This month we meet with Sarka Zimova who is the Group HR Manager at Intelligent B based over in UAE. We find out who inspires her, what she’s most proud of and her tips for adapting to a modern workforce.

Who or what inspired you to get into HR?

I honestly don’t think there was something or someone that inspired me.

But if I would be looking at who influenced me most when it comes to people, it would be my grandfather.  He was a very well respected person and somebody people were coming to for advice and help as he treated everyone with respect. And I always wanted to be like him – someone that people trust and come to for advice. 

Number of years working in HR?

I have been working in HR full time since November 1999. First in learning and gradually moving to staffing, professional development and general HR. So quite a long time. 😄

How would you describe the best culture’ you’ve worked in?

The best culture in my view is one that is open and collaborative. One that encourages you to learn and grow and where you feel supported. Where mistakes are not mistakes but learning opportunities. And where you feel trusted and respected. 

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

For me it is about people so when people tell me they feel safe with me as their HR Manager, that is my proud moment as I have been able to support them and create an environment where they feel supported and can concentrate on delivering the best and not to worry about the workplace. 

What’s the most innovative thing you’ve done as an HR professional?

The most innovative thing was to introduce preference based staffing as it brought another level of complexity to the resource allocation but it yielded very good results. 

How have you developed Talent in previous roles?

We were developing talent through formal, informal and on the job training, coaching, mentoring and role modeling. In a group setting or individually based on the needs of the specific employee.

What are the most significant changes to have happened within HR in the past year?

You see the role of HR changing from support function to a function that is integral part of the business. Digitalization and the latest development in the technology changes the way how many processes in HR are done. For example learning is moving to virtual learning and bite sized mobile learning. And generally you see HR moving from just processes and forms to more “human” centric function. 

What’s your worst faux pas on the job?

My approach is that it is a learning not a faux pas but if I should name one, sending an email to a client that had the same name as my colleague would be one. 

The workforce is changing rapidly. What is your top tips for adapting well to a modern workforce? 

Never stop learning. Be curious. Push yourself to be on top of the technology.  And remain human.


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