How would you describe your current role to a HR outsider?
Involves overseeing and executing strategic initiatives related to the organization's workforce, culture, and human capital to drive overall business success and employee well-being.
What is a common misconception about the work you do?
Focused on HR administrative tasks and personnel management.
As HR professionals, we should be well-equipped to answer questions and provide accurate information to build trust. The second component is impact - we need to be able to articulate what’s in it for the employees and why they should care, making sure we address every concern through a structured process characterized by transparency and compassion in order to alleviate anxiety.
How did you get started in your HR career?
It comes with passion of people.
These are the two reasons why I chose my career path: my passion for teaching and my interest in working with people from different cultures. I hope to become a head of HR or a similar position someday, but it's not something I'm actively pursuing. It's just that people trust me to take on such a role, and I never asked for it. They asked me to help build the organization, and that's why I took the position.
For me, a title is just a title, but my mission is not about the title. I care more about the people who work within the organization, you know? Many startup employees have an entrepreneurial skill set. They already know what they are good at, but as the leader, I need to ensure that they are not only skilled in one area.
Describe the most impactful HR project you've personally worked on.
Connecting the dots to solve the unsolved problems.
As startups typically have to navigate uncertainty and disruption due to rapidly evolving market dynamics, continuous learning is key to helping employees not only adapt but also thrive in a startup environment.
Driven by resilience and grit, learning enables startups to make better-informed decisions, manage risks more effectively, and recover from setbacks more quickly. With a strong growth mindset, employees will be able to recognize the importance of upskilling themselves to enable them to expand or even change their roles in a fast-changing startup environment.
What is one HR/future of work trend or change you're not convinced will work for SEA startups?
The complete elimination of traditional office spaces in favor of fully remote or distributed workforces.
What is one HR/future of work trend or change that you hope to see more of at SEA startups?
Promoting diversity across all aspects of the workforce, ensuring equitable opportunities for employees, and fostering an inclusive environment can lead to more innovative and productive teams.
The type of support Southeast Asian startups need varies based on the unique context of each company. Generally, the cultural diversity of Southeast Asia calls for a culturally sensitive and inclusive approach built into the change management strategies.
What is your favourite HR resource that you would recommend to this community?
Lastly, where are you based, and where would you take friends visiting your city for the first time?