Sheena Minhas: Leading Human Resource Function with Passion

Sheena Minhas | Global VP HR and Talent Management ABB
Sheena Minhas | Global VP HR and Talent Management ABB

Flying on the horizons of success as a former Airforce Offer and mapping an efficacious odyssey as a Human Resource Professional, Sheena Minhas has excelled with a staunch leadership acumen and has been making an impact with a strong focus on strategic and operational improvements that enhance an organization’s performance.

She has a proven track record of leading international transformations for people management. She has experience in HR management and COEs in various business sectors, including Engineering, Automation, R&D, Marketing & Sales, and Shared Services.

Sheena has always excelled in her early career and continues to leverage technology for large-scale people processes in organizations. She also brings military lessons to the corporate world, leading with care, compassion, and collaboration. She strives for excellence as a leadership coach and consultant with a progressive entrepreneurial mindset.

In 2016, Sheena was ranked as one of the top 13 HR Influencers in APAC, and she remains committed to advancing her field. Overall, her expertise and skills make her a valuable asset to any organization.

The Commencement of Prolonged Excellence

In her early career, Sheena sought to challenge herself by applying for the initial batches of female fighter controlling selection process. She was one of the few selected for. After being commissioned as a Pilot Officer, she studied at the College of Air Defence to qualify as a Fighter Controller. She accepted assignments in remote locations as a keen observer and quick learner. She learned early in life to have the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.

Sheena volunteered to lead a convoy for low-level flying operations near the border and received commendations for successfully managing the operations. She learned a big lesson during her Air Force training, which was to “Keep Calm and Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.”

After completing her short service commission, Sheena decided to move to the corporate world and faced her corporate transformation with Honeywell, which was undergoing significant changes. She was excited to be part of the change and lead the transformation. She realized that HR is incredibly influential and has a significant impact, even though it may seem hidden from the non-HR world.

Since leading transformations, Sheena has moved to the position of Business HR to be closer to the customer and gain an outside-in perspective to make the function more impactful. As a leadership coach, she encourages leaders to own the people processes and embed all OD interventions in their daily workflow, holding them accountable with full support. This approach increased retention and engagement and directly contributed to business growth. Sheena has never looked back since and remains committed to making a positive impact in the corporate world.

Expanding the Horizons of Success

For the past decade, Sheena was working with ABB in various roles and has joined ST Microelectronics as Group VP HR and Head of Global Talent. She always strives to transform the organization towards better productivity, service, and customer satisfaction.

She is a continuous learner and avid reader. Most of her HR skills are practical approaches supported by different programs, from the London School of Economics to the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. She continuously upskills to keep abreast of the ever-changing People processes in the HR world.

As a Human Resource leader, Sheena’s success is significantly informed by having mastered mentorship as a military officer. She recognizes that no one person can have all the answers to every question and being humble and transparent builds trust. Having mentors and learning from them has always benefited her, and mentoring others is personally gratifying. It benefits the entire organization by fostering a culture of excellence in which employees are empowered to be their best, leading to predictable success outcomes.

Sheena’s commitment to learning, her practical approach to HR, and her focus on mentorship have contributed significantly to her success as a Human Resource leader. She remains passionate about making a positive impact, continuously upskilling, and building a culture of excellence in organizations.

Sheena has significantly impacted the HR function as a partner of choice to lead people transformation programs. Her military service has instilled in her a high sense of discipline, a strategic approach, and project management skills that keep completion in mind while empowering her team and making the journey exciting. Another lesson she has learned from the Air Force is to “Watch my Back and keep Communicating” to keep the team together and ensure project success. She has also been able to think differently during times of crisis, remain calm, and make the right decisions.

Advancing with the Technological Revolutions

Technology has always been an important aspect of HR processes in Sheena’s experience. As a technology-savvy HR professional, she has always leveraged new trends in people processes and enhanced engagement across the organization. She believes that empowering line managers and leaders with people processes in technology brings huge credibility to HR professionals and allows them to sit through discussions and strategy formulation rather than doing operational work all the time.

The HR function itself is undergoing a huge change, especially after the post-Covid flexing between its history as a support function and its future as a strategic partner. In her opinion, HR leaders need to drive more agile and fluid organizations, shift the role of business partners, and drive the employee experience, all with a clear leadership mandate. HR needs to shift its focus from a pure-process orientation to a customer journey approach, identifying the “moments that matter” for employees in their interactions with the company.

The Continuum of Brilliance

Sheena is currently transitioning into a new role with ST Microelectronics as Global Head of Talent and leading HR transformation programs. She plans to keep doing the roles that have the maximum impact and bring change leadership towards a more business-focused approach.

Indulging in the Pearls of Wisdom

She advises the next generation of aspiring HR leaders to first understand the business and its customers and how people processes can enable growth, profitability, and customer success. HR now has a center seat, and leaders are demanding that the HR function be partners in building strategic capability. Being authentic, having agility in processes, policies, tools, and being a role model for change will be key to having a successful career and a seat at the table.