Dr Roze Phillips joins the 2022 CHRO Awards judging panel

The multi-talented value creator is acutely aware of the strategic role that CHROs play.

Dr Rozett (Roze) Phillips has joined the 2022 CHRO Awards judging panel. She currently holds the role of director and adjunct faculty at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and was recently announced as a non-executive director at Netcare.

Roze took some time out of her busy schedule to answer CHRO SA’s questions on being part of the revered judging panel for this year’s CHRO Awards.

Q: What attracted you to becoming a CHRO SA Awards judge?
A: CHROs are the largely unsung, mostly forgotten selfless heroes of the corporate world. It is indeed a privilege to be asked to add my voice to an esteemed panel there to select, but also honour, the best of the best for their service, leadership, excellence, innovation and stewardship.

Q: Why are HR leaders worthy of recognition for the role they play in companies?
A: As a previous CHRO myself, I am acutely aware of how strategic a people leadership role is. After all, the strength of an organisation lies with its employees and unlocking their potential is key to unlocking organisational growth.

Q: How do you see the CHRO role evolving in the next few years?
A: More and more businesses need to adapt to thrive in a digital, post-pandemic, green world where building resilience starts with accepting uncertainty and brittleness. This will straddle profit and purpose, productivity and psychological safety, company wealth and employee health, capital and culture as well as earning and learning.

As such, the role of the CHRO will equally have to evolve to one that advocates for continuous learning, creates new agile ways of work and work models, enables remote and hybrid work, drives culture change, optimises employee experience and wellbeing, and develops future fit leaders in a purpose driven organisation – all the while leveraging technology, people data and analytics.

Q: What skills will HR leaders require in future?
A: I don’t like to distinguish between CHRO skills and that of other C-suite executives. Of course each discipline has its technical competencies that it requires excellence in. But for the rest, all leaders need to be digitally savvy, analytical and critical thinkers, curious and creative innovators who are not afraid to question the status quo. Above all, leaders need to be optimists and learners who aspire to broaden their multiQ (cognitive, emotional, diversity, cultural, and generational intelligence) for the benefit of their organisational shared value and sustainable growth.

It is about skills, behaviours and mindsets. And for me, unless you change mindsets, you cannot change the organisational narrative, and if you cannot change the organisational narrative, change and transformation are always short-lived.

Q: Do you have any advice for the CHRO SA Awards nominees this year?
A: Have a foot in today and a foot in tomorrow. The people agenda cannot just be about optimising productivity. Just as you count the value employees add, also count what they value. Use your seat and your voice at the exco table to advocate, inspire, empower and transform. Above all, as a role model and human capital steward, instead of trying to be superhuman, aim to be superbly humane with competence, confidence, compassion and caring.

About Roze
Roze is the former group executive: people and culture for Absa Group Limited where she was also a member of the board social and ethics and remuneration committees, spearheading the human capital and culture transformation agenda across the group.

Prior to joining Absa, Roze was with Accenture for 18 years. She holds a bachelor of medicine and surgery (MBChB), a master’s in business administration (MBA), both from the University of Cape Town, and a postgraduate diploma in futures studies from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.