Swati Singh | Senior HR Manager | PepsiCo India
What made me choose HR and enjoy each moment of my journey as an HR professional is the power of HR as the only function to touch every part of an organization, from the highest authorities in the board to the people on the shop-floor. In a world where the working population spends more than half of their waking hours at the work-space, HR as a function has the opportunity to make a significant difference to people’s lives. Being an HR gives me the opportunity to help employees reach their full potential and nurture people right at the start of their careers. The HR function stands tall as pillar of integrity in a corporate world full of uncertainty and grey areas. Being an HR professional gives a person the opportunity to build a value driven culture which is more evolved than the system it operates in.
Points of differentiation
In my 5 years of experience with PepsiCo, all roles that I have handled have been very business focused and provided me with a unique set of learning and deep understanding of business. From being the HR Head for an independent business with a team of four reporting to me in my first role to being the Sales HRBP for the whole of South Region and then moving in as the first Female Plant HR Manager for the biggest plant of PepsiCo in a multi-union set-up, I have done roles that tested my mettle and were never done by a person of my age and experience at PepsiCo.
In these roles, I have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to drive critical interventions for the organization like the merger of the Lehar business, go-to-market transformation and restructuring of the sales organization, the largest VRS in the history of PepsiCo etc. These unique set of experiences, the deep understanding of business, the ability to stretch and handle large, complex roles and a strong stakeholder connect is what differentiates me as an HR professional.
Biggest Talent Priority to solve
In the VUCA world that we operate in, it is imperative for us to break through our traditional talent management approach and look at providing unique employee experiences that create the right context for a tailored employee-organization bonding. In the current war for talent and ever increasing skill gap, we need to remember the importance of both external and internal talent. We need to revolutionize the way we recruit by looking at how do we best get the right talent at the right place at the right time at the right cost. An equal amount of focus needs to be put on engaging and retaining our key talent by moving out of traditional linear career paths and providing a more fluid career progression.
The one thing I will retain in HR
Continue being the employee champion, by maintaining connect with employees to act as the bridge between employees and leadership. Maintain the focus on emotional intelligence and empathy amidst the technological transformation that the world is going through.
The one thing I will change in HR
Start calculating the ROI on HR interventions by linking all HR initiatives to business results and productivity. This will help move HR from the current position of a support function or business partner to a real driver of business. All decisions need to be driven at the back of data and HR needs to develop a huge focus on data analytics.
Vision for HR's future growth
The HR function needs to keep evolving and let digitization touch each wake of employee experience. In the current war for talent, the rise of technology, increase of the contingent workforce, a multi-generational workforce, it is important that the organization succeeds in providing tailor-made experiences to create a sustainable employee-employer bond. HR has to start thinking like the product offering function rather than a service provider.