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Suzette Lo, who grew up in the US, came to Hong Kong purely for work. Her teammates describe her as a direct and fair leader with high expectations. She told Human Resources that there is only one thing she needs on her desk for work: Coffee!

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Describe your year in three words.

Busy, supportive or empowerment, creative.

Busy: That one is probably more self-explanatory. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster year for everyone around the world. It is definitely a very busy year.

Supportive or empowerment: Given the pandemic, it is important that we empower employees to make their decisions that are best for them. We empower our people to decide where and when they should work. We ensure that they are in a good mental headspace as well. We asked managers to check in with their teams more often or come up with creative ideas to engage with their teams. For example, some of the team meetings start off with an ice breaker session or a team online game.

Creative: It is important for me and my team to anticipate various scenarios that impact our people and business so we are able to quickly respond.

What has been Deliveroo HR’s top priority this year?

Our people. Mental health and wellbeing are even more important this year. With the flexible working policy, we need to make sure that our people feel connected and are still aligned with the company goals, and managers are checking in with their teams. As we are a very social company, a lot of people socialise outside of the office. With the pandemic, we come up with creative ways to continue that fun element.

Has there been a moment when you felt overwhelmed as a leader since the outbreak?
I’ve never felt like it’s difficult to manage. I take it all with a smile. The reason why I love my job is that we are thrown curveballs. The ability to think on your feet, be calm and to think “So what do I do next?”... That is sort of what drives me.

Food delivery service apps are growing in demand. How do you make sure that your talent policies stand out from the others?
The selling point here is culture. We embed our 12 values in our recruitment process. Giving back to the community is a big piece of our culture. We have a policy where people can take a day off every year to volunteer a CSR initiative of their choice so if they are not able to join the activities we plan, they are able to do that in their own time.

Why is volunteering so important?
It is important to our people and us as a leadership team. We are ambassadors. We feel responsible to give back to the community. 

What is in store for HR in the next five years?

Analytics. Better systems, better tools. At the end of the day, HR is about spending time and talking to people. If HR has better tools, they have more time free up to actually engage with people.