The role of an HR manager is to evolve toward playing a key role in supporting the managing director and members of the management committee. This support should be seen both in the application of the company culture and in employees’ level of commitment to projects. CEOs like their HR managers to focus more on carrier management tasks, on optimising training programmes according to the company’s needs, and on management coaching where human resources are concerned. The HR managers should implement principles of career management in order to anticipate the needs and expectations of the company. An individual development plan for each employee should be established, with conditions of both performance and experience put into perspective.
HR managers should be involved in all company decisions. The importance is revealed in the execution of a strategic plan being a key phase that is rather under-estimated and where the role of HR managers fully contribute to the development of the strategic plan. The success of such an execution can only be encountered with the full availability, commitment and support of HR managers. Should the HR managers be involved at the earliest stages, only then can he or she be able to provide professional support by recruiting the right people, by developing training courses, by relaying appropriate internal communication, by recommending the right career move to employees according to their talent and aspirations. At Total, our HR manager is part of all strategic decision-making as he is a member of the management committee.
The HR manager plays a central role in assuring that employee aspirations and company needs come together. A HR manager’s priority is to make sure that these two points form a balance that allows for the highest benefits to both parties at collective and individual levels. A company cannot perform economically without its employees performing both individually and collectively. The driving force of performance remains motivation. The role of the HR manager is to assure good working conditions, to develop company culture, to make sure equity and openness are present in wage policy, to be receptive to expectations, to communicate the company’s vision to employees on managerial values and management of human resources. Then, employees’ commitment can be mobilised toward a particular company project.
As an illustration of this approach, Total puts in place the MS Way concept around five principles that create efficiency:
a. “Think Total. The competition is outside”
b. “Trust and empower”
c. “Dare to say it…. respectfully”
d. “‘Yes and’ better than ‘yes but’”
e. “Need help? Ask for it”
The MS Way leads to an application of the principles transversely. Thus, we noticed in the results of our bi-annual satisfaction survey with employees, carried out in December 2015, that we increased the level of commitment (leadership, work organisation, efficiency and excellence), by six points, scoring a positive 79%.
I distinguish four main axis. The first is to assure smooth industrial relations and to develop positive social cohesion within the company. The second is to spread the company’s values and turn them into the DNA of the company. The third is to highly contribute to the company’s performance through career management, efficient recruitment, and training programme development, by being a real motivation booster through wage policy packages, work conditions and social events giving to employees the feeling of belonging within to the company. Furthermore, the HR manager, as all managers, should have his own balance scorecard with KPIs because we can only manage what we measure. Thus, the HR manager will be able to identify whether the process used is efficient and the key factors that lead to success, such as how many days are needed to recruit someone, how is the internal mobility when jobs are to be fulfilled, what is the participation rate of our employees to satisfaction surveys, and so on.
International careers are very much present within Total. Therefore, it is essential that Cambodians with high potential to become executives are offered the opportunity to work abroad to enhance their professional experience. When they are back in their country, they can share this new experience with the rest of the company. Those high potentials need to be identified as being able to live abroad, and adjust outside their comfort zone, in a different language. Due to lacking skills, expectations of turnover are high in emerging countries.
Yves Jassaud became Managing Director for Total Cambodia in September 2014. He has been with the Total Group for more than 30 years, of which 11 years were spent in Europe and Asia. In addition to his current position, he is also group representative of the Total Group for Cambodia.