HR Magazine 2014 Summer

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Putting people first If it’s important to HR, it’s in HR Magazine.


LinkedIn tells HR to strut its stuff The world’s largest professional network reveals why HR needs to show off to get the right people on board.


Cover Story With women so well represented in HR, why are so few making it into senior leadership roles?

54 Frisky business

What HR needs to do to handle the delicate issue of workplace romances—we share legal advice from DLA Piper.

publisher’s note

In the news It’s all on the rise! In the news, we report on increasing salaries across APAC and the growing popularity of temporary work in Hong Kong. We get a few pointers from LinkedIn on what HR should do to strut its stuff to hire the cream of the crop when it comes to talent. And while we’re on the subject of cream, we look at how a coffee a day can help keep bad behaviour at bay.

Cover story In our cover story we tackle the subject of gender equality in the workplace and try to uncover why there are not more women in senior C-suite positions, when they are so well represented within HR departments. We analyse some alarming statistics to try and solve this phenomenon and gain insight from some of Hong Kong’s leading organisations to shed light on what can be done to get the best out of both worlds in the workplace.

other stuff Find out how to become an HR Superhero. We bust seven succession planning myths to guide HR on the right path to finding the next CEO. Legal advice from DLA Piper explains how to handle the delicate matter of workplace romances. We also look at how a change—when facilitated the right way—can be great news for HR: from boosting employee engagement to moving talent across the globe. Enjoy...

Paul Arkwright, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, HR Magazine

HR MAGAZINE No part of this publication can be reproduced without consent from the Publisher. Copyright of all material is reserved throughout the publication. Contributions are welcome but copies of

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Pay less important for staff engagement Managing change effectively Rules of engagement Superhero HR Generation Why? Spotting & avoiding toxic relations Flexibility at a cost Reconsidering relocation allowances Retirement rules! Multi-skillset essential for staff to stay ahead of the game Five things employers should know about background screening in APAC

HR Training 41

Tips on preventing work-related back injuries

HR Community 42 50


It’s a woman’s world...but what about outside HR?



HR News HR Events HR Moves HR in Numbers


HR Magazine’s conference The Women Extraordinaire Forum 2014: Men Standing With Women— Panel Discussion HRO Today Forum


Frisky business the dangers of workplace romances

HR BookS



Due Diligence in China, A Field Guide for Organisation Development

HR Classifieds 57

HR Classifieds

HR news

APAC salaries on the rise Salaries across APAC are set to have risen an average 6.9% by the end of 2014, with China leading the way with an 8% increase after allowing for inflation, remaining unchanged from 2013 at 4.1% across the region. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is falling below average with a 4.5% rise, according to the Towers Watson 2013-14 Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report, which surveyed around 400 different companies across 18 countries in APAC. A number of regions in China have also recently increased their minimum wage rates in line with the policy outlined by Xi Jinping’s new administration, announced at the end of 2013. Local regulations are set for individual cities and regions and significant rises have been seen in Beijing, around 11% to RMB 1,560 per month, and Shanghai, around 12%, lifting the minimum rate to RMB 1,820 per month. This is part of the move to narrow the income gap and lift the lowest earners out of poverty, a trend that law firm DLA Piper expects to see continue next year. For HR throughout the region, finding and retaining suitably skilled staff remains a challenge. Sambhav Rakyan, Data Services practice leader, APAC, Towers Watson

explained, “The expected raises for production or blue-collar workers in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand show growing pressure to find such staff. We hear from large-scale employers—often manufacturers—in these markets that staff hiring and retention is a constant challenge.” In other markets, such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, higher increases are expected in the ranks of middle management, reflecting the relative shortage of that skills mix in those markets. The shortage of talented professionals in Hong Kong, however, is mirrored in the findings of the Robert Half 2014 Salary Guide, with an average of 95% of senior financial services leaders, CFOs and CIOs claiming they are concerned about losing top talent and are challenged to find skilled talent in their respective industries this year. The Guide revealed that in order to tap into an increasingly competitive market while also retaining strong talent, firms in Hong Kong are looking to offer non-monetary incentives and rewards such as demonstrating a commitment to work-life balance, training and career development opportunities and career mobility.

Salary increases across the globe: Pakistan Vietnam India Indonesia China Hong Kong Singapore New Zealand Japan

13% 11.5% 10% 9.6% 8% 4.5% 4.3% 3% 2.3%

Taken from the Towers Watson 2013-14 Asia-Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report

Temporary work on rise in HK As cost-cuts and careful headcount planning continue to affect companies in Hong Kong, HR teams are increasingly offering temporary work as a viable employment option. This according to results just released in the 2014 Page Personnel Hong Kong Salary & Employment Forecast. Sharmini Wainwright, Regional Director, Page Personnel in Hong Kong explained, “There is a notable increase in temporary hires for secretarial and financial services roles as more employers have become aware of the benefits a contract role brings to the business. These include cost-rationalisation, flexibility during expansion or contraction and the ability to trial people when hiring new teams and short-term employment for project work, especially within businesses looking to establish a presence in

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Hong Kong purely as a platform into China.” Within the secretarial sector in particular, the recruitment market is expected to be influenced by cost-cuts to business strategies that were implemented in 2013 and the market slowdown in China. Employers will respond with a preference for temporary and junior hires, as well as reduced investment and freezing or dissolving of headcount within large corporations and financial institutions. Team secretaries, administration staff and personal assistants will continue to be in demand over the coming year, as the nature of these roles allows them to be hired on a contractual basis, hence preferable for financial institutions. Emerging retail brands also require such talent. The Forecast also shows that across financial services, employers are focused on balancing

hiring activity between permanent roles and contract positions as most companies in the financial service sector are conscious about headcount planning. Investment banks are actively hiring for contract roles to drive a flexible workforce and have proved effective in building up the profile of contracting in Hong Kong. As a result, there are more contractors actively seeking roles on the market and employers prefer to recruit these professionals for roles requiring less than five years of experience. A particularly progressive strategy has been moving up existing employees into new roles when they have achieved promotion, and backfilling the original position with a temporary resource—which avoids delaying the promotion.

HR news

Cathay Pacific most attractive employer Cathay Pacific won the coveted title of Most Attractive Employer at the Randstad Awards 2014 Gala Dinner held at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum on 16 April. The Award, which is considered the only prize representing ‘the people’s choice’, is based on the public perception of 4,000 employees and job-seekers in each of the 23 countries surveyed across the globe. Falling under the theme of Employer Branding, this year’s award ceremony acknowledged organisations that offer a distinctive place to work, with attractive brand values and career prospects. Other Hong Kong-based companies to emerge victorious at the ceremony were HSBC, which was named the Banking & Finance Services Sector winner and Hong Kong Disneyland, which scooped the award for Best Workplace Culture.

(From left to right): Wendy Kwan, Head of Personnel, Dragonair; Nick Rhodes, Director of Personnel, Cathay Pacific; Peter Yu, Director, Randstad Hong Kong; Peter Yu, Director, Randstad; Hong Kong & Alison Wong, General Manager, Human Resources, MTR

Are staff sharing too much online?

Michael Page rolls out awards scheme for retail staff

What are staff up to online, and why should HR care? To date, there has been little research conducted to explore staff members’ professional and personal habits on social networking sites and the impact this may have on the organisations they work for.

Michael Page has launched the Hong Kong 2014 Awards for Retail Store Professionals to discover and recognise talented retail sales professionals and managers that have displayed exceptional professionalism while carrying out their role.

The findings of a recent study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, revealed that Registered Nurses (RNs) may be using social networking sites in ways that challenge the ethical boundaries of their profession. Sara Levati MSc RN, of the NMAHP Research Unit, Glasgow and part of the Caledonian University in UK, assessed Facebook profile pages of 124 RNs—studying data that was unrestricted and publicly available. One-fifth of RNs had profile content that was accessible to the public. Most nurses were fairly private about the information that they shared—only posting about plans for holidays, hobbies or personal interests. The majority publicly disclosed information about their home town and locations, but was more reluctant to share

information about personal relationships and their families. Nurses shared information about personal attitudes towards working practices. Few nurses commented on topics that relate to healthy behaviours such as cancer screening; this was seen as positive, harmless in content, and non-disruptive to their work. One nurse made public comments about alcoholic-related behaviour, and two others disclosed pictures of a salacious nature. According to the research, those that shared more personal information may be engaging in ‘risk-taking behaviours’ that could have negative effects on their work life and expose them to added vulnerability. Results from the study also suggested that RNs are still unaware of the possible professional implications of their social networking. This may prompt HR to issue guidance in clearly delineating personal and professional comments online in order to reduce any potential ethical, legal and professional issues that can arise from staff social networking.

With two categories, Retail Store Person of the Year 2014 and Retail Store Manager of the Year 2014, the campaign is open to all Hong Kong and Macau residents currently employed in a role where their primary responsibility includes direct contact with customers. The winner of each award will receive HKD 10, 000 cash and a one-on-one career development session with a recruitment consultant from Michael Page. Sharmini Wainwright, Regional Director, Michael Page Hong Kong commented, “The retail industry in Hong Kong is iconic, and we are keen to invest in recognising the achievements within. We are looking for applicants who are passionate about the retail industry and have enhanced the shopping experience of others through their exceptional service standards.”


HR news

LinkedIn tells HR to strut its stuff to onboard best talent

Marriott jobseekers apply on the go

LinkedIn, which recently passed 50 million members in Asia, has collaborated with Lou Adler, author of performance-based hiring guides, to survey over 18,000 professionals in 26 countries and shed light on the workforce’s attitude toward job seeking, job satisfaction and career evaluation for its Talent Trends 2014 Report. Only 27% of professionals say they are ‘very satisfied’ with their jobs. Plus, more than half of active candidates say they are satisfied in their current roles, so satisfaction doesn’t guarantee loyalty. At any rate, a mere 15% of respondents claim to have no interest in discussing new job opportunities, which means there are plenty of fish in the sea for HR. So what should you do to woo ‘the one’ into a meaningful relationship with your company?

Rules of attraction: •

Strut your stuff—or rather, your company’s stuff. Polish up that talent brand. The first thing professionals consider when evaluating a prospective employer is whether or not it’s considered a great place to work. Show them the money. The top motivator for candidates to switch jobs is excellent compensation and benefits. That said, the importance of compensation varies depending on who you’re asking, where they live and even where they are in their lives. For example, financial rewards are highly important to millennials, but far less so for professionals over 40. Don’t miss the big picture. While compensation is important, there’s more to the story. Good work/life balance and challenging work round out the top three motivators to switch jobs. It’s also worth noting that certain motivators carry more weight in some countries than others. For example, your message about making an impact is more likely to resonate in the US, Denmark and Germany but candidates in India, China and Brazil are more interested in a strong career path.

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Job seekers interested in joining Marriott International can now search and apply for roles on their mobile devices. Marriott is the first and only hospitality company to roll out this convenience, recognising that more professionals, especially millennials, are relying on their mobile devices to connect with potential employers. Candidates can visit the mobile-friendly website to search and apply for jobs and import information from their LinkedIn profile for ease.

David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott International explained, “We recognise that the job hunt is changing rapidly. Today, 70% of job seekers are using their mobile devices to research their next career move. We believe that investing in new mobile technology is critical to attracting talent, especially millennials and those in emerging markets who depend on their mobile devices more than any other generation before them.”

Leadership most desired trait in senior execs The ability to motivate and lead others is the number one skill that companies and boards of directors seek in senior executives. This trait was considered more important than consistently high performance by 68% of top leaders surveyed from around the world by executive search firm IIC Partners. Paul Dinte, Chairman, IIC Partners commented, “The price of entry to the corner office remains competency. But once there, a leader’s success is more about inspiring and motivating others to perform, rather than what he or she does individually. The emerging snapshot of today’s most valued senior executive is not just that of a talented practitioner. Rather, this sought-after executive is very ‘other-directed’ and excels at harnessing the power of others through leadership and inspiration.” After motivational ability, the senior executive traits most valued by organisations were: strong ability to manage change (51%); ability to identify and develop talent (46%);

innovative thinking (30%); and consistently high performance (26%). The survey, which collated the views of 1,270 business leaders from 18 different industries, also uncovered additional characteristics of senior executive teams. Companies are increasingly seeking to build teams that include external candidates rather than only internally-groomed talent. The average team is made up of only 45% internal candidates, with 38% being sourced externally and 17% from another division within the same parent company. Organisations that were more likely to rely heavily on internal, rather than external, talent were those with fewer than 500 employees, energy and utility companies and financial services firms. Dinte concluded, “The trend of hiring from the outside has been going on for a while. Global trends in talent management indicate that companies are investing more in grooming internal leaders, and they are doing a better job of onboarding the executives they hire from the outside.”

HR news

Coffee makes staff more ethical Providing employees with coffee could lead to more ethical behaviour in the workplace, according to new research by business professors at the University of Washington, the University of Arizona and the University of North Carolina. Caffeine can help sleep-deprived employees bolster their ability to control their behaviour and resist unethical temptations, according to the research, which suggests that the equivalent of just one large cup of coffee is enough to trigger a difference. David Welsh, Organisational Behavior Professor, University of Washington explained, “When you’re sleep deprived at work, it’s much easier to simply go along with unethical suggestions from your boss because resistance takes effort and you’re already worn down. However, we found that caffeine can give sleep-deprived individuals the extra energy needed to resist unethical behaviour.” The research suggests that caffeine can help employees resist by strengthening their

Harvard Dean apologises to women Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria publicly apologised for the school’s treatment of female students and professors before 600 alumni and guests at a recent event honouring graduates for their impact on business and the community. Nohria told the crowd that women at Harvard felt ‘disrespected, left out, and unloved by the school’, and vowed to make changes at the institution. The School has recently faced scrutiny following a lengthy article in The New York Times that detailed how female students and faculty allegedly faced a grading bias and other incidents of sexism. At the event, Nohria stated, “I’m sorry on behalf of the business school. The School owed you better, and I promise it will be better.” He pledged to more than double the number of female protagonists in Harvard case studies over the next five years and noted that 41% of this year’s entering class of MBAs were women, up from just 25% in the class of 1985.

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self-control and willpower when they’re exhausted and with Hong Kong’s notorious working culture of long hours spent behind the desk, it might be time for HR to put the kettle on. Welsh added, “Employers need to recognise that today’s employees are working longer hours and getting less sleep. Establishing an ethical code of conduct might not be sufficient if employees are too worn down to align their behaviour with organisational standards.” How can HR help tired workers avoid these ethical lapses? • • •

Provide caffeine in the workplace Reduce long hours with scheduling, overtime restrictions and frequent breaks Avoid scheduling tasks that require a great deal of self-control when looming deadlines make long hours unavoidable Provide workplace napping and sleep awareness training put the kettle on, HR!

Multi-lingual staff surveys a must The world of employee assessment is ever-expanding with new capabilities always being added, giving employers a more rounded and comprehensive picture of their current workforce and job applicants. According to US-based performance assessment organisation SkillSurvey, the next frontier is the promotion of surveys delivered in multiple languages, getting responses from participants in their first language. In this way, they assert, a more accurate reaction to prompts can be observed. With the major global business centres playing host to a multitude of individuals from diverse backgrounds— working in their first, second and third languages—it seems logical that, when assessing surveys should be designed in more and more languages to encourage participation, accuracy and understanding. Hong Kong’s business may take place primarily in Cantonese, Putonghua and English, but with its workforce hailing from

all over Asia, Europe, the Americas, and beyond, the promotion of multilingual testing measures would be well suited as much to local corporations employing expats as to global organisations with operations in Hong Kong.

HR news

Hire to boost the global economy, says ILO A global jobs gap created at the height of the financial crisis is not closing and is likely to widen unless the global economy steps up the pace of growth to generate new jobs, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO)Director-General Guy Ryder. In a statement recently delivered to the 2014 spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, Ryder warned of rising global unemployment, which he said will widen to 75 million by 2018. In 2013, the number of workers in extreme poverty declined by only 2.7% worldwide, one of the lowest rates of reduction ever seen over the past decade. Ryder acknowledged that income inequalities have also widened and that the wage share in GDP has fallen in many countries, including some of the world’s largest economies where they have

lagged behind growth in productivity for over 20 years. He explained, “The global economy is not yet on a path to strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Weak global demand is holding back job creation, wages and recovery even further and one consequence is a slowing of the pace of poverty reduction in the developing world.” He added that, in order to facilitate economic growth, the global economy must create many more jobs as well as invest in infrastructure, support small enterprises and boost skills development. He welcomed the G20 Finance Ministers’ aim to lift GDP by 2% or more over five years but did, however, call for an integrated strategy for both the demand and supply side of labour markets that would lift growth and create the jobs needed for a full and sustainable recovery.

Keep office zombies at bay Flexible work schedules may be HR’s key to helping staff avoid suffering from ‘social jetlag’, with medical research suggesting that a traditional 9-to-5 working day could be causing as much disruption as air travel and turning office colleagues into zombies. Sluggishness, disorientation and sleep deprivation are among some of the symptoms associated with the condition termed by researcher Till Roenneberg, PhD, a professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the University of Munich, who says it is caused when the human body clock gets out of sync with its environment.

Whilst sitting in an office with artificial lighting may be one factor fuelling the zombie crisis, long hours during weekdays topped with busy weekends can leave colleagues lacking energy and reaching for snacks and stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes to keep them going. According to John Henderson, CFO, APAC, Regus, however, the best way to stamp out the scourge of social jetlag is to adopt a more flexible approach to working. He suggests that organisations should rethink the concept of ‘office hours’ as well as the concept of ‘the office’ itself and commented, “Why make

everyone trek in to the same physical offices miles from his or her home, when adopting a flexible workspace model could shave minutes or hours from a person’s commute, both improving productivity and enhancing work life balance.” Assigning work tasks for optimal performance times and scheduling meetings based on employee sleep patterns could be another solution that HR could adopt to prevent social jetlag from impacting the performance and productivity of colleagues in the workplace. This should hopefully help HR keep the office zombies at bay.


HR news

Getting more bang for your benefit buck It is common knowledge by now that engagement through compensation is not so simple as giving a pay cheque at the end of the month and calling it quits. HR managers, alongside their hiring, firing and tracking responsibilities, have to strike a balance between the benefits that will keep employees happy, engaged and productive, and the budget that will keep the company coffers and board members content. Non-monetary benefits such as holiday allowance, sick leave and medical insurance policies can be deal makers or deal breakers. But since every employee is an individual, with their own worries, priorities and background, building a package that suits all is a challenge.

A recent survey on medical consumer and providers needs in Asia by Swiss Re attempted to broadly identify the links present in different markets to be able to map medical coverage needs to socioeconomic status. It found that in Hong Kong there is a huge gap between consumer awareness and insurer provisions. This has resulted in low use of medical benefits, rendering the provision undervalued. For fear of incurring high fees for consultation, treatment and other add-ons, Asian employees are unlikely to use the subsidised medical insurance provided to them by their company. Furthermore, the results showed that in high-ownership markets, employees will place more value on added features such as family

plans and wide coverage. In markets with low ownership of medical plans, most valued are products that meet their immediate needs only. HR managers can leverage this knowledge by factoring in the uptake of medical insurance in their locality when deciding upon its weighting in benefit packages. In Hong Kong, for example, many employers provide a basic plan meaning that to further engage they should provide a comprehensive package. In other countries where take up is low, and illness could prove economically disastrous, these added perks would not likely be used, and employers should offer simple policies to cover basic needs with low excesses or none at all.

Vibrating staff OK, but beware of heavy lifting jobs for men Contrary to popular belief, HR might need to be more careful with the allocation of heavy-lifting duties to male employees. A recent study, published in Arthritis Care & Research, conducted on Danish workers to investigate the risk of total hip replacement in relation to cumulative occupational mechanical exposures and lifestyle factors, revealed male employees may be more at risk than women. HR always has to consider the potential health risks of any jobs allocated to staff— traditionally, a higher proportion of male employees may be allocated to, or opt for, jobs that involved heavy lifting. The Danish study revealed that walking and whole-body vibration did not impact the risk of hip replacement for either sex. There was, however, a modest risk of total hip replacement in male employees whose job required them to lift more than 20 ton-years.

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The study also provided further evidence to support the notion that both male and female employees, with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) at age 25, and those who showed a gain in BMI, may increase their risk of needing hip replacement surgery.

Although back injuries account for no work-related deaths, they do account for a significant amount of employee suffering, loss of productivity and resultant costs via compensation systems. Back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability for people in their working years. In the US alone, back problems afflict over 600,000 employees each year with a cost of about USD 50 billion annually, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The frequency and economic impact of back injuries and disorders on the workforce are both expected to increase over the next several decades as the average age of the workforce increases and medical costs continue to rise. See our tip on preventing work-related back injuries in this issue’s HR Training section on page 41.

HR news

World Day for Safety & Health at Work The British Safety Council recently lent its support to the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, honouring all of those who have lost their lives or been seriously injured or made ill by work. The day is marked every year on 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally and focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health worldwide. The Council’s vision, which is aligned to the aims of the day, is that no one should be made ill or get injured at work.

Commenting on the day Alex Botha, Chief Executive, The British Safety Council said, “It is not only a day of commemoration but also a day on which we need to affirm and strengthen our efforts to keep people healthy and safe at work. We know that the toll of workplace death, serious injury, disease and ill health is vast. The estimated 2.2 million people across the globe, people with friends and families, who die in the workplace every year, is a personal tragedy that must be addressed. Our work over the last fifty six years has contributed to helping build safer and healthier workplaces.”

Connor only HK firm named ‘World’s Most Ethical Company’ Hong Kong-based firm William E. Connor & Associates (Connor), is the only firm in Hong Kong to claim the award of 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent centre of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance.

regulators place a high premium on trust and that ethics and good governance are key in earning it. Connor joins an exclusive community committed to driving performance through leading business practices. We congratulate everyone at Connor for this extraordinary achievement.”

The award acknowledges 144 companies across the globe that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behaviour and this is the third time that Connor has been honoured with the accolade.

The award is based on scores generated in the five key categories of ethics and compliance program, reputation, leadership and innovation, governance, corporate citizenship and responsibility and culture of ethics. This year, Ethisphere is honouring the largest group of organisations based outside the US, representing 38 companies from 21 countries and 5 continents.

Commenting on the victory, William E. (Chip) Connor, Chairman and CEO, Connor said, “This business was built 65 years ago on a philosophy of industry-leading commitment to ethics, integrity and long-term relationships, all of which are still firmly rooted in Connor’s culture today. It is these principles that have contributed to the accomplishment of becoming a World’s Most Ethical Company honouree for the third year running. We have certainly been experiencing increased interest from clients based on their desire to be ethically compliant, which makes me very proud of what we have achieved as a business.” Timothy Erblich, Chief Executive Officer, Ethisphere added, “The entire community of World’s Most Ethical Companies believe that customers, employees, investors and

William E. (Chip) Connor, Chairman and CEO, William E. Connor & Associates

Mandatory sick leave laws rolled out in US An overwhelming majority of Americans now support the growing number of laws that provide mandatory paid sick leave for workers. In April 2014, New York City became the latest city to implement mandatory sick leave. Businesses with 20 or more employees are now required to provide five paid days off each year for employees who are ill or caring for a sick family member. Smaller businesses have to provide five unpaid sick days. In recent years, several cities and states have adopted similar laws. Advocates say the measures improve public health by keeping ill workers and school children at home, and protect workers from being fired for taking time off while sick. Several states, however, have passed laws that prohibit local sick leave ordinances, arguing that such laws raise costs and interfere with business decisions. The findings come from a survey of 1,000 Americans recently conducted by The majority of people surveyed, 71%, say they support mandatory sick leave laws, while 19% were unsure or had no opinion, and only 10% opposed the idea. San Francisco was the first city to implement a mandatory sick leave ordinance, which went into effect in 2007. Connecticut was the first state to pass a mandatory sick leave law, which took effect 1 January 2012. Seattle, Portland and the District of Columbia have approved similar measures, and more than 20 other cities and states are considering it. Meanwhile, Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arizona have banned cities from requiring private employers to provide mandatory sick leave. Stephanie Rahlfs, Attorney-editor, FindLaw. com said, “The issue of mandatory sick leave is sparking considerable debate in cities and states across the country. It’s important for both [US] employers and employees to know which current state laws and city ordinances apply to them, as the legislative landscape is rapidly evolving.” She added, “Sick leave, which is time off with or without pay while the worker is sick or caring for an ill family member, is different from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other state laws which provide for unpaid, job-protected leave for personal or family matters such as illness, pregnancy, or adoption.”

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HR news

Doctor most popular career choice for Hong Kong youths

The second annual Children’s Career Survey of children between 7 and 14 living in Hong Kong has revealed that becoming a doctor is— for the second year—the top career choice. Conducted by Adecco Hong Kong, it also found that most children believe that it is more important to spend time with family than to make lots of money—showing that our children are a caring lot!

Carried out in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA, the findings were, as expected, very different in each country. Three in ten children in Hong Kong want to become a doctor when they grow up, showing that our children start thinking about good career choices at an early age. Those wanting to become doctors have monthly salary expectations ranging from HKD 2,000 right up to HKD 100,000.

Becoming a doctor was also one of the top career choices in some other Asian countries. Becoming a teacher or a firefighter are the next two most desirable career choices, followed by becoming a nurse or a policeman, amongst others. One young girl wishes to become an inventor when she grows up as she ‘loves ideas’ and wants to ‘invent many good things to help the poor and save the world’.

HR Senate tackles retention in Philippines The subject of human resources and workplace excellence was the topic of discussion among HR professionals at the recent HR Senate held at Ascott Makati in the Philippines on 23 – 24 April. Hosted by Trueventus, the event aimed to inspire delegates in the Philippines to embark on a new journey to implement best practices to retain talented employees within their own companies. Guest speakers included Amor Villalon, Regional Vice President, Human Resources, Fujitsu Asia who shared her perspectives on some of the company’s best practices. She advised, “HR is much more involved in key decisions affecting the business. This improved partnership has resulted in business leaders co-owning people programmes and this is what is driving the difference in our people agenda.”

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Grace Wong, Vice President and Regional Head of Human Resources, Samsung Asia also shared some of the best practices to develop workplace excellence. She commented, “Samsung believes in launching people’s amazing potential by realising their dreams and passions. We provide a creative workspace with colour and an in-house Starbucks café for employees, which supports a dynamic and friendly work environment. Our leaders believed in supporting the development of employees.” Joann Hizon, Vice President-Human Resources, SM Investments also advised HR professionals to keep themselves updated with the latest trends and best practices to help them retain talent engagement in the organisation.

(From left to right) Rachel Moo, Senior conference producer, Trueventus; Amor C. Villalon, Vice President, HR, Fujitsu; Grace Wong, Vice President, HR, Samsung; Shenee and Lara Sampson, Training producer, Trueventus.

Top 5 ‘What do you want

to be when you grow up?’ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Doctor Teacher Nurse Firefighter Chef

Although we may find humour in some of the findings, the results also uncovered a serious side. Many of the children hope to support fellow citizens who are most in need. The on-going national discussions about improving living conditions in Hong Kong have likely influenced the children surveyed and their thoughts about the support that they could offer and the difference that they could make to others. Becoming a doctor was the most popular choice for ‘coolest’ job. Other cool jobs included becoming an artist, architect, inventor and singer. Becoming the Chief Executive of Hong Kong may be a daunting task for many adults but clearly not for many of their children. When asked what the first three things they would do if they were fortunate enough to become Hong Kong’s CEO, the answers were enlightening: • • • •

Continue to improve the education system Help homeless people Build an environmentally-friendly city Make everyone happy!

Several responses centred around ensuring that Chinese culture would continue to flourish. A key part of the survey was the question ‘What is more important—to make lots of money or to spend time with your family?’ An encouraging 96% responded by saying they would rather spend time with their families than making money. Some of the reasons included: • • •

Money cannot buy me love Being with my family makes me very happy To take care of my parents

Children were also asked what they were looking forward to doing in 2014. In Hong Kong, many of the respondents stated that they were most looking forward to studying harder and excelling at school.

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HR Events

HR Events June




The Economist Talent Management 2014

Asia’s Best Employer Brand Awards 2014

Organised by

The Economist

Organised by

Employer Branding Award

Location: The Dorchester, London

Location: Pan Pacific Hotel, Marina Square, Singapore

Tel: (44) 20 7576 8181 | Email: :

Tel: (91)-22-26611394, Mobile: (91) 9821622111 / 9821688999 Email:

July 09/07/2014 – 20/09/2014 Certificate in Foundation Skills in Human Resource Management (one intake only) Organised by


Location: HKIHRM, Suite 1503, 15/F, 68 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2837 3825 | Email:

01/08/2014 – 15/10/2014 Effective Supervisory Skills Workshop

Manchester Training & Consultancy Institute Organised by

Location: MTCI Training Room, Suite B, 10/F Hua Chiao Commercial Centre, No. 678 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: 3115 0116, Mobile: 9411 4729 Email:

16/07/2014 Lunch & Learn Workshop: Developing Killer Plans: Thought Out, Vetted, and Execut Organised by

in HK

The American Chamber of Commerce

Location: 1904 Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong

11/08/2014 HR Directors Forum Asia 2014 Organised by

planit unlimited ideas

Location: Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place, Jakarta Contact: Stefano Joseph Email:

Tel: (852) 2530 6900 | Email:

17/07/2014 (Thursday)

Managing diverse workforces Organised by

HR Magazine

Location: Cliftons, Level 5, Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong Key topics: • Importance of employer branding • Gen-Y recruitment strategies • Employee communication strategies • Social media & mobile technologies for staff recruitment, retention & development & employer • Employee benefits and CSR programmes to help Gen-Y retention Tel: (852) 2736 6339 Email: Fees: FREE ENTRY for HR Magazine subscribers, non-subscribers HKD 1,200

14 | HR Magazine

26/08/2014 – 28/08/2014 2nd Annual HR Transformation and Service Delivery Summit China Organised by


Location: InterContinental Pudong Shanghai, China Tel: (65) 6722 9388 Email:

September 01/09/2014 – 04/09/2014 17th Annual Asian Shared Services & Outsourcing Week Organised by


Location: MAX Atria, Singapore Expo, Singapore Tel: (65) 6722 9388 Email:


HR Moves LinkedIn’s HR move On 14 May 2014, Hong Kong witnessed a rather big HR move, as LinkedIn’s Leadership team unveiled its brand new office in Hysan Place, Causeway Bay. Hari Krishnan, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan at LinkedIn addressed HR Magazine and other media on the day and shared information on Hong Kong’s role as a strategic growth market in the region. From their ‘start-up’ office in 2012, LinkedIn now has more than 50 employees in Hong Kong serving clients and members in North Asia. The move to a larger office space reflects the growth in LinkedIn’s business in Hong Kong over the past two years, and is part of 10 LinkedIn offices across Asia Pacific. Aside from Hong Kong, LinkedIn also has offices in India, Australia, Singapore, Japan and China—and the Group currently serves over 50 million members.


With 43% of the global traffic on LinkedIn coming from mobile, as at Q1 2014, LinkedIn is seeing the highest growth in traffic via mobile devices. LinkedIn soon expects to hit its ‘mobile moment’ globally, with more than 50% of traffic coming from mobile devices within the year. Already with almost 900,000 members on the site, Hong Kong 23/05/2014 17:27 is among the few countries in Asia Pacific that has already crossed the ‘mobile moment’ with over half of traffic on LinkedIn coming from mobile devices compared to desktop.

en world appoints Bernard Yeo as New Country Manager Recruitment firm en world has appointed Bernard Yeo as the new Country Manager for Hong Kong and Mainland China. With international experience in Australia, Japan, Singapore, USA and Hong Kong, Yeo will now be focusing on business growth and investment opportunities in these growing markets. Craig Saphin, President, en world group said, “Bernard brings a wealth of experience and energy to our organisation. His experience in so many facets of the HR industry will provide our clients and candidates—both new and existing—an extra dimension in terms of professional excellence through talented people who can deliver results at the most senior level.” Yeo added, “I am delighted to be part of the company’s regional growth journey and look forward to working with our team of dynamic and talented consultants across Asia Pacific. The labour market in Asia is improving but there remains a talent shortage in the professional and technical space. Therefore, it will be critical to find innovative solutions to meet the demand for professional and technical expertise and prepare for the market recovery.”

HR in numbers

HR in Numbers



Number of mandatory paid sick days per year that businesses in the US with 20 or more employees will have to offer staff who are ill or caring for a sick family member.

Age after which professionals stop being motivated by money and are more concerned with having a good lifestyle.

Source: Survey of 1,000 Americans recently conducted by

Source: Talent Trends 2014 Report, LinkedIn & Lou Adler


Percentage of students entering Harvard Business School this year that are women (up from just 25% in the class of 1985).

75 million Expected global unemployment rate for 2018 (unless HR gets hiring!) Source: Director-General, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder.

Source: Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria

48% Percentage of Hong Kong workers reporting they are engaged with their jobs. Source: Survey by market research firm ORC International.


Percentage of local industry professionals that expect an increase in base salary this year. Source: Heidrick & Struggles’ Asia Private Equity Compensation Survey 2013/2014.

2.2 million Estimated number of people who die in the workplace every year, across the globe. Source: The British Safety Council

16 | HR Magazine


Hong Kong’s ranking in the global survey of most desirable places to live (out of 223 cities worldwide). Source: Mercer 2014 Quality of Living survey

1 Number of large cups of coffee that could lead to sleep-deprived employees acting more ethically in the workplace. Source: Research by business professors at the University of Washington, the University of Arizona and the University of North Carolina.


Main Conference: 2 - 3 September 2014 • Workshops: 1 September 2014 • SSO PRO Course and Site Tours: 4 September 2014

WHAT’S NEXT IN YOUR TRANSFORMATIONAL JOURNEY? Increasing value and delivering outstanding customer experience through innovative process transformation, critical stakeholder engagement and flexible global governance



After receiving rave reviews at SSOW USA, SSON is proud to welcome Ken Segal to Asia. Ken, the Former Creative Director at Apple will share his experience on simplicity and its power for winning the hearts of customer and colleagues alike.

Lee Coulter CEO Shared Services Ascension Health

John Teo CFO Singapore Poolz (Private) Limited

Vinod Bidarkoppa Chief Information Officer and Group Director (IT), Member of Board TescoHSC

Duncan Howorth CEO JLT

Sanjay Patel Head of Financial Shared Services Rio Tinto

Ruoyu Bao Director of Global Analytics Hub Lenovo

Anil Bhavani Operations Director, Global Financial Solutions Pfizer

Alice Ling Head of HR Shared Services Maybank

SSON’S COVETED ASIAN EXCELLENCE AWARDS ARE BACK AND WE’RE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS The SSON Asian awards are back and bigger than ever! In 2013 we received a record number of applicants, all keen to benchmark themselves against the best in class Asian SSOs. If you feel your Centre is an industry leader; or if you’ve improved process innovation, or have a culture to be proud of, we want to shine a light on your achievements! VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO APPLY







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REGISTER NOW! T. +65 6722 9388 / F. +65 6720 3804 / E. / W.


With women so well represented in HR, both regionally and across the globe, why are so few moving up into senior leadership roles? HR Magazine explores why this is happening and what can be done to get the best out of both worlds when it comes to gender equality and effectiveness in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion—when discussed by HR, boards, business commentators and at HR Magazine events—more often than not shines the spotlight on the push for more representation of women on boards, equal treatment for those with disabilities and for sexual preference to have no bearing upon the view of and treatment of LGBT individuals in the workplace. Research from the US, Canada and the UK, however, has thrown up the suggestion that men are under-represented in senior and management positions in HR. So, before

18 | HR Magazine

looking to promote female representation outside of the function, should HR first be looking within itself? According to Michael Page’s Global HR Barometer 2013, in Asia 60% of senior HR positions are held by women. This is close to the global average of 59% but seems much more equal than in North America where the average is 66%, according to Michael Page, or 69% according to HRxAnalysts’ What HR Thinks and Feeds: The 2011 Psychographic Survey of HR Professionals. Julie Cook Ramirez, in her article The Feminization of HR quoted

Tim Sackett, Executive VP, HRU Technical Resources, as asserting that the presence of women in the HR profession has become so universal that now the term ‘women in HR’ is an oxymoron, or more accurately a pleonasm. Indeed, he claimed that the majority of HR executives in Fortune 500 companies with which he does business are female. While such data must be continually updated to be as accurate as possible, several head HR honchos in the West have been quick to offer up their theories behind the preference for female HR managers.


Why HR? John Sumser, Principal Analyst at HRxAnalysts, a California-based research firm, is rather outspoken on his theory which may be less than popular. According to him, women succeed in HR functions as, in the world of business, it is that which most requires a housekeeper-type personality. He said, “HR is the only predominantly female function in the contemporary organisation. It is the beach head of accomplishment in the generational move of women from home to the executive suite. While the oft-repeated stereotype is that men are HR’s decision makers, the truth is that women occupy two-thirds of the HR executive seats.” Tracy McCarthy, Senior VP, SilkRoad Technology explained that the men in HR shy away from generalist roles and veer towards more ‘black and white’ roles such as recruiting, where accomplishment is more easily measured.

Keeping house Sumser’s article, HR Is Female, attracted comments online from many seasoned HR practitioners, many of which were themselves female. His apparent argument—that all women are good for is being a dowdy housewife, whether at home or in the office—may be overflowing with gender oversimplification, but one must consider that perhaps he is not the only one to be thinking the very same thing, filling their HR pipeline with this square-peg-square-hole mentality. Could it be true that this theory for the female-leaning gender imbalance is well founded? If so, what qualities are missing that men could bring to the table, and into which other business functions could women be venturing to put their nurturing and rational decision-making skills to further use? According to one commenter, HR Is Female was not designed to blast the female half of the population but rather to advise solution providers dealing with HR that coming in and selling on monetary factors is not the way to ‘woo’ today’s HR decision makers who are more likely to make decisions based on empathy than their male business counterparts.

Susan Gunn, VP HR, Gardner Denver—a US-based industrial manufacturer—seems to share Sumser’s logic of HR suiting the innate nurturing nature of women, to a point. She commented, “In their daily lives, women have to multitask across a lot of different things just to keep moving. The same skill set is called upon in HR. No day is ever the same. You never know what you are going to walk into when you start your day in an HR capacity.”

Striking a balance Sackett warns that a current female-filled pipeline will not even itself out in the future due to a natural tendency for managers to hire, mentor and promote those who resemble themselves, as happens in many a field. He suggests that the way that this will reach a balance is through the HR function becoming more strategic, and therefore more attractive to males.

There is a general agreement that it would be a good thing if there was a better gender balance. There is a definite notion that HR should mirror the population it serves. —

Claude Balthazard, Director of HR Excellence, Human Resources Professionals Association

Some organisations are recognising the under-representation of men in HR and are seeking, and calling for others, to redress the balance. Claude Balthazard, Director of HR Excellence, Human Resources Professionals Association remarked, “There is a general agreement that it would be a good thing if there was a better gender balance. There is a definite notion that HR should mirror the population it serves.” It should be noted, however, that the high visibility of women in HR management does not necessarily mean that it goes all the way to the top. In Hong Kong, those with a Y chromosome occupy over 90% of board-level positions, according to Randstad’s 2013/14 World of Work Report. Sumser stated, “If there’s a woman in the boardroom, it’s likely she’s in HR. That’s the place in the organisation where the glass ceiling is the thinnest.” With this in mind, it could be that the foothold of HR which is allowing more women than ever before to stake their place in the boardroom could prove to be the inspiration for future wayleaders to break out into the still-male-dominated positions on the board.

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We are not seeing evidence that mindsets are changing or that companies are taking steps to ensure more women are given a seat at the top table. — Fern Ngai, CEO, Community Business

Forbes’ females Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany since 2005, tops the FORBES 2014 list of the most powerful women, for the eighth time. Not only this, she also features as number five in the FORBES 2014 most powerful people in the world (see adjacent table). As a country with an enviable reputation for economic stability, low corruption and political wisdom, Merkel has proven the adage, which women have been fighting for decades to prove, namely, ‘Yes we can do it, and we can do it even better’. Number nine in the FORBES list of the top ten richest people in Hong Kong is Pansy Ho, daughter of casino tycoon Stanley Ho. Whilst her familial connections no doubt helped her make her way in life, she has carved herself a very respectable career away from the glare of her father’s casino empire, currently serving as Chair of Jetstar Hong Kong.

All above board In an effort to get the best female candidates a chance to progress to the best boards in North America, executive search firm Spencer Stuart and corporate governance community WomenCorporateDirectors have formed a strategic partnership. Their collaboration will, they profess, help them to raise the game in corporate governance through their chapters over North America and boardroom expertise sharing sessions. The cooperation will help to raise the bar, according to Julie Hembrock Daum, head of Spencer Stuart’s North American Practice, by, “Connecting companies with the highest performing directors, and ensuring that directors get the information and insights they need to serve.” On a local note, Community Business released the findings of their latest research Standard Chartered Bank Women on Boards Hong Kong 2014 at the start of March, to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March. The research found that in the past year, in Hong Kong’s 50 leading companies as listed on the Hang Seng Index, the amount of women holding directorship roles has increased just

20 | HR Magazine

0.2%—from 9.4% to 9.6%. When looking at the 356 companies listed on the Hang Seng Composite Index, the news is even bleaker— women are holding just 9% of board positions. Their previous research project, the Board Diversity in Hong Kong: Directors’ Perspectives 2013, released late last year, showed that 76% of directors in Hong Kong see board diversity as a measure to comply with corporate governance requirements rather than a move that makes good business sense, although 91% believe that diversity in the boardroom leads to balanced decision making. It seems that inviting candidates into high-power positions regardless of gender, age and culture is yet to be seen as a non-issue, rather than an act of positive discrimination. Late in 2013, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx)—along with their subsidiaries including the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited—strengthened its effort by introducing a board diversity code provision. The city is steering towards inclusion and openness, although perhaps more for appearances than faith in benefits it will bring. Fern Ngai, CEO, Community Business said, “Despite HKEx’s laudable efforts to promote board diversity with the introduction of the new code provision last September, international attention on this issue, and efforts of a number of fronts to increase the supply and visibility of female talent in Hong Kong, we are not seeing evidence that mindsets are changing or that companies are taking steps to ensure more women are given a seat at the top table.” It remains to be seen whether women will truly be welcomed to take any seat at the boardroom table and also whether the high representation of women in HR positions will shift along with the increasingly strategic focus of HR departments. Gunn said, “Having a balance of both genders adds to the dynamics of the profession and the ability to garner different views and opinions and thoughts,” and whilst she was talking of HR, this surely should be true of all business roles.


The world’s most powerful people Name/Title


Vladimir Putin



Barack Obama

United States


Xi Jinping



Pope Francis

Roman Catholic Church


Angela Merkel



Bill Gates Co-Chair

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Ben Bernanke

United States


Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

Saudi Arabia


Mario Draghi

European Central Bank




General Secretary, Communist party



Chairman, Federal Reserve



10 Michael Duke CEO

Wal-Mart Stores Source: FORBES 2014 World’s Most Powerful People ranking

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HR Features

Pay less important for staff engagement In terms of global employee engagement, career advancement, performance rewards and organisational reputation currently all outrank pay as top engagement drivers. New research reveals that employee perception of overall work experience is improving in the majority of regions worldwide, and that pay has dropped in significance as a driver of engagement. The Aon Hewitt 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Annual Study, covering 7 million employees in over 6,000 companies, across 155 countries, indicates that the average employee engagement levels increased to 61% in 2013, up 1% from 2012 and 3% from 2011. Changes in the way employees view their overall work experience across the globe were also revealed. Perceptions of certain areas like safety and benefits have improved,

yet there is deterioration in strategic areas like business unit leadership, innovation and a compelling employee value proposition. Dr Ken Oehler, Global Engagement Practice Leader, Aon Hewitt said, “A number of factors, including social, demographic, technological and macro-level economic changes, have challenged business leaders to create agile, innovative organisations that can grow. But creating this type of organisation is impossible without having engaged employees, and companies with low-to-moderate engagement levels will struggle.” The study clearly indicates that organisations overcoming business and

people challenges are investing in a culture of engagement built on performance focus, strong reputation and superior leadership— investments that result in stronger company performance. Aon Hewitt’s study found that high-performing companies drive better business outcomes. Marked by strong leadership, reputation, performance orientation and employee engagement, these companies outperform average companies on sales growth, operating margin and total shareholder return. They even outperform those companies with high employee engagement alone.

Shift in engagement levels by region




2013 Globally




2012 2013 North America

2012 Europe





2012 2013 Asia Pacific



2012 2013 Latin America



2013 2012 Africa/Middle East

With its forecasted population and growth, the region with the largest engagement increases in 2013 was Africa/Middle East—with a gain of 8%. Asia Pacific’s engagement increased for the first time in two years, up by 3%, and reaching the global average of 61%.

Pay less important Additional analysis was conducted across nearly 3,000 organisations, representing more than 3 million employees worldwide, to identify the 2013 top five drivers of global employee engagement.


2012 Global ranking

2013 Global ranking

Perception Change 2012-2013

Career Opportunities 1 1 0 Managing Performance - 2 2 pts. Organisation Reputation 2 3 7 pts. Pay 3 4 2 pts. Communication 5 5 -2 pts. Innovation - - -2 pts. Recognition 4 - 2 pts. Brand Alignment - - -2 pts.

22 | HR Magazine

HR Features

As in previous years, career opportunities ranked as the highest driver of engagement globally. Managing performance ranked second, followed by organisational reputation. Pay, which ranked as the third highest driver of engagement in 2012, dropped to fourth. Communication rounded out the top five. Millennials least engaged Baby Boomers continue to hold the highest level of engagement, with 66% engaged, followed by Generation X, 60%; however only just over half of Millennials, 56%, feeling engaged in their work. Differences in geography, culture and generation impact what drives engagement for employees globally, and the research indicates that there is actually more harmony than discord among employees.

Gabriela Domicelj, Regional Engagement Practice Leader, Asia Pacific, Aon Hewitt commented, “Universally, employees want to be part of an organisation that offers career opportunities, provides rewards for performance and has a solid reputation. There is, however, no one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding your employees and what drives them, and subsequently tailoring your communication and people initiatives to resonate best with respective groups, will pay dividends in making engagement happen.” Leadership engagement on the up Consistent with Aon Hewitt’s 2012 analysis, engagement levels continue to vary by job level. Executives and senior managers remain

the most engaged with 75% engagement globally. This group also saw the largest increase in engagement over last year with an increase of 9%. Middle managers and frontline employees saw slight increases to 65% and 61% respectively, while professional employees, such as engineers, lawyers and nurses, maintained their status of having the lowest level of engagement globally—with only 54% engaged. Oehler explained, “Our research shows that raising the bar on employee engagement starts with the leaders themselves. The continuous rise in executive-level engagement may be a promising sign to come that we’ll see an upward shift in engagement levels of other employee segments in the near future.”

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HR Features

Tips to enhance employee engagement Evolving economic, technological, demographic and social changes are requiring businesses to rapidly respond to the myriad of extraordinary pressures they now face. HR now has to look deeper and focus on engaging talent in the right core behaviours. To make engagement happen, Aon Hewitt experts believe organisations must: Understand talent trends Understanding the global economic and technological trends affecting businesses is essential to building a relevant talent strategy. It is essential to be aware of the generational and demographical characteristics of employees, as they will largely define the expectations these employees have of their company. Focus on behaviours facilitating performance & business success Organisations must clearly define what engagement looks like for employees. For many employers, there is an increasing need for agility, flexibility, speed and an ability to learn and adapt. Organisations can further encourage behaviours that signify engagement by aligning performance management, learning and development, and rewards and recognition with their expectations for success. Deliver compelling Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) There is a growing disconnect between what companies require, what they are offering, and what employees expect in return. Organisational reputation, being a top engagement driver, provides insight into how employees define value from their company. The research shows that companies which deliver on their EVPs are more likely to have employees who speak positively

24 | HR Magazine

about their organisation, are more likely to retain people, and are more likely to cultivate an environment of employees who aim for excellence. Culture of engagement An organisation’s health is based on employee perceptions of its brand, reputation, performance focus and leadership excellence. To build a culture of engagement, organisations first must understand the composition of their workforce—generational, functional and organisational—and build tailored programmes that motivate and inspire the unique makeup of their employee base. Employers often find that there are basic elements of their HR programmes, such as benefits, safety and work-life balance, that may be key drivers inhibiting engagement. Getting the foundation right is often the first step in building a culture of engagement. Companies across APAC are taking employee engagement more seriously and investing more wisely in their workforces. A key driver for this focus on employee engagement improvement is the chronic talent shortage across many Asian markets. Build engaging leaders Previous Aon Hewitt research has indicated that leaders own the employee engagement equation. They make critical decisions on the key factors within an organisation that impact employee engagement, such as performance goals, pay and recognition, type and frequency of communication to employees, as well as work process and innovation. Leaders’ decisions can effectively drive or hinder engagement. Leaders who seize the opportunity to engage themselves, engage others and holistically drive a culture of brand, reputation, performance and engagement will help their teams and organisations achieve better business outcomes.

HR Features

Managing change effectively While employers believe a majority of their change management programmes succeed initially, the truth is, only one-quarter of organisations are able to keep the momentum going over the long-term. This lack of continued success with change management initiatives is partly due to companies’ inability to prepare and train managers to be effective change leaders.

their change management initiatives going. The organisations that are able to sustain change over time are those that focus on the fundamentals that we know drive successful change: communication, training, leadership engagement and measurement. And despite nearly uniform acceptance that these are the key drivers of change, the companies that aren’t good at them aren’t getting any better.”

Focus on fundamentals

Spearheading change

According to the 2013 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey, employers say 55% of their change management initiatives meet their initial objectives. However, only 1 in 4 respondents say they are able to sustain gains from their change management initiatives over the long-term. Change management initiatives can range from programme or policy changes, to business transformation and mergers and acquisitions. Jeffrey Tang, Director of Talent & Rewards, Towers Watson, Hong Kong said, “Most companies are having a difficult time keeping the momentum of

The survey also unveiled the fact that most companies recognise that managers have an important role to play in managing change. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 respondents train their managers to manage change. However, less than one quarter of all respondents report their training to be effective. Tang commented, “Managers are a catalyst for successful change. Now is the ideal time for organisations to look at this lingering problem from a new angle, focusing on the manager’s role. For managers to succeed at spearheading change, companies need to change their approach, train managers

more effectively and do a much better job of communicating with them.” Indeed, the research shows that only 68% of senior managers say they are getting the message about the reasons behind major organisational decisions. Below the senior management level, the message dwindles further. Only 53% of middle managers and 40% of first-line supervisors say their management does a good job of explaining reasons behind major decisions.

Inform, engage & enable To prepare managers for their role as successful change leaders, companies must ensure that they focus on informing, engaging and enabling their employees. Managers need to understand why people resist change and acknowledge that they themselves are likely to resist change. They also need to be visible, engage in dialogue with their team early and often, and ensure that employees feel like they have a stake in the success of the organisation.

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HR Features

Rules of employee engagement It seems that when it comes to keeping employees engaged in the workplace, Hong Kong has a lot to learn. While Aon Hewitt reports that Hong Kong experienced the highest drop in employee engagement levels in Asia Pacific in 2012, from 58% to 50% , Dale Carnegie Training’s Survey claimed that as many as 72% of employees are not fully engaged at work . With this in mind, it is evident that measures need to be taken to get 100% of staff on board, but how? With a plethora of white papers and infinite websites dedicated to the subject, how can senior leaders avoid becoming lost in the quest to get staff fully engaged? The answer, according to Dale Carnegie Training, is to keep it simple. Triana Newton, the company’s Regional Vice President, APAC, explains why.

Take a top-down approach Knowing where to focus attention first, when it comes to tackling low staff engagement issues in the workplace, can be a real headache, particularly when faced with three categories of employees—the fully engaged, partially engaged and disengaged. Any shift from disengaged to engaged reduces turnover costs and should not be downplayed, particularly in industries currently experiencing a talent shortage. Also, while disengaged employees cost employers time and money, engaged staff drive the business forward.

Deciding whether to begin at the bottom and raise the morale of the most disengaged individuals, or rather work with the partially-engaged employees to raise them to the next category, can be a difficult one to make. One might perceive these two categories as the most important to crack first. Interestingly, however, Newton advises that focusing on the fully-engaged team members is the best place to start on the journey to achieving staff engagement. She stressed that working to keep the talent you already have is vital for an organisation, as they are the lifeblood of the business and those focused employees who sit at the peak are fine examples of the desired result—to make employees feel valued, confident, inspired, empowered and enthusiastic and therefore committed to the success of the organisation.

Go beyond the dollar sign Engagement means different things to different people and knowing what drives satisfaction from an employee’s point of view is the first step in tackling the engagement issue, according to Newton. The fact that one organisation has a reputation as a great place to work, while another struggles to retain its employees, is never down to a simple matter of one paying staff more than the other. While financial incentives may attract more applicants, they do not connect an individual personally to an organisation, engagement goes beyond the dollar sign. Understanding what drives an employee’s level of commitment to work and to do business is key to achieving engagement in the workplace, which can ultimately make or  break an organisation.

Leadership Attributes Leading to

She explained her approach, “Focus on the fully engaged first, as they are the key to the benefits of employee engagement. Look at how to keep this group of employees fully connected, then look at how to lift the partially engaged into the category above. The disengaged are the final group to address.” The concept of raising employees to the next level of the engagement scale by starting from the top-down may sound simple in theory, but how does it work in practice?

    Identify  the drivers

When Dale Carnegie Training examined  the  rational and emotional factors that  impact engagement in the workplace, the   three key drivers of employee engagement  were: satisfaction with immediate manager,  belief in senior leadership and pride in the  organisation. Aon Hewitt’s research,   on the other hand, determined career opportunities, pay and recognition as the  top  three factors.

Leadership Attributes Leading to Engagement

                 

26 | HR Magazine

                                     

How the Best Senior Leaders Pave the Way to Engageme

HR Features

What both findings had in common is that the key to improving engagement among staff is largely held by managers and senior staff within the organisation, which places the focus on leadership. Aon Hewitt believes leaders in APAC are likely to get the highest ROI in employee engagement if they take ownership of the matter and focus on the key drivers. Gabriela Domicelj, Engagement Practice Leader, Aon Hewitt, APAC explained, “By examining employee engagement, employers can create an engagement strategy to augment motivation, behaviour, productivity, and subsequent business results. Leaders and managers can take actions to improve employee engagement levels, and accordingly better position the organisation for future success”.

tackled. She explained that there are four stages of leadership trust: impression, interaction, direction and consultation.

According to Newton, leaders can now begin to pave the path to employee engagement through the following five key steps:

The first step, impression, requires the leader Step 1: Set strategic goals, steer towards a common to show a genuine interest in others, provide vision, encourage teamwork, open communication, resources and be responsive. This is followed by and voicing of opinions. interaction through a series of face-to-face, virtual, Step 2: Leverage town hall meetings, one-on-one written or verbal encounters, which enables interviews, surveys, and other feedback mechanisms trust to grow to the next level. In order for this to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. to happen, leaders must be transparent, speak Step 3: Set realistic and clearly defined goals at an confidently, listen and follow through. Newton individual, department, and organisation level. explained that once leaders have reached this next Step 4: Establish parameters, solicit feedback, and level of trust, they are viewed as an advisor and involve immediate managers to evaluate and act on authority and have entered the stage of direction, action plans at an individual level. where they can ask for input, provide feedback, Step 5: Reward enthusiasm, passion, commitment challenge ideas and collaborate on plans. At the and discretionary effort, and customise But what are the essential attributes of a successful final stage of leadership trust—consultation— recognition to be more meaningful to different  the leader is strategic and competent  leader and how does this impact on employee and segments of your organisation. engagement? According to Newton, the power to exhibits the four attributes necessary to promote    pave the way to engagement lies in the hands of engagement in the organisation. They are able Kelleher, author of Louder than Words, wrote that,     senior leaders, who should demonstrate four key to strategise, shift thinking, elevate the dialogue “For engagement to exist there must be mutual qualities: direction, competence, communication and change paradigms. commitment between the employer and the   and collaboration. employee, wherein the employer is helping the     Set steps for successful employee reach his or her untapped potential and Gain trust from employees    engagement the employee is helping the employer meet and    the Now that the organisation has identified Quoting the words of employee engagement surpass its business goals.” By following these  key drivers of employee engagement and senior author and public speaker Bob Kelleher, five steps, Newton argues that organisations have   leaders have worked to ensure they embody the Newton expressed that trust is a vital element the opportunity to reach out to the disengaged      essential attributes of a successful leader and to improving staff engagement in the workplace and provide them with a path to professional   established trust with employees, what is the and it is only when trust is built between development, whilst enabling them to feel valued,    next step in the engagement process? leaders and employees that engagement can be trusted, committed and, above all, engaged. 

Leadership Attributes Leading to Engagement

es Leading to Engagement

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                                     

                

How the Best Senior Leaders Pave the Way to Engagement


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Super hero HR

Why HR needs to rethink succession planning for their boss


The CEO’s departure is, sooner or later, inevitable— but is HR really prepared for it? As boards struggle to take the right steps to find their next CEO, we dispel seven myths on succession planning.

CEOs are turning over at a rate of 10 – 15% per year. From jumping to another firm to resigning due to poor health or poor performance, or just retiring—HR would be expected to be well-prepared for CEO succession. But governance experts from Stanford and The Miles Group have found a number of broad misunderstandings about CEO transitions and examine how ready the board and HR really are for this major change. The selection of the CEO is the single most important decision a board of directors can make, but turmoil around these decisions at the top has called into question the reliability of the process that companies use to identify and develop future leaders. David Larcker and Brian Tayan of the Corporate Governance Research Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; and Stephen Miles of The Miles Group now share their insight on the seven myths that commonly pervade CEO succession strategies.

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myths of CEO succession

Myth 1: Companies know who the next CEO will be

The longer the succession period from one CEO to the next, the worse the company will perform relative to its peers, but, shockingly, nearly 40% of companies claim they have no viable internal candidate available to immediately fill the shoes of the CEO if he or she left tomorrow.

Myth 2: There is one best model for succession There are several different paths companies can take to naming a successor—including internal and external approaches. One reason companies fall short at succession planning is that they often select the wrong model for their current situation. A company may need an external recruit to lead a turnaround, for instance, or may have the capability to groom multiple internal executives over a period of time to allow the most promising one to shine through. One size does not fit all.


Myth 3: The CEO should pick a successor Sitting CEOs have a vested interest in the current strategy of a company and its continuance, and they may have ‘favourites’ they want to see follow them. Boards, however, must determine the future needs of the company, and what kind of successor will best match the direction the company is headed.

Myth 4: Succession is primarily a ‘risk management’ issue While a failure to plan adequately certainly exposes an organisation to downside risk, boards should understand that succession planning is primarily about building shareholder value. Succession planning is as much success-oriented as it is risk-oriented.

Myth 5: Boards know how to evaluate CEO talent According to the 2013 Survey on CEO Performance Evaluations conducted by the Center for Leadership Development and

Research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and The Miles Group, CEO performance evaluations place too much weight on financial performance, and not enough on other more critical metrics. This means boards are placing great emphasis on accounting, operating and stock price results, while not enough weight is being placed on non-financial metrics including employee satisfaction, customer service, innovation and talent development that have proven correlation with the long-term success of organisations.

Myth 6: Boards prefer internal candidates While, ultimately, three quarters of newly appointed CEOs are internal executives, external candidates still hold a strong appeal for boards—especially at the start of a search. Often boards are not given enough exposure to internal candidates, and directors are often nervous about giving an ‘untested’ executive the full reins

of a company. There is a still-prevalent bias against promoting the insider ‘junior executive’ to the top spot one day. So, while the ‘myth’ may end up mostly true in the end, there is often a long journey of getting the board to that decision.

Myth 7: Boards want a female or minority CEO Diversity ranks high on the list of attributes that board members formally look for in CEO candidates, and yet female and ethnic minorities continue to have low representation among actual CEOs. We continue to see that boards select CEOs with leadership styles they perceive to be similar to their own, and the fact is that boards today are still highly non-diverse when it comes to gender and ethnic backgrounds.

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HR Features

Generation wh Balancing the wants and needs of various generations within the workplace is no easy task, with each more technological, more ambitious, even more demanding than the previous one. Hermann Lam, Product Manager, and Yoyo Yiu, Manager of Sales and Marketing at FlexSystem shared the organisation’s approach to Gen Y harmony with HR Magazine.

Gen Y like to have a more planned career path compared to other generations. They like to know where they are going and how long it will take to get there.

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Communication key FlexSystem, with over 26 years of enterprise management solutions provision in Hong Kong under its belt, still strives to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting, developing and rewarding its multi-generational workforce. With a recent surge in Gen Y personnel—they now in fact make up the majority of the workforce—the company recognises the need to stay in tune with their must-haves, tailoring its offering to reflect the priorities and values of this starkly different set of professionals. Both Lam and Yiu emphasised throughout our interview that any initiatives or decisions taken are hugely dependent on one thing— communication. Whilst it can be easy for a well-established company to continue making the same recruitment, retention, benefits, promotion and engagement efforts as have always served them well, Lam stressed that this is more than that—especially for Gen Y. Even before employment, it is hugely important to be very vocal about what can and will be offered, and when. He explained, “We communicate about objectives, mentoring, study allowances and exam reimbursement as Gen Y like to have a more planned career path compared to other

? generations. They like to know where they are going and how long it will take to get there. They expect that, and we have to make it clear to them how we can get them there.”

Sourcing & retaining talent In order to source talent, FlexSystem adopts a typical, traditional approach in addition to having a presence at campus career days in Hong Kong. The representatives for the company are often sent to their former university, allowing current students to chat with alumni that took a path that they too could follow. It provides a two-way communication platform which is important in the stage of talent sourcing. According to Lam, this campus presence has proven so successful it is likely to continue in the coming years. The company is particularly proud of its low turnover rate for Gen Y employees. When the occasion does arise that an individual wishes to leave the firm, the relationship management does not immediately end. Lam explained, “We provide an exit interview during which we ask what is happening, whether there are any issues with the benefits they are receiving and why they have decided to leave. Again, the key is communication.”

HR Features

Personal and professional development In order to cope with the demands of the roles within the company, FlexSystem needs individuals on its workforce with specific, often IT-based, hard skills, and also certain soft skills. When it comes to recruiting, they do not test overly on the hard skills, preferring to put their confidence in the universities’ testing systems for the relevant competencies. For the soft skills required—namely coping well under pressure, determination and perseverance to complete and follow up tasks and problem solving—the interview process must help to weed out unsuitable candidates. For this they employ group discussion interviews, allowing candidates able to develop and express an opinion to stand out and shine.

Beneficial benefits? Although the employees at FlexSystem each have access to the same benefits, management has observed a noted difference in the priorities of different generations in their

workforce. Whilst the full-body medical check offered is popular with their older workers, it is the benefit most under-used by their Gen Y employees. Lam commented, “Gen Y do enjoy the exam and study allowances, reflecting their continued eagerness to learn into their 30s and 40s.” For those who did not complete further education prior to employment, Yiu added, “Vocational education can be provided as well, supporting employees through money and time to get their bachelor’s degrees if this is something they seek to possess.” Staff relaxation trips are organised annually, recent excursions have seen the firm reward its employees along with their significant others by taking them to Seoul and Taipei. One final stand-out benefit is the company’s recognition of continued value-add by individuals and teams—incentive schemes are set up to allow contributors to collect a type of royalty in exchange for the value brought by their involvement in a project or product development.

CSR The way to engage and involve employees in community-minded projects is, according to Lam, “Make them feel that what they’re doing is for themselves and not for the company. ‘We’ may organise, but ‘you’ are improving yourself. ‘You’ are doing something good.” He further explained that delivering the message of social awareness and contribution in terms of an individual’s value is far more important than encouraging good actions for the sake of the company. The various efforts entered into by FlexSystem seem to have proven worthwhile, with the donation of time to NGO ventures, charity walks and volunteering at daycares for children from low-income families not only achieving high participation rates but also high repeat participation rates. Whilst helping to forge and strengthen a team spirit amongst workers, such activities also cement the company’s values—harmony and caring.

(From left to right): Alice Chan, Marketing Executive, FlexSystem; Yoyo Yiu, Manager­—Sales & Marketing, FlexSystem and Hermann Lam, Product Manager share FlexSystem’s approach to generational workplace harmony

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HR Features

Spotting & avoiding toxic relations Success in the workplace depends on the ability to relate effectively to people. Research shows that 60% to 80% of all difficulties in organisations stem from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in an individual employee’s skill or motivation. According to Van Moody, author and motivational speaker, healthy relationships at work can propel an individual to great heights of achievement, whereas dysfunctional or toxic ones will tether an individual to mediocrity. When relationships are mismanaged, the fall-out affects productivity and the ability to advance. Success at work depends on the ability to set boundaries that encourage mutual respect and keep the focus on productivity. Manager/Peer actions that may indicate toxic professional relationships: • • • • • • •

they stifle talent and limit opportunities for advancement; they twist circumstances and conversations to their benefit; they chide or punish for a mistake rather than help correct it; they constantly remind of a disappointing experience or unmet expectation; they take credit or withhold recognition for new ideas and extra effort; they focus solely on meeting their goals and do so at the expense of the team; and they fail to respect the need for others’ personal space and time.

Moreover, Moody advises that one of the best ways to work with unhealthy people is to set boundaries. He suggests boundaries such as time management, self-expression, playing one’s part and changing the conversation to work. Healthy boundaries keep frustration and confusion at a minimum. Boundaries remind people of what is acceptable and what is reasonable to expect. Boundaries also prevent unhealthy people from taking up too much time, energ y or resources—all precious commodities in the workplace.

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Every relationship has influence, and therefore it is of paramount importance that HR incorporates a strategy to establish healthy relational boundaries. There are no neutral relationships; each one has the power to either uplift or weigh down an individual or a team. They can move one forward or hold one back. They can help or they can hurt. Consequently, when HR is positioned to manage relationships appropriately, it will make all the difference between a fulfilling work life and one that is riddled with disappointment, failure and regret.

HR Features

Flexibility at a cost The concept of zero-hour contracts has proven to be a controversial topic among HR professionals globally. Initially they were introduced as a flexible working arrangement between employers and employees, giving employee the option to work adhoc, as and when required by the employer. But what are the drawbacks of such low-commitment agreements? HR Magazine explores.

What are they? Zero-hour contracts are contracts of employment—most predominant in the UK— which are used under similar terms to those of part-time workers. Employees are provided with a written statement of the terms and conditions of their employment containing provisions which create an ‘on call’ arrangement between themselves and the employer. Employers are not obliged to provide any guaranteed hours of work and employees are also usually not obliged to accept work. Zero-hour contracts offer no security of work hours or income and therefore employees run the risk of unpredictable hours and earnings, only being paid for the actual hours worked.

Zero-hour contracts are primarily instated as a cost-saving initiative and many large organisations across the UK, including reputable names such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza, have been reported to employ approximately 80% to 90% of their workforce under such conditions . Surprisingly, Buckingham Palace, which employs up to 350 seasonal summer workers, also uses them. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that there are roughly one million zero-hour contract workers currently in the UK .

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HR Features

Contract controversy

Zero-hour contracts in HK

For some workers, particularly students, extreme flexibility can be beneficial, as it allows them to fit casual employment around their academic commitments.

Howse Williams Bowers (HWB) suggests that in Hong Kong the statutory employee protections offered to both continuous and non-continuous employees, regardless of the regularity of their working hours, would likely defeat the cost-saving advantages of adopting zero-hour contract arrangements and make it a less attractive option to employers here.

However, according to the CIPD’s research approximately 38% of those employed under zero-hours contracts consider themselves to be employed full-time, working 30 hours or more per week, without the added benefits of a full-time employee, such as annual leave, sickness allowance and maternity protection. The exploitation many of these workers face includes being denied work at any time for any reason. Furthermore, a refusal to work in any one instance for any reason can result in a prolonged period of lack of work. In addition to leaving workers without any guaranteed pay, these contracts make it difficult to secure a tenancy agreement, credit card or loan because it is impossible to prove that one has a regular income. No guaranteed income means uncertainty over paying bills and rent and can leave workers unable to plan for the future through pensions and savings.

If, however, they were to be implemented employees who are employed under a continuous contract of employment—that is, a person who has been continuously employed by the same employer for four weeks or more, with at least 18 hours worked in each week— are entitled to benefits, in addition to basic protection such as paid rest days, paid annual leave, sickness allowance, maternity protection and mandatory provident funds (unless exempted).

As the economic situations in Hong Kong and Europe are currently very different, it is likely that even if zero-hour contract arrangements were to be introduced in Hong Kong, they would be subject to alterations. Incentives— such as guaranteed minimum hours and income—would probably be required for employers in Hong Kong to ‘lock’ employees into working exclusively for them. A fair work allocation system is also essential to minimise media scrutiny and complaints relating to exploitation of employees. Zero-hour contracts can work as a viable option for employers who need flexibility and the option to access additional staff as and when business demand increases. The option of flexible working hours is not likely to lose its appeal for students who want the choice to work flexibly around studying or for those with few employment prospects.

Why so popular in Europe? Socio-economic factors in Europe may be significant contributors to the growing adoption of zero-hour contract agreements, which are likely to appeal to workers with few employment prospects or in cities suffering from the economic down-turn, with high unemployment rates.

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HR Features

Reconsidering relocation allowances An international move will more often than not present a degree of challenge to an assignee and their family in terms of adapting to life in a new location. Differences in climate, language and culture are just some of the factors that will impact on the ease with which the assignee will adjust to life in their new home. Other factors such as personal security, the political landscape, the availability of medical care, education and the standard of facilities will have a direct impact on the quality of everyday life for all residents, regardless of their place of origin.

Remuneration for globally set mobile employees needs to take into account many factors. Market rates, cost of living, tax liabilities and housing costs are often the norm, but many multinationals also factor in an element of compensation, designed to financially remunerate employees for the difficulties they may experience in adapting to life in a new location. That said, companies ultimately need a policy that will keep the right person in the right place, so it is unsurprising that as mobility allowances are removed, other components of the remuneration package are being used to incentivise the move and the location allowance ceases to be purely a compensator. According to ECA International’s latest Location Ratings Survey, 12% of companies pay a location allowance and mobility allowance combined into a single payment.

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HR Features

The research found that over half of the companies applying location allowances use a banding system to define them. Typically, locations are grouped into five, six or seven bands and a recommended allowance assigned to each band, normally ranging from zero to 30% of gross salary, although companies apply a broad variation of bands and percentages to suit the specific needs of their organisation and mobile population. According to the research, 64% of companies pay a location allowance to compensate employees for adapting to a different environment, whereas 32% pay the allowance to motivate employees to move to undesirable locations. The large majority of organisations pay location allowances on a monthly basis rather than as a one-off payment at the beginning or end of the assignment. This is in keeping with the original purpose of these allowances, being financial compensation for adapting to a different environment rather than an incentive to move, funding for one-off setup costs in a new location or a completion bonus. A total of 9% of companies pay additional allowances on top of the location allowance to compensate for assignees living in a very remote area or an area of extreme risk.

Holiday or hardship? Few people would dispute that an expatriate moving from Paris to Kabul will be eligible for some form of location allowance due to its well-documented issues and the considerable amount of adaptation required. However, many may be surprised to learn that a move from Paris to several locations within the Caribbean, for example, will attract an allowance. These ‘paradise’ locations may be a dream destination for a two-week holiday but the reality of living there for prolonged periods of time is rather different. The following examples illustrate why a supposedly attractive posting may actually warrant a location allowance:

Dubai—often thought of as an expatriate haven, with warm weather, excellent recreational facilities and a large expatriate community. There are, however, considerable differences in culture that exist between many locations and the United Arab Emirates. Living in an Islamic authoritarian state and becoming accustomed to different ways of dressing and social norms will require adaptation if you are arriving from Los Angeles or Hong Kong, for example. Whilst society may seem outwardly tolerant, expatriates in Dubai frequently comment on the lack of interaction with

the local population and different attitudes towards women.

Cape Town—one of the world’s great cities, offering a diverse range of activities and natural attractions. However, crime continues to be of critical concern for all visitors to South Africa. Although not quite at the level seen in Johannesburg, Cape Town scores very highly in personal security concerns, recognising the significant risk to expatriates living within the city. Many types of crime occur in Cape Town, including violent crime, so it is necessary for expatriates to adopt strict security measures in their everyday lives. Antigua & Barbuda—seen as an island paradise, but life there can pose a number of difficulties for expatriates. For many common goods there is a limited choice of supply because they have to be imported. For non-food items, such as clothing, choice may be further restricted; boutique shops catering to tourists do not offer an appropriate range to year-round expatriate residents. Furthermore, the location is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. The impact of dangerously high winds and flooding is not something that has to be considered in the majority of locations, hence a degree of compensation is warranted in this respect.

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HR Features

Retirement rules! With the ageing-population crisis set to unfold right across Asia over the coming years, the need for HR to have an efficient system in place has never been greater. According to the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2013, five out of six Asian countries maintained a ‘D’ grade—meaning their system is in need of improvement. The research identifies possible steps HR could take to provide more adequate retirement benefits, increased sustainability and greater trust in the pension system.

Organisations are advised to: • promote higher labour force participation at older ages; • encourage or require higher levels of private saving, both within and beyond the pension system, to reduce the future dependence on the public pension; • reduce the leakage from the retirement savings system prior to retirement thereby ensuring that the funds saved, often with associated taxation support, are used for the provision of retirement income; and • increase the governance of private pension plans to improve the confidence of plan members.

Interestingly, the government of China recently announced its new tax incentive on Enterprise Annuity, the nation’s qualified supplemental retirement plan. The new regulation reduces the Individual Income Tax by using a tax deferral mechanism. Aon Hewitt observes that the new regulations represent the only tax benefit for Chinese employees. Sun Fan, Global Partner of Aon Hewitt commented, “It is time for employers to reconsider their total rewards strategy, especially how they can maximise the total rewards returns to employees.” Moreover, findings from Towers Watson reveal that the majority of Hong Kong defined contribution retirement schemes tend to offer as wide a range as possible with regards to investment choices, but seldom engage in any research to understand their membership’s profile and engagement levels. Dr David Knox, Senior Partner, Mercer commented, “Pension systems in many Asian countries are in an embryonic phase and we expect them to gradually strengthen in the coming years. Many Asian countries are also facing an ageing population at a rate beyond most Western countries, which makes it particularly challenging, and urgent, to develop a sustainable pension system.” HR needs to therefore take the appropriate action to pre-empt these challenges and begin implementing a long-term pension strategy.

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Multi-skillsets essential for staff to stay ahead of the game With job competition growing tougher and business conditions continuously changing in today’s corporate world, executives in organisations across the globe are becoming more exposed to issues that challenge them beyond the horizon of their everyday functions. As a result, the demand for multi-skillsets is ever increasing and the ability to meet such demand not only contributes towards the success of an individual within their chosen career, but also the organisation itself.

Risky business Facing uncertainties and risk is a daily occurrence for businesses in the current economic climate and consequently, decision leaders are challenged to use practical

knowledge and analytical skills to secure a successful outcome. Whatever industry they operate in, such skills can assist employees in achieving the company’s goals and ultimately staying ahead of the game.

Supply meets demand HKU SPACE has a recognised role in lifelong learning and provides education opportunities for personal, professional and career advancement for people from all walks of life. Whatever skills are in demand, the school offers a series of Executive Diplomas designed to provide middle to senior level executives with updated market knowledge and practical training in multi-business disciplines. From corporate finance and cost analysis,

to strategic management and professional networking, executives from business or non-business backgrounds can gain the skills needed to assist their career progression whilst strengthening the foundations of their company’s success. Aline Loh, Programme Director, HKU SPACE, College of Business and Finance explained, “Our programmes are uniquely geared towards those students who do not have a finance background but want to learn more about it for personal and career development. Some of the modules are also offered as in-house training for corporates so that practitioners can learn new theoretical concepts and apply them to the real world.”

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HR Features

Five things employers should know about background screening in APAC By Matthew Glasner, First Advantage Managing Director, South Asia Pacific

Damage to the company’s reputation. The costs of replacing employees who did not have the qualifications stated on their résumés. Risk to the safety and security of fellow employees and customers. These are just some of the many problems that can arise if a company hires the wrong candidates. To avoid such instances, many employers have recognised the benefits of comprehensive screening programmes. Yet, as more companies look to the growing markets of the APAC region to expand their businesses, they often find the population to be not yet fully accustomed to or accepting of the idea of screening candidates. With employers increasingly leveraging the workforce of the emerging markets of APAC, many have tried to replicate their domestic screening practices and apply them to their hiring efforts in the region. Unfortunately, these efforts don’t always prove to be successful, and companies that fail to get the screening process right, or lack one altogether, open themselves up to compliance risk. As a result, they may then contend with negative attention to the company, harm to the brand and excessive financial costs and penalties. In its recent research, First Advantage Employment Screening Trends Report: Asia Pacific, First Advantage provides an in-depth exploration of background screening processes in APAC and uncovers many facts that employers hiring workers in the region should know to ensure a successful and fully compliant screening practice.

Five of the most important takeaways from this research are included here:

Biggest challenges One of the biggest concerns among employers, and one of the reasons why some are reluctant to implement a screening

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programme in APAC, is the rapidly changing legislation regarding screening and data security. These laws vary widely between the different markets of the region and differ greatly between cities in the same country, causing many companies to fear the risks that can arise if their screening processes do not comply with local regulations. Even companies with enterprise-wide screening programmes find difficulties when transferring their processes to the APAC region. For instance, candidates may feel that they are being subjected to a private investigation that is beyond their control. However, candidates should be reassured that all screenings are conducted with their full consent.

of concern. Companies that conduct six checks or more for each candidate, a practice accounting for nearly half (40.4%) of all background screenings in the first quarter of 2013, are nine times more likely to uncover an alert than employers that only conduct one or two checks.

Differences by countries & industries Despite more employers throughout APAC conducting background screening, their use varies widely across the different countries of the region. For example, instances in which companies conducted six or more checks per candidate are most prevalent in the more established markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

Growing acceptance

Getting started

Although background screening is not yet widely practised, there is rapidly growing acceptance. First Advantage reports that there was more than a 10% increase in the number of background checks conducted in APAC between 2012 and 2013.

The findings from First Advantage’s research show that employers in APAC that screen their candidates find a larger number of discrepancies, and employers that have yet to adopt the practice may end up hiring those individuals with false credentials.

In particular, performing background screening can help the company ensure it hires the right people the first time, thereby eliminating the costs and extra time involved with finding replacements for an employee who resigns or is let go. The company can also protect itself from the reputational damage or potential risk to workplace safety or confidential data that result from negative hiring.

In order to ensure a reliable and compliant screening programme, companies can benefit from working with a background screening partner experienced in the dynamic regulatory environment of APAC.

Effectiveness of background screening

The right provider should be up to date on the latest legislation governing the background screening process, helping to ensure the company continually hires the right talent while checking their credentials in a safe and legally compliant manner.

As First Advantage has discovered, employers that conduct background screenings of their candidates are able to screen out a large number of candidates who pose potential problems. In the first quarter of 2013 alone, one in 10 screening reports conducted in APAC resulted in discrepancies or areas

With an effective background screening programme in place, managed by a trusted screening solutions provider with proven expertise in the region, the company can ensure a successful hiring programme across APAC. Visit


Tips on preventing work-related back injuries about allocation of heavy lifting Follow ing on from the news in this issue warning HR be done to help minimise the risk of staff duties (page 10), we now share advice on what can suffering back injuries at work. Walkaround inspection out their opinion on the difficulty of Conduct walkaround interviews with employees to find • the task as well as personal experiences of back pain. Observe worker postures and lifting. • Measure the dimensions of the workplace and lift. • cy and duration of lifting tasks. Determine the weight of objects lifted and the frequen • tasks for subsequent review and to Evaluate findings: videos should be taken of relevant work • s. hazard help identify any recognised musculoskeletal Engineering controls change the position of the object Alter work tasks to eliminate any hazardous motions and/or • of a pallet or shelf. height the ng in relation to the employee’s body e.g. by adjusti , range of motion and weight the ise minim to d designe be Material handling tasks should • . frequency of the activity ise the distance between the person Work methods and stations should be designed to minim • and the object being handled. height to minimise awkward postures. Platforms and conveyors should be built at about waist • but pushing is better than pulling. High-strength push-pull requirements are undesirable, • with handles that can be easily grasped Material handling equipment should be easy to move, • in an upright posture. try to adjust to allow employees to Workstation configurations can force people to bend over— • posture. remain in a relaxed upright stance or fully supported, seated leaning to one side e.g. by repositioning or ing stretch g, twistin ed sustain or ve repetiti ise Minim • conveyors. workstations and moving employees closer to parts and • •

Store heavy objects at waist level. Provide lift-assist devices and lift tables.

Training and awareness Make staff aware of general principles of ergonomics. • Help staff recognise hazards and injuries. • and methods and procedures for early Clarify procedures for reporting hazardous conditions, • reporting of injuries. controls. Job-specific training on safe work practices, hazards and • costs. sation compen reduce can g trainin Strength and fitness • or using a two-person lift may Rotating of employees, providing a short break every hour, • a job that utilises a completely be must but job, be helpful. Rotation is not simply a different erted. over-ex been have that ones different muscle group from the General the back and legs—provide footrests Standing for extended periods places excessive stress on • opport unities for employees to change and chairs ble adjusta or rails, resilient floor mats, height• •

position. adjustable lumbar support. For seated employees—choose suitable chairs with proper . avoided be should g Static seated postures with bending or reachin

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Creating captivating L&D programmes & successful mobile workforce strategies

Designing and delivering an L&D programme that not only engages and captivates employees but develops them to become the very best they can be is a tall order for HR—even more so when faced with the additional challenge of managing globally mobile workforces. How can organisations create training programmes that capture the interest of participants, develop leaders, provide effective coaching and mentoring and lead to enhanced workforce effectiveness and long-term employee engagement? And what tools can be used to demonstrate the ROI of the programme once these objectives have been reached? HR Magazine put these questions to the floor at its latest conference, which saw more than 250 HR practitioners gather to share ideas, advice and success stories of how to tackle the task at hand in organisations across Hong Kong. 42 | HR Magazine

A case study in employee development: from private banker to good team leader Selina Ko Head of HR, PvB & WMPS, HK Standard Charter Bank

Selina Ko opened the conference with an informal poll via show of hands to gauge how involved the audience was in the banking and private banking sector. Unsurprisingly, most members of the audience have some measure of

involvement in the finance and banking industry, even if just as a customer or client. Moving from casual to new-age tech with poll taking, Ko then garnered audience participation through a virtual poll where participants could vote via their smartphones and see the results in real time, responding to a test of the audience’s knowledge of private banking practices. With the room now riveted, Ko continued her presentation to discuss the diversity involved in the HR considerations of private banking clients and employees, and the ways in which HR can guide strong employees to pursue career development paths to become team leaders within the industry. Ko identified the key mindsets which HR should seek when looking for potential high-performing team leaders, including supervision compliance and governance, business and team development and people management. Being aware of the crucial skills and mindsets relevant to the position or future career path is essential for HR, Ko urged. She stated simply, “We really need to pick the right people for the right role.” She encouraged proactive career management on the part of HR, working in tandem with each employee to address their concerns and guide them towards the right path both for themselves as individuals, and for the company as a whole. In doing this, she added, HR managers should focus on employee strengths rather than weaknesses to bolster employee involvement and company loyalty.

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Take charge of talent conversations now …before it’s too late Dr Roland Smith Vice President and MD, APAC, CCL

Don’t underestimate the power of conversation. This was the underlying message of Smith’s presentation, which highlighted the importance of communication in keeping top talent engaged and committed. He explained that the three pillars of transformation and sustainable growth for any business are strategy, culture and talent and this is where HR should focus its energy in order to keep talent. “Your talent is watching you,” Smith warned, and unless they feel valued and invested in, they will look elsewhere for a role that will fulfill this. Smith explained that employees keep track of how they are treated by their employer and that most high performers look beyond bonuses and rewards and focus more on treatment. He summarised, “As long as you take care of them, they will stay.” Smith also stressed that talent management is a shared responsibility among all levels of employees, from business leaders and executives to HR leaders, which he calls ‘talent accelerators’ and the board of directors, or rather the ‘talent overseers’. A recent survey conducted by CCL revealed that CEOs considered best practice spend 40% of their time with talent, 82% are involved with identifying talent at the recruitment stage, 71% review the progress of HiPos and 50% are a coach or mentor to HiPos. These CEOs do not embrace the title of ‘coach’, but rather consider themselves a ‘conductor’ who learns to orchestrate talent within their organisation.

Interestingly, there is a mismatch between the level of feedback employees feel they receive and what managers believe they provide. While 89% of managers feel they provide sufficient feedback or advice to employees on areas in need of improvement, only 57% of employees claim they receive this. According to Smith, this discrepancy comes down to a lack of communication or misdirected conversations. He pointed out that the talent conversation is a mutual engagement and that in order to achieve the desired result, it must entail more than a 20-minute chat over the keyboard between talent and the manager. It must be a carefully thought out discussion which is tailored to the situation, whether that be a performance- or coaching-based conversation, for example, with either an under performer, potential performer or solid performer. Relationships are critical to talent development and sustainability, Smith concluded, and this is something that HR often overlooks. “You will keep talent longer if you work on building relationships,” he added, as he advised HR to create a talent dashboard which covers the areas of connecting to strategy, future focus and knowing the individual. He ended by advocating that businesses can raise the spirit of their people by having conversations and that knowing how to adopt the right approach to these conversations is a crucial factor to consider.

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How HR can help businesses manage people risk through robust background screening Kannan Chettiar Regional Director, First Advantage

With the acceleration of global recruitment in recent years, fraud has become a much greater issue for HR departments. Every new employee hired means the business is exposed to a new risk. Chettiar detailed some of those risks as well as highlighting steps HR can take to be prudent in detecting fraud. Explaining the dangers of not conducting thorough background screening, Chettiar

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emphasised the importance for HR to actively leverage global background checks. According his intelligence, more than one in ten CVs contain some form of discrepancy, therefore undertaking a simple in-depth background check will save HR unnecessary problems down the line. Chettiar noted that Hong Kong has the highest educational-background fraud in APAC. Consequently, local employees are advised to verify credentials from the source and be vigilant in asking detailed questions at the initial stage of recruitment. Employing someone with false credentials not only means the business has employed the wrong person but, more seriously, can have a detrimental impact on the businesses’ reputation which often leads to permanent damage. Other dangers include unnecessary costs associated with negligent hiring decisions, litigation, theft of company or customer information and high staff turnover levels. Chettiar revealed countless incidents of fugitives moving countries to land high paid jobs using counterfeit credentials. As a professional in the field, Chettiar advises HR to adhere to compliance, determine the number and type of checks to conduct and have a one-world view. He concluded by explaining that employer branding starts before employees join. Treat employees well from the start by offering them the best screening background. In addition to doing this, HR will find that the business is tactfully placed to attract a better caliber candidate along with a lower risk of employing a fraudster.

Pernod Ricard leadership development journey-developing programmes to develop leaders Ringi Luk Assistant Manager, Talent Management, Pernod Ricard Asia

Cross fertilisation is at the heart of Pernod Ricard’s learning and development journey, which encourages employees to share ideas and concepts from a range of backgrounds. From providing private training at the Pernod Ricard University at the historical Château de La Voisine near Paris, to offering engaging and interactive e-learning platforms, the company’s comprehensive programme is

HR community designed to equip staff with a variety of skills required for their individual roles, covering all aspects from marketing and finance through to HR, communication and speaking in front of audiences. Focusing on six core competencies— including strategic vision, entrepreneurship and people development—the model aims to develop today’s talents to tomorrow’s leaders from fresh graduates through to senior leaders.

L&D and mobile workforces in the technology sector Monika Michalak Director of HR Overseas, iDreamsky Technology

The journey begins with a regional management trainee programme, which entails an 18-month programme that rotates staff through different departments, to enable them to learn about other departments in order to enhance their own individual function. During leadership week, employees are set the task of team building exercises, developing different competencies and writing about their personal development plan for review with their supervisor. A variety of programmes, aptly named Mixer, Shaker and Blender, help employees to learn from observation, improve their English proficiency and presentation skills and motivate them to embody the company’s core values. The overriding purpose is to develop leaders, manage teams and nurture innovation whilst creating value in an uncertain world through living the company values and striving for results. Closing her presentation, Luk offered advice on how to make the best cocktail and said, “The best cocktail includes all the vital ingredients— employees, culture and values.” She stressed that in order to create engaging and effective L&D programmes, organisations must provide employees with the opportunity to understand all the different components of the company and how their individual role fits into the context—or rather, what ingredient they can add to the mix.

Fresh off the plane from Beijing, Michalak shared what she had learnt during her challenge of hiring globally mobile talents from around the world for the Beijing-based startup iDreamsky. Having previously worked in Poland, Michalak ventured east on a mission to recruit engineers to work on bringing western video games, such as Fruit Ninja, Temple Run and Angry Birds, to an Asian market. She explained that the growing popularity of digital games has lead to video games overtaking dolls in the market and with 70% of the world’s toys being manufactured in China, the industry has become the fastest growing across the globe and now accounts for USD 23.6bn—bigger than the music and movie industries—and is predicted to exceed USD 25bn by the end of 2015.

With such high demand, and the best talent being global, Michalak was not only faced with the task of identifying good people, but also persuading them to up their lives and relocate to China. She explained, “You can assume that most good people are already employed and are not actively looking for a job, therefore recruitment is about searching for the best talent and making the right selection. China has many PR challenges and negative bias of foreign media, combined with misunderstanding around law and regulations means there is an added challenge in securing the best people for the job.” She explained the drawbacks of life in Beijing, such as high air pollution, language barriers and culture shock, which have proven to be an obstacle to bringing foreign talent—primarily in the 20 – 30 age bracket—onboard. This has not, however, been insurmountable and Michalak has gone above and beyond to manage the expectations of new recruits as well as their partners, whilst initiating them into the new culture during the onboarding process. She even takes them hiking along the Great Wall and can set them up with online dating to make them feel special, valued and welcome in their new environment. She ended by stressing the importance of constant and clear communication as well as patience when recruiting mobile workforces and pointed out that when it comes to securing and retaining top talent, and reducing the unknowns for new hires, it is the little things that make a big difference, from proving SIM cards and stocking up their fridge ready for their arrival, to trekking across one of the Eight Wonders of the World.

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HR community Virtual assessment & development for mobile workforces Travis Barton Principal & Talent Business Leader, Mercer Hong Kong

Barton set the scene with an illustration of a mobile employee in the business, creating the framework for effective virtual assessments and development. She explained that when dealing with mobile employees, assessments are most effective when they are simulation based. The days when HR could afford the time to take an employee out of the business on a three-day workshop are long gone. HR, therefore, needs to find methods to cater for these situations, especially when developing a mobile workforce. Utilising simulation-based training means employees can work remotely and at their own pace. Barton explained that breaking the training down into bite-sized pieces—two hours rather than two days— means employees are given the time to practise and are more inclined to benefit from it. Simulation-based training should directly reflect current working challenges and goals. When conducting virtual assessments, Barton advises HR to give feedback, make sure it is meaningful and realistic and create opportunities to practise. Employees want an example of someone else who did it. Therefore, using interactive software, with real-life examples, creates a solid foundation for

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developing a mobile workforce. Bring the training to life, Barton explained, tell a story of someone else who has faced an issue the employee can relate to. If a concept is taught and an employee is relied upon to practise outside of the training, the last thing expected of the employee is to fail. Simulation subverts this approach giving employees the room to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. She suggests that assessments be spread over a period of time, focusing on areas the employee wants to develop in. Fit these goals around the current working schedule which creates a more meaningful and flexible development programme. Barton recommends a weekly phone conversation to discuss with the employee what was done well and what areas need improving. This method means that no risk is involved in trying out new approaches and the employee is at liberty to experiment with different behaviours. Barton concluded by highlighting that the feedback from using this method has been very successful, 100% of participants say they have seen an improvement in at least one leadership area selected.




Monica Sun Chief HR Officer Li Ning Company

Maxwell Yu HR VP BlueScope Buildings Asia BlueScope Steel Group

Michelle Zhang Senior HR Director Pfizer China

Zhonghua Chen HR Director Tencent

Lina Li China HR Transformation Head Volvo

Anna Zhang Regional VP HR APAC Milliken



Brand new case studies featuring real stories – successes, struggles, challenges and solutions – that have occurred during HR transformations from senior HR leaders at Fortune 500 companies and local Chinese firms, including:

全新案例,分析真实故事 - 500强企业和中国本土企业高 级人力资源主管在变革中的成功,挣扎,挑战和解决方案

• Pfizer will showcase how they transformed their HR function into a strong business enabler. • Li Ning will present on planning change management to ensure a smooth transition. • Standard Chartered Bank will address China’s talent gap and demonstrate how to transform your organization into a magnet for talent. • Caterpillar will introduce how they applied LEAN 6 Sigma to the HR service center and achieved 99% customer satisfaction. • Volvo will share how they are driving forward with high quality and value-added HR service delivery. • Bayer will demonstrate how they leveraged innovative technology to support workforce management of more than 50,000 employees in China

• PFIZER将展示他们如何将人力资源职能转型为强大的 业务推动者。 • LI NING将介绍如何进行变革管理,以确保平稳过 渡。 • STANDARD CHARTERED BANK将针对中国的人 才缺口演示如何将企业变成人才磁铁。 • CATERPILLAR将介绍他们如何把精益六西格玛运用 在人力资源服务中心并取得99%的客户满意度。 • VOLVO将分享他们是如何推动高品质,增值的人力资 源服务。 • BAYER将展示他们如何在中国利用创新技术支持5万 多名员工。

• Qualcomm will help you use social media to win the war for talent.

• QUALCOMM将帮助您使用社交媒体来赢得人才争夺 战。

Heated panel discussions tackling the idiosyncrasies of HR transformation in China, including cultural and institutional challenges, demographic and regulatory challenges, talent shortage, HR business partnership and change management.

激烈的小组讨论解决中国人力资源转型独特问题,包括文 化和体制的挑战,人口和监管方面的挑战,人才短缺,人 力资源业务伙伴关系和变革管理。

Workshops led by HR experts with an average of 20 years’ experience providing in-depth learning – whether you’re trying to transform your HR department, setting up a HR SSC, developing critical thinking or managing changes during transformation.

平均20年经验的人力资源专家带领的专业研讨会,无论 您想变革人力资源部门,建立人力资源共享服务中心,培 养批判性思维还是建立变革管理机制,都能从深入的学习 机会中受益。


WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE? +65 6722 9388 •

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How to prepare and conduct successful live training for today’s workforce Dr Kelvin Wan Global Master Trainer (Project Management), HSBC Engaging the audience is the biggest challenge faced by trainers today, according to Kelvin Wan, Global Master Trainer at HSBC. He commented, “We not only have to catch them physically, we must also catch them mentally.” As trainer, if your enthusiasm lapses, the attention of your course attendees is as good as gone. In order to design and deliver a programme for maximum efficacy, Wan shared a few key fundamentals to keep in mind.

1. Impact management Wan advocates a vertical and horizontal approach to programme design. For the vertical aspect, senior management input should be sought—not only for the initial stages but also later during implementation and delivery. During the initial stages, when looking for approval, he suggested giving senior management a range of options—

relevant to the company’s structure, culture and needs and wants—rather than just one. In this way, the decision makers can better understand the core aims and feel that all avenues have been considered. He also advised that designs be horizontal; that the delivery be ‘colourful’—entertaining and activity-packed—in order to hook the smartphone generation’s interest. While he said that a great programme is 10% content and 90% delivery, Wan stressed that these concepts of vertical and horizontal planning must still be balanced and complete to please both participants and senior management.

2. Interaction With a world of information and contacts available at the click of a smartphone button, keeping participants’ attention is no mean feat. Wan stated, “As a deliverer you are a performer. Be energetic. Be passionate. If you’re not engaged—how can you expect your audience to be?” Use eye contact wisely—aim for over one second and no more than two. Wan recommends that PowerPoint slides should be kept as simple as possible and use few phrases as the bulk of the information will

be delivered by making the participants use their speaking and listening skills—not their reading skills. Pose questions for discussion and then ask participants to report back with their conclusions—Wan shared that the threat of having to speak out and explain their understanding can encourage individuals to pay more attention during tasks and presentations.

3. Value “As trainer, you must know the Earth.” By this, Wan means that the trainer must become an expert in their chosen field, amassing information about their company and also finding out about other companies in the industry, following global trends and keeping abreast of recent developments. Whilst this takes up a lot of extra time, it is necessary in order to assure participants and senior management of the trainer’s expertise. A challenge for today’s learning deliverers is battling against a formidable adversary— Google. To counter this, trainers must be aware of the two factors which set them apart from the search engine giant: they can solve immediate problems and offer great efficiency of knowledge acquisition.

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The Women Extraordinaire Forum 2014

Men Standing With Women

Panel Discussion (left to right): • • • • •

Paul Arkwright, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, HR Magazine; Farzana Aslam, Associate Director/Principal Lecturer, Centre for Public and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong; Professor Caroline Wang, Professor of Business Practice, Department of Management, HKUST Business School; Fern Ngai, Chief Executive Officer, Community Business; Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director, Greater China, PageGroup

HR Magazine recently headed to the fourth Women Extraordinaire Forum (WEF), an event which brought together over 30 speakers from across the world to shine a spotlight on leadership, entrepreneurship and self-discovery from a female perspective. Moderating a panel discussion entitled ‘Men Standing With Women’ was our very own Editor-in-Chief, Paul Arkwright, who guided a compelling discussion on how men and women can work together to create equal opportunities in the workplace.

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Tipping the balance The subject of gender diversity in the boardroom has become one of the key hot topics for HR over the past several years, both on a global and regional scale. The introduction of a new code provision by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing requiring companies to have a policy and report on their board diversity has placed increased pressure on listed companies to consider the composition of their boards and ensure a diversity of perspectives are represented. According to Fern Ngai, Chief Executive Officer, Community Business, however, despite this move, and the launch of other key initiatives such as the 30% Club, which are committed to bringing more women onto Hong Kong corporate boards, the needle has barely moved when it comes to striking this gender balance. In fact, she explained that findings presented in the latest Standard Chartered Bank—Women on Boards, Hong Kong 2014 reveal that a mere 9.6% of board members are female, only a slight increase on the 9.4% reported in the previous year. This marginal shift indicates that when it comes to

the representation of women at such a senior level, Hong Kong’s performance is not merely slowing, it is stalling. Indeed, by today’s calculations it would take approximately 45 years for Hong Kong to achieve the target of a 30% representation of women on boards as the region lags behind the UK and Australia, which have both made significant progress in this arena. According to Anthony Thompson, Regional Managing Director, Greater China, PageGroup, Australia has seen significant growth over the last five years in terms of board directorship, with an increase in the region of around 8% to 17% in female representation. He explained that many large corporations are focusing more attention on the issue of gender diversity, recognising that inclusively, from a business point of view, it makes commercial common sense and that if companies do not have an appropriate level of diversity, they will not be as successful as companies that do. With the current talent shortage in APAC, organisations should be doing all they can to prevent this from diminishing even further and inclusivity is

HR community

Despite this, Wang advocates that change is possible and, indeed, something she has witnessed from a personal perspective within her own role at IBM, which came about through the collaboration of a top-down and bottom-up approach.

Champions of change Identifying the need to change culture is one thing, but what exactly is the ‘culture’ itself? According to Wang, the best definition of culture is ‘a pattern of assumption and an acceptance of the way things are’. With this in mind, she explained that the first step to changing culture is for people to become aware that assumption is invalid and that they must change this assumption and their own behaviour, thus breaking the patterns and leading to change. This assumption can be applied to the concept that only men make leaders, which has traditionally been accepted without question.

one solution. So what is preventing Hong Kong firms from following in the footsteps of their internationals neighbours? One answer, it seems, is culture.

Culture change Whether companies are creating the right culture and environment to nurture the pipeline of female talent is becoming more heavily questioned and, according to Professor Caroline Wang, Professor of Business Practice, Department of Management, HKUST Business School, the historical culture of Hong Kong plays a major part in determining the rise of women to the board. She explained that culture can be changed, however, because it is leaned but that change must come from the top down in order to generate a ‘progressive evolution’, rather than from the bottom up, which is more likely to spur a ‘destructive revolution’. This concept places the leader in a position of responsibility to make that progressive change. Unfortunately, however, current leaders are predominantly male, and therefore progress will take time to achieve.

Thompson added that leadership roles themselves have always been defined in a male way and whilst there have been opportunities for women to fit into these roles, it comes with the condition that they must be able to fit into these set boundaries. Redefining leadership roles, therefore, may be the first step in championing cultural change. For Farzana Aslam, Associate Director/ Principal Lecturer, Centre for Public and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, change is based on how society perceives gender roles, which starts with increasing awareness and leads on to a change in behaviours, practices and policies. She advocates that societal structures and attitudes must first be challenged in order to open up the opportunity for women to gain more equality when it comes to balancing their personal and professional lives.

Opening up opportunities Despite more organisations becoming aware of the need for gender diversity, it seems that little progress has been made in Hong Kong, but why? From a recruitment perspective, Thomson suggested that this comes down to the issue of supply and a reduced talent pool.

He explained that 50% of candidates applying for mid-management roles are women, while only 25% of applications for director and VP level positions are from female candidates. It could be argued that this is where quotas play an important role, which some companies have introduced as a way of ensuring women make the shortlist of candidates for every position. Wang, however, argues that rather than rely on quotas to ensure female representation, women should be given equal opportunity as men to compete for open positions and this should remain so until the end of the recruitment process when the most suitable candidate is selected for the job, regardless of their sex. Ngai, on the other hand, argues that the three areas that need attention are supply, demand and visibility, whereby organisations need to change their mindset in terms of how they source the best and most diverse talent. This can be achieved by women themselves, who can work towards increasing their presence within the workplace and their ability to be recognised as potential board members. The issue preventing such actions, Ngai pointed out, may be partly due to a lack of confidence among women in the workplace as she urged women to take charge of their own careers, make their voices heard and step up to new opportunities for progression.

Juggling act The matter of work-life balance is another factor perhaps preventing women from reaching the board, according to Ngai. She argued that organisations should assess their policies in order to enable women to fulfil both their personal and professional goals and facilitate their rise to the top. Whether it is allowing workers to work remotely or from home, offering flexitime, or better family packages, organisations should appreciate the juggling act that many women deal with as they strive to balance their career with their family life. Raising awareness, re-thinking policies and redefining roles is key to facilitating women in their journey to the board and their ultimate goal of achieving their professional potential.

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Forum tackles the ‘HR Value Equation’ The HRO Today Forum returned to Singapore from 21 – 22 May gathering together HR practitioners and industry experts to tackle the great ‘HR Value Equation’ and help organisations achieve better business outcomes. We share advice gleaned from the senior HR teams in JP Morgan, Tyco and McDonald’s. governance model. He urged HR. “You should be more like Starbucks—ensure a level of standardisation across all aspects of the business so employees know where they are and the expectations of the business.” He added, “Clear vision and values, standard processes, products and services and robust infrastructures—as well as defined and measurable metrics—are vital components to an operating model to ensure successful HR service delivery.”

Big data scary

Improvise, adapt & overcome “Be brave when things go wrong, if it isn’t working don’t just flog it to death”, was the advice from Julian Bryant, APAC Head of HR Service Delivery, JP Morgan (above). On what HR can do to ensure successful HR service delivery, Bryant pointed out that risk management is not solely an HR responsibility and often not even an objective for them. Risk is, instead, inherent in all aspects of business and when plans do not go as expected, taking a step back and re-evaluating the best solution is the right path to take. Being flexible to change and ready to adapt to unforeseen challenges is important for business success. Alluding to his military background, Bryant reminded HR, “No plan survives the contact with the enemy, during operations they will be modified by the environment and people delivering it. You must learn to improvise, adapt and overcome.” To minimise risk, however, Bryant advised organisations to ensure they have a comprehensive control framework and strong

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He also stressed the importance of data and advised that defining your products and service catalogue is fundamental to the success of the business. He warned that big data is often overwhelming, but that no data at all frightens the heck out of people. As such he urged companies to be confident in knowing and explaining what they offer as well as the relationship with the market. He said, “You need to understand time to market, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Time kills deals. You need to know whether your solution is suitable for the market and be confident in its capabilities, which should be priced accordingly.” Bryant highlighted the need for HR to set clear expectations and to ensure that HRO vendors know the key objectives of each project, how these align with the business strategy and what they are expected to deliver. He also stressed the need to pay vendors competitively, warning, “If the vendors aren’t making money, they’re not going to be incentivised, this will reflect in the quality of people provided for a project, the time taken to roll-out new schemes and the number of mistakes being made.” On selecting suitable vendors he advised, “Never underestimate the value of going to visit vendors on site, and aside from simply talking to the sales team and operational managers, also sit down and talk to the rest of the staff—you get a great idea of how engaged they are—and therefore how likely the vendor would be in achieving the shared goals.”

Rethinking recruitment Jerod Funke, Head Global Talent Acquisition, Tyco (above) shed light on the company’s framework, which was specifically designed by its CEO George Oliver to accelerate business growth, drive operational improvement and build a performance culture. Bringing its core values of integrity, excellence, teamwork and accountability to life, the organisation takes an enterprise approach to talent management, with a clearly defined leadership competency model maintained at all levels within the company. With rapid expansion in emerging markets driving change, the company was urged to take measures to rebuild its business in China, which required a new approach and infrastructure and the need to develop a leadership potential and pipeline. The expansion was lead by Larry Global, the CHRO, who Funke described as ‘easily the most strategic guy in the whole company’. The resultant HR transformation involved rethinking the organisation’s approach to

HR community

recruiting talent, a duty that had previously proven to be a heavy burden for the HR Department and business partners who were solely responsible for hiring. Until then, the agency’s hiring process had been very reactive due to the high volume of recruitment needs and a high turnover rate. Recognising the need for action to be taken, HR made the decision to implement a global partnership model to address the problem, setting up an RPO which aimed to focus on processes and how they needed to be modified in order to enhance efficiency and shorten cycle times. As a result, the time taken to hire was reduced from 90 days to 50 days and, whereas the organisation initially had to source 100 candidates to hire one, it now only needed to source 36 candidates to get one successful hire. The new recruitment process also lead to the decline of the hire turnover rate, which fell to only 10%.

45 million job interviews

Energy boost

With 10,000 restaurants in 38 countries and 450,000 staff in APMEA, the company goal to double its business through its people will create the need to interview 45 million applicants to find 550,000 new hires.

As part of the challenge to energise staff, crew and managers were asked what they liked best and least. This helped create EVP as a global concept, with ‘friends & family’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘future’ emerging as the top responses. The APMEA Ray Kroc Award also rewarded the top 1% of managers in the region, while the Olympic Champion Crew allowed some staff the chance to go and stay at the Olympic Games for a week, while they were feeding the hungry crowds.

With this in mind, the organisation implemented a people strategy designed to make sure the right people are in the right positions, continue to engage and energise, accelerate the talent pipeline at the frontline and on a country leadership level to help drive strategy, and devise new ways of collecting data through people analytics. One of the key objectives—staffing for growth—involved the concept of BHOT: Benefits, Hiring, Orientation and Training. And this meant using some innovative hiring strategies including McDonald’s China 520 hiring week, Moms Career Day in Korea and WeChat broadcasts. Country managers were also hired via MBA Internships, LinkedIn subscriptions and corporate pages.

Recognising the importance of pipelining future talent, McDonald’s also implemented talent management pillars, designed to enhance talent management capabilities at market level. Through this mechanism all managers identified HiPos and helped to come up with development plans for them. Metrics were used to identify gaps in terms of eight core leadership competencies and strategic workforce planning was put in place to develop staff in the restaurant development sphere. And with 7 million customers to serve—the ability to build and run all the new restaurants will be no mean feat.

The company now takes a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to hiring, using job boards and access to source tracking data. It has also developed a creative concept called ‘The Passion that Unites Us’, which is an internal communication toolkit and external careers site that potential candidates can visit in order to view vignettes of current staff to get an idea of the culture of the company as well as viewing postings currently available.

Make it a double Barry Mehrman, Senior Director, Human Resources, McDonald’s Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA) pictured right, started with a quote from the organisation’s founder explaining, “We’re not just a hamburger company serving people. We are a people company serving hamburgers.” This was the foundation of Mehrman’s presentation, which shed light on the company’s vision to double its market share in APMEA by the year 2020. This would bring the hamburger giant to 7 million customers served by one million employees.

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Frisky business

the dangers of workplace romances By Pattie Walsh (Partner) and Naveen Qureshi (Associate), DLA Piper Hong Kong

Given the amount of time people in Hong Kong spend in the workplace, it is perhaps inevitable that personal relationships will flourish. Many people are more likely to meet a partner at work than anywhere else. This then raises the question as to how employers should approach this sensitive issue, if at all. Aside from the day-to-day social contact that employees might have with each other, office parties and social events often present a platform for office romances to develop. Employees often regard an office party as a type of private social function where normal workplace behaviour does not apply. A Chinese New Year office party that goes off the rails is not just the subject of water cooler gossip—it can be a real source of employee complaints, discrimination claims, damaged collegial relationships and even litigation. The fundamental point that employers must be aware of is that every employer is responsible for the working environment and how each individual is treated within it. Employers are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees as they interact with each other— they do not have to authorise certain behaviour, or even know about it, to become liable.

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Employer duties Employers have a duty to provide a safe place of work to every employee, which extends to their mental and emotional health. Employers must also ensure that they treat every employee with the implied duty of trust and confidence in mind. If an employer behaves in such a way that there is a clear breach of the duty of trust and confidence, this will potentially entitle an employee to walk away from the contract and claim constructive dismissal. The workplace should not contain discriminatory practices or harassing behaviour. A key area of risk for is sexual harassment, particularly during work social functions where alcohol is being consumed. Sexual harassment in the workplace encompasses any unwanted sexual conduct towards another person which could reasonably be anticipated to offend, humiliate or intimidate the other person. If one individual gets the signals wrong and engages in inappropriate personal contact or verbal advances, there is a clear risk of an allegation of sexual harassment-by either sex—for which the employer may well be liable.

‘Playing favourites’

Of course, there are some exemptions to this sweeping statement but not nearly as many as some employers might think.

Even if the parties are entirely happy with the personal nature of the relationship, unless the relationship is maintained in an entirely discreet way, other employees in the workplace are likely to be affected. It is critical that there is no room for other individuals to perceive favouritism or any other advantage as a result of the relationship. This is an even bigger issue if one of the individuals has a more senior role and particularly if there is a direct reporting line, or where one employee has a degree of influence over the other’s career progression.

Across Asia, the number of employers that have given significant thought to the potential issues arising out of relationships in the workplace is relatively small. The general approach appears to be to adopt a reactive strategy. Although this might be sufficient generally, when things go wrong, they could go very wrong indeed.

When a personal relationship breaks down, the emotional state of each party is often heightened. Having emotional dramas played out in the workplace is something employers will want to avoid. Some thought should be given to this if workplace relationships are commonplace.


Workplace relationship policies There is always a balance to be struck between an employer protecting business interests and the right of employees to their private lives. Thought might be given to a policy which seeks to balance those interests and address some of the challenges highlighted above. Some multi-national organisations have ‘anti-nepotism’ policies in place, which seek to prevent the hire of an individual who is married to an existing employee of the organisation. In certain jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region, implementing such a policy can be problematic. In Hong Kong, an employer is prohibited from treating any individual less favourably of the basis of his or her ‘family status’ or marriage to another employee. Specifically, under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 527), an employer is prohibited from hiring an employee purely on the basis that he or she is married to an existing employee of an employer. One exception to this is if the employer can show that after reasonable enquiries, there is a significant likelihood of collusion between the potential employee and the existing employee, which would result in damage to the business. This is a high threshold to satisfy and one that would be scrutinised carefully by the Equal Opportunities Commission, if challenged. For these reasons, we would not recommend having a general ‘no hire’ policy on the basis of marriage or affinity to existing employees. So, what exactly should a workplace relationship policy include? We would recommend such a policy consist of several elements. Firstly, there should be a clear statement explaining why the organisation feels it appropriate to seek to introduce some rules around personal relationships at work, while making it clear that, fundamentally, this is a private matter for each individual. This should be combined with a prohibition on intimate or sexual behaviour anywhere in the workplace, not just the office itself. Secondly, situations where individuals are required to confidentially notify the organisation about the existence of a relationship should be clearly identified. These situations will generally arise when

individuals work in the same team or when either party is the direct supervisor of the other. Thirdly, the policy should also stipulate both the right to transfer a staff member into another role or area when required by business needs, and the right to terminate one or both employees as a last resort when the management of the relationship is having a material impact on the business. This should be approached carefully—employers should be careful not to ‘punish’ one party or to promote another because of the workplace relationship. Before transferring an employee to another role, or terminating the employment of an employee, employers should assess their business needs and ensure that the decision has been arrived at objectively. Often it is the female employee in the relationship who is transferred, or terminated. If the employee feels that she is being treated less favourably on the basis of her sex, this could form the basis for sex discrimination claim.

Educating employees Employers should consider providing sexual discrimination awareness training to all employees. Often employers will implement such training only after a sexual harassment incident has occurred. If an employee files a sexual harassment or discrimination claim against an employer, the Equal Opportunities Commission will look into and consider what steps the employer has taken to prevent discrimination or sexual harassment – this will include the implementation of policies and preventative training. Workplace relationships cannot be prevented. Being open and addressing potential issues is the best approach. This will hopefully ensure that the business is not adversely affected by personal relationships between staff, and that individuals are free to enjoy the workplace and any personal attachments that emerge.

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HR book review

Due Diligence in China Beyond the Checklists By Kwek Ping Yong Kwek Ping Yong is a schooled private equity professional with years of investment experience in China across various industries and companies. In his book, Due Diligence in China: Beyond the Checklists, he gives a detailed description of why conventional business structures used in the West don’t work in China. He presents a framework that integrates research and analysis, providing practical advice on how to face the inevitable challenges that arise when doing business in China. Highlighting

where standard diligence processes should be fine-tuned for the Chinese market; Yong gives implementation guidelines, checklists, summary models as well as case studies on how to be better prepared for entering the world’s most complex marketplace. Stressing the need for a disciplined investment process, he says: “There is a need for a strong deal-sourcing ability and due diligence ability to find the right target company”. A good read for anyone doing, or looking to do, business in China.

A Field Guide for Organisation Development Taking Theory into Practice Edited by Ed Griffin, Mike Alsop, Martin Saville and Grahame Smith

A Field Guide for Organisation Development offers a variety of perspectives and experiences from researchers and practitioners on Organisation Development, a concept that many organisations find difficult to tackle. The editors have created a practical and accessible field guide that is both wide-ranging and subtle offering ideas and practices that do not necessarily agree with each other.

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Leading practitioners tackle the dilemmas and polarities that face anyone studying or practising within the OD arena and encourage them to develop their own solutions that meet the individual needs of their own organisation. From organisational health and planning and managing complex change, through to working with external consultants and using data wisely, the comprehensive guide covers issues that continue to challenge organisations of all shapes and sizes.

HR classifieds

Index Business Process Outsourcing MICE Venues/Event Organisers Education and Corporate Training Management Consulting Employee Wellbeing and Insurance HR Technology Solutions Leadership Development

| 57 | 57 | 58 | 58 | 59 | 59 | 60

Legal / Employment Law / Tax Pest Control and Environmental Services Psychological Assessment Tools Recruitment / Executive Search Relocation and Logistics Service Apartments and Hotels Staff Benefits

| 60 | 61 | 61 | 61 - 62 | 62 | 62 - 64 | 64

Business Process Outsourcing Dynamic Resources has been established since 1997 with direct offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Vancouver. We provide Outsourcing Services in Employment, Payroll & Fringe Benefits Administration; Project Recruitment & Mapping; Executive Coaching; Business Entity (Representative Office, WOFE) & HR Management System Establishment in the PRC.

Dynamic Resources Asia Limited 904, Tower B, 14 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong

KCS is one of Asia’s leading independent corporate services companies. We specialise in corporate accounting and financial reporting, corporate secretarial, payroll solutions, trust and wealth advisory services as well as tailored solutions for the asset management industry. We offer unrivalled industry experience and expertise combined with the collective wisdom that comes from over 460 experts based in 15 locations across Asia and the BVI. Discover the difference total peace of mind can make to your business.

KCS Hong Kong Limited 8th Floor, Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tricor is a member of The Bank of East Asia Group. Tricor Business Services offers efficient, effective and professional advisory and outsourced support services to our clients. We deliver seamless solutions to address issues in Accounting & Financial Reporting; Cash, Fund and Payment Administration; Human Resources and Payroll Administration; Business Advisory; Trade Services; and Systems Solutions to ensure the adoption of best practices in your business.

Tricor Services Limited Level 54, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2135 8038

Tel: (852) 3589 8899 Fax: (852) 3589 8555

Tel: (852) 2980 1888 Fax: (852) 2861 0285

MICE Venues / event organisers Trueventus, stands for Timely, Relevant, Unique Events. It is our objective to continuously deliver Timely, Relevant, Unique events to businesses across all industries around the world. We research into the latest business challenges exists in all corporate sectors and transform the idea into reality by creating business conventions, which bring people like you together to learn, network, progress. We are transforming, from a local organisation into a global professional provider serving all industries across the globe, with the vision to be the first point of reference for all decision makers who are seeking conferences, training and business development opportunities.

Trueventus Suite 2A-17-1, Plaza Sentral Jln, Stesen Sentral 5, 50470 KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 2781 1510 Fax: +603 2781 1555

Trueventus wants to be recognised as the greatest company in the meeting, incentives, conference and exhibition industry, by providing events that meet the business world needs for knowledge, experience and skill.

Cliftons provides premium, purpose-built, training and event facilities and solutions, ensuring our clients’ programmes are delivered seamlessly and successfully around the globe. Over the past 14 years, Cliftons has grown to provide clients with the largest network of dedicated computer and seminar training facilities across the Asia Pacific region. Encompassing over 150 state-ofthe-art training and meeting rooms within 10 CBD locations in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, this footprint of proprietary venues is supplemented by a global affiliates network that allows clients to manage all of their training needs around the world with a single point of contact.

Cliftons Training Facility Level 5, Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, Central, HK

Tel: (852) 2159 9999

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HR classifieds Education and Corporate Training In today’s business environment having that executive ‘x-factor’ is critical in giving you that competitive edge. Our Executive Voice Coaching programs, unique in Asia, teach practical techniques to harness the power of your voice and develop your executive presence. Designed for executive key talent and ‘C suite’ selects our programs utilize record and playback studio technology to reinforce learning and complement existing H.R. executive presence trainings. All Voice Talent is Asia’s premier voice coaching and voiceover organization. We supply voice coaches to Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, Goldman Sachs and Weber Shandwick, amongst others.

Tailor-made business training, testing and benchmarking solutions throughout Hong Kong, Macau and China. Corporate and individual programmes. Excel’s renowned courses are tailored to the job nature, level and needs of the students. Our targeted, interactive approach in facilitation has allowed us to build an unrivalled reputation in the corporate training field. Clients include: the Airport Authority, American Express, Bausch and Lomb, Credit Agricole, KCRC, the Hong Kong Government, Swire Travel and United Airlines.

HKU SPACE is a leading local provider in the field of lifelong education. The School has provided a wide range of executive programmes to meet the growing lifelong learning demands for managers and business executives. The School is also tailored in-house corporate training programmes in finance or business related disciplines for global corporations.

All Voice Talent 18th Floor, Wheelock House, 20 Pedder Street Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2517 0866 Fax: (852) 2911 4732

Excel Education Limited Unit 101, Fourseas Building, 208-212 Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2736 6339 Fax: (852) 2736 6369

HKU SPACE College of Business and Finance 34/F United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2867 8467

Management Consulting

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The Hong Kong Management Association was established in 1960, The Hong Kong Management Association is a non-profit-making organization which aims at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of management in Hong Kong and the Region. With a commitment to nurturing human capital, every year, the Association offers over 2,000 certificates, diplomas as well as degree programmes, jointly organized with prestigious overseas universities, for more than 50,000 business executives. It is now one of the largest providers of management training and education in the region.

Hong Kong Management Association 14th Floor, Fairmont House, 8 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong

Ipsos’ Employee Relationship Management (ERM) practice specialises in employer brand and employee engagement research programmes, as well as linking employee and customer metrics, assessing corporate values, auditing internal communications and evaluating HR management policies and practices. With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos has the resources to conduct research wherever in the world its clients do business.

Ipsos Hong Kong 22nd Floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Reallyenglish works with major international publishers (Cambridge University Press, Pearson Longman, McGraw-Hill) to create cost-effective and flexible world-class courseware that is tailored to local needs. We provide educational, fun and interactive online courses which are easy to use and hold learners’ interest. By controlling every aspect of the service, including hosting, support, coaching and reporting, we guarantee that over 80% of students will complete their course. All our energy is devoted on two service objectives—getting students to finish and showing managers and educators the results. (Hong Kong) 51/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tricor Consulting Ltd. is a member of Tricor Group & BEA Group. Our services include Human Resources advisory on policies, practices, reward, PMS and Human Capital (maximize talent investment through assessments, development centres, training and development); Strategic Management (perform strategic analysis, formulate strategies and execution management); Organization Structuring (design structure to align with business directions); Change Management (build commitment and overcome resistance for organization change); IT Consulting and HRIS (maximize IT investment to create business value); Business Process (reengineer and manage business processes to achieve business results) and Business Turnaround (reduce costs and enhance revenues through an integrated approach).

Tricor Consulting Limited Level 54, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2526 6516 / 2774 8500 Fax: (852) 2365 1000

Tel: (852) 2881 5388

Tel: (852) 3602 3090 Fax: (852) 3602 3111 Mobile: (852) 5165 2467

Tel: (852) 2980 1308 Fax: (852) 2262 7896

HR classifieds employee wellbeing and insurance Aetna International is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health benefits and health management solutions worldwide. Aetna International's expatriate business is one of the industry's largest and most prominent US-based international health benefits providers, supporting more than 500,000 members worldwide. The organisation’s expatriate offerings include medical, dental, vision, life, disability and emergency assistance. Aetna International’s health management business collaborates with health care systems, government entities and plan sponsors around the world to design and build locally-applied health management solutions to improve health, quality and cost outcomes.

Aetna International Room 401-3, 4/F, DCH Commercial Centre, 25 Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital is one of the leaders in medical services, providing organizations with comprehensive health assessment packages to choose from. The hospital works closely with HR and Benefits specialists to design tailor-made programs to satisfy your staff’s unique requirements. The checkups not only assess staff’s health status and identify the risk factors, it also provide preventive programs to help clients fine-tune their lifestyles for healthy living. All the services are supported by experienced professional staff using advanced equipment in modern facilities.

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital 40 Stubbs Road, Hong Kong

Matilda International Hospital offers newly developed facilities and stateof-the-art equipment for a comprehensive health assessment service and is committed to providing the best care and personal attention for both corporate and individual clients. Matilda Medical Centre has extended services to Central and Tsim Sha Tsui and provides full primary and preventative healthcare services. The combined expertise of the hospital and medical centres results in an entire suite of result-orientated health and wellness services to address specific medical and budgeting needs. The provision of inpatient services and advance surgical suites ensures seemless follow through care and access to a wide range of experienced specialist facilities and advanced treatment options.

Matilda International Hospital 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, Hong Kong

Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers is a leading international health insurance brokerage specialising in providing comprehensive coverage options to individuals, families, and companies throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Working with over 100,000 clients in 150 countries, Pacific Prime can deliver advice in more than 15 major languages. With offices strategically located in Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, and Hong Kong, Pacific Prime is able to provide immediate advice and assistance to policyholders located around the world. Pacific Prime works with over 60 of the world’s leading health insurance providers, giving customers unprecedented access to the best medical insurance products currently on the market.

Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers Ltd. Unit 1-11, 35th Floor, One Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

With a mission of providing and promoting primary and preventive eyecare to the public, PolyVision offers a pioneering eye healthcare plan fitting different staff benefit schemes, and provides eye care seminars and packages to help monitor and maintain the eye health of staff through companies.

PolyVision Eyecare Centres Room 4406-4410, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queens Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Their eye examination is one of the most comprehensive in Hong Kong. It covers: Case History, Vision & Refractive Status, Binocular Vision, Color Vision Screening, Intra-ocular Pressure, Ocular Health, Fundus Photography, Diagnosis & Treatment.

Tel: (852) 2861 0138 Fax: (852) 2861 0123

Tel: (852) 2860 8081 Fax: (852) 2147 9960 Mobile: (852) 5165 2467

Tel: (852) 3651-8835 Fax: (852) 3651-8840

Contact person: Sireen Cheng Tel: (852) 2849 0389

Tel: (852) 3589 0531 Fax: (852) 2915 7770

HR Technology Solution COL, an IT services subsidiary of Wharf T&T, is a leading IT services company in Hong Kong with over 40 years of experience. COL offers a full range of IT infrastructure, application development and implementation services including Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

COL Limited Unit 825-876, 8th Floor, KITEC, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong

With domain expertise in business applications, we deliver the best practice Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions ranging from full-featured HRMS, web-based employee self-service portal to outsourcing services for MNCs, enterprises and SMEs.“Doc:brary” Document Management System is another key application in our HCM product portfolio to securely manage HR related documents including employees P-file, appraisal records, training materials etc.

Tel: (852) 2118 3999 Fax: (852) 2112 0121

COL is a Cisco Gold partner, an EMC Velocity Partner, a Juniper Networks Elite Partner, a Microsoft Certified Partner, an Oracle Gold Partner, a VMware Partner and CMMI Level 3 assessed. Lumesse is the only global company making talent management solutions work locally. We help customers around the world to implement successful local talent management initiatives that identify, nurture and develop the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Our multi-cultural background and presence means we understand how to deliver talent solutions that work the way our customers work, as individuals and as teams, because no two people, organisations or cultures are the same. We regard differences as strengths, not as obstacles.

Lumesse Unit 1905, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2815 3456 Fax: (852) 2890 0399

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HR classifieds Leadership Development The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that unlocks individual and organisational potential through its exclusive focus on leadership development and research. Ranked among the world’s top providers of executive education by BusinessWeek and No. 3 in the 2010 Financial Times executive education survey, CCL serves corporate, government and non-governmental clients through an array of programs, products and other services. CCL-APAC’s headquarters are based in Singapore. Other global locations include Brussels, Moscow and three campuses in the United States.

CCL® 89 Science Park Drive #03-07/08, The Rutherford Lobby B, Singapore 118261

With 98 years of experience, Dale Carnegie® Training is a world leader in performance-based training. With offices over 80 countries worldwide and courses in 27 languages, we produce measurable business result by improving the performance of employees with emphasis on:

Dale Carnegie® Training Suite 1701, 17/F East Exchange Tower, 38 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

• Team member engagement • Leadership development • Customer services

Tel: (852) 2845 0218 Fax: (852) 2583 9629

• Sales effectiveness • Process improvement • Presentation effectiveness

Over 425 corporations of Fortune 500 continue choosing us to be their partner.

Calling all HR Managers & Directors: • Are you looking for structured programmes to develop your staff? • Sponsor or part sponsor your staff to achieve MBA, Masters, Bachelor, Diploma or Certificate courses • The spend is value for money • The return is measurable & tangible • Choose from 31 courses from 9 UK Universities (Bradford, Sunderland, Wales, Birmingham etc.) • 16 years in HK *All courses are registered

alphaeight specialises in behavioural-science research and people development. We utilise research to create individual and team development solutions— focused on business objectives—for leaders, managers and frontline workers. It’s all about research and evidence: solutions, built upon scientifically proven research on how the human mind works, are practical and easy to adopt and utilise exclusive tools and techniques developed by our research institute. It’s all about you: solutions tailored to your people’s specific needs and your business objectives—give you the results you want. It’s all about impact: measure changes before, during and after development.

Tel: (65) 6854 6000 Fax: (65) 6854 6001

RDI Management Learning Ltd. 7th Floor, South China Building, 1-3 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2992 0133 Fax: (852) 2992 0918

the alphaeight institute 1906, 19/F, Miramar Tower, 132 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong Mrs Stephanie Herd Tel: (852) 2302 0283 Fax: (852) 2302 0006

Legal / Employment / Law / Tax Excel Global Consulting is a leading business consultancy specialising in the enhancement of business performance through a unique approach to people management. Our goal is to deliver you the knowledge and resources to improve business productivity by creating better employee engagement within your organisation using customised human capital management solutions. With our support you’ll gain a committed, more innovative and highly motivated workforce primed to lead your business towards greater efficiency and productivity. With Excel Global your employees will gain greater job satisfaction in a solution-oriented work environment where engagement is productive, innovative and geared to better business performance.

Excel Global Company Information Level 8, Two Exchange Square, 2 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong

WTS is a tax and business consulting firm providing assistance in the strategic planning and management process of intercompany assignments’ cost and compliance.

wts consulting (Hong Kong) Limited Unit 1004, 10/F, Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Our Global Expatriate Service specialists advise on Expatriate issues relating to corporate tax, personal tax, social security matters and process consulting across Asia. Our expertise therefore enables us to identify assignment related risks at an early stage and optimize tax and social security payments for companies and their employees while keeping the administrative burden to a minimum. In conjuction with our international network, we can assist you in almost 100 locations worldwide.

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Tel: (852) 2846 1888 Fax: (852) 2297 2289

Tel: (852) 2528 1229 Fax: (852) 2541 1411

HR classifieds Pest and control and environmental services BioCycle is the first pest management company in Hong Kong to have acquired both the ISO 14001 and the ISO 9001 System Certifications. BioCycle was set up in 1991 to provide safe and environmentally friendly Pest Control, Termite Consulting, Sentricon Colony Elimination System for termite colony and Sanitation Services, and operates under European management.

BioCycle (Hong Kong) Limited Unit A G/F & 11/F, Lok Kui Industrial Building, 6-8 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

We are the exclusive user of our group’s insecticide, BioKill, which has been approved by the AFCD of HK Government not to carry the poison label.

Tel: (852) 3575 2575 Fax: (852) 3575 2570

Only the professional carpet cleaning and pest-control services of Truly Care, Hong Kong’s specialists in occupational, industrial, environmental and domestic hygiene can give you a clean, safe and bug-free office and home. Don’t put your staff’s health at risk! For a free, no obligation, inspection and quotation, please call us now on 2458 8378

Truly Care (HK) Ltd. Room 1522, Nan Fung Centre, 264-298 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, N.T., Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2458 8378 Fax: (852) 2458 8487

Psychological assessment tools PsyAsia International is Asia’s leading independent distributor of Psychometric Tests of Personality and Aptitude. PsyAsia International also offers employee screening and assessment services, personal development courses and human resource training and consultancy. Using highly qualified and experienced organisational psychologists, our solutions are World-Class. Our focus on scientific, evidence-based psychology at the core of our Human Resource Training and Consulting activities, as well as the employment of fully registered organisational psychologists, separates us from those providing similar services in the HR field.

PsyAsia International Level 8, Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 8200 6005

Recruitment / executive search Established in 1997, ConnectedGroup is a privately owned enterprise and has developed from a pure executive search business into a full spectrum human capital consulting firm. With offices in Asia and the Middle East we are well placed to service two of the fastest growing regions in the world and our consultative and client driven approach has positioned us as a partner of choice for companies across a diverse range of functions and industries. We work to values of candid, creative and connected and our employees are constantly measured against these behaviours to deliver the highest levels of service quality.

ConnectedGroup 19/F, Silver Fortune Plaza, 1 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

HRA provide human resource consultancy & recruitment support to construction, engineering, manufacturing and the oil & gas sectors.

HRA Associates (HK) Limited 701, 7/F, Tower 2, Silvercord, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Based in HK and with international partners, we operate in Asia and the ME. HR consultancy services include the full range of HR services including training; HR audits and outsourced HR support.

Silenus is certainly your partner of choice who specialises in recruiting talents in the Consumer and Retail sectors in Hong Kong. We provide customised solutions to meet your specific recruitment needs. Leveraging on our deep understanding of your manpower and business needs, coupled with an extensive candidate pool, we can help you recruit the right candidate who is able to drive your business to new heights. Our dedicated professional recruitment consultants possess superb recruitment skills. They can see the competency, personality, career aspirations and interests of candidates objectively and accurately, thus enhancing the efficiency and value of the recruitment process.

Contact person: Adam Edwards Tel: (852) 3972 5888 Fax: (852) 3972 5897

Tel: (852) 2735 9961 Fax: (852) 2735 9967

Silenus (Hong Kong) Limited 8/F, World Wide House, 19 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2185 6300 Fax: (852) 2185 6303

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HR classifieds

Tricor Executive Resources, the former search and selection practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong, has over the last 25 years built an unrivalled reputation for integrity and professionalism. Through focused research and intense sourcing, we recruit management and top-level executives for positions in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the region. We also offer related HR services such as Human Resources Consulting; Compensation and Benefit Planning; Human Resources Outsourcing; Performance Management System; Transition Talent Management; Talent Assessment Centre; and Training & Development.

Tricor Executive Resources Limited Level 54, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2980 1166 Fax: (852) 2869 4410

Relocation and Logistics Asian Tigers, has provided international relocation and moving service to the Hong Kong market for more than 40 years. We move people internationally, regionally, and even within Hong Kong itself. Our experienced, multilingual staff enables Asian Tigers to deliver a low-stress relocation services. Perhaps you are responsible for coordinating your office move and would like to know more about ‘low-down-time’ office relocations. Whatever your needs, wherever you are headed, Asian Tigers can help facilitate and streamline your relocation. Give us a call and find out how we can assist you.

Asian Tigers Mobility 17/F., 3 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Crown Relocations, a worldwide leader of global mobility, domestic and international transportation of household goods, and departure and destination services, has over 180 offices in more than 50 countries. From preview trip and immigration assistance to home and school searches, orientation tours, intercultural training, partner career program, and ongoing assignment support, Crown offers the best relocation solutions to corporate clients and transferees across the world.

Crown Relocations 9-11Yuen On Street, Siu Lek Yuen, Sha Tin, New Territories

Thinking Relocation? Think Santa Fe. Santa Fe is a leading Relocation Services Company, providing a comprehensive range of the highest quality services to individual and corporate clients, including: immigration/visa, home/school search, language/cultural training, tenancy management/expense management and local, office, domestic and International moving services. Established in Hong Kong in 1980, Santa Fe has continuously expanded operations throughout the world. Today, Santa Fe Relocation Services is part of the Santa Fe Group and offers a single-source solution for organisations looking to transfer their employees globally. The Santa Fe Group currently operates in 52 countries with 122 offices worldwide.

Santa Fe Relocation Services 18/F, CC Wu Building, 302-08 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2528 1384 Fax: (852) 2529 7443

Tel: (852) 2636 8388

Tel: (852) 2574 6204 Fax: (852) 25751907

serviced apartments and hotels

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City Loft Serviced Studio, bucking the trend of expensive staff housing. Companies looking for staff housing can breathe a big sigh of relief with City Loft Serviced Studio value-for-money monthly rentals of only $7K – $15K per month. Whether your overseas trainees or project team need 1 month or 1 year, City Loft’s flexible rentals are perfect for teams arriving and departing Hong Kong throughout the year. Once your staff arrives at the airport, leave it with us to help them move into their small comfortable flats that are never more than 3-5 minutes from a MTR station on Hong Kong Island.

City Loft Serviced Studio Unit 801, 8/f Cheung’s Building, No. 1-3 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Four Seasons Place, the epitome of luxury and elegance, Four Seasons Place creates a relaxed and homely living environment amidst the surrounding opulence. With 519 serviced suites designed by internationally renowned designers, guests can choose from a range of stylish accommodations from studios and 1/2/3-bedroom suites to penthouses that open up to spectacular views of Victoria Harbour. It also features a rooftop heated pool & Jacuzzi, sky lounge, gymnasium, sauna and multi-purpose function room to meet business and recreational needs. Heralding a comfortable, hassle-free living experience, all guests are pampered with personalised hotel services from VIP airport pickup to 24-hour multi-lingual concierge services.

Four Seasons Place 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong

Ovolo, is a Hong Kong hospitality company that provides guests with modern city accommodation with award-winning interiors, focused customer care and all-inclusive service packages. Founded in 2002, the company now own and operate four hotels and two serviced apartment properties in Hong Kong and an international hotel in Melbourne, Australia.

Ovolo Group Limited 3 Artbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2881 7979 Fax: (852) 3196 8628

Tel: (852) 3196 8228 Fax: (852) 3196 8628

Tel: (852) 2165 1000 Fax: (852) 2790 5490

HR classifieds

GARDENEast is prestigiously located at the heart of Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, boasting 216 luxurious units in 28 storeys. Each of our luxurious units is subtly unique. The four room types: Studio, Studio Deluxe, Deluxe 1-bedroom, and Executive Suite, with their sizes ranging from 395 to 672 square feet, are comfortably-appointed with an all-encompassing range of fittings and furnishings. The landscaped gardens offer a relaxing lifestyle, peace and tranquility of green living and a diverse choice of dining and entertainment is right on your doorstep.

at the ICC megalopolis

GARDENEast Serviced Apartments 222, Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3973 3388 Fax: (852) 2861 3020

The HarbourView Place is part of the Kowloon Station development, located at a key harbour crossing point. Located atop the MTR and Airport Express Link at Kowloon Station. The junction of major rail lines, 3 minutes to Central, 20 minutes to the Airport, a mere 30 minutes to Shenzhen and 60 minutes to Guangzhou. It is a place for the best view of Hong Kong and Kowloon and is an icon property at Harbour Gateway. Located next to International Commerce Centre (ICC), the fourth tallest building in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and W Hong Kong. Guests can enjoy a premium luxury living with the large shopping mall Elements and Hong Kong’s highest indoor observation deck Sky100.

The HarbourView Place 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Vega Suites, is the first stylish suite hotel in Kowloon East. Located atop the

Vega Suites 3 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong

MTR Tseung Kwan O Station, Island East and Kowloon East only 3 MTR stations away. The integrated complex becomes a new landmark creating a comfortable, relaxing and home like living space for guests. The all-encompassing landmark development comprises two international hotels & the luxury residence The Wings. Situated directly above the trendy PopCorn mall and connected to one million square feet of shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment. There is a lustrous selection of units ranging from Studio, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom to 3-Bedroom with flexible staying term.

Tel: (852) 3718 8000 Fax: (852) 3718 8008

Tel: (852) 3963 7888 Fax: (852) 3963 7889

Staff Benefits Computershare Plan Managers is the globe’s leading provider in provision of Employee Share Incentive Plan management services. Our tailored approach ideally places us to meet the demands of administering your employee share plans. As a leader in equity compensation services for more than 25 years, we service over 3,000 plans with nearly 3.5 million employee participants worldwide. We have successfully built a leading position in the Employee Share Plan Management Industry in Hong Kong and China, with a solid local presence and unrivalled investment in technology. Our integrated Share Plan Management offering includes: Employee Communication/Education, Data Management, HK Trustee Services, Regulatory Reporting and a full suite of Brokerage Services.

Computershare Hong Kong Investor Services Limited Hopewell Centre, 46th Floor, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

As the most comprehensive and strategically focused employee benefits specialist, Mybenefits provides international companies with a one-stop solution to achieving employee benefit objectives and has quickly become the preferred partner of Human Resource professionals in Asia.

Mybenefits 14/F, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong

100% proven track record at helping companies: Reduce employee benefit costs, Reduce HR workload, Increase employee satisfaction

Contact person: Pauline Williams Tel: (852) 2891 8915

Nespresso, the worldwide pioneer and market leader in highest-quality premium portioned coffee, introduces consumers to the world’s finest Grand Cru coffees to be enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes and savoured outside the home, in locations such as gourmet restaurants, upscale hotels, luxury outlets and offices. Nespresso is driven by core competencies that enable it to create highest quality Grand Cru coffees, long lasting consumer relationships, and sustainable business success. Nespresso focuses on its unique Trilogy, the unmatched combination of exceptional coffee, smart and stylish coffee machines and personalised customer service. Together, these three elements deliver moments of pure indulgence – the Nespresso Ultimate Coffee Experiences.

Nespresso Division of Nestle Hong Kong Ltd. 7 Floor, Manhattan Place, 23 Wang Tai Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong

Red Packet is the market leading gift experience provider and offers a range of corporate gift experiences tailored for corporate reward & recognition programs. Red Packet offers a unique range of experiences across gastronomy, sport, entertainment and discovery, and are ideal for employee recognition rewards or for a wider customer loyalty campaigns.

Red Packet 15/F, Shun Feng International, 182 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3757 3542

Tel: 800 905 486 Fax: 800 968 822

Tel: (852) 3168 0228 Fax: (852) 3568 5252

64 | HR Magazine

Opportunity is everywhere. So are we. UniGroup Relocation is the largest commonly branded global mobility network with nearly 1,200 locations serving more than 180 countries across 6 continents. Our broad range of pre-assignment, transportation and destination services will support your assignees along every step of the journey, from beginning to end. Built on the heritage of the U.S.’ largest and most experienced moving companies – Mayflower and United Van Lines – UniGroup Relocation provides the unique benefits of a common voice, a consistent standard of quality and unsurpassed local knowledge. Contact the regional office nearest you. Americas: EMEA: Asia/Pacific:





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