HR on the agenda at inaugural conference

Forty-six people attended the conference, which was held at Pacific Adventist University.

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Leaders from the South Pacific Division (SPD) office conducted the first-ever Human Resources (HR) conference for the Papua New Guinea Union Mission from February 5-9.

The event, held at Pacific Adventist University, brought together 46 participants representing all the church entities in Papua New Guinea, including mission secretaries, school principals and HR administrative staff.

Themed “HR on Purpose: God’s Purpose, Our Passion”, the conference emphasised the importance of intentional HR practices aligned with God’s mission and fuelled by individual passion.

New Britain New Ireland Mission secretary Pastor Richard Koroi said the conference has helped to focus his attention on employee wellbeing.

“All in all, I would summarise to say that we put our employees first and the employees will give their best to the organisation,” he said.

For Janet Wambillie, administrative assistant at the Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission, the training has helped her to see people as reflections of God’s image.

“I see that our work is to put in order all records of staff, and in whatever we do, we must always have the workers’ welfare taken care of,” she said.

“Team-work and spirituality of workers matters in this regard as everyone plays their part in the smooth running of the work in each Mission.”

Western Highlands Mission secretary Pastor Solomon Paul said the program has helped to refine their approach to HR management.

 “We have learned to do it more prudently and better than the traditional practice,” he said.

The conference was organised by SPD HR manager Lyndel Smith and People Services manager David Potter working with PNGUM leaders Pastor Leonard Sumatau (secretary), Pauline Yorio (under-secretary) and Elvis Wagi (HR manager). It covered a range of topics including “The Strategic HR agenda”; “Playing to your strengths”; “Procedural fairness and discipline”; “Managing grievances”; and “Performance appraisals”.

Mrs Yorio said she greatly appreciated the positive responses from every attendee. “The results show that they valued the importance of having HR in their local missions/conference, entities and institutions,” she said.

“Their participation and valued contributions reflect the eagerness to learn in this area of responsibility.”

SPD secretary Pastor Mike Sikuri, leadership strategy leader Dean Banks and legal counsel Igor Radonjic were among the speakers. The SPD team also conducted the Sabbath school and church service at Korobosea church on Sabbath, February 10.

Plans are now being made to hold a similar conference in the Trans Pacific Union Mission.

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