Invest in Self-Development to Succeed

Tips for a budding L&D/HR professional?

If you really want to succeed in HR, then try and get a holistic view of the business.  Even if it means taking up some non-HR/L&D role for brief while, it will help a great deal to get business perspective on HR function.  I personally believe that it is important for HR to understand the business in order to do justice to the organization and to the profession as well.  In the long run it will help you to get the seat on the table. 

Be extremely passionate about people.  

A good HR professional is expected to put employees/management interest ahead of her/his personal interest. To do that, genuinely needing others to succeed makes a professional authentic and credible.

To what extent an employee’s performance is dependent on the manager?

I wouldn’t dare to make a judgement on a topic like this without scientifically evaluating the hypothesis either ways.  I am not sure if there are already research reports evaluating this.  However, many research reports do believe that employees’ engagement in an organisation can be largely attributed to a manager’s actions and behaviours.

How can an HR/L&D contribute strategically to the organisation?

In order to contribute strategically to the organization an HR professional may have to

  • Understand the business
  • Spend time with the business to understand their priority
  • Share people perspective with the business in their meetings when invited
  • Manage stakeholders and team effectively
  • Learn to work with data efficiently

One HR/L&D practice that has always worked for you as an HR. (share an example)

One L&D practice that has always worked for me as an HR is investing in self-development.

Self-development for me means, updating myself on various topics regularly, acquiring new skills and sharpening my attitude.  If I retrospect, the projects where I or my team has failed is when we ignored the importance of learning agility. 

Few years ago, I moved from financial service company to a pharmaceutical company.  I was a subject matter expert in financial service organization, however I had no qualification in pharmaceutical.

Hence, I had to spend first few months in learning about how a pharma company works.  What does the organisation manufacture and sell?  What are the different revenue streams?  Pharma company’s business model? What does the research team do? Etc.  I did that by interacting and listening to different stakeholders in the organisation keenly.  Though this wasn’t a part of my role brief, this helped in engaging with different stake holders better and my success in that organisation.

Do you think robots can replace HR/L&D professionals in the coming decade?

Yes and No. Robots/bots/AI/ML will replace HR/L&D professionals in all the transactional tasks that the function does.  For instance, the entire L&D operations can be fully automated.  In talent acquisition to a large part sourcing can be automated.

However, robots will not be able to replace human element of HR in the next decade or so. 

For instance, I don’t believe behavior change can be impacted effectively by any machine.  Facilitators/coaches will still be needed. It is unlikely that an individual may go to Alexa/Siri for counselling. 

Disclaimer: The responses to the questions are solely the views of the interviewee as a professional and do not reflect that of the Organisation he/she works for.

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