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  •  Openlink Vol 22 Issue 1
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    Monisa Wan appointed new Head of Human Resources
    'Good communication is the key to successful teamwork'

    In November 2012, Ms Monisa Wan Siu-man took over as the Head of Human Resources. With more than 30 years of HR management experience, Monisa has always been dedicated to public service and contributed to her profession.

    Monisa believes that human resources management hinges on people. After many years in the field, she still thrives on interacting with others. Her office door is always open, and she warmly welcomes colleagues who pop in to talk to her. She has carefully arranged her office, with comfortable chairs, for this purpose. She thinks the Unit should serve as a bridge that enables staff of all levels to express their feelings freely, discuss matters and understand the University’s personnel policies.

    Monisa has worked in both the public and private sectors, mainly for financial institutions. Her desire to join the OUHK came from her admiration for university education and for the OUHK’s provision of ‘Education for All’ and flexible learning. Monisa set her immediate tasks as listening to her colleagues and getting to know the University’s regulations. She said, ‘I need to gain a good understanding of the situation and to collaborate with others to identify the options available, make an evaluation and propose a list of priorities for action. With these we can find room for improvement.’

    For example, improvements could include streamlining work procedures to enhance efficiency, fine-tuning the reward system to recognize staff contributions and enhancing learning and development programmes to enlarge the talent pool. Speaking metaphorically, Monisa said human resources management tools are like herbs in a Chinese medicine cabinet. The right diagnosis and combination of herbs would certainly help colleagues perform to their full potential and work as a team to achieve synergy.

    On the wall behind Monisa’s desk, there is a small plaque engraved with some words spoken by Michelangelo when he was 80 years old: ‘I’m still learning.’ This is her life motto, and it happens to capture nicely the idea of ‘lifelong learning’ advocated by the OUHK. ‘The world keeps changing, and it changes quickly. If we stop learning, we simply won’t be able to cope.’

    Monisa said she had started ‘learning’ long-distance running. Not really good at sports herself, she takes part in half-marathons to challenge herself and to have fun with her family. She hopes more recreational activities can be organized at the OUHK so that staff members can get to know each other better in a relaxed environment. ‘Mutual trust and work–life balance are keys to fostering good staff morale and successful teamwork,’ she said.

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