HR Leads Business

Dec 19, 2018 | Virginia Engholm

HRCI Champion Profile: Wellington O’Neil Hepburn

HRCI Champion Profile: Wellington O’Neil HepburnWellington O’Neil Hepburn recently started as senior manager of learning and development/organizational development at Commonwealth Bank. He focuses on organizational development initiatives, and his portfolio includes performance management, succession planning and career pathing, as well as all training and development activities for the company.

Here are Hepburn’s thoughts on his career path in HR and his advice for others.

Who or what has had the biggest impact on your HR career?

My genuine desire to see people be better and live their best life possible (i.e. both professionally and personally). I believe that the human resources department is an enabler to support the organization. The company's greatest resource is its people, so we must have a love for people, their contributions, their concerns and their development.

How did HRCI certification help you and/or inspire you?

The SPHRi certification helped me on two levels. First, it allowed me to gain industry-leading, best practice HR principles in a concentrated, relatively quick and well-organized fashion. Secondly, it allowed me to achieve a major professional development to push my HR career along, but also improve myself personally. The SPHRi was some of the most interesting HR content I have read in years.

What is the greatest benefit of HRCI certification?

The greatest benefit is knowing that I have a strong base of HR knowledge that I can draw upon to drive positive change within my organization.

What advice would you give to future HRCI certification holders?

Do it! Professional and personal development will require you to make some sacrifices, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Review the certification framework, make the decision, develop a plan of action and complete your certification. It will be an investment in your career development that you won't regret.

What HR initiative at your organization are you most proud of?

Our internal career pathing program called "It's Up To You." Between 2017 and 2018, our learning and development department designed a very strong career pathing program to support internal mobility and succession planning across the organization. The program is still being rolled out, but the organization is excited about it — and, more importantly, it empowers team members to take charge of their careers, develop professionally and grow within the organization.

What does the future hold for HR?

The future of HR is to be an active "strategic business partner" who directly aligns with and supports all organizational/business goals. HR professionals need to understand the ever-increasing importance of supporting business priorities.

What’s your best advice for HR professionals?

Always remember never to settle. The field of business changes every day, and so too must we in human resources in order to continue providing value to the businesses we support. We need to stay on the cutting edge, and be innovative, future-focused and anticipatory.