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HRUnplugged: The most common misconception people have about HR

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Every line manager is responsible to keep their staff motivated, retained and trained, clarifies Tina Sharma, Senior Vice-President and Head, Human Resource, State Bank of India.

Q What’s most rewarding about your role?

HR professionals can have a profoundly positive impact on people and their organisation. Working in HR can be challenging, but it is immensely rewarding as what we do makes a huge impact on the success of the organisation and the growth of employees. We are always the first point of contact for employees, and seeing the ones you have hired rising and doing well with the company is quite heart-warming.

My job makes employee welfare and happiness a matter of professional responsibility. It’s also gratifying when you work together with employees and provide them with the direction to achieve their career goals.

A lot of people, especially the younger workforce, come to us for guidance on how they can improve their skill sets and shape their career. As a mentor, I get to help them find what works for them. Seeing a positive and engaged workforce is one of the most rewarding parts of my role.

Q What is the mindset that leaders require to succeed in a digital world?

Leadership is the driving factor for success in the digital world. While technology has taken over many roles, a successful digital leader must bear in mind that the people part of transformation is just as crucial. Our leaders therefore need a balanced mindset and a unique set of skills.

One of the other key competencies required to succeed in a digital world is having a clear sense of a long-term direction. Passion and a strong vision with facts and data create a successful business case. Leaders should have the mindset to make timely decisions supported by analytics. They should be approachable and open to implement new technologies quickly.

One of the most common misconceptions is that human resources is the job of the HR department.

They must empower digital leaders with the required skill sets in order for them to succeed; redefine the job scope of employees to make the workforce smarter and efficient; and strengthen their role in restructuring the organisation and in managing the talent life cycle from acquisition to development and retention.

Q What is one common misconception people have about HR that you would like to change?

One of the most common misconceptions is that human resources is the job of the HR department. Human resource management is as important to line managers as are their other roles. Every line manager is responsible to keep their staff motivated, retained and trained. Attrition should not just be the KPI for HR, but for every manager who manages teams.

HR should be recognised as part of the leadership team, where it can contribute to the strategic decisions of the company.

What is more important than the hygiene factors of pay and benefits is how to keep your employees engaged to maximise potential.

HR has to be seen as a vital part of a company’s overall business strategy, with enough authority and trust from management to enact real change.


Vital stats: With over 18 years of HR experience, Tina Sharma’s key focus areas are leadership development, policy design, strategy and competence building. She is a strong believer in the ability of HR to strategically impact and be a driver of business beyond its conventional role. In her current role, she is responsible for strategic HR to drive and facilitate HR interventions by supporting and guiding the senior management team.


This interview is a continuation 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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