Learning & Development Asia 2024
Faces of HR: Arcadis' Maria Lourdes Ann Cruz believes authenticity and genuineness bring out the best within the team

Faces of HR: Arcadis' Maria Lourdes Ann Cruz believes authenticity and genuineness bring out the best within the team

"We need to know our people well to have an effective development journey that fits our talent’s aspiration to keep them engaged," the leader adds.

Maria Lourdes Ann "L.A." Cruz, Global People Director for Global Operations Project Services & Enabling Functions at Arcadis, believes that to bring out the best in everyone on the team, it's essential to understand the business, be clear about the company's vision and goals, and recognise the strengths and skills employees bring to the table.

L.A. is an experienced HR leader with specialisation in organisation development, talent acquisition, change management, learning & development and executive coaching. 

Before joining Arcadis, L.A. held senior HR leadership positions at IQ-EQ, Aboitiz Power Corporation, Del Monte, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bayer. She finds fulfillment in developing others and bringing out the best in everyone.

Ahead of her session at the inaugural Transform Talent Philippines 2024, L.A. speaks with Mary Ann Bundukin in a series dedicated to showcasing top event speakers. They discuss the importance of building relationships with employees to better understand their skills and how this can benefit both the team and the organisation.

Q Thinking back to your first day in HR, what is the most important learning that sticks with you until today?

I started my work in HR as head of HR, coming from the business side so I had to be agile and learn fast. Having that experience has made me realise the importance of understanding the business very well and engaging and listening to people more than talking and directing. You get a lot of insights from honest conversations while creating a safe environment for people to be open and comfortable discussing challenges and thinking out of the box solutions. Back in those days until today, I know I do not know everything and don’t always have the best idea and solution, but it is the power of the collective that will help transform the business. Being genuine and open to other perspectives will help bring out the best of everyone in the team.

Q What steps do you believe are necessary to transform today's talent into the talent that the business needs?

Being very clear about the company’s vision and goals and matching it with current skills of our people to me are very important in any transformation journey so we are able to create that learning and development roadmap for everyone. It’s important that people in our organisation are also bought in to the vision and are agile and open to adapt to the changing landscape. We have different types of learners with varying career aspirations and knowing this helps.

There is no one-size-fits-all type of development plan. We need to know our people well enough to have an effective development journey that fits our talent’s aspiration to keep them engaged. Talent intimacy is crucial. Our leaders and line managers should be well-equipped and competent to have inspiring development conversations and honest feedback to coach our people to be at their best.

Q Could you share emerging trends that you believe will have the most significant impact on HR in the next few years?

Skills will be a key talent currency. How we attract, develop, engage and retain talents in our organisation will be defined by skills and how agile we are as an organisation to adapt to the needs of the business.

Addressing the changing needs and expectation of our existing and emerging workforce across different generations will also be important, given their varying demands that requires our flexibility as an organisation.

Q What are you most looking forward to in your session at #TransformTalentPH?

I am always excited to learn from peers and colleagues from various industries. It is always a wonderful learning opportunity to hear other different experiences, success stories and new trends. I am looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

I want to attend the conference: If you're keen to attend this closed-door conference, kindly register your interest here. For speaking opportunities, please write in to Mary Ann Bundukin. We look forward to welcoming you!

I want to sponsor:
 Engage in meaningful dialogue through dedicated speaking slots, roundtable discussions, and at your booths! If your organisation provides any talent solutions and products that you'd like to showcase, you’ll fit right into this event. To learn how you can sponsor, please reach out to a member of our team now

Lead image / Human Resources Online

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