Article: Amit Malik shares why HR needs to embrace agility, empathy, and data in 2024


Amit Malik shares why HR needs to embrace agility, empathy, and data in 2024

Amit Malik of WadzPay Worldwide unpacks critical trends shaping the future of HR. Discover his insights on navigating the challenges of remote work, talent acquisition, and building a future-proof HR strategy.
Amit Malik shares why HR needs to embrace agility, empathy, and data in 2024

In our mission to spotlight and celebrate forward-thinking HR leaders, we are delighted to present an exclusive interview with Amit Malik, President - Japan, Asia Pacific & Australia at WadzPay Worldwide. Amit boasts over 24 years of dynamic experience in financial services and fintech, with a proven track record in business transformation, growth strategy, change management, and leadership development. As a jury member for the People Matters and Aon 'Are You in The List' 2024 awards, Amit will play a crucial role in recognising emerging HR talent and fostering a culture of innovation and inclusion.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

With your extensive experience in both financial services and fintech, how do you perceive the evolving role of HR leadership, particularly in the context of rapid technological advancements and changing workforce dynamics?

The evolving role of HR leadership in the face of rapid technological advancements and changing workforce dynamics is critical, especially in industries like financial services and fintech. As a leader with experience in both sectors, I believe HR leadership must adapt by becoming more strategic, data-driven, and forward-thinking.

Firstly, HR leaders need to embrace automation and AI tools to streamline processes, enhance recruitment efforts, and improve employee experience. By leveraging technology, HR can focus on strategic initiatives such as talent development, succession planning, and diversity and inclusion programs.

Secondly, with changing workforce dynamics, including the rise of remote work and the gig economy, HR leadership must prioritise flexibility and agility. This means reevaluating traditional HR policies and practices to accommodate diverse work arrangements and ensure that employees have the support they need to thrive in non-traditional work environments.

By embracing innovation, fostering flexibility, and prioritising talent development, HR can drive organisational success in the new-age workplace.

Drawing on your experience in business transformation and growth strategy, what strategies do you believe are essential for HR leaders to navigate organisational change and foster a culture of innovation?

Based on my experience, HR leaders can play a critical role in driving organisational change and fostering a culture of innovation that enables businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace by implementing the following strategies:

  • Clear Communication & Transparency: HR leaders must communicate openly with employees about the reasons for change, its implications for them, and how it aligns with the organisation's goals. Transparent communication builds trust and ensures employees feel informed and engaged throughout the process.
  • Change Management Expertise: HR leaders should possess strong change management skills to effectively lead their teams through transitions. This includes understanding the stages of change, addressing resistance, and providing support to employees as they adapt to new ways of working.
  • Empowerment & Ownership: Fostering a culture of innovation requires empowering employees to contribute their ideas and take ownership of driving change. HR leaders can facilitate this by creating opportunities for collaboration, providing resources for innovation initiatives, and recognising and rewarding innovative behaviour.
  • It's Okay to Fail, But Fail Fast: To foster a culture of innovation, HR leaders must create an environment where employees feel empowered to take risks and experiment with new ideas. This requires shifting the mindset around failure and viewing it as an opportunity for learning and growth rather than a setback.
  • Cross-functional Collaboration: Innovation often thrives when diverse perspectives come together. HR leaders can facilitate cross-functional collaboration by breaking down silos and creating opportunities for employees from different departments to work together on innovation projects.

The 'Are You in The List' awards emphasise a rigorous evaluation process. From your perspective, what advice would you offer to HR professionals navigating this process, particularly concerning cognitive, personality, and functional assessments?

Here's some advice to consider : 

  • Deep understanding of the Evaluation Criteria: Begin by thoroughly understanding the criteria set by the awards. This typically includes leadership qualities, innovative approaches to HR challenges, and the impact on organisational culture. Tailor your preparations to demonstrably align with these criteria.
  • Highlight Achievements with Impact: Focus on showcasing concrete examples of your achievements and their impact on the organisation. Whether it's implementing a successful talent development programme, driving diversity initiatives, or leading organisational change, emphasise measurable results and outcomes.
  • Showcase Relevant Personality Traits: Personality assessments may gauge traits such as resilience, adaptability, empathy, and integrity. Highlight experiences and examples that demonstrate how these traits have shaped your approach to HR leadership and contributed to your success in driving positive organisational outcomes.
  • Demonstrate Business and Organisation expertise: Briefly discuss the business, its revenue model, product lines, and future challenges. Then, showcase specific projects, initiatives, and strategies you've implemented to help the business address these challenges
  • Stay Authentic and Genuine: While it's important to prepare and present your best self, remember to stay true to your authentic leadership style and values. Judges appreciate genuine passion, sincerity, and authenticity in applicants.

In your role as a jury member for the 'Are You in The List' awards, what excites you about this opportunity to recognise and nurture emerging HR talent? How do you envision the role of HR leadership evolving in the coming years?

As a jury member, I'm genuinely excited by the prospect of discovering individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership, innovation, and impact within the field of human resources. What I'm most looking forward to is uncovering new voices, fresh perspectives, and innovative approaches that have the power to shape the future of HR.

The evolving role of HR leadership in the coming years will require a combination of strategic vision, technological acumen, empathy, and adaptability. By embracing these trends and challenges, HR leaders have the opportunity to drive meaningful impact, shape organisational culture, and empower employees to reach their full potential in the years to come.

Having won accolades such as the 'Business Icon of the Year' and 'Change Maestro Award,' what key lessons have you learned throughout your career that you believe are crucial for aspiring HR leaders to succeed in today's competitive landscape?

Winning accolades such as the 'Business Icon of the Year' and 'Change Maestro Award' has been a humbling experience. It has also provided me with valuable insights that I believe are crucial for success in today's competitive landscape.

  • Embrace Change and Innovation: One of the key lessons I've learned is the importance of embracing change and innovation. In today's rapidly evolving business environment, HR leaders must be agile, adaptable, and willing to challenge the status quo to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Develop Strong Leadership Skills: Aspiring HR leaders should focus on developing strong leadership capabilities, including communication, strategic thinking, decision-making, and emotional intelligence. Effective leadership not only inspires and motivates teams but also drives organisational success.
  • Focus on Impact and Results: Aspiring HR leaders need to focus on delivering tangible results and making a meaningful impact. Whether it's driving organisational transformation, improving employee engagement, or implementing innovative HR initiatives, HR leaders must prioritise initiatives that create value and drive business outcomes.
  • Build Strategic Partnerships: HR leaders cannot operate in isolation. Building strategic partnerships with business leaders, stakeholders, and external partners is essential for success. By collaborating closely with other functions and aligning HR initiatives with business objectives, HR leaders can drive meaningful change and contribute to organisational success.
  • Lead with Empathy and Integrity: Finally, aspiring HR leaders must lead with integrity, empathy, and a genuine commitment to the well-being of their employees. Building trust, fostering a culture of inclusivity, and demonstrating empathy are essential for creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to succeed.

Looking ahead, what do you believe are the emerging trends or challenges that will shape the future of HR leadership, and how can HR professionals prepare themselves to navigate these changes successfully?

HR professionals must equip themselves to navigate these changes successfully and maintain a competitive edge in this rapidly evolving landscape.

Key Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Return to Work vs. Remote Work: Striking a balance between the employer's desire for a return to the office and the employee's preference for continued remote work presents a significant challenge for HR leadership. This issue significantly impacts talent attraction, retention, and business operations. While hybrid models offer a short-term solution, a definitive long-term strategy will be necessary.
  • Digital Transformation: As organisations increasingly embrace digital technologies, HR professionals need to leverage data analytics, AI, and automation to enhance HR processes, improve decision-making, and deliver personalised employee experiences. This approach is crucial for remaining competitive.
  • Talent Acquisition & Retention: The intensifying war for talent demands innovative strategies for attracting, retaining, and developing top talent. This includes leveraging employer branding, implementing flexible work arrangements, and prioritising diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to create a compelling employee value proposition.
  • Skills Shortage & Upskilling: Addressing skills shortages and upskilling the workforce will be a top priority for HR leaders. HR professionals must identify emerging skill gaps, develop targeted training programs, and foster a culture of continuous learning to ensure employees possess the skills needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving labour market.
  • Employee Well-being & Mental Health: Employee well-being and mental health have become increasingly important considerations for HR leadership. Prioritising mental health support, creating a supportive work environment, and offering resources and programs to promote employee well-being and resilience are essential.

Preparing for Success:

HR professionals can take several proactive steps to prepare for these changing dynamics:

  • Continuous learning, networking, and professional development opportunities will keep you informed about emerging trends and best practices in HR leadership.
  • Develop digital literacy and proficiency in AI technologies to leverage data-driven insights and automation tools effectively.
  • Cultivate agility and expertise in change management to ensure effective partnerships with business leaders.
  • Build resilience and adaptability to navigate uncertainty within the dynamic market environment.
  • Foster a growth mindset and embrace lifelong learning to adapt to evolving challenges and seize opportunities for innovation and growth.

The evaluation process for People Matters Are You In The List powered by Aon is underway. If you are eager to know who the emerging future-forward HR leaders of 2024 will be, follow the #AreYouInTheList.

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Topics: Leadership, Leadership Assessments, #AreyouintheList?, #HRCommunity

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