OCS ANZ has appointed Maria Steel to the newly created role of general manager HR across Australia and New Zealand.
With the two OCS country operations having recently been integrated under one umbrella, Steel’s newly created role sees her join the OCSANZ senior leadership team, tasked with overseeing and directing people processes, which equates to 5,600 people across both countries, and supporting the overall strategic direction of the business.
Steel said the OCS offering to customers centres around people.
“My role is about supporting the development of a sustainable company and driving growth by making sure we’ve got the right people in the right place, at the right time,” Steel said.
OCS said the creation of Steel’s role reflects OCS’ belief that investing in its people is paramount to sustainability.
It also supports the company’s strategic goal of becoming the most environmentally sustainable business in its sector by 2020 – which includes not only minimising the environmental impact of its operating model, but looking after team members, their families and the communities they operate in.
“Our clients are the focus of the business, but without good people, we can’t deliver. Through the likes of succession planning, training and development, career pathways, and talent recognition and retention, we can create a business that is here today and here tomorrow.”
Steel has extensive experience managing HR functions across multiple sites and regions within a variety of organisations, including asset and infrastructure/managed services, manufacturing, retail and professional services.
Moving to OCS from Pact Group, where she spent the last three years as national HR manager responsible for more than 3000 employees, Steel said the transition back to working in infrastructure and services management was an attractive part of the new role.
“It’s more ‘intangible’ compared to packaging, for example, but my focus on commercial solutions and having the opportunity to mould, shape and develop people’s behaviours, skills and aspirations, and helping them to be the best they can be, is critical to what drives me.
“Working within OCS across a variety of different industries and sectors, in close partnership with the operational side of the business, to build and implement people strategies is also something I’m looking forward to.”
Although the Australian and New Zealand operating markets differ, the company’s current transition and focus on people links them both in terms of overall direction and harnessing opportunities into new client markets and sectors, as well as growing within their existing client-bases.
“With any business going through change, all functions need to be supporting that transition and driving it. HR is part of that and this role gives me the ability to make sure the people strategies are in place to realise those new opportunities. It’s exciting to be a part of.”
Steel said a key challenge is around the attraction and retention of talent, which has been a particular focus over the past year.
“There will always be a challenge around attraction to the industry, which isn’t always seen as that ‘sexy’, but a key focus for us will be around retention of skilled staff and ensuring we have strategies in place so they feel valued and recognised as a core part of the business.”