Anjali Menon, Head, Talent Centre of Competence – Asia and Oceania, Nestlé, gauges the roadblocks HR practitioners may have to manoeuvre past to implement technology.
Q With the evolution of technology, what is the challenge in rolling out new HR initiatives?
It's fantastic to see the way technology is evolving and the way we are heading towards a merger of human and artificial intelligence. We need to remember that such technologies are an augmentation tool to enable people to be more creative. It will make our workplace more productive and efficient. This is all very exciting, but the main challenge I see is the significant gap in capabilities and the mindset change it entails, which will help individuals and teams in embracing and adapting to this evolution.
Another key challenge I often see with such initiatives is that the leaders of such ambitious and exciting projects overlook/undermine execution challenges, and at times, even ignore the voice of the recipients of these initiatives. This often results in daunting issues which may derail the overall initiative in the long-term.
Q Who is your leadership inspiration?
My leadership inspiration is not from one particular person, but lessons I have learnt from leaders across different walks of life. My leadership inspirations have taught me humility, empathy, result-focus, resilience, ambiguity, tolerance and the ability to embrace/create new opportunities. My continuous efforts have been to inculcate these traits in spirit and action.
If you are not fun, you are out of the game, hence, HR will need to be the champion of work-life integration as well.
Q How are you working with your organisation in managing your employees’ wellbeing?
Nestlé's purpose is enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. We want to help shape a better and healthier world. We also want to inspire people to live healthier lives. This is how we contribute to society while ensuring the long-term success of our company. Thus, we take a strong interest in ensuring the wellbeing of our people.
Our employee wellness programme encourages our people to embrace healthier and more active lifestyles through a wide range of activities, including health talks, weight management competitions and health quizzes. We also provide simple and healthy meal preparation tips to our employees.
Q Ten years down the line, where do you see the future of HR?
We are in an age of constant flux and disruption, where it is increasingly difficult to predict long term. HR professionals will need to raise their game by being business drivers and thought leaders. With the technology and business context evolving exponentially and workforce dynamics changing in varied ways across geographies, HR will need to drive the change mindset and ensure teams and individuals are energised by creating constant excitement for the value proposition.
HR will need to become talent scouts, inside and outside the organisation, focusing on traits, drivers and competencies, rather than experience, while searching for talent. Changing workforce dynamics will need HR to define purpose-driven work, and a healthy organisation wellbeing culture. If you are not fun, you are out of the game, hence, HR will need to be the champion of work-life integration as well.
Vital stats: A computer engineering graduate and a postgraduate in HR, Anjali Menon has carved out her career path through result-focused, collaborative and inclusive initiatives. She has proven expertise in talent and OD, change management, D&I, and more. In her role with Nestlé, based in Kuala Lumpur, she covers 23 countries, where she continues to engage cross-culturally.
This interview is part of our CHRO 4.0 special edition where we we introduce you to Human Resources' Advisory Panel 2019, and pick their brains on the burning questions the function is facing.
Read more here: CHRO 4.0: Decoding the HR skills of the future
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