Mehak Syal | Regional HR Manager | GSK
Mehak has 7.5 years of experience in HR which has given her exposure to learn, innovate, and execute several projects in organizations with special focus on Business Partnering, Organizational Development, Rewards and Recognition, Employee Engagement, Talent Management and Change Management and Transformation. She is currently working with GSK as the Regional HR Manager, partnering with the commercial business across North and South India. Prior to GSK, she has worked with ITC Limited for around 5 years in multiple HR roles across different businesses and geographies. With ITC, she started her career as a Management Trainee post her MBA from SCMHRD, Pune. Prior to that, she worked with Nokia Networks for around 2.5 years, after her Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication.
What drives her most, is the passion to do something new, to build a sustainable legacy and most of all to create value in everything that she does. She is an avid mindfulness enthusiast who firmly believes in the concept of Ikigai.
"It is a lifestyle that strives to balance the mental, emotional and practical well-being. This balance is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs. And I found this balance for myself in HR," shares Mehak Syal, Regional HR Manager, GSK.
HR gives her the challenge of being a people champion in a world that is getting transformed everyday by growing technology advancements and automation.
Making a difference in the growth of organizations
One of the key reasons Mehak pursued her post-graduation and subsequently a career in HR is the immense untapped potential of this function to make a difference in the growth of organizations. Also, what she found immensely interesting in HR, was the combination of allied disciplines of sociology, psychology, economics, and engineering to solve complex problems that could have a lasting positive impact on the organization.
She shares that her biggest USP is emotional intelligence and being biased towards action. All of this coupled with the enthusiasm that she brings in everything that she does and an innate belief that there is always a solution, helps her to take on challenges and solve any complex problem.
Mehak says, “I build on my cognitive and emotional intellect with a thirst for understanding new HR research outcomes, staying connected with the current trends in human resources and becoming better at understanding self and others.”
Key talent priority: Becoming culturally agile
Rapid advancements in technology, changes in human expectations and the need for instant gratification are a few trends that are disrupting how we live and work. It is creating an impetus for the organizations to rapidly adapt. In such times, HR will have to take the lead with agility and sustain exponential value for the future of the organization. We will have to redefine and re-look at strengthening the relationship between the employee and the organization. One of the most important drivers in this relationship is the element of culture. We must become culturally agile.
The biggest talent priority for Mehak therefore will be to create a strong talent-culture alignment in the workplace.
"We can call it ‘Culture in Action’. Priority would be to identify what an organization envisions as its culture to support future growth, include the entire workforce to create their own culture code, enable each employee to live the culture, equip business leaders with the skills to drive culture change and close gaps in terms of Knowledge (employee is not aware of the culture), Attitude (employee does not believe in the culture) and Behavior (employee does not incorporate actions required by the culture)," shares Mehak.
With a focus on creating a strong talent-culture alignment in the workplace, let's read how she envisions the HR function to evolve.
The one thing I will change in HR
The digital age has introduced new technologies, and in doing so, has dramatically changed the organization’s and the employees’ expectations, which are more customized to an employee. Meeting these expectations has become one of the most critical elements when it comes to attracting or retaining the top talent. Therefore, HR will have to make a shift in terms of delivering experiences, from one size fits all approach to creating a tailored experience set by understanding what different employees’ value and delivering the solution when, where and how they need it.
The one thing I will retain in HR
There are good leaders who will get the best results for an organization and then there are great leaders who will go beyond that. They will inspire you, encourage you and enable you to be the best version of yourself. They will connect you to people and resources beyond your immediate sphere and expose you to the best opportunities to acquire experience, skills and capabilities at the time when they are needed. They will help you find meaning and value in your everyday work. We should therefore, continue to focus our efforts and energies into creating such great leaders with whom we can build a meaningful, impactful and an inclusive culture for the future of the organization.
Vision for HR's future growth
I can envision a future where we will see a massive shift in Talent – where work will revolve around portfolios of diversified roles performed in teams that dynamically resize and reform, and Technology – where new business value would be created that outpaces the value of automating existing tasks.
In this intersection between Talent and Technology, HR professionals will have to re-position themselves from not just being aware of the latest HR trends and technologies but to becoming workforce advisors and champion coaches and converting ideas into actions to support the future of work. HR will have to think of new ways to generate value, tap into new working norms, invest in employee experience design capabilities, promote digital dexterity and workplace strategies that enhance workforce readiness and equip employees with the skills, learning and tools needed for productively enhancement. Also, personalization of HR offerings will become agile and ongoing with HR regularly collecting the pulse of the employees to gauge how their preferences and needs are changing.