Workday Podcast: Lessons in HR Transformation From AirAsia

Because of the pandemic, HR leaders have been forced to redefine their roles—and their workforces—from the inside out. In this episode of the Workday Podcast, Bilal Waris, head of HR center of excellence and operations at AirAsia, joins us to talk about this reexamination and his reflections on our recent global survey of senior leaders.

Audio also available on Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

“Generally, as a business manager, you make a strategy and you say, ‘OK, what workforce do I need for my strategy?’” says Bilal Waris, head of HR center of excellence and operations at AirAsia. “[During COVID-19] that suddenly changed to, ‘What strategy is possible with my workforce?’”

This shift, Waris says, has “elevated the role of HR and united the relationship between HR and business.” In light of this, how are today’s HR leaders transforming their organizations for a new world of work? And what innovations has this enabled for the office of the CHRO? 

In this episode of the Workday Podcast, Waris joins guest host Megan Wright, senior editor at Longitude, to talk about how HR leaders are redefining their roles—and their workforces—from the inside out. 

Below are a few highlights from the conversation, edited for clarity. You can find our other podcast episodes here. Be sure to follow us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts so you don’t miss an episode.

  • “There’s a golden triangle of relationship that is coming up between the CIO, CFO, and the CHRO. I think for any transformation agenda that’s on the table, if that golden triangle doesn’t come into play, I see the transformation going through the cracks.” —Bilal Waris 

  • “Research showed that 56% of HR leaders say there’s a growing gap now between where their business is today and where it needs to be for this new world of work.” —Meg Wright

  • “COVID or no COVID you’ve got to meet your business objective, you’ve got to run your show. So for us to really understand what employees are going through, especially when they’re working from home, is a completely different lens as compared to before. I think the relationship has transformed into being more sympathetic and empathetic toward them.” —Bilal Waris 

Stay tuned here for more findings and the full report: “Closing the Acceleration Gap: Toward Sustainable Digital Transformation”; we’ll also share more persona-specific findings for the office of the CFO, CIO, and CHRO.

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