How would you describe your current role to a HR outsider?
Through the work I do, I hope to see Gojek thrive as a learning organization one day. While my role is content specialist, my responsibilities include designing and developing learning initiatives that meet the requirements of the business and learners. I work closely with our business partners to understand the constantly evolving learning requirements across functions.
What is a common misconception about the work you do?
That content development doesn't take much time. Planning learning strategies requires multiple alignments and revisions with different stakeholders, and that takes time. Similarly, once the training modules have been confirmed, developing the materials involves planning the curriculum breakdown, interviewing subject-matter experts, getting the content vetted by relevant stakeholders, etc. - and that takes time as well.
How did you get started in your HR career?
My background is actually in journalism - I was in journalism (magazine publishing, strategic content development) for over 14 years before I joined the learning and development team as a content producer at a bank. Two years later, I found myself in the HR function at Gojek, with an expanded role that includes designing onboarding programs for new hires.
The transition was interesting and surprising to me - I never thought I would be in HR (not to mention have a mid-career switch), but I learned there are many similarities in terms of skills and principles. E.g.: having the passion of meeting and speaking with people, having effective communication skills, using storytelling techniques, empathising with the people I speak to and creating something that is relevant and engaging.
Describe the most impactful HR project you've personally worked on.
When the pandemic forced employees to work from home, there was a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.
The learning team scrambled to put together a curriculum with the sole intention of raising mental health awareness and improving our employees' state of mind during such unprecedented times. I felt very proud to be part of a team that genuinely cared for the wellbeing of our employees, and was able to use our expertise to roll out a learning curriculum in short time.
What is one HR/future of work trend or change you're not convinced will work for SEA startups?
Adopting sustainable work practices. Many SEA startups face pressure to prioritize short-term profitability and growth; because sustainability investments often don't yield immediate financial returns, SEA startups may not be convinced to allocate resources to this area.
Consumer preferences also play a part - in Singapore, for instance, there is a general reluctance from the public to adopt sustainable practices as they are deemed to be more costly. I am very passionate about sustainability, hence this is the one trend that stands up for me most.
What is one HR/future of work trend or change that you hope to see more of at SEA startups?
Again, adopting sustainable work practices. :) This needs to be prioritized by not only startups but every organization.
What is your favourite HR resource that you would recommend to this community?
"Diversity in the Workplace: Eye-Opening Interviews to Jumpstart Conversations about Identity, Privilege, and Bias" by Bärí A. Williams. It's truly an eye-opening book as it features interviews with individuals from marginalized groups and the challenges they face. Even though they are based in America, there is so much we can learn from their challenges.
Lastly, where are you based, and where would you take friends visiting your city for the first time?
Singapore. I would take them to a hawker centre like Maxwell Market, so they can try our cheap and awesome food like a true Singaporean!