Steffina Lincy | Deputy General Manager - HR| Reliance Industries
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand”, it’s a quote that Steffina says reflects her philosophy in life, “I passionately enjoy my job, am constantly on the lookout to achieve new personal pinnacles of success, never cowering in the face of adversity while staying as kind as possible through it all,” she says.
Her early years of growing up in a cosmopolitan city and her father’s factory background nurtured her early interest in people, unions and HR. “I realized that I am intuitively strong when it comes to understanding social networks, making sense of seemingly unconnected interactions and enabling people. This led me to pursue something to do with ‘people’," she said. Steffina specialized in Human Resources right from undergraduation and she has since pursued a career in HR. In the course of her career, Steffina worked with multi national companies and gained the experience of navigating through complex M&As. She believes it's that mix of experiences that enriches her work.
HR structures and the new normal
“Employee experience should be re-designed to be effective as the new-normal-virtual-employee-engagement’ is here to stay. We have to adopt faster and more effective adoption of various social tools in the workplace along with non-traditional employee productivity monitoring tools. With the volume of HR technology adoption expected across all key people processes, every HR person must become tech savvy,” she said.
Leadership and crisis
When reflecting on the ongoing COVID19 crises and the impact of leadership on similar situations, Steffina noted three key traits that leaders should have:
“Empathy, resilience and caring, while leadership traits that are important in any situation, they are paramount to leading in a crisis. They are powerful qualities to be able to effectively reassure and energize the workforce toward a common objective during uncertain times.
Focus on self - To effectively lead through a crisis, it is also important for leaders to focus on themselves, their mental and physical well-being, in order to avoid burnout and lead in a sustainable manner.
Credibility - This pandemic has shown the severe damage that can be caused by misinformation spread by leaders. It is important for leaders in a crisis to be credible, rely on expert opinions and be thoughtful about the information being shared.”
The one thing I will change in HR
“Quoting policy and being rigid in our ways of working. The diverse workforce, uncertain times, the current shifts in ways of working, all call for agile HR leaders who can re-invent and be fluid about their people practices. We have to embed rapid decision making in our processes. This is an opportunity for us to transform.”
The one thing I will retain in HR
“Now more than ever, HR’s role as an employee advocate. These are trying times for everyone and employees should be able to look to their HR as credible advisors who can effectively listen to their issues with empathy and address them effectively. As an employee advocate, HR should continue to focus on enhancing employee experience, identifying gaps in the culture and people processes.”
Vision for HR’s future growth
“HR will need to take the driver's seat with building responsive organizations by designing organization structures around shared outcomes and less around rigid outdated roles and reporting lines. This will be key to organizations dealing with the current crisis and the recovery post crisis.” she notes.