What you need to know:
Hannah Magoola: Hannah Magoola thrives in situations that emphasise collective responsibility, gain and growth rather than stiff competition.
How did you get to where you are today?
I am here because of faith, hope and love. I have an intense loyalty to my work and personal relationships, a dedication to what I do with a tenacity that is at times annoying to those around me.
How have your personal strengths complemented your professional abilities?
I am a very analytical person and I try not to make assumptions about situations until I have done my homework. I am friendly and responsible. For example, to create practical organisational solutions, manage relationships at different levels and deliver outcomes that have a positive impact.
How have you used your position to bring the best out of those you work with?
I believe that we are only able to realise our achievements through the quality of our relationships and how we interact with others. In my work, I believe each person on the team is worthy and so unless they prove me wrong, I normally give my team independence to deliver their bit. A shared vision is critical and so I endeavour to clarify the strategic direction, targets and expected outcomes. .
To me, building trust, supporting each other, being accountable for our decisions and actions, and driving issues to the end, are very important.
How have you managed to deliver strategic value at work?
As a human resource practitioner, understanding the strength of the talent within the organisation is important.
What skills are needed to meet the business goals, and do we have them? If not, how do we source such skills and how do we ensure that when talent is sourced, people are managed with dignity, reward, and recognition to motivate them to deliver and stay. So, the times I feel that I have delivered strategic value are those when I was able to address specific organisational needs and design and implement relevant solutions.
When I, for example, set up the HR function for International Medical Group, that was borne out of a need I identified. It is the same approach I had for my work with Bank of Uganda or with African Development Bank. And this goes for interventions related to designing and introducing leadership development and other training programmes, streamlining systems and processes, creating partnerships, writing people management guidelines and introducing new functions, etc.
How do you envision the new working environment considering the effects of the Covid-19 crisis?
I think organisations need to be more flexible when it comes to employment policies and the structure of jobs. Remote work is certainly going to be critical in the future – giving employees the option to work from home or wherever.
At the same time, we need to be more attentive to maintaining social connections among workforces, mental health and managing remote or hybrid workforces. So, organisations will need to be adept at evolving their businesses, systems and processes and people management to survive.
Employees need to hone skills in self-leadership or leading others, being tech savvy, effective communication, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, data analytics have become critical.
What are your two cents on how an employer can get the best out of their teams under the new working environment?
Employers need to revisit the traditional models of managing teams. Getting the best out of people will take upholding the age-old good management practices and, in addition, staying in tune and meeting the emerging needs and preferences of employees.
We will need to invest more in building team trust and cohesion, providing avenues for better work-life balance or harmony, enhancing accountability, and supporting mental health, flexible working, and individual and organisational resilience.
What lessons has the Covid-19 pandemic disruption taught you?
On a work front, the pandemic taught me how important it is to be adaptable. It highlighted the importance of self-care and being able to fall or bounce forward.
I now evaluate what my purpose is more closely, striving to contribute where I have the most impact rather than simply filling time with activity. In my personal life, I am now more attentive to my personal needs and the unique journey that I am on as a human being.
How do you re-energise after a work day?
Yes, I experience stress or work pressure, but this varies depending on what is going on. I re-energise by reading or watching movies. I love writing too, though I do not do it as much. Walks, a drink or meal with friends and family, art, music, or shopping are my ways of relaxing. I love travelling but have not done it much.
What brings your alive while at work?
Working on an initiative that addresses a vital issue. I enjoy the co-creation of solutions with colleagues. Sharing knowledge, learning from others, or facilitating learning really energises me. I love it when there are moments of fun with colleagues even if it is with a goofy colleague – we should be able to enjoy work and enjoy environments that demand a lot from us but also enjoy light moments.
What work ethics do you uphold?
The topmost values for me are responsibility, accountability, honesty, excellence, respect, and dignity. I say this because for one to ably contribute, they need to take their responsibilities seriously and be accountable to deliver the expected results.
Respect and dignity are just critical because we are social beings and how we treat each other matters and shapes the culture of the organisation.
How do you spend your leave?
I mostly travel home or sometimes to other places of interest. I read, watch movies and eat. I eat more than usual during holidays because spending time with family or friends is usually around a meal.