Tuesday Transformation - Gillian Foster
Who is Gillian Foster?
I am a resilient, dedicated, passionate and diverse Human Resources Professional with a keen interest in employee engagement and 10+ years of taxation experience. From an up close and personal standpoint, I enjoy socializing with friends, going to the beach for some meditation time and travelling. I am part of a fraternal twin and I have a very bubbly, outgoing and respectful personality.
What does a typical day for you entail?
My typical day starts off with showing gratitude to the highest through prayers. This sets a positive vibe for my day. Then, I would check my email and telephone messages along with drafting a to-do list. Next, I would have a powwow with my HR Manager and Senior HR officers to discuss any projects my team and I are working on. From this, I will update my team accordingly. My daily duties may encompass but not limited to monitoring departmental employees attendance and verifying various types of leave information, reviewing policies and procedures, recruitment: specifically accepting applications and preparing interview reports, onboarding, job analysis, utilization of HR metrics and analytics to generate needed data and providing employees with guidance which can range from payroll, to career queries. Amidst this hectic schedule, during tax period the duties of answering various queries and assisting taxpayers with online filing are also of importance.
What do you love most about what you do?
Employee/customer engagement is what I love the most. This allows me to satisfy the needs of both internal and external customers: employees and taxpayers. As a result, this brings contentment to my heart.
Tell us about your career journey.
My first career goal was to become a Chef and follow in my beloved father’s footsteps by working in the hospitality industry. However, while honing the skills of this industry; I realized major inefficiencies like square pegs in round holes and many industrial related issues. This experience gave me the desire to pursue HR. From this, I transitioned to the public sector where I initially worked as a clerical officer. On transition from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) where I found love for a new path in taxation to Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA), I held the post of Auditor and now HR officer.
If you had the chance to make one change to a Human Resource function, what would it be?
This change would be an influence from my personal experience as an endo-warrior. Therefore, I would change the labour laws to include entitled health care leave for all employees.
What is one thing you wish you knew about HR before you started practising in the industry?
One thing I wish I knew about HR before practising is the high levels of lack of respect it holds in the eyes of many financial professionals.
Tell us about your most memorable achievement to date.
To date, my most memorable achievement is my personal and professional advancements in life. Individually, I have honed excellent life skills and I am at a comfortable space with my spirituality. Professionally, I have the grasped the concept of diversity which makes me marketable and open-minded.