Mirela Spagovic Director People & Culture Pakistan PMI | Exclusive Interview With H! Pakistan
Team H! Pakistan recently had the opportunity to interview the Director People & Culture Pakistan for PMI, Mirela Spagovic. From the challenges she has faced to all that she has learned in being in the position she is today, Mirela tells us all about her journey!
Q: What’s the best part for you about your career?
A: I am very privileged to pursue my dreams and my purpose. Very rarely I think about my career as I used to think in the past – roles and progression. What inspires me now is the opportunity to work with bright and creative people, extend my knowledge and experience and explore new horizons. The smoke free future inspires me as well – this is the biggest shift in the PMI history, and I am so proud to be part of that journey.
Q: Can you tell us about the challenges you face / have faced being the Director People & Culture?
A: I embrace every challenge as an opportunity for self-transformation. Being a new leader in a team, learning and adjusting to a new culture, establishing trust with my peers, managing employees’ expectations and new stakeholders, these are some aspects that inevitably will shape my future here.
Q: What have you found to be a drawback in the way things are handled for culture and people
A: In general, sometimes we may lose the focus and become too process-driven neglecting the fact that processes should serve the purpose not vice versa. On the other hand, management sometime forgets how important culture for the organization is or to quote the guru, P. Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
Q: How has the shift from Serbia been?
A: I cannot say I had the shift from Serbia to Pakistan as I spent last 4 years in our Operating Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.From the business perspective, it is a pleasure to work in the market, you are closer to the business and real-life challenges that employees may have, versus more strategic and theoretical work in the HQ.
From the private side, the hospitality and care here are so heart-warming. Greenery in the north is as beautiful as Switzerland.
Q: Any policies you’ve introduced to the company that have been received very positively?
A: Care and support we’ve provided during the COVID-19 pandemic were perceived very positively starting from virtual events and celebrations, well-being activities and care packagesto preserved employment.
We have just introduced our new practice on flexible working arrangements, and we are in anticipation of first learnings.
Q: Any changes you plan on bringing to this organization?
A: I have so many plans, but I am not important. Our employees should drive our changes, co-create programs with us and maximize their experience in our company. Our focus is on creating an environment where our employees can contribute their best, support each other, and drive the innovation and consumer-centricity needed to help us to achieve our vision of a smoke-free future.
Q: What kind of policies and rights should employees know and can expect from their HR department?
A: At PMI, we create a work environment where personal situations are understood, differences are valued, and everyone is treated with fairness and respect. We want our employees to feel supported, respected, and have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, regardless of their gender, age, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, disability, or any other diverse characteristic that makes them themselves, visible or invisible.
Q: What has this position/job taught you?
A: • Passion & Inspiration are important: I love what I do, and it inspires me to walk an extra mile.
• Knowledge is important: a new book or course, a new assignment, new experience, a new person that I meet. Knowledge makes us credible and relevant.
• Perseverance & Fun: nothing comes over night and if you do not enjoy, don’t do it
Q: Any advice for people who want to get into the same field as you?
A: Cicero said: “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself” ! The job is so rewarding and inspiring, but requires an open mind, constant learning and personal investment.