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Human Resources

Medtronic HR Director deep dives into shifting workplaces and leadership trends: International HR Day

Health Industry Hub | May 20, 2024 |

People & Culture: Coinciding with International HR Day, Karen Newell, Senior HR Director for ANZ at Medtronic, joined Health Industry Hub to discuss this year’s theme and the evolving landscape of workplaces, leadership, and the workforce.

The pandemic has pushed the boundaries of people leadership, challenging even the most seasoned leaders. Reflecting on significant shifts observed during this time, Newell remarked, “It’s really challenging because we know that every individual is different and has different needs at different times. Leaders at all levels have to be agile and very comfortable with some ambiguity.”

The evolution of hybrid and flexible workplaces has produced mixed results across the industry, with some companies advocating for return to office policies. Addressing what flexible work arrangements should look like in a modern work environment, Newell noted, “One size doesn’t fit all. We’re thinking deliberately around if we bring people back into the office, what’s the purpose of them being there.”

The first publication of gender pay gaps for nearly 5,000 private sector employers complemented Australia’s first national strategy for gender equality, launched in March. Newell discussed how the government’s strategy aligns with Medtronic’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) objectives.

“Targets are a data point, and they hold us accountable for our actions to deliver to those targets, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about ensuring people are having a consistent experience, that they feel safe to speak up and genuinely feel valued as much as their peers,” she emphasised.

Looking ahead, Newell discussed reimagining the future of work over the next five years and how it could transform to offer greater value and meaning for employees, leaders, and businesses.

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