Montana Pornpunyalert, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, Gulf Energy Development Public Company wishes she could swap the role between staff and the supervisor for one week and let them do the job the other was supposed to do, as part of an exciting learning initiative.
Q What, in your view, was the defining moment that changed your career trajectory in HR?
It happened in my mid-career several years ago when working as HR generalist in a pharmaceutical company. I was one of the leadership team of the company where members consisted of the young generation, including the GM. We were working as a true one team where information flew freely whether about people, business, operations, finance, etc. Important decisions were made by the leadership team in consensus. People agenda was always at the beginning and the top priority of the meeting.
I got a great opportunity to be a true business partner and realised how HR could play pivotal role to drive the business forward and build strong competitiveness for the organisation. It was eye opening to me that HR as a business partner is not just a fancy word. I believe it is a combination of give (authority) and take (leadership) which shapes the role of HR in an organisation.
Q Since then, how do you think HR has added value to the organisation, and what do you think it can do better?
It goes without saying that some companies have not yet realised how valuable HR could be to their people and businesses.
I’d like to make analogy to the human body when joining a race: sales & marketing are like your legs (they move as fast as they can), finance are your lungs (pumping air to secure your performance), management is your brain (to direct and guide your strategy), HR is your veins (that go everywhere and orchestrate all parts of your body). Alone you go fast, together you go far.
In this VUCA world, HR need to be adaptable but yet stand firmly on the basic principles which is “human resources is foremost” because amid the world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, we tend to forget the basic of human and HR is the best person to do this role.
Q If there was one crazy HR practice you could implement, with no budget or time constraints, what would it be?
As a learning and exciting journey for an employee, I wish I could swap the role between staff and the supervisor for one week and let them do the job the other was supposed to do.
It sounds a crazy idea but I think it is powerful enough to help both understand each other better, what responsibilities and challenges the other party faces everyday, so when it comes to problem solving and decision making, I hope they understand both ways.
HR is about working with people and for people, you need to be neutral and avoid your biases. Listen to others and accept them as individuals who are unique in their own way.
Q Why should the HR community be excited about joining the first-ever HR Excellence Awards, Thailand?
Considering HR professionals have common roles to play although different in contexts eg. businesses, countries, and laws & regulations, it is a great opportunity for HR professionals in Thailand participate in the HR Excellence Awards. It is a forum where good HR practices are shared from across the country so we can learn from each other.
Some of the good practices from our HR colleagues might benefit your organisation, and vice versa. Just participating in one of the categories for the awards is enough to show your courage and determination towards bringing HR in your organisation to the next level.
In addition, people see and hear your great story and your company brand. Another benefit from participation is a chance to know how well you are doing using the standard measures from a professional international organisation like Human Resources Online.
Q As a jury member, reveal to us the details you will look for in a winning entry submission by our participants.
I will look for HR initiatives which brought all stakeholders closer and working in collaboration. Stakeholders are not only employer and employees, but also government bodies and the community. With coordinated efforts from as many stakeholders as possible, I believe the outcomes can be promising and sustainable. Of course, this is easier said than done, so if any HR practitioners go the extra mile to make this happen, they deserves recognition from the judges.
Q What inspires you the most about your role in HR?
I have been in HR career since I graduated. Along the way I gradually learnt from my experiences essential characteristics to fulfill my HR role.
Firstly, integrity is crucial and it needs to be upheld for all persons and in all circumstances, although it is only known to yourself. Many times you would have been challenged by your own thoughts on why not do things another way, which might be a lot easier to do - but you need to be persistent because you will never know when it will be come back to you.
Secondly, always put others first. Your role as HR is to help employees be at their best and achieve the most they can. You do not have to be in the limelight, but it's about seeing others' success that makes you happy and fulfilled.
Last but not the least, diversity and respect. HR is about working with people and for people, you need to be neutral and avoid your biases. Listen to others and accept them as individuals who are unique in their own way. Sometimes it is better not to waste time trying to understand or asking why but just accept that people are different and deserve as much respect as you do.
Are you inspired to transform yourself?