Five minutes with… Antony Welton

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Vodafone HR Director Antony Welton says there is no such thing as a typical work day at the telecommunication company as each day brings the possibility of touring the country to meet staff and customers.

What does your typical work day look like?

“It is a cliché but I do not have a typical work day.  I have meetings with the Executive Team or with my own team, I visit many of our staff across New Zealand and I meet our customers and our suppliers regularly. I routinely conduct safety tours to ensure that our people know that we prioritise their health, well-being and safety.  I also get out to meet with our community and charity partners across the country, who work with wonderful young New Zealanders who have found themselves in hardship, disengaged or at risk.”

What are some of your HR highs?

“HR highs are usually the same as business highs – when we achieve great things for our customers, or launch products or services that New Zealanders enjoy, and I know that our people made that happen.”

What are some of the challenges and how do you deal with these?

“The challenges are always around making trade-offs between good ideas, or great projects from different teams.  I am also Chair of the Vodafone Foundation that has invested in young New Zealanders for over 10 years now. We always have more requests and great projects submitted to us than we can afford to fund!”

Have you always worked in HR?

“I have always worked with people! I have been fortunate to work in many different roles and functions. I started in consulting as a psychologist, moved to HR and have worked in strategy, finance, marketing, customer service and back to HR. In fact I have always moved in and out of HR throughout my career.”

What is the most important lesson you have learned over the course of your career?

“Say yes to opportunity, especially when you are young.  Always treat others how you want to be treated yourself.”

What’s your favourite thing you love about your job?

“When people at Vodafone tell me they love their jobs.”

How do you see the role of HR changing in the future?

“HR is developing into a strong function that is recognised for its expertise and skill and therefore respected for its challenge and perspective on the business. Our expertise is getting more and more important as businesses grapple with how to raise productivity and I see us deepening our expertise in how to impact business performance, and individual productivity.”

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