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HRUnplugged: The most critical aspects in talent management

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Having the right attitude towards people is important to establishing a progressive work culture, Murnira Abdul Mury, General Manager of Human Resources, Admin and Central Procurement Unit at Gamuda Land, stresses.

Q In Southeast Asia, what are the biggest challenges facing HR heads?

The biggest challenge is to have a management or organisation that views HR as only a function that manages personnel, and not as a business partner. As HR leaders, we need to go beyond the conventional function and proactively initiate practices that will impact the business as a whole. Today’s digital and technological disruptions are moving businesses to reinvent the wheel and we also have to digitalise our business or be rendered irrelevant.

We are also looking at diversifying our talent pool and hiring more energetic and tech-savvy young men and women who can easily adapt to changes, and yet, have a strategic and visionary mindset to move the business forward.

For instance, at Gamuda Land, we are expanding our portfolios from townships to integrated smart cities in line with our brand value to be a market leader in driving innovation. This has been evident in the way we build and manage our townships and the initiation of Malaysia’s first digital industrialised building system that enables us to provide fast and flexible construction solutions.

We need to be creative in our employer branding and engagements and in coming up with new and relevant policies that suit all generations. HR practices and operations need to be fast and efficient. We should adopt technologies that are convenient and user-friendly. In addition to this, we need to facilitate the change management process and support existing employees who are impacted by all these changes.

When you deal with people, you are dealing with humanity, emotions, values and beliefs and these are delicate matters. Respect and empathy are expected of you.

Q Tell us your most critical people management advice.

The most critical aspect in people management is genuine love and care for those you work with. In addition to proper policies and procedures aligned to the business, the right attitude towards people is equally important to establishing a progressive work culture. The words “people management” say it all. When you deal with people, you are dealing with humanity, emotions, values and beliefs and these are delicate matters. Respect and empathy are expected of you. When times are tough we need to balance these two with some assertiveness. It is a skill that each and every leader must practise and master.

It is also important to have mentors, including leaders who will be able to draw us out of our work-related challenges and look at both personal and work matters in a more objective manner. We have always encouraged mentor-mentee programmes to provide our employees with the needed support and positive reinforcement.

We must also be highly supportive of their growth by identifying potential talent to be groomed as leaders for a seamless and sustainable business operation. Gamuda Land recently launched our year-long apprenticeship programme by pairing suitable young leaders with members of the management for them to observe and learn the ways of the management. This way, we are able to identify our next line of leaders and prepare them accordingly.


Vital stats: Murnira Abdul Mury joined Gamuda in 2014 as Head of Organisational Development and Talent Management prior to her appointment at Gamuda Land in 2017. Before that, she served at Lafarge Malaysia as the Head of Organisational Development & Talent Management, and HRBP for Industrial Operations.

She is a certified organisational development practitioner and a certified accelerated learning practitioner with the International Association for Accelerated Learning Practitioners.


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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