‘Empowering HR is secret to success’

From left, Josephine Mesta, Hyatt Regency Saipan Human Resources director, SHRM West divisional director Kon Decoteau, Hyatt Regency personnel officer Penny Jones, and Hyatt Regency Learning manager Denise Montenegro. (Bea Cabrera)

The promotion of business success in a global workplace by empowering the company’s human resources management was discussed at the special meeting of the Society for Human Resource Management held yesterday at Charley’s at the Pacific Island Club Saipan.

According to SHRM West divisional director Jon Decoteau, human resources has evolved into being more than an administrative department in a business.

“HR is a true business partner. They need to understand how the business operates, how it makes money, how they should treat customers, position itself in a competitive landscape, and understand what the people component of that is. At the end of the day, HR is beyond the administration of just filling up positions but really going out and finding out what’s the pool of talent that we need,” he said.

“Employers in businesses realize that the only way to win in the workplace today is to make sure that you are finding the best talent, you are engaging the people that you are working with, and that you are developing them. I think the path for that to happen is through HR,” Decoteau added.

Decoteau said that for CNMI businesses to be more competitive locally and globally, management should approach HR and personnel development in a financial component point of view.

“A lot of large companies have done to really win in the global space is like they have the financial component. It will take time to come up with a business strategy and determine the financial implications of those strategies are. Many large corporations do that with people,” he said.

“They need to focus what type of talent they are going to need and who are the types of people who will most likely to get promoted to new opportunities. You need to strategically look at your operations and make decisions around people just like what you do from a finance standpoint,” he added.

According to Decoteau, a company that has a successful and aggressive growth and is able to sustain this for over 5-10 years has a strong HR behind it.

“If you look at the tech companies that are in the valley (Silicon Valley), they bring in really sharp HR professionals to hire and retain personnel, and create a workplace where you throw out the rules that get in the way of people, get effective and making sure that they comply,” he said

Decoteau said that an effective HR department is one that has to have an understanding of human resources either academically or through a on the job experience.

“One of the greatest failures of organizations is they do not believe that HR is important. You need a person that specializes on talent and people. People wait too late or maybe they don’t hold the bar high enough for HR professionals. Businesses look for an administrative person as opposed to somebody who can look at it in a strategic way and help them attain their business goals,” he said

“I think that you need to have a nose for business. You need to understand how a business makes money,” he added.

CNMI SHRM plans to open the Student SHRM chapter and as a start, a meeting is set to talk to the students of the Northern Marianas College.

According to Decoteau that this move will knit the students in with the National SHRM where there are about 300,000 members around the world in about 110 different countries.

“It exposes the students in the career of human resources to see if they would be interested. It helps provide the students an avenue and a connection of the local chapter to talk to other HR professionals on what they do and also sets up a pipeline of talent for HR opportunities in the future,” he said.

Decoteau said that the CNMI’s growing economy and flourishing workforce goes well with the personal development of people.

“I love coming to places that have a vision for the future and are executing on it. My observation in the short time that I am here is that I see a lot of growth and potential. That’s pretty exciting. At the end of the day, people who are working and developing themselves, make better individuals, make better parents, they provide for their families and children and ultimately, make stronger citizens,” he said.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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