Yussy Santoso, Mulia Industry Group

Mulia Industry Group took home the silver award for 'Excellence in Digital Transformation' as well as brought home the prestigious bronze for Kus Niarti Jati Handayani's hard work being recognised among the 'HR Manager of the Year' winners at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Indonesia.

In this interview, we speak to Yussy Santoso, Human Resources Director, Mulia Industry Group (pictured above, standing, centre), on how the company has used technology to support the execution of strategic people initiatives such as upskilling, re-profiling, and talent development.

Q Tell us a little bit about your journey reaching here – how did you get here and what was most important to you during this process?

To achieve sustainable long-term business objectives, human resource is one of the most critical success factors. Along this journey, we have developed and accomplished many strategic initiatives in the people development area, for example, upskilling, re-profiling, and talent development.

We have used technology to support the execution, to become more agile, faster, and efficient.

We built a digital platform by utilising cross-functional project teams who have then succeeded with bigger achievements.

Q What would you list as your company’s most meaningful contribution to employees in the last 12-18 months?

HR digital transformation is necessary to harmonise employee data in a single source and enable managers to manage their HR-related matters, such as faster approval. Our focus is on enhancing the employee experience, providing efficiency, and equipping our managers and HR team to have reliable data and an attractive analytics platform to support decision making. Despite having to adjust to new ways of working during a pandemic, we adopted technology to ensure everyone is well supported and stays connected.

Q What are some challenges you've had to overcome, both as a CHRO and as a people leader, and how did you get past them? What was your biggest learning?

During the HR digital transformation process, there will always be resistance and challenges. One of them is helping the employees to adapt to the new technology. We took some initiatives to encourage smooth technology adoption by delivering tailored training for groups of employees and facilitating this for senior business leaders.

To face a competitive business environment and disruption 4.0., HR leaders should be digital-tech savvy and agile enough. We always have to improve our capability and knowledge in business acumen, learn how to manage a multi-generational workforce, have good analytical thinking, and finally, be proactive, flexible, and responsive to the ever-changing employee needs.

Above those, we still need to be able to maintain the balance between the company's perspective and the employee’s perspective.

HR should focus on building the culture and exercising talent management practices where people can feel empowered, trusted, and objectively rewarded.

Q Onwards and upwards! Can you share some highlights of your year ahead in 2022, and what your workforce can look forward to?

The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on the future of work. We need to constantly observe how these trends alter our internal HR policies, strategic goals, initiatives, and also what longer-term workforce adjustment is required.

Some of the trends that we have studied are:

  • The future of office work is hybrid. Companies that don’t offer flexibility will face a disadvantage in attracting and retaining their talent.
  • Work-life balance and burnout will be interesting discussions related to the workplace and company culture.
  • Internet and social media have opened up so many new business and career opportunities. People can earn an income not only by working for a company. How can we win the scarce talent competition and retain them?
  • What will be the best way to train the employees in the future? How do they communicate? How do they develop relationships among team members? How are they being evaluated and having performance dialogues effectively with  managers? How do employees onboard effectively?

In accordance with that, we found a high interrelation between the use of automation/technology and employee engagement in our company. Our focus for years ahead should be on improving our employee experience, upskilling our workforce, and reshaping our work culture in order to make a sustainable workforce of tomorrow. 

Q Bring out your crystal ball - 10 years down the line, where do you see the future of HR?

The past two years have been a challenging situation for the field of HR. We’ve been trusted to manage a multigenerational workforce within the pandemic COVID-19 situation. We have had to modify workplace plans and design new working models, following the inconsistency of government policies and regulations.

Due to these conditions, the HR landscape is ever-changing as new trends continue to emerge. The nature of work and employee experience have taken on a new shape and meaning. We are faced with new ways of working such as the further use of AI through the HR system, hybrid office-home working, and other continual innovation in HR technology.

In response to that, as HR leaders, we should have the capability to be a strategic consultant, understand and work with data analytics, and provide recommendations for business leaders in regard to human resource aspects.


Image / Provided

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