Sat | Sep 23, 2017

HR experts want cultural intelligence to shape performance

Published:Wednesday | October 26, 2016 | 10:00 AM
From left: Michael Williams, executive director (acting), Mona School of Business and Management; Sharon Hay-Webster, senior adviser, Ministry of Education, Information and Youth; Ingrid Emmons, human resource director, Sandals Group; and Karl Williams, president, The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, pose for the camera.

In today's global economy, human resource professionals, managers and employees work with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds daily. This diversity can pose important questions as to how organisations can use it to achieve its goals as well as creating a warm and nurturing environment for employees.

The Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ), in collaboration with Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), recently commemorated the fourth annual human resource lecture, 'Cultural Intelligence, Shaping a High Performance Workforce' at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

The lecture focused on the importance of HR in the organisation, successfully utilising HR tools and other HR concepts such as cultural intelligence, core and flex, featuring guest lecturer Ingrid Emmons - human resource director, Sandals Group. According to Emmons, the concept 'core' represents values while 'flex' represents the ability to adapt. A strong core makes for a deliberate flex when examining the expectations of employees and business based on role and function.

 

Unique challenges

 

She added that HR personnel experience unique challenges in ensuring that the core of the organisation matches with the core of the people they choose to hire.

She believes that once the core of an organisation aligns with the core of staff, then there would be interest and drive to work and complete tasks. President of the HRMAJ, Karl Williams, said constant improvement is what causes positive changes in the work environment.

"HR is the core of the organisation. We should be able to champion change. We have to engage collaboration and commit to change and improvement. As HR professionals, we have the policy manuals and we have to constantly make an effort to avoid creating "precedences", said Williams.

The event, which was sponsored by LASCO, saw UWI students, staff, faculty and HR personnel across industries in attendance.

HRMAJ and MSBM have had a long-standing partnership that explores the practices in human resources management in theory while also providing the opportunity for practical exercises that benefit students. One of these partnerships is the HR student club, where students and practising human resource professionals met regularly to impart the values of the profession and also provide professional help and guidance.