‘HR should be critical enablers’ – Bayer ANZ’s head of HR

HRD Singapore spoke to Bayer ANZ's head of HR about workplace culture’s relationship with business operations, creating a shared vision, and building innovation.

‘HR should be critical enablers’ – Bayer ANZ’s head of HR
Isadore Payne, head of HR, ANZ, at Bayer, recently spoke to HRD Singapore about his career in relation to the greater industry – here's what he had to say.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?  

Partnering with your CEO – creating a shared vision is essential. If you don’t have sponsorship it will be a challenge. Getting buy in and winning the hearts and minds of people is key. Don’t focus on the rational – think about the heart and the human factor.

What challenges do you think HR will face in the next 10 years? 

I think the focus must be on agility: the world is becoming faster and changing at a rapid pace. The work itself that we do and the way we go about working will change profoundly in the next ten years in my view. The traditional workplace as we know it will change significantly – work is something we do - not specifically where you do it. This will have a knock on affect for how we look at employee engagement, culture and leadership.

What is the most interesting aspect of your role? 

My focus is to ensure Bayer’s ability to attract and retain the best talent in a competitive marketplace. I’m passionate about workplace culture as an enabler for sustainable business success and for us at Bayer that’s about building a culture of innovation. For me inspirational leadership is inherently key in creating the right culture. Providing the tools and an environment where leaders can unlock their true potential to motivate a workforce in an ever changing world is fascinating.  I’m interested in thinking differently about how we approach leadership and culture – that drives me every day.

What do you feel is your biggest professional achievement to date? 

I’m fortunate to have worked in many countries and cultures and have had the opportunity to work in transforming organisations and cultures for many companies. This has equipped me well for my current work at Bayer where we are building an innovation culture.

How would you sum up HR professionals in two words?

In the past I would have described HR Professionals as people focussed but process driven. Going forward I believe we should see ourselves as critical enablers for transformation.

If I weren’t in HR, I’d see myself working for a purpose driven organisation, perhaps leading a charity or NGO to better societal outcomes. I’m passionate about people and communities – making life better. 

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