Profile : HR Key for New GM; Tom Hart Has Been Appointed General Manager for Consulting Firm Sheffield, Freeing Up Christien Winter from Her Role as Managing Director to Allow Her to Resume Full-Time Consulting Work

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Byline: Ellen Read

Tom Hart has a sales and marketing background in the pharmaceuticals sector, rising to managing director of Astra and Astra Zeneca New Zealand and into the same position in Malaysia/Singapore, which he held from 2002-2006. He has a strong affinity for the human resources function and its contribution to organisational health and performance and this is a focus he is keen to retain at Sheffield. He believes that while the delivery of business targets needs to be based on appropriate strategy and execution, the key to sustained success is ensuring the business has the right people operating in a performance-oriented culture.

"This means the selection, development, leadership, motivation and reward mechanisms for people in an organisation are just as important as having the right business strategy. And the internal environment needs to encourage open and frank discussion about the business within an accepted values-based framework."

The demands of a motivated workforce are changing, and one of the best ways to keep talent engaged, especially young people, is through personal development opportunity, he says.

"New Zealand hasn't seen the sharp edge of the talent drain yet compared with experiences in parts of Asia. The early signs are there, in the drift to Australia and other countries. But in the next 10 years it's going to get much harder for businesses to resource themselves adequately. If organisations don't arm themselves with a talent-retention strategy, they will see such losses happening over and over again, with the potential for significant business erosion."

The starting point for successful staffing is ensuring you have the right people in your team or business, is to make sure you are very clear about what you want before you start recruitment, Hart says.

"Be very clear about competencies, behaviours and styles of operating before you start the search.

"Once you have the right people, getting the right strategies is much easier."

Hart believes key attributes for today's managers include being persuasive, enthusiastic, engaging and able to communicate.

Having worked in many countries, he has first-hand experience of leadership across borders. …