Elise Mann, Head of Human Resources, ANZ & APAC, Motorola Solutions, recognizes that, calling is “a significant achievement”, but what she really pins it down to is an ongoing commitment to uphold the team culture, employee wellbeing, and values across the board. However, she is fully-aware that it is necessary to take the HR function even farther. As such, Mann feels that there is a need “to keep building on the foundations” that the Singapore team and the wider HR function in Asia has laid.
Q Was HR a natural career choice for you? If not in HR, what is another career would you have chosen?
I started my working career in finance, but soon realized my true interest lay in leveraging human capital instead of balance sheets. If I wasn’t in HR, I would have liked to be a veterinarian. However, I was always better at accounting, economics, and computers at school than I was at chemistry, and sciences.
Q What was the most innovative HR campaign that you’ve worked on, and what was your biggest learning from that?
By far, the most rewarding and innovative HR work I have been involved in is in the mergers & acquisitions space. This has included performing due diligence, pre- and post-acquisition work, and developing a skill set that has allowed me to work on multiple projects in Chile, the UK, and Australia. Aside from learning the legal frameworks in other countries, I gained experience in culture & change management, and learned how both of these elements can impact organizations, individuals, and teams on both sides of the transaction.
Q On the other hand, what is the hardest decision you’ve had to make as an HR leader?
In a previous organization, I had to downsize my own team, which was by far the most difficult and emotionally taxing decision I have ever made. This gave me a much greater appreciation for our role in HR when supporting leaders and individuals during downsizing. People often say, “I don’t know how you can do this to me”. I try to help them to understand that it’s hard for both the person being made redundant and the manager involved