge for yourself this year – the bigger the challenge, the more lasting the memory, the more profound the learning. For me, it will be challenge of proactivity, and proudly walking away from procrastination!

Proactivity requires us to be aware of our own time and mission. It means starting each day with purpose by taking control of what you do and when you do it. It also means taking ownership of your life, to behave responsibly and work hard for essential things happen.

As we begin to embrace new opportunities, a guiding light will help – and that is getting the right coach.

This challenge is inspired by mentally strong leaders I have seen around me, who develop a positive thinking strategy to always find the bright side of life, and never assume the victim-mindset.

ALSO READ: How to play your 3 authenticity cards – heart, habit and harmony

5. Find your Alex Ferguson

Not a big football fan, but when I recall past successful coaches, this name comes to mind! As we begin to embrace new opportunities, a guiding light will help – and that is getting the right coach. All of us, no matter how successful, need a coach. Even the greatest athletes, who have achieved their mastery continue to have coaches.

Your chosen coach must match your personal regard for excellence, and must be able to recognise your quirks and strengths, and then willingly nurture them to raise your standards, sometimes with the right dose of tough-love. The ideal coaching engagement will leave you both appreciating the failures and being grateful for the wins.

ALSO READ: How to create a culture of coaching

The opportunities ahead are incredible for the Asian HR function, what an exciting time to be alive! Wherever you are on your journey, I wish you a deeper and intense understanding of your principles and purpose. As you embark on the transformative year ahead, keep in mind the words of Rainer Maria Rilke: “The only journey is the one within”.



Asia’s most renowned regional HR Excellence Awards is back in October in Malaysia to sieve out HR’s finest gems. Are you a diamond in the rough? View the categories and find out more.

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