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ISSUE 15.12

What Got You Here Won't Get You There速 author


'Live' at HR Summit 2016



Dear HRM readers,


as your daily behaviour been hampered by an assortment of environmental and psychological “triggers”, which ultimately affect your productivity at work? If it has, you’re not alone. It happens to even the most focussed and clear-headed individuals. In this issue, ahead of our build-up to HR Summit 2016 in May next year, we speak exclusively to Dr Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author, world-renowned leadership coach, and the headline presentation of the summit. Dr Goldsmith elaborates on how every single individual can combat the trigger points in their lives to become even more successful in all of their pursuits. As we countdown to 2016, we are also edging closer to our annual HRM Awards, which will be held on March 4. Our events team at HRM Asia has just finished compiling the nominees for the respective awards, and we are thrilled to unveil the finalists in this issue. Are you keen to find out what lies ahead for HR in 2016? Do have a read of our annual supplement – the HR Guide of the Year 2016 – where we highlight some of the upcoming trends in different aspects of HR. Have a wonderful holiday season and I’ll see you in the New Year!

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MICA (P) 065/07/2015 ISSN 0219-6883

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CONTENTS 15.12 COVER STORY 26 Your trigger for change Did you know that productivity levels are affected by workers’ reactions to “triggers” that are different for each individual? In this exclusive interview, Dr Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author, worldrenowned leadership coach, and the headline act of the HR Summit 2016, shares how everyone can overcome these particular situations to reach higher levels of achievement.




12 Decathlon: Working

seriously without being serious Sports and games are a part of working life at sports apparel giant Decathlon. But CEO in Singapore and Indonesia Bastien Grandgeorge says he is dead serious about sketching the company’s blueprint in this region.

18 Breaking barriers at IDA

Ensuring that Singapore stays ahead of the technology


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innovation curve is not an easy feat. HRM speaks to the HR leader behind the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore on how it is pulling through the challenges and striving as an organisation.

22 From humble beginnings

Entering the C-suite from a senior HR position is not an easy transition. HRM finds out how some have prepared for the role and how they are impacting their organisations.

30 18 30 Cream of the HR crop

Finally, the wait is over. HRM unveils the eagerly-anticipated nomination list for the 2016 HRM Awards.

44 Eliminating recruitment boo-boos

Hiring errors can result in a wide range of repercussions, both in financial and non-financial terms. HRM finds out how HR can stem the tide of recruitment disasters.

50 From presenteeism to peakism

There’s a lot of pressure on HR and people managers tend to focus on what’s most near and pressing. This can result in frustration and a loss of purpose. Guest contributor Gurunath Hari says the concept of “peakism” provides a rallying point for organisational leaders to recalibrate how they should nurture performance.

organisation-wide learning can help achieve improved alignment and reduce conflict in a workplace.

66 Meeting the right demands

There is no “one-sized-fits-all” approach when it comes to designing relocation policies. HRM finds out how service providers can best work in tandem with HR to design customisable and flexible policies.

70 Roping “in” law talents

Outsourcing is a common way of tackling manpower issues, but what about “insourcing”? Rajah & Tann Singapore has capitalised on both employees’ and employers’ hunger for freelance work by launching its very own allocation platform. HRM finds out more.

72 Achieving collective success

76 REGULARS 4 News 11

How can HR provide expatriates with the health packages they need to relocate with confidence? HRM finds out.

From a very tight team of eight in 2002, the Unlisted Collection group has bloomed into a brand that spans across a range of different businesses. HRM finds out how the boutique hotel chain keeps up with the big boys in the hospitality industry.

58 Creating shareholder value

76 HR Young Gun

63 An HRD Speaks

54 Health across boundaries

through learning

James Leong, CEO of training firm Visions.One Consulting, says

Every month, HRM speaks to a young university talent hoping to carve out a career in HR upon graduation.

Leaders on Leadership

60 HR Clinic 60 Twenty-four Seven 62 Talent Ladder 75 In Person 75 Resources ISSUE 15.12









Hong Kong businesses are treading carefully in terms of their pay structures for 2016. In a survey by the Hong Kong Institute of HR Management (HKIHRM), 48 of the 51 firms interviewed signalled they had an overall budgeted pay increase in 2015, with further increases likely in the year ahead. Tellingly, no firm predicted a pay reduction. The weighted average forecast adjustment for the 48 firms was 3.8% for 2016. The construction sector was found to have allocated the largest pay increase for 2016, with an average increase of 5.1% in wages. The engineering (4.8%) and manufacturing (4.4%) sectors were also planning above-average salary increments for next year. The polled companies claimed several factors weighted on their decisions to increase pay. In order of importance, they were: company performance, individual performance, business unit performance, market adjustments, and inflation. “The majority of the employers

Employers and employees in China appear to have different views of what loyalty means and requires. According to MetLife’s China Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS), 68% of employers believe their in the survey indicated an overall workers are “loyal”, but only 39% of workers feel the base pay increase in 2015, with no same way. companies reporting any pay cut The study also found that employees in China are or freeze. The average base pay often stressed about their financial responsibilities. increase for 2015 was 4.3%, close to The majority of workers aged 18 to 40 had extra the figure the Institute had forecast responsibilities in caring for their parents, and in 2014,” said Lawrence Hung, Vice 59% of them are worried about having the financial President of the HKIHRM. resources to handle them. “In view of economic uncertainties In addition, even though the Chinese looming over Hong Kong, companies Government’s scheme to postpone the retirement have projected a lower base pay age to 65 would enable employees working longer increase in 2016 at 3.8%, which to save more money for their retirement, the study indicates a conservative found that 47% of employees are still market sentiment and a planning to retire before the age of 60. wait-and-see approach However, half of the polled workers for employers.” said they were behind on their retirement is the expected increase “Looking ahead, in starting salaries for L&D saving goals. factors such as China’s Sixty-two percent concurred that their managers in the United Arab Emirates next year economic slowdown, firm possess the responsibility to assist Source: Robert Half volatility of stock them to ensure they have sufficient 2016 Salary Guide markets, US monetary money for retirement. policy, Hong Kong’s While a raise in wages is always the strong currency value and a fall most effective motivator for employees globally to in mainland tourist numbers may remain with a firm, 58% of workers who are thinking continue to pose challenges to our of embarking on a move cited that an enhanced business environment, manpower benefits package would make them more prone to demand in the labour market and remain with their existing organisation. pay rise levels for employees.” “Basic health coverage is more commonplace in China, while a broader benefits package that includes life insurance and retirement elements is less INDIA common,” said George Tan, CEO of MetLife China. “However, employers have to understand that employees have different financial responsibilities and needs, so they wish to personalise their benefits Indian employees in non-metropolitan cities have less stress than package or protection to fit for their priorities and their counterparts in the biggest urban centres. purposes.” According to the Cigna 360 Well-Being Score survey, 75% of employees MetLife’s China EBTS was based on a pan China living in non-metro cities believed they had little work-related stress, survey sample consisting of 393 employers and 367 as opposed to 66% of workers in metropolitan cities. full-time employees aged 18-70 at companies of at In addition to stress levels, the survey showed that contentment with least 100 employees. work compensation and benefits was steeper among workers in nonmetro cities (69% overall) as compared to those in metro cities (58%). The survey sampled 2,633 individuals living in either metro cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai, or in nonmetro cities, such as Lucknow, Vizag, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat in September. It found that 88% of employees in the non-metro cities claimed to have “reasonable” working hours as opposed to 80% in the metro cities.



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Five things employers should know about background screening


JOB HOPPING? NAH.. Close to 70% of Australians are keen to remain with their employer for more than five years. This is according to a survey of 6,537 Australians by recruiting firm Hays. The poll found that 69% of Aussie employees believe in job loyalty and are ready to stay for more than five years with the right organisation. One in five (20%) said they’ll remain for up to five years, while the remaining 11% expected to change firms every one to two years. “Most Australians at heart do believe in job loyalty,” said Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand. “The job for life mentality is long gone, but so too is the mindset of job hopping regularly. Today almost 70% of us want to stay with our employer for five years or more, suggesting that, for most of us at least, stability, security and loyalty are important. “Given this, it’s up to employers to ensure they create an environment in which employees can remain. After all, people want to stay with their


Chin Wei Chong

Marketing & Communications Director, APAC, First Advantage employer long term, but they also want their careers to continue to develop and thrive.” According to Deligiannis, this means that firms must offer all employees with opportunities to undertake training and development, have regular reviews and promotional chances. “They also need to deliver what they promised in the recruitment process so that the reality of working at their organisation matches what they promoted when they were attracting top talent,” he explained. “As long as staff are offered stimulating work and their career continues to advance, most will stay. A lack of career progression is the number one reason people come to us looking for their next job, so we can’t emphasise enough the importance of putting career development plans in place.”


amage to the company’s reputation. The cost of replacing employees who didn’t have the qualifications stated on their resumes. These are just some of the many problems that can arise if a company hires the wrong candidates. Here, we provide a brief exploration of five things employers should know about background screening.

The biggest challenges One of the biggest concerns among APAC employers is the rapidly changing legislation regarding screening and data security.

Growing acceptance Although background screening is not yet widely practiced, there is a rapidly growing acceptance. First Advantage reports there was a more than 10% increase in the number of background checks conducted in APAC between 2014 and 2015.



Effectiveness of background screening Companies that conduct six checks or more for each candidate are nine times more likely to uncover an alert than employers that only conduct one or two checks.

Around three-quarters (74.6%) of Japanese professionals who took part in the Ephraim Global Employee Pulse Survey 2015 have revealed they spend longer hours in the office than they are contractually compelled to. “It is not uncommon among a dedicated and upwardly professional workforce that longer working hours are almost the norm,” said Hajime Fujiharu, Chief Operating Officer at Ephraim Global. “Out of those surveyed, more than 50% replied that they operated more efficiently outside of their regular working hours, and there is a very good explanation for this occurrence: as business meetings usually take place during normal office hours, employees prefer getting more work done by working longer hours and evading dayto-day distractions to concentrate on more important priorities and issues.” Still, 72% of those quizzed in the survey said additional working hours were visibly affecting their work-life balance. In addition, 64.3% of the respondents revealed that they felt compelled to clock in longer hours than what was written in their contracts. The survey also found that over half of the organisations involved were taking the extra hours into account, and offering their workers the chance to work flexible hours or from home. “We believe that more businesses should introduce such practices within their workplace in an attempt to reduce the negative impact that longer working hours have on their workforces. In all probability, this will translate into increased productivity,” explained Fujiharu.

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Differences by countries and industries For example, instances in which companies conducted six checks or more checks per candidate are most prevalent in the more established markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

How to get started Our research shows that employers in APAC who 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.

For the full article or for more information, please contact the author Chin Wei Chong at 5







Asylum-seeking, The HR and finance refugee scientists functions of Lego Group and researchers will be consolidated into now have a better global teams, the toyplatform to search maker has announced. for jobs in Europe. The combined HR Launched by organisation will be the European located in three regional Commission, the headquarters only: at science4refugees initiative will match refugees and asylumexisting sites in the Czech Republic (for Europe), Singapore seekers who have a scientific background with institutions (for Asia-Pacific), and Mexico (for the Americas). in need of experienced talent. The new function is targeted to support the Lego Group’s Media reports indicate that several universities, growth strategy, as well as channel professional focus and including the University of Strasbourg in France and the resources according to changing business needs. University of Leuven in Belgium, are keen to The organisation will begin transitioning to take part of the programme. this new arrangement in January next year. European Commissioner for Research, By 2018, departments where HR and finance Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said services functions are currently located will of employers say finding the the scheme will help the EU to gain a diversity either be limited in size or permanently right match for a vacancy is of new insight, while providing meaningful closed. the top challenge of entrylevel hiring. opportunities for the refugee community. Moreover, 190 Lego employees will be asked to Source: Youth Hold “This is just one example of how we can show move to other locations over the next two years. the Key: Building Your true solidarity to refugees and asylum seekers Senior Vice President of Executive HR, Workforce Today and in the Future by Bridgespan in the European Union,” he said. Simon Riis-Hansen, said the group will Group and Bain & Refugees and asylum-seekers can upload do all it can to support affected staff. “We Company their CVs to an online portal for free and will do our utmost to support the impacted indicate their interest for internships, jobs or employees in finding other jobs, hopefully training. They can also learn about working conditions in in the Lego Group, and if this is not possible, then in other Europe through the portal. companies,” he explained There are further plans to introduce language and Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, the Lego Group integration courses, as well as mentoring schemes to help is a privately held, family-owned company and is one of the refugees adapt to their new country. world’s leading manufacturers of play materials.



WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK FOR THE PRIME MINISTER? When new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government was hiring, more than 3,000 people uploaded their CVs within 12 hours. According to an article on CBC/ Radio-Canada, most applicants also included detailed cover letters. Trudeau said the new government was “looking to build a team of diverse, passionate, and hardworking Canadians, willing to serve their country as exempt staff in political offices”. Citing traits such as creativity, leadership, ideas and energy, Trudeau says he is looking for “Canadians who


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believe in our plan and believe in our team standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me”. The Liberal Party of Canada’s Olivier Duchesneau said the submissions were impressive, including more than 1,500 applicants who spoke three or more languages, and several Rhodes scholars. “There’s people who have 30 years of experience in government — you have lawyers, you have people who are working in and running nongovernment organisations,” said Duchesneau. The party is looking for senior managers and jobseekers with

expertise in communications, administration, parliamentary affairs and policy. Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s second youngest prime minister last month. He is the son of Canada’s late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.




MEASURING A LIFETIME OF WORK The average adult is likely to go through six jobs, nine pay rises, three major disagreements with colleagues, and one office romance. According to a study commissioned by the Association of Accounting Technicians, 46% of employees quit their job and retrain for a new profession at some point in their careers. Mark Farrar, CEO of the AAT said, “The traditional job for life may well be a thing of the past. People should always ensure they take up training opportunities and their skills are up to date so they can be ready if they need to change jobs.” The research found employees are likely to have a career for 47 years, and more than half (54%) of the respondents said their commitment to work had affected their personal lives and relationships. The poll showed UK employees work a total of 9,024 hours of unpaid

HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES AND YOUR BUSINESS BOUNCE BACK Sudden tragedies … Workplace accidents … Natural disasters … These events can have a devastating effect on your employees – and your business. When they strike, people often need help to comprehend, cope, and continue forward. That’s where we come in.

overtime throughout their career, which sums up to a loss of £153,408 ($330,000). On average, they take 94 sick days and are late to work 141 times. The study polled 2,000 adults about their work lives and estimated the lifetime figures by assuming they started work at age 18, and will retire at 65. Interestingly, while the survey doesn’t say anything about coffee drinkers, it notes the average employee makes 29,328 cups of tea throughout their work life.

Workplace Options is a worldwide leader in employee well-being solutions. We provide a Rapid Response Critical Incident service to companies across Singapore and around the world that helps employees overcome traumatic events.


Whether you need counselors on-site or a dedicated hotline for round-the-clock assistance, our teams are always ready.

SELF-EMPLOYMENT PROVES A WINNER Self-employed Americans and the workers they recruit make up 44 million jobs, according to an analysis of data from the US Census Bureau by the Pew Research Centre. This figure reflects 30% of the national workforce. There are 14.6 million selfemployed individuals, representing 10% of the country’s 146 million workers. In turn, they provide jobs for 29.4 million other employees. Of course, not all self-employed workers create job for others. Only about one-in-four of them (or 3.4 million) said they usually have at least one paid employee helping them with their business. Those self-employed Americans that do hire have an average of 8.6 employees. The majority of jobs created by the self-employed, 22.5 million out of 29.4 million, flowed from those with incorporated businesses, which were three times as likely to employ others. The report describes self-employed people as those who work for profit or fees in their own business. They could be sole proprietors of their business or own it in partnership with others.

Don’t let an unexpected tragedy cripple your company. Get employees the support they need to reflect, heal, and get back on track.

Learn More at: Or call toll-free:

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+65 (800) 130 1950


Are you ready for Gen Z to enter the workforce? Some employers are already discussing about the next cohort of employees born between 1996 and 2000: Generation Z. While they may appear too young to be taken seriously right now, the first wave of Generation Z workers will enter the workforce as soon as three years from now. A new research study from Universum asks close to 50,000 high school graduates about their thoughts on work. HRM brings you the highlights from the Generation Z Grows Up report

What are your biggest fears about work life? APAC

52% 37% 39%


That I won’t get a job that matches my personality

That I will get stuck with no development opportunities

43% 31%

26% 26%

That I will underperform

Would you join the workforce instead of pursuing college/ university?

15% YES 47% MAYBE 38% NO


That I won’t realise my career goals

How do you feel about seeing ads from employers on social media? I like it very much/I like it somewhat



I dislike it very much/I dislike it somewhat

Sources: • Generation Z Grows Up report by Universum • Some icon graphics are by and 8

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are “somewhat hopeful” or “very hopeful” about the future


welcome information about how companies offer education to those with no university degree


are open to being contacted in their social channels by a company regarding work opportunities



MARRIOTT ACQUIRES STARWOOD FOR US$12.2 BILLION Marriott International and Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide are merging to create what will be the world’s largest hotel company. On November 16, the boards of directors of both companies came to an agreement on the US$12.2 billion deal. The newly-combined hotel group will offer Starwood’s lifestyle brand and international footprint, as well as Marriott’s expertise in the luxury, convention and resort segments. Once completed, the new group will operate and franchise over 5,500 hotels along with a combined total of 1.1 million rooms internationally. Arne Sorenson will continue to hold her current position as President and CEO of Marriott International. Additionally, Marriott’s board of directors will increase from 11 to 14 members, three of whom will be representatives of Starwood’s board of directors. For J.W. Marriott Junior, executive chairman of Marriott International, the merger is set to create more opportunities for the company. “We have competed with Starwood for decades and we have also admired them,” he said. “I’m excited we will add great new hotels to our system and for the incredible opportunities for Starwood and Marriott associates. I’m delighted to welcome Starwood to the Marriott family.”

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PEARSON HONOURS SINGAPORE’S BEST LEARNERS A total of 50 students of Pearson’s BTEC, LCCI and Edexcel qualifications have been lauded for attaining the best results, both locally and globally. More than 150 guests attended the annual Pearson Medallion Award Ceremony on September 10, recognising students with outstanding achievements in Pearson qualification courses. The three qualifications: Edexcel, BTEC and LCCI were designed to provide a seamless academic pathway for students and universities globally. The awards were presented by the British High Commissioner to Singapore Scott Wightman, together with Head of Pearson Partner Markets Asia, Steve McGill, and Director of Sales for Pearson Singapore and

Malaysia, Tan Chor Meng. Among the recipients was 60-year-old Tan Hong Keow who graduated with BTEC’s Diploma in Business, specialising in HR. “As the government has extended the working age from 65 to 67, I am more optimistic to be more independent and self-reliant on my own professional journey,” she said. “As a wife and mother, BTEC qualifications do not only enhance my pursuit for a better and enriching career, but are also living proof to my family that age is just a number.” “If there is a will, there is also a way. I stand here as a living testimony to encourage everyone to keep learning and studying. You will become much more marketable and employable.”

ASCOTT INKS FOUR MANAGEMENT CONTRACTS IN CHINA The Ascott Limited will be expanding its footprints in China. On November 2, Ascott signed four new management contracts for 583 serviced residence units. Two of its properties are located in Shanghai while the rest are in Beijing and Dalian. Ascott is also bringing its Citadines brand to Dalian, a major port city in Northeast China. With this, it’s properties will be known as Ascott Beijing and Citadines Gugeng Dalian, which are slated to open in 2016, while it’s other properties Citadines Jinxu Shanghai and Citadines Putuo Shanghai will opening in 2019. The new properties will boost Ascott’s current portfolio to 80 properties across 24 cities, making them the largest international service residence owner-operator in China. Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s CEO said, “With the rapid increase in Chinese travellers overseas and Ascott’s presence in many of the tourist and business cities worldwide, our penetration of the Chinese market is expected to contribute to Ascott’s business globally.” “Ascott will continue to seek innovative ways to scale up our presence and build up our capabilities to ensure we remain the top choice accommodation for our guests when they travel.”

LEADERSHIP SKILLS KEY TO BUSINESS GROWTH The increase in competition was listed as a top challenge among Singapore organisations, according to NBOGroup’s 2015 Leadership Survey. This was followed by economic challenges (54%), business growth (51%), staff productivity (49%) and skills shortage (48%). To counter this issue, 68% of leaders polled were looking to improve leadership development (62%), increase revenue (54%), team development (53%), and cost reductions (52%). Meanwhile, in an effort to achieve these strategies, 55% of businesses prioritised

leadership development this year. Performance management (44%), team development training (41%), and feedback and coaching skills training (39%) also figured in the mix. “There was a clear need for leaders to be equipped with effective leadership skills,” the report said. “Employee engagement, a diverse labour force, and intergenerational conflict all act as brakes on productivity if not addressed well.” “Leaders need to manage and direct their teams and staff to achieve the goals of the organisations.”


How can off-site activities help identify potential leaders?


t has been part of our tradition at Paktor to conduct regular off-site meetings and activities where the scope of matters discussed goes deeper than those at a typical management meeting. Expectations at off-site meetings are higher than at typical meetings because they are usually the only opportunities where our management team have their attention completely invested in the agenda; scrutinising and exploring strategic issues in depth. We have seen how successful off-site meetings can be, as they have aligned my team and galvanised business efforts. In my opinion, a strategic off-site meeting’s success is largely determined by what happens before it convenes. To make sure the meeting generates tangible results, we identify the agenda and structure for the meeting ahead of time, in addition to

appointing neutral people in-charge to compel progress. This is also the time where I stress the importance of identifying and developing leadership talent needed for growth and expansion; I take the opportunity then to identify leaders that are committed to helping the company grow. It’s always easier to see leadership qualities shine through when you’re not constrained to fixed environments. During one of our recent meetings, we introduced two new senior hires – Jose Ruano and Miguel Mangas – who will be spearheading Paktor’s aggressive global expansion plans as Director of International Expansion and Vice President of Marketing and International Expansion, respectively. Both Jose and Miguel have proven leadership skills and years of experience in the industry.


FRANK BECKER Vice President of HR, UPS Asia Pacific

PS is one of the largest, and most diverse companies in the world. We have long believed that we grow not only by investing in our business, but also in our people. It is our priority to nurture our talents and to constantly challenge them, and to provide them with growth opportunities. A good leader should not only possess hard, and technical skills, but to also excel in soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people and displaying a positive attitude are crucial for success. That is why we provide many opportunities for our employees to demonstrate their skills and to develop their capabilities in different ways, both in and out of the office. Offsite activities are one such way to allow our employees to develop soft skills, which are important qualities for a good leader. One such example is our Women’s Leadership Programme, which focuses on developing networking skills and the knowledge and values needed as employees step into leadership roles.

JOSEPH PHUA CEO and Co-Founder, Paktor

Throughout the year, our employees go out into their local communities to conduct volunteering activities based on local needs: from renovating school buildings, to planting trees and preparing food for the less fortunate in society. These activities are chosen and organised by an employee-led committee in each local office. Through these activities, our employees are given opportunities to lead and to take part in projects that are different from their daily responsibilities. This gives them a chance to try something new, expand their roles within the company and to connect with colleagues from different departments. Interacting with co-workers across disciplines helps employees realise the value of diversity and equality. All these have proven to build stronger staff morale within UPS, enhance employees’ sense of belonging to the company and most importantly, have allowed us to identify candidates with leadership potential.

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Tell me about yourself. Who inspires you? What are your career aims?

Sports and games are a part of working life at sports apparel giant Decathlon. But CEO in Singapore and Indonesia Bastien Grandgeorge says he is dead serious about sketching the company’s blueprint in this region

have fun in taking decisions, we will have good results. If I could dream of a five-year career path, I would say that I don’t care about the title or the mission. I would like to feel as young as I’m feeling today.

I am turning 36 years old and I have been living in Singapore for one-anda-half years. As you can hear, I’m French! I am the CEO of Decathlon for Singapore and Indonesia, a sports What is your leadership style? Sham Majid equipment and apparel retailer that To be natural, and when is headquartered in France, but with I come to work, I am my stores all over the world, and soon to authentic self. open a 35,000ft megastore in Singapore in January 2016. In Decathlon, we don’t speak about titles. We just like Regarding my career, I went straight into retail at Decathlon to be ourselves and if we stick to the values of “sincerity”, after I graduated at the age of 22. Decathlon is well-known in “generosity”, and “vitality”, then the team will follow. I think France for its system of nurturing and training future managers, these are the key words for leadership at Decathlon – I follow and I had the chance to work in almost every department through these words everyday. my career, from sales training to brand management, and from I am very happy everyday because I don’t play a role – my store manager to regional director. We only promote internally nametag says my name, with no mention of my title. I come – we don’t make external hires – so this kind of training and to work and I take pleasure in my team, and for me, it’s very progression is essential for identifying and training our leaders. All important to do something you love. Honestly, I don’t feel like top management, including our CEO, started on the shop floor. I’m working everyday. After that, I had the opportunity to move abroad and to participate in the international growth of Decathlon. After How would your employees describe you? eight years of working in retail in France, I moved to the Czech Totally crazy! Republic where I became a CEO for the country. My job there I dream that if you ask them to describe their boss, they was to set up the company for retail and development. I stayed would say that while I’m the CEO and that I have to make strategic for two years and we opened another seven stores. decisions on a daily basis, I’m a teammate like all of them. Thanks to this success, my company offered me the At Decathlon, in terms of what we wear, how we are, and opportunity to move again, this time to Asia. My three kids how we speak and interact with people; there is no hierarchy are my main inspiration. They don’t think for three hours and there are no differences between staff. before making a decision. Honestly, when I transfer that My job is to set up the DNA of the company and the DNA of into my decision-making, it inspires me a lot because when the company is to create freedom in our relationships. We aim you set up a new company, you have to make quick decisions to work seriously everyday without being serious, by creating a and my personal feeling is that if we take pleasure and if we natural and friendly work environment.



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Having joined the group in 2002, Bastien Grandgeorge is currently the Decathlon’s CEO for Singapore and Indonesia, overseeing its expansion, e-commerce and retail operations, as well as the supply chain in Southeast Asia. Grandgeorge first gained retail and customer experience on the floor of Decathlon’s retail outlets in France, eventually managing a staff of 150 as the manager of one of the country’s biggest stores. In 2010, he became the Expansion Manager and Regional Director of the Southwest of France, managing 400 people and six stores, as well as overseeing the development of new stores. Grandgeorge was then appointed the CEO of Decathlon Czech Republic in 2012. He was responsible for strengthening the brand’s presence in that market, opening seven new stores in the span of two years. He graduated from Montpellier Business School in 2002, and also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Santiago, Chile.

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Decathlon employs 72,000 staff of over 80 nationalities. What are some key HR challenges for the organisation? Decathlon are indeed expanding fast and hiring lots of people which is incredibly exciting! Exactly 18 months ago in Singapore, we had seven employees. Now, we have 57, and we will have 150 in six months. This is only in Singapore! In terms of HR, yes, we need to hire people, and this presents the biggest opportunity. Young people are given responsibility from day one, providing them with the support and learning path along the way so that they can grow. Among the new intake of young and eager Singaporeans, some will one day be the next Singapore CEO, Regional Manager and, who knows, maybe even Decathlon CEO. We give teammates who are 22 to 25 years old the entire responsibility for one brand (we have 20 in-house brands in total). We are talking about millions of dollars in turnover. Of course, we will provide the right training and support so that mistakes are kept to a minimum. But, notice I said “kept to a minimum”; it is very important to make mistakes. For

me, one day without a decision is a lost day. We like and we promote the fact that people make decisions everyday, because by making decisions, they will also make mistakes, and they will learn from them. We have a very young spirit and we give our employees the chance to make decisions by themselves. I only decide the vision and big strategies, but they decide in terms of daily operations. If you make a mistake, we will have a debriefing and see how we can progress. If you make a good decision, you will develop yourself.


Describe your company culture

First of all, we are passionate about sports. We are all passionate, but we are not professionals. I love sports such as running, hiking and swimming. But, we don’t care about whether you are a professional or not. Our customers are not like that either, and they come to Decathlon because they want a tennis racket for their weekly tennis training with their friends, or a tent as they are going camping with their family in Batam, or a set of golf clubs because their dad has decided to take up golf. They are just normal people who want good-

No HR department in Decathlon This may come as a surprise considering the size and global footprint of Decathlon, but according to Bastien Grandgeorge, CEO, Decathlon Singapore and Indonesia, his organisation does not actually possess an HR division. “This means that everyone is HR. Of course, I am representing HR, because my duty is to give all my managers the good values of being responsible in their decisions, and to be vital in their daily behaviours,” he explains. “So, my duty is to ensure that the values of the company are respected and expressed at all times. A soon as that is respected, the team is in charge of recruitment and training as a whole, as opposed to a single individual or department. Everyone is involved because we believe that everyone in the team can become a manager tomorrow.” Grandgeorge says the first key performance indicator (KPI) of any Decathlon employee is their human performance. “While our managers have to develop the business and ensure turnover like all companies, it’s not the number one KPI. The first one is how many people you have hired in your team, how did you train them, and how many did you promote,” he shares. “My first KPI is how can I manage this company in Singapore and in Indonesia to be eventually run by local guys. This is very different from other big corporations because they have structures. In Decathlon, we have 100% internal promotions and we have more than 350 positions.”

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quality equipment at good prices – our staff and culture needs to reflect that. Secondly, it is the capacity to make decisions, at whatever position. I always tell our newcomers when they join that even though we have 72,000 employees within the company, we don’t want robots with a job description. The job description is yours; you decide what you want to do. If you want to do something, please do it. That freedom and flexibility is very important.


Decathlon has unique recruitment requirements, including playing sports with candidates before their interviews. Why is that so? We are recruiting more than 80 people in the next two months. I tell my managers that if they have to choose between playing sports followed by an actual interview, he or she should just play sports with them and not have the interview. We want to see how the candidates interact with each other, how they work as a team, and how they make themselves important and necessary to achieve the wider goal. I like the fact that when you practice sport, you feel things, even if it’s for just half an hour. Honestly, after participating in sport, we can identify with 80% probability who the people are with the right spirit. A person’s passion, values and personality are more important to us than things like graduation. Before an interview, we all get stressed about various things. When you practice sport however, you do not play a role. Moreover in Singapore, we only employ staff on permanent contracts. We want long-term relationships with all of our employees, and this in turn provides security and safety for the employee, allowing him or her to concentrate on the job at hand. Hence, when the candidates turn up for the interview, we introduce the company and explain to candidates why we are different in terms of HR, and then we play sport together, have lunch, and remove the stress. After that, we conduct the normal interviews – which are more like informal chats. It’s a naturally collective spirit.



Does Decathlon leverage heavily on digital technologies for its HR operations?

For the first time in Singapore and within the 24 countries we are operating in, we set up an online business first, followed by the offline business one-and-a-half years later. We are already used to working online and our customers are online too. Hence, we have decided to implement a full digital framework to also pursue talents. We are sure that advertisements for job positions are shifting into the digital space. Another reason is because our jobs in retail and logistics are customer-oriented, we believe that our talents will be able to handle the different digital platforms after we train them.


What kind of career progression programme do you have in place?

From December 14, 2015, everyone working in the company can be shareholders. This is why we are unique. We want to generate confidence among employees that they have a long-term relationship with the company. This means that should someone decide to join the company and sign the contract, they can have the opportunity to invest in the company. This is applicable to every employee and this means they can be involved in the longterm strategy of the company. We always speak about the longterm. From day one, we explain all the opportunities available to new employees, about the cross channels, such as retail and logistics, and about the brands.

Employees can see there are many possibilities from a career perspective and that they can reach these positions. But, the key is to encourage our employees to find their individual career path, which they can manage directly with their manager during bi-annual discussions. At Decathlon, we have 20 different in-house brands with their own R&D centres developing everything from snorkelling masks to football boots to trampolines. We have stores throughout the world and a sophisticated supply chain. There are so many great opportunities, specialisations and career paths for our employees to choose from if they wish.


What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of your role?

first. That means within our pioneer team, they have one year of experience at Decathlon. We will then promote one person to be the store manager of the second store. So, what I did in four years from brand management to store management; here, they will have to do it in six months. This is where the support and security of Decathlon really matters, and our Singaporean staff will know that they are responsible and in control.

What is your top tip for aspiring leaders? Don’t play a role. Personally, I don’t play the role of a CEO and perhaps, in my next job, I may not be a CEO. I don’t care either. Simply be yourself, be natural everyday, and be confident in whatever job you do. Yesterday, I became a CEO, and tomorrow, I may not be a CEO.

With plans to open 21 outlets in Singapore alone, the expansion in South-East Asia will be very rapid. I have been doing this job for years, so I know exactly what needs to be done. What I learnt in stores in France for eight years, my teammates here will have to do it in less than a year. For example, we will open our first store in Bedok in January, and I have brought in some staff from other countries to assist with the store launch, and to impart their own experience and expertise on the local Singaporean staff. This will ensure they are ready to take over the reins once they leave. We will open the second store four-and-a-half months after the

ME MYSELF I I love: Sports, especially running and swimming. Thankfully, Decathlon encourages me to play sport as often as I can. I dislike: When someone says something is impossible. My inspiration is: My kids. They teach me new things about management every day. My biggest weakness is: Without a doubt, my French accent. In five years time I’d like to be: The same as I am now – full of spirit. Favourite quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.” – Mark Twain

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s a government entity that was only established in 1999, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has made significant impact to the nation’s growth. Started as a convergence with the National Computer Board and the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, IDA emerged as a result of growing demand for Information Technology (IT) and telephony. Since then, the agency has aimed to transform the nation into a dynamic global infocomm hub and develop Singapore both economically and socially through the leverages of infocomm. However, at IDA, change remains the only constant. They have regularly overseen a series of developments in how technology and telecommunications can help and

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Ensuring that Singapore stays ahead of the technology innovation curve is not an easy feat. HRM speaks to the HR leader behind the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore on how it is pulling through the challenges and striving as an organisation

Naadiah Badib

improve the lives of citizens. “Within IDA, there are certain specific things we need to deliver,” says Lau Yin Cheng, Cluster Director,

Human Resource and Organisation Development, IDA. “The changes are in terms of how we reconfigure our structure and hire the right people so that we can execute and show some initial results from our experimentation and from the various initiatives.”

Building a smart nation The year 2015 was set to be an exciting one for IDA as they aim to develop IT and telecommunications within Singapore through the smart nation programme. Setting the stage for the nation to become the world’s first smart nation, IDA has actively supported the growth of technology companies and startups, worked with global IT companies as well as developed the industry infrastructure, policies and capabilities.



Total number of employees at IDA: 2,000

Size of the HR Team (Asia-Pacific): 58 Key HR Focus Areas: - Business Partnership - Centres of Excellence (COE) - Human Resource Services and Systems

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“We are also experimenting with our work and encouraging collaboration through initiative engagement mechanisms to make smart nation a reality,” Lau says. In fact, IDA has recently restructured the HR and Organisation Development team into four centres of excellence. This was part of an effort to enable the development of deeper HR and organisation development competencies and to enhance the delivery of solutions to IDA. Lau shares that they have now deployed several approaches to develop talent within the workforce which include a holistic approach to reward and recognise high performance and culture alignment and, enhanced career development pathways and job rotations to create opportunities for individuals.

careerists as well as the specialised skills talent pool. These advertisements are crafted with thematic messages and help to anchor their smart nation vision. Like many other companies, IDA also adopts social media as a key component when recruiting talents. For instance, through the usage of LinkedIn, the agency has been able to build their brand awareness and reached out to passive talents. “It allowed us to push jobs to passive talents and allowed us to source passive candidates effectively,” Lau says. In their bid to further enhance engineering and development capabilities, the agency launched the “Technology Associate Programme”. This programme provides opportunities for tech associates to apply technology into real public policy challenges at IDA Hive, home to the Government Digital Services team which consists of data scientists, designers, engineers and others. Additionally, IDA has also looked to improve its ways in reaching out to Singaporeans living overseas through a virtual career fair organised by Contact Singapore. “With this virtual platform, participants would navigate through virtual career booths,” Lau explains. “We can also engage them via online chats and collect their resumes via an online repository.”

Coping with issues

Developing key talents

Attracting talents in technology and in new emerging areas such as data analytics, software development and design, and cyber security is deemed to be an ongoing issue at IDA. Yet, the agency has developed a unique recruitment concept called, “Influence Tomorrow” to counter this challenge. This is an umbrella brand for their employer-branding activities, allowing them to design various creative advertisements which are specifically targeted to fresh graduates, mid-

With an objective to have a thorough and structured professional development framework, IDA ensures that their core and functional competencies are aligned with the smart nation programme, business goals and culture. “Three years ago, as part of the Government Chief Information Office wing (GCIO), we reviewed various job roles to provide staff with opportunities to build deeper technical competencies and to provide career development through structured roadmaps,” Lau shares.

Making voices heard Lau Yin Cheng, Cluster Director, HR and Organisation Development, IDA, says that employees should always come first. On a monthly basis, IDA conducts chat sessions with the Executive Deputy Chairman and Managing Director to engage staff within the organisation. This provides employees with the opportunity to ask questions, clarify doubts, raise issues and provide inputs, enabling them to be a part of the co-creation process in achieving IDA’s mission and goals. Specifically within the HR department, Lau conducts “Skip Level” chats twice a year so as to gather feedback regarding managers, individuals and to recognise how well employees work as a team. “I’m glad that the organisation has a strong emphasis on people,” he shares. “We also want to hear their voices and to be able to balance that with organisational needs.”

The programme is also designed to drive up connectivity in Singapore and to create a database to build new technology infrastructure. Just some of the key areas that are expected to witness impacts include transportation, healthcare, communications, governance and business. “I believe that the smart nation vision can be a reality if we successfully combine policy, people and technology in a concentrated effort,” Lau says. Yet, facilitating the development of this anchor initiative is no easy task. With a shifting demand for technologists, engineers and specialised talents such as data analytics, Lau highlights there has been a scarcity of key skills in the technology field. “Competition for top talents is intense and there is a constant challenge in finding specific skills in these areas,” he shares. “The challenge for IDA is to ensure that we hire the right people with the right competencies, develop them suitably to do their jobs and keep up with trends.” “It is important to attract and retain their loyalty by engaging and developing them sincerely and proactively,” he adds. To further support the smart nation vision, IDA has emphasised a lot on experimentation and collaboration which is especially evident in their HR and Organisation Development department.

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HR INSIDER As Lau mentions, the structured roadmaps involve instructor-led development, augmented programmes that focus on learning from internal subject matter experts, case studies and formal certification programmes. Job rotation opportunities are also provided to employees where they can appeal to move to another department within the organisation and within the whole of government. Supervisors also lend a helping hand in holding career development dialogues to discuss staff’s career interests. “Staff can also check available jobs and apply online,” Lau adds.

Enhancing on-boarding experiences IDA places a strong emphasis on newlyhired employees in terms of their needs and learning behaviours. Programmes such as e-learning and foundation modules are put in place for these staff to learn at their own pace. Such platforms also help to build a strong community to learn and grow together within the organisation. “Striking a balance between the usage of technology and personal development, we enhanced the operation efficiency of the on-boarding process without losing the human touch,” Lau explains. Within their first six months, new hires will have to go through various on-boarding sessions. These include

an orientation, foundation workshops, e-learning and chats with senior leaders. “Our leadership development philosophy is unique as we believe that everyone is a leader,” Lau says. “Hence, we equip all individuals with Kouzes and Posner’s Five Exemplary Practices which our leaders have adopted. This helps to bring out the best in themselves and others.”

Driving engagement “IDA’s engagement philosophy is based on the premise that we value our people as more than just HR,” Lau shares. “We recognise that a strong organisation culture and a conducive environment are fundamental pillars in driving our People Vision for IDA to be a great workplace.” At present, the HR and Organsation Development team has played a more active role in ensuring that employees have a clearer understanding of the smart nation vision. To achieve this, they work closely with line managers to conduct strategic reviews, work planning and team development to articulate the objectives of a smart nation. Additionally, IDA has implemented a “Great Workplace” series where they feature employees who display IDA values and those who have excelled through both personal and work challenges. “In the spirit of appreciation for

those who have exhibited the right behaviours, our people can thank team members from other divisions who have gone out of their way to help make things happen,” Lau says. In addition, IDA has also introduced the Corporate Volunteer Programme (CVP) where employees are able to initiate and participate in voluntary projects which support social or environmental causes. To enable them to be involved in such projects, employees can apply for CVP leave of up to five days per year. “To date, our projects cover teaching underprivileged children how to code, helping voluntary welfare organisations to identify technology solutions and enriching elderly lives through IT,” explains Lau. As part of their engagement efforts, IDA has also taken into account minute details that can impact their employees. This is such that their open-concept office is specifically designed to promote greater synergy, open communication and bonding. “For example, we reduce the height of our work station dividers to enable staff to communicate and interact more,” Lau shares. “We also created people hubs and added game sets to promote team cohesion.” “In designing our offices, staff become more engaged to co-create the workplace and culture,” he concludes.


LAU YIN CHENG Cluster Director, HR & Organisation Development


Director, HR & Organisation Development – Corporate Culture & Organisation Development


Deputy Director, HR & Organisation Development – Planning, Performance & Rewards


Deputy Director, HR & Organisation Development – Talent, Learning & Development


HR Business Partner, HR & Organisation Development

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“Experience was critical as it combined not only HR roles, but also commercial roles as well as education” Tom Kraabel, Vice President of Pall

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From humble

beginnings Entering the C-suite from a senior HR position is not an easy transition. HRM finds out how some have prepared for the role and how they are impacting their organisations

Naadiah Badib


R has often been seen as an administrative role, but recent workforce trends have made talent management more complex today. A company is only as good as its employees and thus, HR departments are put under the spotlight to shape the work environment into a successful one. With this experience behind them, and along with the increase in globalisation and competition, more HR executives are entering the C-suites with an aim to address employer branding and to bring more good into the workforce. According to Visier’s “The Changing

Role of the CHRO� report, companies expect chief HR officers to contribute in a variety of ways. These include using accurate views of workforce costs to evaluate decisions (70% of the companies surveyed in the report cited this function as vital), talking about human capital in business terms (78%), using data and analytics to help improve workforce decisions (69%), and concentrating mainly on business outcomes (45%). For K Thiveanathan, Chief HR Officer at semiconductor manufacturer UTAC, having the opportunity to work alongside reputable companies with ISSUE 15.12



More woman in top management by 2030 By 2030, women will occupy the top ranks of most large global companies in numbers equal to those of men. In a study entitled, “Gender Equality in the Executive Ranks: A Paradox — The Journey to 2030” , 73% of current global senior executives believe in the time frame. However, 56% of them also said their companies has not yet adopted formal goals that might turn that expectation into a reality. Additionally, 39% identified gender diversity in senior management as a high priority, ranking it as the seventh position among a list of 10 possibilities.

CEOs who viewed HR as a strategic partner, helped to equip him for a C-suite position. Such collaborations allowed him to be exposed to broader business challenges in cross-border and crosscultural contexts, even beyond typical HR roles. “My early learnings came by taking lead roles in facilitating companies’ annual strategy development sessions, where we deliberated and agreed on business strategies for the following year,” he says. “Subsequently, I took accountability for the process of developing ‘lineof-sight’ activities to link these strategies to individual performance management processes.” On the other hand, Tom Kraabel, Vice President of Pall, feels that being in previous leadership roles in various regions helped him to adjust into a C-suite role. “My first leadership role came about because of three factors: experience, opportunity and desire,” he explains. “Experience was critical as it combined not only HR roles, but also commercial roles as well as education.”

Coping with change There are many aspects to a C-suite role that are significantly different from other corporate leadership duties. Reporting to the supervisory board and management is one example. 24 ISSUE 15.12


At UTAC, while reporting to the CEO, Thiveanathan is also expected to work closely with the board of directors, remuneration and audit committees, and with private equity partners. He notes that to succeed in any corporate role, HR personnel need to know who their stakeholders are, understand the pain areas of the business, anticipate and plan people solutions, and capitalise on opportunities. “I too, am prepared to modify these goals to ensure changing business needs get prompt HR attention and that stakeholders are aware of the status and progress of HR commitments,” he shares. “The communication is usually supported by facts and data, as business leaders have less patience for ‘stories’.” “These routines minimise unwanted surprises and ‘change’ become manageable with pleasant experiences.” Becoming increasingly reliant on his own assessments and judgements is another way that Vikramaditya Bajpai, Vice President and Head of HR at Alcon, lists as a key change upon the transition to the highest levels of the business. Other factors include judgements regarding strategic choices, and the ability to balance near-term tactics with mid-term priorities for the business and function. Having a mentor and being involved

in coaching sessions have also impacted him positively, he says. “I was a part of an intensive mentoring retreat with the Novartis Group HR Head as well as with the CEO of Alcon over the last two years, and this has really helped me to be clear on the focus of my role as well as my own leadership shadow,” Bajpai shares. “The support of a coach has also helped me deeply reflect on my own values, limiting beliefs, style and impact.” Conversely, Kraabel believes that during the transition of roles, the expectations are set higher. Yet, it is crucial to pull a good front and manage the HR function effectively. He says coaching the leadership team continues to provide the biggest (and best) challenge in his role. “It’s about trying to balance between solving the issues and working with the people that are sometimes at the core of why the issues exist,” he says.

C-suite engagements Upon landing a position at the top level, new C-suite executives are also expected to have effective CEO-level conversations. As Thiveanathan suggests, understanding the business, leadership expectations and HRrelated challenges are critical. “Knowing the top level executives at personal levels – those who are natural HR supporters and those who require great deal of ‘influencing’ – can hugely help in securing needed resources or moral support for HR initiatives,” he shares. “It is not about ‘best practice’, but about doing what is right for the business and people at that location.” Thiveanathan recognises the importance of ensuring a predictable engagement routine with his global HR team. Such practices allow his views and actions to be closer to the pulse of the business. A productive engagement with toplevel executives occurs when leaders

HR TO C-SUITE formulate HR interventions and deliver on commitments, while helping others to become better people managers. At a more strategic level, Bajpai uses processes like objective alignment at the beginning of the year. This encourages discussion and an alignment of direction as part of efforts to ensure that all departments are on the same page in terms of interdependency and connectedness. “On a tactical level, we encourage the leadership team around the concept of a ‘green week’, whereby all leadership team members are in Singapore and can get face time with each other as part of key meetings, but also on a one-to-one basis,” he explains. “This is an effective way of personal engagement.”

Seeing HR as a strategic partner According to the 2015 Benchmarking Report, eight out of 10 HR professionals consider their HR departments to be strategic business partners. As defined in the report, strategic business partners share both physical and intellectual resources to solve problems and to make decisions for other departments and for the organisation as a whole. Ensuring that the leadership team has a holistic and long-term view on talent is the key aspect that Kraabel highlights when it comes to HR being seen as a strategic partner. “Money does not solve all problems; neither does development or training,” he says. “Our role is to put options on the table, have a view on which is best, and then implement it.”

Would you choose a better boss over a pay raise? The relationship between an employer and an employee is vital to an organisation’s success. A Jobstreet survey found that a sizeable 64% of employees reported that a better boss would make them happier at work. This was compared to 36% who would find the same happiness with a pay raise. Moreover, seven in ten also said they would be prepared to resign if they were unable to get along with their bosses. Being taken for granted, unfair treatment due to favouritism, and poor communication were the top three resentments employees had towards their bosses. Bajpai says this is a process that takes time. He points out four key steps that will boost HR’s positions. The starting point is to have a passionate team that cares about the core purpose of the organisation and is savvy on the company operations, he says. The following step is to have HR business partners and centres of excellence that can translate key issues into real-world interventions. They should not be shy to express their opinions in helping leaders navigate

the complex business environment. The third step is to have an objective measure of organisational health which mirrors how HR and the business are doing together. The final step, as Bajpai says, is to be a coach, who helps leaders create a positive environment in their organisation and who seeks out areas of opportunities. “In my reviews with the HR organisation in my region, I hold my country HR heads accountable for three things: talent and leadership development, climate and culture, and organisational design and change,” he says. “If HR departments can embrace these successfully, it’s a great step forward for the organisation to create long term value.” On the other hand, C-suite strategic partners are also expecting a credible HR team to anticipate and deploy people initiatives that impact the business. This would typically require HR team members who are passionate about the business and who want to pursue a continuous learning path to strengthen their own HR functional strength. “Thus, our focus is to help develop managers’ capabilities to become better people managers and to create HR policies and an environment where employees are eager to contribute discretionary effort for the advancement of the company,” Thiveanathan explains.

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TRIGGER FOR CHANGE Did you know that productivity levels are affected by workers’ reactions to “triggers” that are different for each individual? In this exclusive interview, Dr Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author, world-renowned leadership coach, and the headline act of the HR Summit 2016, shares how everyone can overcome these particular situations to reach higher levels of achievement

Sham Majid


What are some environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us in our day- to-day work?

Firstly, a trigger is any stimulus that may impact our behaviour. Any trigger that leads us “off-track” from being the person that we want to be, derails us. Our reactions are actually due to unappreciated triggers in our environment comprising of people and scenarios that entice us to behave in a way that is diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. I have elaborated on this in my latest book, Triggers, while also highlighting how we can tackle and beat the trigger points in our lives, to instil meaningful and lasting change. For example, I have asked over 100,000 people this question: “What percentage of all interpersonal communication time 26 ISSUE 15.12



is spent on people talking about how smart, special or wonderful they are – or listening to someone else do this; and on people talking about how bad or inept someone else is – or listening to someone else do this?” The average answer around the world is about 65% across both categories. What a waste of time! How much do we learn by talking about how smart we are – or by listening to someone else do this and how much do we learn talking about how stupid someone else is – or listening to someone do this? We actually learn nothing at all. It is imperative that we learn to avoid people or conversations that trigger useless gossip or chatter. This can make life much more positive and help us to work more productively!


We often engage in meticulous planning when we start our day but then get bogged down by endless distractions. How can we endeavour to focus on what’s really important to us? Almost all of us over-estimate our “willpower” and underestimate our need for help and structure. In my daily question process (described in Triggers), I show how daily reminders of “what really matters” and daily measurement can keep us on track and lead to positive, and long-term change. For example, every day, I test myself by answering 32 questions that represent behaviour that I know is important for me and my personal productivity, but that is often easy to neglect. There is nothing magical about “32”. Just use the number that works for you. Each question is put on an Excel spreadsheet and is answered with a “yes” (use a 1 on the spreadsheet) and “no” (use a 0) or a number. This exercise moves very quickly! In my case, I pay a person to call

Our reactions are actually due to unappreciated triggers in our environment comprising of people and scenarios that entice us to behave in a way that is diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be Dr Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author, world-renowned leadership coach

me every day. She just listens to me reading my questions and providing my answers. By way of example, I will share some of the questions that I use for myself. Please remember my questions reflect my values, and might not work for others. A question that I ask myself is, “How many minutes did you spend writing?” This is harder for me. I am an extrovert who loves teaching, coaching and just being with people. It is sometimes hard for me to sit by myself and write. Some of my questions are about health, such as “How many sit-ups did you do?” (This works. Today, I did 120 sit-ups at once. Not bad for a 66-yearold guy!) Disciplined follow-up is key to the success of my teaching and coaching. One question is, “With how many clients are you currently following up?” Why does this process work so well? For one, it forces us to confront

how we actually live our values every day. We either believe that something matters or we don’t. If we believe it, we can put it on the list and do it! If we really don’t want to do it, we can face reality and quit kidding ourselves. Imagine a person was going to call you every day and listen to you answer questions about your life. What questions would you want to ask yourself, every day? In the past several months, I have had more than 100,000 participants in my training programmes write their own questions. The results are very revealing and sometimes, even profound. Try it out. Write the questions that you should ask yourself every day. Even the process of writing questions will help you better understand your own values and how you live or don’t live them on a daily basis. If you really have courage, have someone listen to your answers every day. You might be as amazed at the results as I have been! ISSUE 15.12




How should you truly hold yourself accountable for your efforts?

I love the concept of active questions that begin with the phrase, “Did I do my best to…” My favourite six are: Did I do my best to? : • Set clear goals? • Make progress toward goal achievement? • Find meaning? • Be happy? • Build positive relationships? • Be fully engaged? The good thing about beginning these questions with “Did I do my best to…” is that it is almost impossible to blame someone else for my failure. No one can be responsible for “Did I do my best to…” but me. Our research is very clear. Testing yourself on these six questions every day increases accountability and leads to a better life and an improvement of work.


How does behaviour tie back to your productivity efforts?

In my coaching, I only get paid if my clients achieve positive, and lasting change in behaviour; not as judged by themselves, but as judged by the people around them. I do not make the “business” or “productivity” case for my clients – they make it for me! They are the ones that make the clear connection between behaviour and productivity (which will be different in different organisations) – then I help them focus on their behaviour.


What role can HR play in fostering a culture of accountability at the workplace? HR can play a key role. One of our challenges in the past (I say “our” because I see myself as an HR person) has been a focus on developing great programmes and processes, but not 28 ISSUE 15.12


holding line executives responsible for actually implementing those processes. My research on feedback and followup involves over 86,000 respondents and the results are very clear. If the leaders actually implement what they are taught in the leadership programmes, they get better. If the leaders don’t execute these lessons, the programme is a waste of time. We shouldn’t just be evaluating HR programmes; we should be evaluating how well leaders implement these programmes and sustain them. Another example is employee engagement. Almost all companies have focused on the aspect of “what can the corporation do to engage the employees?” There has been very little focus on the question of “how can the

employees be accountable for their own engagement?” This is something that more organisations are starting to look into and which I believe will also be addressed at the HR Summit.


What are you looking forward to in your presentation at the HR Summit in Singapore next year? I am looking forward to sharing ideas that can be immediately implemented and measured. I love working with HR professionals! Why is that so? If I can help the HR leaders, they can impact hundreds or thousands of other employees within their organisations. I feel that working with HR leaders is one of the best ways to leverage what I do!

BIO BRIEF Dr Marshall Goldsmith has been recognised again as one of the top ten Most-Influential Business Thinkers in the World at the 2015 biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London. His new book Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be was recently published. Dr Goldsmith is the author or editor of 35 books, which have sold over two million copies, been translated into 30 languages and have become bestsellers in 12 countries. He has written two New York Times bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – a Wall Street Journal #1 business book and winner of the Harold Longman Award for Business Book of the Year. Dr Goldsmith’s global professional acknowledgments include: Harvard Business Review – World’s #1 Leadership Thinker, Institute for Management Studies – Lifetime Achievement Award (one of only two ever awarded), American Management Association - 50 great thinkers and leaders who have influenced the field of management over the past 80 years, BusinessWeek – 50 great leaders in America, Wall Street Journal – top ten executive educators, Forbes – five most-respected executive coaches, Leadership Excellence – top ten thinkers on leadership, Economic Times (India) – top CEO coaches, Harvard Business Review (Poland) – Leadership Thinker of the Decade, CEO Global (Canada) – World’s #1 Leadership Speaker, Economist (UK) – most credible executive advisors in the new era of business, National Academy of Human Resources – Fellow of the Academy (America’s top HR award), World HRD Congress – global leader in HR thinking, Tata Award (India) for Global HR Excellence, Fast Company – America’s preeminent executive coach and Leader to Leader Institute – Leader of the Future Award. His work has been recognised by nearly every professional organisation in his field. Dr Goldsmith’s Ph.D. is from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management where he was recognised as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. He teaches executive education at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. He is one of a select few executive advisors who have been asked to work with over 150 major CEOs and their management teams. He served on the Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for ten years. He has been a volunteer teacher for US Army Generals, Navy Admirals, Girl Scout executives, International and American Red Cross leaders – where he was a National Volunteer of the Year.


Catch Dr Marshall Goldsmith ‘LIVE’ at HR Summit 2016




In his HR Summit 2016 presentations, Dr Marshall Goldsmith will discuss: • The “magic bullet” solution to addressing productivity and accountability challenges • How to achieve change in your life and to “make them stick” • Taking your leadership skills to the next level

17-18 May 2016 • Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre Dr Marshall Goldsmith will be making two presentations at HR Summit 2016:

PLENARY SESSION Triggers - A new approach to employee engagement sustainability

Leveraging on his New York Times best-selling publication - Triggers - his most powerful and insightful book yet, Dr Marshall Goldsmith will reveal how to overcome the trigger points in your life to enact meaningful and lasting change. In this exhilarating and enlightening session, Dr Goldsmith will offer a “magic bullet” solution to addressing productivity and accountability challenges. He will outline “engaging questions” that will help you take 100% responsibility for your efforts to improve and help you recognise when you are also falling short. After the session, everyone will actually have the opportunity to participate in the active question process and see how the ideas can work for them. Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful CEOs and power brokers of the business world, Dr Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change and to “make it stick” through the following pointers: • “Triggers” and how they impact your behaviour • A new approach to employee engagement • Why the person is more important than the programme • The daily question process • How active questions can help • “Questions that Make a Difference,” with research from around the world on increasing effectiveness and building engagement

C-Suite Exclusive Master Series What got you here won’t get you there – a leadership concept imperative

Reaching the upper echelons of management is no easy feat. Only a handful of individuals will ever reach the top – and stay there. Winning, being right, as well as presenting yourself in a positive way, usually benefits you as a high-achiever. However, the problem is that once you get there, you have to “stop” doing exactly that. One of the great leaders that Dr Marshall Goldsmith has worked with is Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford. He says,

“Leadership is not about me. It’s about them.” That can be a very hard transition to make. Helping successful leaders get even better requires, according to Dr Goldsmith’s publication What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, is a “to stop” list rather than a “to do” list. Breaking unconscious bad habits allow senior managers to take their leadership skills to the next level, Dr Goldsmith says. A world-authority in helping successful leaders achieve positive, and lasting change in behaviour, for themselves and for their organisations, Dr Goldsmith leverages on his books and research to bring you a new model for planning the future. This highly informative and exclusive C-Suite hands-on workshop with Dr Marshall Goldsmith will cover: • The challenge of success in leadership • Using “what to stop” in leadership development and coaching • “Feed-forward” - a positive tool for learning • A proven process for leadership development • “Leadership as a contact sport” • Coaching for behavioural change • Team building without time wasting • A case study on Alan Mulally and Ford

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Cream of the HR crop Finally, the wait is over. HRM unveils the eagerly-anticipated nomination list for the 2016 HRM Awards


ccording to Deloitte’s Southeast Asia Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the New World of Work report, the lack of sufficient leadership talent is a top issue presently being faced for 86% of HR and business leaders. It’s therefore apt that the 2016 HRM Awards champions the region’s best practices in different facets of leadership and HR. Back for its 13th edition, the movers and shakers of HR will congregate at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, on March 4, 2016, to celebrate the success stories of a plethora of private and public organisations in a diverse range of award categories. A record 94 companies and 258 finalists will battle it out for the

30 ISSUE 15.12


Sham Majid

right to be crowned as the top dog in their respective categories. In a brand new twist, the 2016 HRM Awards will see split categories for certain awards. Following rigorous research and feedback, HRM has found that similar to small businesses, medium sized companies have also been having difficulty earning acknowledgment for their HR strategies. Hence, HRM Asia has decided that four categories will now have a second prize awarded to the best organisation with fewer than 500 employees; thus, putting them on a more even keel with their peers when being assessed and honoured for their great HR practices.

FINALISTS The four split categories for businesses with fewer than 500 employees are: • Best Talent Management Practices • Best Work-Life Balance • Best Training, Learning & Development • Best Engagement & Retention Strategies Once again, Special Recognition commendations will also be awarded to all group categories bar the split categories. A total of 37 companies will make their HRM Awards debut next year; those participating for the first time include Akzo Nobel Paints (Asia Pacific), Bosch Singapore, Breadtalk Group, Experian Asia Pacific, Gensler, Jamiyah Singapore, MHE Demag, PacificLight Power, and On Cheong Jewellery.

Gunning for the top spot In terms of total nominations across the 2016 HRM Awards, Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park, Singtel and SMRT Corporation lead the pack with a total of 10 each. Those who attended last year’s awards will be familiar with Singtel, as the telco giant snapped up the Robert Walters Award for Best HR Leader and the Sage Award for Best Performance and Productivity Practices, as well as two special recognition awards for Best Use of Social Media and the IBM Award for Best Engagement Strategies. Consumer goods conglomerate Unilever Asia, which triumphed in the Best Graduate Development and in the British Council Award for Best Talent Management Practices awards last year, as well as receiving a special recognition for the Center for Creative Leadership Award for Best Leadership Development, are back again in the running for eight awards this year. Meanwhile, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts and American Express, who claimed the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practices prize and the PayrollServe Award for Best Use of Technology respectively in 2015, have also earned nominations in six and four categories respectively for 2016. “This year’s awards will be our greatest yet,” says Emma Dean, Events Director for the 2016 HRM Awards. “It really is satisfying and wonderful to witness a diverse range of organisations from various industries mingling and interacting with each other to celebrate great HR.”

Lauding the kingpins of HR The HRM Awards aims to recognise, celebrate and promote the HR profession and all the great practices and strategies organisations have implemented across Singapore. “The Awards are a recognition of the hard graft put in by all organisations every single day,” explains Dean. “It may not be perceived as the most glamorous of jobs, but HR is a truly vital piece of what keeps organisations ticking and develops human capital on so many fronts.” “The Awards are a perfect platform for companies to show to the world that they are high achievers in their people practices and aim to please their workforce as well as their customers.”

Who will be crowned Employer of Choice? All eyes will be on who will walk away with the Hays Award for Employer of Choice, arguably the biggest accolade of the night. Title sponsor Hays has been backing this gong for six consecutive years. “As title sponsor of the HRM Awards for the sixth year running, we are once again delighted to be a part of recognising excellence in the HR industry,” says Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays in Singapore. “Congratulations and good luck to the finalists from all of us at Hays.”

Let the countdown begin! Ahead of the Awards on March 4, the hard work begins now. All finalists will be channeling their efforts into designing a comprehensive report for our esteemed judges to deliberate upon. After which, the red carpet will be rolled out to welcome the crème de la crème of HR leaders and professionals for a night of glitz, glamour, suspense and triumph.

And the nominees are... The 2016 HRM Awards will once again comprise of a diverse mix of organisations from a vast number of industries. While Singtel, SMRT Corporation and Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park top the charts with 10 nominations each, expect a close battle in every category. No. of nominations

Company Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park




SMRT Corporation


Hawksford Singapore


Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)


Jetstar Asia Airways




Unilever Asia


Citi Singapore






Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts


Republic Polytechnic


Singapore Post Limited


American Express


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FINALISTS Kaplan Professional Award for Best Training, Learning & Development (>500 employees) FINALISTS

• AccorHotels Asia Pacific • Breadtalk Group • Building and Construction Authority (BCA) • Jetstar Asia Airways • Lendlease • Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

• Mitsubishi Corporation • Republic Polytechnic • Singtel • SMRT Corporation • UBS AG • Unilever Asia

Best Training, Learning & Development (<500 employees) FINALISTS

• • • •

Mondelez Asia Pacific Hawksford Singapore PacificLight Power Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

• Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park • Millennium & Copthorne International • Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre

Best Performance Management FINALISTS

• • • •

Bosch Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Jetstar Asia Airways Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific

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• Sanofi Aventis Singapore • Singtel • SMRT Corporation • Unilever Asia


Carmen Li Xin Bei HR Executive, Breadtalk Group

Goh Wan Ning HR Executive, Breadtalk Group

Wilson Chua Talent Development Business Partner, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre

Ng Siew Fong Senior HR Executive, MatchMove Pay

Azila Shabnam Senior Learning & Development and Quality Executive, Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park

Shirley Ang HR Executive, Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park

Tan Li Ping Senior HR Executive, Singapore Land Authoity

Hana Vo Specialist, Talent Management, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts

Cutee Bhalla APAC Recruitment Operations Associate, UBS AG

Michelle Lim APAC HR Employee Advisor, UBS AG

Sophie Kwok Transition Manager, HR Strategic Change Programs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Small and Midsized Countries, UBS AG

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FINALISTS STJobs Award for Best Employer Branding FINALISTS

• Changi Airport Group (Singapore) • Ericsson • Hawksford Singapore • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • Philips • Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park

Best Work-Life Balance (>500 employees)


• Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) • Dell • DSO National Laboratories • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • Johnson & Johnson • Maybank Singapore • Ministry of Manpower (MOM) • Republic Polytechnic • Rockwell Automation Singapore, Asia Pacific Business Centre

• • • • • • •


Rigel Technology Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Unilever Asia Viacom International Media Networks WD Media (Singapore)

Best Work-Life Balance (<500 employees)


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• • • • •

Akzo Nobel Paints (Asia Pacific) Banyan Tree Holdings Limited Hawksford Singapore Jardine OneSolution (2001) Oil Spill Response Limited PacificLight Power Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park • Titansoft

Best Rewards & Recognition Strategies FINALISTS

• • • •

American Express Hawksford Singapore HP Inc InterContinental Hotels Group (Asia Pacific) • Jetstar Asia Airways • National Kidney Foundation • Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park • Singapore Post Limited • Singtel • SMRT Corporation • Unilever Asia

FINALISTS Robert Walters Award for Best HR Leader FINALISTS

Patrick Ollivier Chief Human Resources Officer, AccorHotels Asia Pacific

Sharyn Porter Head of Staffing, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Jignesh Ramji Regional HR Business Partner Financial Products, Bloomberg

Janine Pesci Director Global Talent, Gensler

William Ang Executive Director, Total Rewards and HR Operations, Marina Bay Sands

Toyohiro Matsuda Head of HRD Office in Asia, Mitsubishi Corporation

Lim Zhi Rong Regional HR Business Partner, Asia Pacific, Mondelez Asia Pacific

George Joseph Vice President - Human Resources, Olam International Limited

Angie Tan Vice President, People and Organisation Development, Singapore Post Limited

Gerard Koh Vice President, Human Resources, SMRT Corporation

Ragi Singh Vice President, HR & Admin, Asia, Viacom International Media Networks ISSUE 15.12


FINALISTS Best Talent Management Practices (>500 Employees)

Best Talent Management Practices (<500 Employees)



• Bosch Singapore • Building and Construction Authority (BCA) • Citi Singapore • Keppel Offshore & Marine • Lendlease • Mitsubishi Corporation • Rockwell Automation Singapore, Asia Pacific Business Centre • Singtel • SMRT Corporation • UBS AG • Unilever Asia

• Daikin Airconditioning (Singapore) • Experian Asia Pacific • Gensler • Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre • Jamiyah Singapore • MHE Demag • PacificLight Power • Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park • Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel • Vishay Intertechnology Asia


• Bank of America Merrill Lynch • DBS Bank • Dell • Ericsson • Hawksford Singapore • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • Jetstar Asia Airways • MatchMove Pay • Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre • The Hoffman Agency

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Best Silver Talent and Re-employment Practices FINALISTS

• Cold Storage Singapore • Jamiyah Singapore • Jetstar Asia Airways • Maybank Singapore • McDonald’s Restaurants • On Cheong Jewellery • Singapore Post Limited • Singtel • SMRT Corporation • The Robinsons Group


Carolin Rita HR Manager, Akzo Nobel Paints (Asia Pacific)

Nicolette Oh Senior Manager, Talent Attraction and Branding, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)

Daphne Cheng Manager, Office of Human Resource, Republic Polytechnic

May Yeo People Manager, Jetstar Asia Airways

Daniel Cai HR Manager, Mitsubishi Corporation RtM International

Lee Meng Ling HR/Admin Manager, On Cheong Jewellery

Joanne Loh Manager, Organizational Effectiveness, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts

Ng Sher Lynn Learning & Development and Quality Manager, Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park

Elyn Teo HR Manager, Viacom International Media Networks

Best Use of HR Technology FINALISTS

• Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • Millennium & Copthorne International • Republic Polytechnic

• Singapore Land Authority • Singtel • Timbre Group ISSUE 15.12


FINALISTS Best Engagement & Retention Strategies (>500 employees)

Best Engagement & Retention Strategies (<500 employees)



• American Express • Citi Singapore • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • Ministry of Manpower (MOM) • National Kidney Foundation • Singtel • SMRT Corporation • Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts • WD Media (Singapore)

• • • • •

Best Recruitment Strategies

Asia PR Werkz Banyan Tree Holdings Limited Experian Asia Pacific Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park Royal Plaza on Scotts

Best Graduate Development

Best Health & Wellbeing




• Bloomberg • Changi Airport Group (Singapore) • Dell • Experian Asia Pacific • Hawksford Singapore • IE Singapore • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • Mondelez Asia Pacific • Philips

• Bloomberg • CrimsonLogic • DSO National Laboratories • Mondelez Asia Pacific • SMRT Corporation • Standard Chartered Bank • UBS AG • Unilever Asia

• Barclays • Citi Singapore • DBS Bank • DSO National Laboratories • Keppel Offshore & Marine • Lendlease • Republic Polytechnic • SMRT Corporation • Titansoft • Vishay Intertechnology Asia

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FINALISTS Best Leadership Development

HR Team of the Year



• Barclays • Changi Airport Group (Singapore) • Citi Singapore • Singapore Armed Forces • Singtel • Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts • UBS AG • Unilever Asia • Vishay Intertechnology Asia • Wipro Unza

• American Express • Banyan Tree Holdings Limited • Coca-Cola Singapore Beverages • FJ Benjamin Singapore • MatchMove Pay • Singapore Post Limited • Singtel • Tanah Merah Country Club • Viacom International Media Networks

Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategies

Best CSR Practices


• Bloomberg • Barclays • Citi Singapore • Dell • Jetstar Asia Airways • Keppel Offshore & Marine • Lendlease • MatchMove Pay • Shell Singapore Group of Companies • Singapore Post Limited • Singtel • Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts


• Banyan Tree Holdings Limited • Building and Construction Authority (BCA) • Citi Singapore • Dell • Fuji Xerox Singapore • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) • InterContinental Hotels Group (Asia Pacific) • Jamiyah Singapore • Lendlease • Maybank Singapore • Rockwell Automation Singapore, Asia Pacific Business Centre • The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

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FINALISTS Randstad Award for Best C-Suite Leader FINALISTS

Jeremy Rowe Managing Director, Decorative Paints BU, South East, South Asia & Middle East (SESAME), Akzo Nobel Paints (Asia Pacific)

Jacqueline Low Chief Operating Officer, Hawksford Singapore

Jan Smits Chief Executive Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group (Asia Pacific)

Barathan Pasupathi Chief Executive Officer, Jetstar Asia Airways

Edmund Kwok Chief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation

Ho Nai Chuen Managing Director, On Cheong Jewellery

Simon Hirst General Manager, Raffles Singapore

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David Tyndall Managing Director SEA, Sto SEA


Adrenalin Group

Atlas Sound & Vision


Fast Flow Singapore

GRK Engineering & Management

Hawksford Singapore

Ngai Heng

On Cheong Jewellery


Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park


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FINALISTS Hays Award for Employer of Choice FINALISTS

American Express

Cargill Group of Companies

Citi Singapore



McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurants

SMRT Corporation

Toyota Motor Asia Pacific


Unilever Asia

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Changi Airport Group (Singapore)

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore | 4th March

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Miss The HR Night Of The Year!

Emcee - Irene Ang CEO & Founder of FLY Entertainment

Title Sponsor

Award Partners


To book your tables now, please contact Cheryl at +65 6423 4631 or email


Eliminating recruitment boo-boos

Hiring errors can result in a wide range of repercussions, both in financial and non-financial terms. HRM finds out how HR can stem the tide of recruitment disasters Sham Majid

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dam Lamprey, Regional Recruitment Manager on board quickly, instead of rigorously assessing - Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, their candidacy first. Cambodia, Ericsson, recalls a unique experience “The idea would have crossed a lot of companies’ when it comes to the topic of bad hires. minds at some point in the last 12 months,” he says. Ericsson had been trying to fill a position for a “Often, the business pressures are really intense long time and Lamprey says his organisation had put and by filling the gap, it provides a short-term one potential candidate through a rigorous process. solution to a much larger problem.” During that process however, some red flags had Lamprey says the issue summarises why an popped up. effective talent acquisition function is so important Nevertheless, after Lamprey discussed the issues to a company’s success. internally, the team decided to progress further with “Talent acquisition is a strategical function and it the candidate. It conducted reference checks, and is our responsibility to ensure that the business does eventually moved to the offer stage. not find itself in this situation,” Lamprey elaborates. However, he says at the point of signing the “Through partnering with the business closely, we contract, a situation occurred, that reincforced his offer the market insight, analytics and knowledge to earlier concerns. help support business decisions and fuel the company’s Lamprey immediately retracted Ericsson’s offer. growth seamlessly by identifying, attracting and “It turns out after some further investigation engaging with the top talent in the market.” that the candidate had some behavioural challenges Nevertheless, Jeffrey Ng, Director, Michael Page that we could not detect during the Finance, HR and Technology, says the interviews,” he says. notion that companies are engaging in “Certain indicators had suggested rapid hiring instead of careful analysis there may be something worth is dependent on the context of the investigating; more of which came out organisation and its business. to be quite alarming.” “If an urgent replacement is required, to attracting top talent currently “We certainly dodged a bullet a company will tend to hire relatively include finding candidates in high demand talent pools in this case. That’s the short quickly so as to ensure a proper (53%), compensation (48%), version, but it certainly made for an transition and handover,” he explains. and competition (45%) interesting few weeks.” “For a new role, sometimes, Source: The Southeast Asia While Lamprey and Ericsson may companies have the luxury of time for Recruiting Trends 2016 report have escaped without great cost in that candidate selection, especially when situation, not every organisation is so there are sufficient resources to support lucky. According to the Management Insights: How to the business at present.” avoid common hiring mistakes report by Robert Half “Seniority is also a factor; the more senior the UK, one in 10 new recruits is regarded as a “poor position, the longer the time taken for assessment.” hiring decision”. However, research shows that quality is considered more important than a shorter recruitment time Speed over accuracy? frame. According to the Southeast Asia Recruiting Trends Sohna Cham, Director of Talent Acquisition for 2016 report by LinkedIn Talent Solutions, when asked Mondelē z Asia Pacific, says that given the abundant “What is the single most valuable metric that you use pressure to fill openings in a timely fashion, there to track your recruiting team’s performance today?”, is definitely a risk to approaching recruitment 41% of the HR leaders surveyed nominated the “quality with a short-term focus and hence, not necessarily of hire”. This usurped “time to fill” (39%) as the recruiting someone with the right fit. most valuable key performance indicator. “A majority of organisations have clear financial goals to meet and hence, there will always be Prone to recruiting errors pressure to deliver against quantitative objectives,” The Southeast Asia Recruiting Trends 2016 report also explains Cham. cited that the biggest obstacles to attracting top “Whenever the short-term objectives win over what talent currently include finding candidates in high makes sense in the mid and long-term, organisations demand talent pools (53%), compensation (48%), risk making decisions that they may pay for later on.” and competition (45%). Lamprey agrees that companies are increasingly Nevertheless, Lamprey stresses that recruitment hiring with the thought of simply getting someone is not a “science”, and when there is a human

The biggest obstacles

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RECRUITMENT element to anything, people are always prone to human error. “I have gone with my gut feeling before and this has worked out better than I could have ever hoped,” he says. “I also have had very negative experiences in hiring. We have limited information and interaction with a candidate to base our decisions on.” Lamprey says research suggests three interviews is the optimum number. “So, based on the three times you meet a person in an interview environment, along with the CV and references, you need to make a call on the person’s ability to deliver in the role and to fit into the company,” he explains. “Technical roles are easier to determine earlier on, but understanding a person’s cultural fit is much harder. There are so many factors in the talent acquisition process and some of it comes down to the investment in the function.” “Can a company afford to conduct third-party background screenings for every candidate to check their criminal and financial backgrounds? It’s not likely.” Lamprey says a company can have more than one interviewer at a time, but should still have three separate interview discussions. He says any more than that and the candidate can become disengaged. “As a business, it is important that all employees are engaged with the recruitment process and understand the value and how it affects both them individually as well as the organisation,” explains Lamprey. “You will get more referrals, engaging interviews and improved feedback to build on; thus, lowering the risk of making any mistakes and improving the quality of hires.” “Getting the business buy-in is the key.” Cham says firms will often commit plenty of mistakes during a typical hiring process, starting with being unclear of what is required for the role and how to assess candidates. In addition, she says some organisations may not spend sufficient time in realistically sharing what the

Common recruitment blunders According to Jeffrey Ng, Director, Michael Page Finance, HR and Technology, the most common recruitment blunders organisations make are:

Cultural misfit

During the hiring process, companies may place more emphasis on a potential candidate’s technical skill sets and knowledge, rather than on their personality or motivations, only to find out later that the candidate does not gel well with the team or buy into the culture.

Hiring the perfect candidate

While this may seem like an ideal scenario, hiring a candidate who is perfect for the job may limit their potential for growth. After a short period of time, the candidate may lose motivation to stay on as they may have reached a plateau in terms of exposure and development. Companies should search for candidates with a 70-80% competency fit for the role, and providing room for challenge, learning and development.


Undercutting a candidate who is desperate for a role often backfires. While companies may view this as a cost-saving measure, the risk of losing the employee is high when a better offer comes along, especially when non-financial benefits are not in place to retain the talent.

prospective employee can expect from the organisation and the position. “This could be referring to the company culture, but also, to the role itself,” Cham explains. “Another mistake would be to rush through the process and not take sufficient time in assessing whether the candidate has the right fit.” Ensuring the right cultural fit does play a crucial part in the recruitment framework. According to a recent survey by OfficeTeam entitled Corporate Culture: Companies Often Misjudge Employee Fit, over six in 10 (64%) HR managers polled in the US confessed they had misjudged a candidate’s fit with their firm’s work environment. Moreover, two-thirds (66%) of the survey’s respondents also revealed their company had lost an employee because they were not appropriate for the work environment.

The HR ramifications Cham says if an organisation has made a mistake in the recruitment process and has consequently hired someone who does not have the right fit for the role and organisation, that company will likely see

an impact on the individual’s capability to perform as per the requirements. “On the other hand, if expectations from the candidate’s side aren’t met, it can also cause frustration and demotivate the individual,” she explains. “In the worst case scenario, it can end in attrition which ultimately comes at a much higher price for the organisation than taking the necessary time and rigour for a consistent and sensible assessment process.” Hence, Cham stresses that an organisation needs to ensure that it has the right balance of quantitative and qualitative performance indicators. For example, she says that while cost of hires and the time taken to hire are important measures, a company also has to consider mid and long-term measurements around the quality of hires. “Furthermore, make both HR and business leaders accountable for the hiring process and for achieving both quantitative and qualitative objectives,” adds Cham. As a senior head of talent acquisition, Cham explains that her recruitment process starts with a very clear briefing between the recruiter and the line leader to identify what it will take to be successful ISSUE 15.12


RECRUITMENT in the role and in the organisation. “This does require the need to coach managers to verbalise what exactly their needs are,” she says. “You then need to define the most sensible assessment approach, and ensure that everyone involved has the necessary capability to assess and drive consistency throughout the process.” “At the end, facilitate a debrief with everyone who was involved in the assessment process so that you get a comprehensive overview and can make an educated decision.” From Lamprey’s perspective, whether it’s a compromise on technical ability or cultural fit, HR professionals know that the impact of wrong hires is “huge.” “Technical gaps must be bridged and that means an investment of time and money with some reallocation of resources to develop the new hire,” he explains. “This would have been discussed before giving the green light; however, it is not ideal and again, it is just patch work in the overall hiring process.” He emphasises that “success breeds success”. Existing employees at Ericsson are encouraged by seeing the best people in the market joining their firm and elevating both theirs’ and the company’s status and performance, he says. Lamprey says market insight and data are therefore key parts of his role. “We are constantly seeking to understand our market better through labour insights and through staying close to the market through team collaboration and the sharing of information and best practices,” he elaborates. “With this knowledge, we are wellpositioned to make better-informed decisions about the candidates we are hiring.” “We can benchmark them against both the external market as well as our internal employees.” Lamprey says his team also conducts a lot of market mapping and talent pooling so it knows the market size, the availability of the desired skills, and the price that those skills cost to acquire. “By using this data as well as 48 ISSUE 15.12


qualitative experiences, we feel we have enough information to make welleducated decisions,” he adds. Ng also cites that a wrong hire has a negative effect on the operational and commercial aspects of a business. “If a sales person decides to leave, revenue is impacted directly,” he says. “High turnover and churn can also result in low employee morale, which affects the reputation of the company externally. This will portray a negative impression in the market and the company may face difficulty in its recruitment process.”

Tightening the framework According to Cham, Mondelē z recently made a bold decision to invest in its talent acquisition function. It hopes to strengthen its recruitment processes and provide the company with the right resources and tools to ensure a consistent and qualitatively-high experience – both externally and internally. “We have started to expand our capabilities in attracting and assessing talent for our current and future needs by creating a comprehensive suite of selection capability training offerings for the talent acquisition function,” she explains. In addition, Cham discloses that their Mondelē z way of recruitment will help the organisation to further drive one of its two main business goals: creating a great place to work. She says this is very similar to what the organisation has observed with consumer trends. “We are putting more emphasis on social media to both paint a picture to candidates of how it would be like to work for us, and for us to also leverage these sourcing channels to find relevant talent for our short and long-term needs,” adds Cham. Likewise, Lamprey says Ericsson has implemented a new global talent acquisition framework and strategy, ensuring consistent processes throughout the business. “The team is now adding significant value through working closely with

the business leaders and through true business partnering to support the business,” he explains. “The outcome of this is that we have increased visibility and are involved in business decisions much earlier, thus having more time to plan and prepare our recruitment strategy.”

Acquisition tips Ng says staff turnover has always been high in the Southeast Asia region, with companies focusing more on replacement rather than on new hires. “Avoiding recruitment blunders will definitely help cut the time and expenses that goes into the recruitment process,” he stresses. “Companies should strive to take a more long-term view in talent management and retention development.” Ng says while salary is one of the key motivating factors, companies should also focus on non-financial benefits to attract talent. “According to the 2015 Michael Page Singapore Employee Intentions report, employees rank additional career development as the third most important factor that would keep them in their current position – behind financial rewards and having a strong manager,” explains Ng. In addition, he points to a key finding from Michael Page’s 2016 Southeast Asia Salary & Employment Outlook that revealed that when it comes to retaining talent, the top three motivators are salary (55%), career progression (49%), and global career opportunities (25%). “Non-financial motivators, including a strong work culture, recognition and benefits, and learning and development are (also) a big draw card for employees,” he says. Cham stresses that organisations should be clear as to what they are looking for and what they have to offer in return. “Be consistent throughout the assessment process and balance quantitative and qualitative measurements – ultimately it will save you time and cost in the long run if you make the right hiring decisions,” she states.


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There’s a lot of pressure on HR and people managers tend to focus on what’s most near and pressing. This can result in frustration and a loss of purpose. Guest contributor Gurunath Hari says the concept of “peakism” provides a rallying point for organisational leaders to recalibrate how they should nurture performance


magine this. You are entering a room that’s dimly lit. You look for lights and find a nice-looking bulb on the ceiling. Then, you look for the switch. You flick on the switch. The light does not come on. You instinctively flick the switch on and off a couple of times. Still, no light. What would you be thinking at this point? The bulb must have fused; time to replace the bulb? So, you get the bulb replaced and now, with obvious expectations, you flick on the switch. Rewind to the day before. The power line had tripped and no one had reset it yet. You think, “Heck! What’s wrong, maybe there’s a problem with the power,” and now, you go looking for the cause, find it and reset the circuit breaker. Electricity flows back and the bulb lights up. Eureka! In the real world, the reason we get away with replacing the bulb every time it doesn’t glow is because we have some way of knowing that the power was there in the first place. In this second case, you did not have the means of knowing. The next time you flick the switch to this room and the bulb does not glow, what would you check first? The bulb is a metaphor for employees. The power line is your employees’ holistic well-being. The switching on and off multiple times to check if the bulb lights up are the manager pep talks, senior management coffee talks, and employee speeches given by business leaders exhorting employees to “step up”. Can you be successful in switching on your employee if you don’t know how to check if the power line is faltering? Because that’s exactly what is happening here in Singapore, according to AIA’s 2013 Healthy Living Index Survey.

Three in four (77%) Singaporeans indicated that their health was not as good as it was five years earlier, even among the younger age group of 18 to 29 year olds (72%). Moreover, an overwhelming 89% of the bulbs were telling their employers to check and to do more to help keep the power flowing. In other words, these bulbs are presentees. They show up but they are not glowing as bright as they’d like to or as you’d want them to. They come to work somewhat unwell.

Show me the evidence So, you say you’ve squeezed your workforce with smart performance management levers and persuasive narratives. You’ve insidiously shrunk compensation and benefits over time, you even laid off chunks of the workforce and you are still in business, making good revenues and profits. Your company’s share price is even up. Not for long. If this is how it’s

been, and if you choose to not to do something about it, be informed that the workforce is insidiously underperforming versus your everrising productivity expectations. Yes, you want to know “why I should act”. You need evidence. So, let me show you some data first.

Evidence of need is all over the workplace There are 11 possible power-line glitch sources that could diminish energy to your employees and act as barriers to productivity. These were found in research entitled The Wellbeing Assessment for Productivity: A Wellbeing Approach to Presenteeism and are shown in the picture below. You will notice that “health” is just one of the 11 sources of presenteeism. A ground-breaking study by Nanyang Technological University’s Hesan Quazi and his final year management students in Singapore involved 273 working adult respondents.

FIGURE 1 WBA-P Caring for Others

Health .53




Personal Issues


WBA-PP .76

Depressed Stressed

.89 .67

Lack of Resources .62

Issues with Coworkers .60 .59


.64 .46


Technical Issues

Not Enough Time Issues with Supervisor Lack of Training

WBA-P measurement model. WBA-P indicates well-being assessment for productivity; WBA-PP, well-being assessment for productivity (personal barriers); WBA-PW, well-being assessment for productivity (work related).

(Reproduced with permission from the copyright holders)

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This study firstly confirmed the prevalence of presenteeism to be ubiquitous, and then went on to compute the cost of this presenteeism in only one of the 11 aspects, health. The team looked at chronic health conditions such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, anxiety, chronic back pain and hypertensions, as well as acute conditions like coughing, diarrhea, fever, headache and influenza. After averaging out the degree of presenteeism across all the different hierarchical levels in the organisation, here’s what they found for every employee: • Approximately four per cent of an employee’s annual eligible work time is lost due to sickness presenteeism • For an employee earning a mean annual base salary of $36,000, this loss of productivity amounts to an average cost of $2,096 per annum to the organisation • Based on this model, the estimated workdays lost only due to physical health reasons was 89 workdays for a 135-strong company Recall this is just the cost arising out of one of 11 factors that contribute to presenteeism. If you looked at the lost eligible work time of employees across your organisation covering all the 11 possible barriers in play, the estimated cost due to loss of productivity would be multiplied, running into the millions.

What is peakism? In today’s ultra-competitive world,

disruptors are breaking through everywhere. Continue to be skeptical about new and breakthrough peopleinitiatives at your own peril. If you are a business leader, you may be unaware of how to address this as your tunnel vision ensures you focus your employees on the numbers. Your company will continue to take the bumpy ride and somehow stay afloat. But now, you have a choice. You have the most to benefit from attending to this iceberg of upside called ‘peakism’, the opposite of presenteeism. Peakism is the habitual pattern of employees coming to work holistically well and seeking to contribute sustainable peak performance. There is tremendous benefit and value for you and your superiors if you really sit up and figure out how to foster peakism. It’s necessary to start measuring presenteeism for your own company and validating your estimates with real data. Many expensive, sophisticated tools exist. The challenge is that most of these are designed for western societies and are heavily biased towards looking mostly at the physical (disease) and mental (stress, emotional distress) dimensions. From the The Well-Being Assessment for Productivity study, we know there are other barriers that can exist. These could include family and personal issues, financial wellbeing, and relationships with coworkers and

managers. With a simple checklist and honest scoring of performance, organisations can develop their own individual map of the barriers to peak performance.

Measure Presenteeism using HPQ questionnaire

Question B9: On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is the worst job performance anyone could have at your job and 10 is the performance of a top worker, how would you rate the usual performance of most workers in a job similar to yours? Worst Performance =0 Top Performance =10


Retest for presenteeism in suitable timeframe

Triage 1 into which of 11 factors

Triage 2: Employees Holistic wellness dimensions

Identify and action to address Triage 1 factors

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How does it work? By combining the research efforts of several teams spread globally, the author has developed a unique methodology and a set of tools to measure and shift from presenteeism to peakism. It is a simple and quick way to help you get started. There are four steps in executing this robust methodology from measurement to management to transformation in a repeatable manner. The steps have the acronym EASY™ and you’ll see why shortly: Starting with Measuring Presenteeism, Triage into which of the 11 factors are at play, letting employees do a self-check and then helping to set out a course (pun intended) of action to take, and leading them towards peakism.

STEP 1 Evaluate yourself In a letter to persons interested in “content and scoring rules for the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (WHO HPQ) absenteeism and presenteeism questions,” dated May 1, 2007, Ron Kessler, Maria Petukhova and Keith McInnes of the Harvard Medical School, and T. Bedirhan Üstün, of the WHO, gave a quick way to compute presenteeism as shown below. They extracted the following 3 key questions from the WHO HPQ survey that you can answer:

Question B10: Using the same 0-to10 scale, how would you rate your usual job performance over the past year or two?


Worst Performance =0 Top Performance =10 Question B11: Using the same 0-to10 scale, how would you rate your overall job performance on the days you worked during the past 4 weeks (28 days)? Worst Performance =0 Top Performance =10 The scoring rules are: • Absolute presenteeism scoring rule: 10xB11 • Relative presenteeism scoring rule: B11/B9 (restricted to the range 0.25 to 2.0) 1. Start by thinking about your role. Answer the questions with honesty. 2. What answer did you get for: – Absolute Presenteeism – Relative Presenteeism

STEP 2 Assess which one or more of 12 factors may be contributing to your above scores: • My physical wellness • Caregiving for a dependent (special needs/infant/elderly/sick) • My financial wellness • A personal matter • My mental wellness • Lack of resources • Coworker issues • Manager issues • Not enough time • Issues with management • I feel I would benefit from training (specify) • Technical issues • Other (specify)

STEP 3 Self-check your holistic wellness pursuit Now for a deeper dive into figuring out the actions you can take, go through the HolisticWellnessTeller™. Share your map with a wellness coach and off you go on your personalised wellness journey! The author will work with specific organisations, consulting with them to provide resources and

Peakism is the habitual pattern of employees coming to work holistically well and seeking to contribute sustainable peak performance additional policies and procedures, helping to develop programmes that include training HR personnel, executives, business leaders and employees on this new wellness-based approach to delivering sustainable performance excellence at the individual and corporate levels.

STEP 4 You are on your way to excellence: Utilise your company’s corporate holistic wellness ecosystem including trainings, group activities, skills development, manager one-on-ones and other opportunities to progress towards improving your holistic wellbeing. If your company does not have one, they soon will. Until then, either they or you can take action by utilising external resources.

Conclusion Going back to our dim-lit room. What would you do differently and better now that you are one of the smarter ones? You know now that it could either be a problem with the bulb or a problem with power not reaching the bulb. In this real-world example, it does turn out that the old bulb would

have lit up the room just as well, if only the circuit breaker was reset. It may have dawned on you that the prevalence of presenteeism is an in situ loss of employee engagement. Leadership guru Mark C Crowley, has written: “One key reason engagement has fallen so severely is that people have greatly changed what they need and expect in exchange for work – and our leadership practices have failed to evolve. What’s required now is that we reimagine leadership and identify all the things that can help restore 21st Century employee spirits, and motivate people to excel”. The pressures of living in a world at warp speed and the prevalence of technology companies with seductive devices to make your employees get ever more productive is likely to cause 21st century problems not seen in the 20th Century. With the concept of peakism, organisations can adopt leadership practices that are evolved. We can reimagine leadership and identify more of the things that can help restore these 21st Century employee spirits, and motivate people to excel.

Disclaimer: The views expressed herewith are entirely that of the author alone.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gurunath Hari is an author, speaker, facilitator and developer of The 6 Dimensions – a method for employers and employees to unlock their excellence at the workplace and at home. His 30 years’ of corporate experience and insights coupled with cutting edge research guarantee an action-packed and fun-filled journey into discovering your life’s purpose and catapulting you to a state of receiving and giving excellence and happiness.

Gurunath Hari

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54 ISSUE 15.12



BOUNDARIES How can HR provide expatriates with the health packages they need to relocate with confidence? HRM finds out Muneerah Bee


ingapore was named as the number one destination for expatriate professionals in HSBC’s latest Expat Explorer report. Given the opportunities for career development, appealing salaries, and an excellent quality of life, it is no surprise that international workers are choosing Singapore as a top relocation destination. As part of the process of relocating, expatriates need to find themselves a suitable health package, one that covers not just themselves, but often, for their family members as well. Expatriates surveyed in Cigna’s Expatriate Trends Study 2013: Understanding Their Perspective said there was a need for increased benefits in terms Since living in Singapore, of medical preparedness and 55% of expatriates here have comprehensive health plans. It become more physically also shows 78% of expatriates active, according to the HSBC have used medical care while Expat Explorer report. on their assignment, either for themselves or for their family members. “In the midst of a major life change, screening to assure health and wellness can provide a peace of mind while acclimatising to the new environment,” Sarah Jane Packer, Senior Family Physician at Raffles Medical, says. She notes that while the health care system here in Singapore may be quite different to what an expatriate is used to at home, most will want to maximise their health quality and learn about how to maintain their health while on assignment. Rather than undergoing a barrage of tests which may or may not be helpful to them,

Increased activity

expatriates are looking for a provider who can understand their needs and background and can recommend relevant, targeted and individualised testing, she says. This ensures that any underlying health conditions are identified and effectively managed.

Regional health concerns Expatriates often come from an environment that is very different, both culturally and climate-wise, from Singapore. Packer cautions they may not be used to the heat and humidity and will need to take extra precautions, especially when exercising, to avoid heat-related conditions. “Sun protection is important too; an adequate protection against ultraviolet rays is essential. In addition, they may not be aware of how to protect themselves and their families against diseases which are rare in their place of origin but more common here, such as dengue and hand, foot and mouth disease,” she adds. Expatriates should also be wary of perennial issues, such as influenza, which will have a different peak season in Asia than in other parts of the world. The recent haze will also have had an impact on expatriates’ health. Although there are international guidelines for health screening items, there are still different disease focus areas between different countries. “With that being said, most health screening providers nowadays have multiple flexible packages that are able to customise to the needs of consumers, as well as expatriates,” Derrick Ong, Head of Corporate Marketing, AsiaMedic, says. ISSUE 15.12



“Communication between all parties Flexible options is vital to gain a clear understanding of Health packages can be designed with what needs the particular population of to expatriate care as it helps to detect different choices to better adapt the expatriates has. The healthcare provider diseases, even if there are not any screening to individual requirements. can then work together with the HR initial symptoms. “Expatriates will be “For example, one approach would team to offer screening packages catered pleased to know that there are plenty of be to include a baseline of essential towards the particular recognised screening centres tests which are useful for most people needs of that population,” and doctors in Singapore (such as cholesterol profile and Packer says. that are equipped with the blood sugar readings) with further Ong agrees. “The knowledge, equipment and interchangeable add-ons like imaging, healthcare provider will facilities to take care of laboratory testing or vaccinations,” need to understand the their health,” Ong adds. Packer said. demographics of the Packer notes that Raffles Medical’s health packages To control the costs investing in a relationship company,” he says. screen for diseases that can cause of healthcare, 53% of with a good primary “It is not necessary disability and death at an early stage, organisations participating in care doctor enables the that all expatriates will even before symptoms develop. the Socity of HR Management’s recommendation of need a different package “In consultation with the company’s 2015 Strategic Benefits Index, appropriate and targeted compared to locals. Other HR, our packages can be tailored to said they created a company investigations to address important factors are: address concerns which are prevalent culture which specifically both universal health gender, age, family history in the expatriate population in promoted health and wellness. risks and the more specific and personal medical question, with further options at health concerns of the history,” he explains. an individual level to zone in on the individual. Hence, he says expatriates Besides benefiting employees, health specific health concerns of the client,” should seek out a doctor who takes the packages can be a boon for employers Packer says. time to understand their situation and as they also play a part in recruiting Individualised, on-going and personal health concerns. and retaining staff. easily accessible care at a wide range While medical costs may be a source of With an increasingly competitive of locations are also offered after worry when moving to a new country, it job market and stagnant wages, screening to address individual health is generally not an issue for professional more organisations are turning to concerns and to treat any problems expatriates moving to Singapore. their benefit offerings as a form of identified Packer adds. “As well as our According to the Expat Insider 2015: Quality differentiation in the talent market. extensive and electronically-linked of Life survey by online community According to the Society network of primary care InterNations, only 33% of respondents in for HR Management 2015 clinics, we have our Singapore complained of high medical Strategic Benefits Survey, own dedicated Raffles costs here. Insurers generally take on healthcare coverages can hospital and specialists. most of these costs through a recognised help to attract particularly Our forte is in providing healthcare package. hard-to-recruit talent. excellent and continuous That means that with one less thing In the survey, 40% of care to our patients,” she Out of around 5,000 to worry about, expatriates can focus on respondents said their explains. interviewees in a recent other elements of their move, before organisations had used Ong believes survey by an Asia-focused settling into their job at hand and benefits to lure these expatriates may want to recruitment firm, 56% of achieving their career goals. highly-skilled employees consult with their doctor employees stated that concern during the past 12 months. before deciding on the for their health was one of the HR’s role “Healthcare is the exact screening package main reasons that they would Needless to say, a healthy workforce benefit that is mostly required. “Nowadays it consider changing jobs. makes for better productivity, so it highly-valued by is common for screening is sensible to focus on detection of employees,” said Evren packages to include common chronic conditions that can Esen, director of the society’s survey several options of ultrasound tests, lead to lost productivity or working programmes. “In coming years, instead of standardising on one time. HR has a role to play in achieving retirement savings, compensation, specific ultrasound in the package. this, by working with healthcare flexible work and career development With that, consumers are able to providers to offer structured health will play increasingly important roles in choose their preferred tests according packages for expatriates. recruiting strategies.” to their needs,” he adds. Ong adds that health screening is pivotal

Holistic approach

Health impact

56 ISSUE 15.12


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Creating shareholder value through learning James Leong, CEO of training firm Visions.One Consulting, says organisation-wide learning can help achieve improved alignment and reduce conflict in a workplace

58 ISSUE 15.12




hat is “shareholder value creation”? This is a phrase that is often used but not well understood for its real potential to be unleashed. Let us demystify this concept in simple terms. Creating value for shareholders simply means giving them a return on their investment. A common way to measure this is Total Shareholder Return (TSR). Fundamentally, shareholders risk their capital in the hope of exchanging for two primary returns: a recurring cash flow in the form of regular dividends and an appreciation in the value of their investment. Firstly, dividends are paid out of cash flow. Hence, the greater amount of cash that a business generates, the greater the pool of cash available to reward shareholders. Secondly, appreciation in the value of an investment is typically reflected by a gain in share price for a public-listed entity. Thirdly, running a business is risky. Operational risks could come in the form of lower margins due to competition and higher costs, economic downturns and industry cycles. Financial risks usually arise from the business overleveraging through overly high borrowings and interest rate increases.

In summary, the three pillars of generating TSR and hence, shareholder value are: creating a sustainable cash flow, profitable growth and managing risks.

Conflicts at work Quite often, the source of many conflicts can be traced to the trade offs between these three pillars of organisational strategic objectives. For example, the sales team needs to grow numbers through more sales and customers. To support more sales, they need procurement to buy materials in advance and for manufacturing to produce the goods. They might want to make sure stocks are available on hand to meet customer demand, which increases investment in inventories. This means a strain on cash flow. If the company does not have sufficient internal resources, it might resort to borrowing to fund the production. Hence, there is a potential conflict arising from growth versus current cash flow and risk management. Very often, the finance team wants customers to adhere to strict credit terms or is stringent on granting credit terms. While this is good for cash flow and risk management, it slows growth and creates unhappiness among sales people. If you look at the sources of conflict, each department is striving to achieve at least one of these objectives: cash flow, growth or risk management. The problem is that they might not appreciate the macro financial picture to see the context of their plans and actions. Conflicts arise although each team is doing its best to serve the organisation’s strategic objectives. This is like the proverbial blind men feeling different parts of an elephant and arguing. This is counter-productive, saps organisation energy and creates unnecessary friction.

Building a financially fluent organisation Currently much of the organisational big picture is clear only to the CEO, CFO, the board of directors and members of senior management who are financially trained. Quite often, many members of operational management as well as the other non-finance employees often get lost during the financial segment of quarterly financial performance updates at town hall meetings or monthly business reviews. There is a business case for cascading the power of fundamental financial know-how on shareholder value creation to the entire organisation. Much productivity gains can be derived when corporate participants understand the big picture of value creation. This is like having a common language and paradigm. When everyone in the organisation understands how their roles and decisions impact on cash flow generation, enhancing growth and reducing risks, the organisation will enjoy the fruits of financial and strategic alignment. When everyone is able to read basic financial statements, they will be able to better influence and drive their financial Key Performance Indicators. With a common mental model of how business works and the ability to speak a common language–finance and accounting–this paves the way for evolving a strong financial culture and discipline for success. The vision is for non-finance teams to gain competence, become more selfreliant and to partner finance teams more productively in coming up with sound and quick financial evaluations to support businesses cases that enhance shareholder value in this challenging business environment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR James Leong is the founder of corporate training company Visions.One Consulting. He trains top companies including IBM, Louis Vuitton, DBS, OCBC, UOB and statutory boards such as STB. The Singapore Business Review has featured him as one of ten influential professional speakers in Singapore. Leong represented Singapore and won the Toastmasters International Pan Southeast Asia District Humour Speech Championship. Leong is sought after for his ability to simplify complicated financial concepts in his popular “Finance for Non-finance Managers” workshop.

James Leong Chartered Accountant, Adjunct Professor (NUS) ISSUE 15.12


HRCLINIC Should HR be solely responsible for employer branding?


mployer branding is commonly defined as the process of promoting a company as an employer of choice to two groups of people – those already within whom the company wants to retain, and those outside which it needs to recruit. The activities that take place as a result, are linked for both groups. When line managers are able to create positive experiences that their team members appreciate and treasure, the employees start believing that they are working for the right company, teams and leaders. This translates to happy employees serving happy customers. The effect then rubs off on customers who feel that they want to be part of this amazing culture, which eventually helps with recruitment. So where does HR sit in this whole process? Like an architect, HR is able to provide the best-in-class and most sophisticated design blueprint to the builder. But what really matters is how the builder ensures that only the highest-quality finishing and materials are used to create the eventual living experience. HR can help with


employer branding by designing the right programmes and leveraging on the right channels, but true employer branding is best delivered by the company’s brand ambassadors – its line managers and employees. At Commonwealth Capital Group, our internal referrals are testament to how powerful employer branding can be. Many teams in our different business streams (retail, production and logistics) are filled through word-ofmouth and referrals. This not only helps us to hire the right people into the company; it ensures a great fit between team leaders and new hires. After all, current employees will only refer those who they know will be able to succeed in the company. And when this happens, it’s easy to see why. With the right employer branding, retention becomes the best source of recruitment.

Shaun Ee

Head of Group HR, Commonwealth Capital Group

Ask our HR experts. Email your questions to

7.00 AM

12.30 PM

6.00 PM

I review my day’s schedule and try to drop my two children off at the nearest train station or bus stop so that I can catch up with them on my way to work.

I keep my lunch hours, partners and venues flexible as I shuffle between having lunch in the staff cafeteria or meeting with associates over lunch. I make it a point to engage more with the associates as the Ramada and Days Hotels are relatively new hotels in Singapore, having opened less than three years ago. Sometimes, I’ll head to the gym for a yoga stretch to recharge for the day ahead.

Work officially ends and this is my quiet time to go through my mail for the day and prepare for the next day’s activities.

8.00 AM I go through some emails and prioritise my tasks before heading to the cafeteria for breakfast. The morning chats help me feel the pulse of our associates.

Josephine Chua Director of HR and Quality, Ramada and Days Hotels, Singapore at Zhongshan Park

9.00 AM I attend the daily operations meeting, followed by a quality review with all department heads and the General Manager. After these, I hold a team briefing to discuss the day’s agenda.

10.00 AM More emails, meetings, and the general day-to-day tasks.

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1.30 PM I take a walk-through of the hotels and observe associates at work, taking notes of required actions.

3.00 PM I tend to the scheduled tasks, project reviews, more meetings, work plan reviews, and vendor reviews.

7.00 PM I review my calendar for the next day, and then head for my fitness routine, which is dancesport, a gym workout, or yoga.

8.00 PM I try to have a simple dinner of fruits and vegetables as I save hearty dinners for the family on weekends. I also try to communicate with my other son who is studying in the UK.

9.00 PM I’ll jot down ideas and plans for the next day before catching up on TV programmes, news and personal mail before going to sleep.

Save $400

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Building Organisational Capabilities & Future-Ready Workforce to Execute Business Strategy

17-18 February 2016 | Hilton Singapore Companies today are grappling with an approaching retirement wave and accompanying loss of skills, current and projected labour shortages, globalisation, growing use of a contingent workforce, mergers and acquisitions, as well as evolution of technology and tools. Increasingly, many companies are turning to Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) to help tackle these challenges and effectively align their human capital to corporate goals. However, organisations in Asia are considered to have somehow lagged behind their peers in this area.

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“What is SWP? How is it different from our annual manpower budgeting?” “Where do we start with our implementation and whom to engage? “We are just started and we’re not there yet! Where do we get the required data to develop our plan?”

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One of the hottest topics in 2016, the Strategic Workforce Planning & Analytics has been developed with the industry to address the above challenges and ensure your organisation has the right people in the right places at the right time and at the right price to execute your business strategy.



This jam-packed one day congress is designed to guide you through the strategy development to enable the integration of workforce planning and analytics within business planning which aligns to business strategy in the context of everchanging workforce, technological and social change.

These 2 highly interactive, hands-on workshops is a how-toguide filled with practical and targeted case studies on the what, why and how of SWP & analytics and how you can efficiently apply them to your business.

Featured speakers:


Sriram Iyer Director – Workforce Planning & Management, APAC & ME COGNIZANT

Narasimhan S L Director – Head of Talent Acquisition APAC & HR Head for SE Asia STATE STREET

Binayak Bagchi Director HR, Asia Pacific – Restorative Therapies Group MEDTRONIC

Ng Ying Yuan Director, Human

Ng g Ying Yua an Resources & Director Organisation

Development Ec conomic Developmen nt Board SINGAPORE

Aparna Kumar Regional Human Resource Lead – Asia Pacific MONSANTO

Neil Persaud Regional VP Human Resource & Business Excellence ARKADIN

iss the Direc Ying Yuan ctor of Hum man Resou rces and Organisatio O on Developpment at th he Singapo ore ECONOMIC conomic Developme ent Board d. She o oversees EDB's le eadership developm ment, tale ent Ec DEVELOPMENT ma anagemen nt, staff pla anning, compensatio on and ben nefits, emp ployer brannding and organisation BOARD de evelopmen t efforts. he has exp periences in leading the team to design EDB’s lea adership co competency y framewo ork, Sh de eveloping a and executting EDB’s s employerr brand, de esigning an nd managiing EDB’s new missiion an nd vision p process, co onceptualis sing and m managing EDB’s org ganisation transforma ation journ ney an nd also wo orking in close c partn nership witth EDB’s top t leaderrship team m to ensure e robust and a de eliberate su uccession planning fo or the orga anisation.

Contact: Karen Soh | Tel: (65) 6423 4631 | Email:

Prrior to this, Ying Yua an spent 8 years w with EDB's Biomedica al Sciencees Division n, where she s he eaded up tthe Pharmaceuticals and Biote echnology Group that was respponsible fo or developiing Singapore's pharmace euticals and biotechn nology indu ustry, one of the fasstest-growin ng sectors s in

Anuradha Purbey HR Director SINGAPORE AVIVA



Ilja Rijnen

Regional HR Director, Asia-Pacific and India, The Edrington Group Ilja Rijnen has recently been appointed as Regional HR Director, Asia-Pacific and India, The Edrington Group. In his new post, Rijnen will be leading the provision of HR services to customer bases across Edrington regionally. He will also be supporting the AsiaPacific regional management team in driving its people strategy, including the delivery of best practice processes and consistency across various areas including organisational development and employee relations. His other responsibilities consist of facilitating best practices of people management through coaching and working in partnership with directors and managers. Prior to this appointment, Rijnen was the HR Business Partner for the Edrington Group’s Singapore hub. He has also been the company’s head of Southeast Asia Supply and Key Accounts. Before joining Edrington, he was Head of HR for Indonesia at Diageo, a position he held for almost seven-and-a-half years. On his move to another organisation, Rijnen said, “Diageo has provided amazing learning opportunities and it has helped me to become a broad HR leader.” “It did feel right to move to a company where I can use this knowledge at a more senior level.” Rijnen brings with him a broad range of HR skills including the recruitment of talent, engagement, performance breakthrough, and leadership development.

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Martin Andrés

Recruiting Lead, Asia-Pacific, Uber

Uber has recently announced the appointment of Martin Andrés as its Recruiting Lead for Asia-Pacific. Andrés will be responsible for helping to drive the recruitment function regionally, helping Uber expand and penetrate several markets quickly by hiring the best talent possible. He previously held the role of Talent Acquisition Lead, Asia-Pacific at Noble Group for about a year. “I was lucky to be part of an incredibly talented team and learnt a lot during my time there,” he shared. “I was then fortunate enough to be offered a fantastic role at Uber at a time when the global commodities industry is slowing down.” Prior to the Noble Group, Andrés was a senior manager at Phaidon International for almost four years. Andrés brings with him over seven years of executive search experience in the Europe, Middle East and Africa and, Asia-Pacific regions, as well as specialist skills in talent acquisition and recruitment. On his new position, he said, “I hope to help Uber achieve their goals for the Asia-Pacific region by assisting them in scaling quickly without lowering our standards on the quality of hires we make.” “The Asia-Pacific region and in particular India and China, are crucial for our growth this year, so there are lots of exciting challenges ahead for the team.”

Gary Lee

Senior Project Manager, Talent Management, Grundfos

Grundfos has appointed Gary Lee as its senior project manager of Talent Management. He will be supporting the global business and HR organisation by providing in-depth insights and developing global solutions within the talent management and organisational development space. Prior to joining Grundfos, Lee held the position of Head of Learning and Development at Soo Kee Group for almost two years. After learning and contributing to the organisation, he felt the need for a change. “I am appreciative that I had the opportunity to help build many learning and organisational development initiatives in the organisation to increase talent capabilities,” he said. “I decided to move on to pursue new opportunities to continuously grow my experience and expertise in people development.” Lee brings with him over 12 years of experience in talent development, leadership, learning and organisational development, and facilitation. He has also worked with numerous multinational companies, small businesses, and educational institutes across Asia-Pacific as both a learning and organisational development specialist, and as an HR consultant. He hopes that his new position will help him to develop himself and the company.

AHRDSPEAKS Cultivating culture: A true business opportunity


R professionals spend a lot of time developing strategic plans to attract, motivate, and retain talent. More often than not, we have an array of programmatic interventions and activities designed to do exactly that, but unfortunately, these activities are all too often poorly coordinated and lack a deliberate focus on how we shape and grow our cultures. At VMware, we have embarked on a deliberate journey to grow a culture which is totally “epic”. Our “EPIC2” values and manager development programme overtly recognise that culture connects our people with our business. These values

are unique as they have been developed from the bottom up by our employees, rather than from the top down by senior management. These core values provide a strong foundation that binds our people together. So, what does EPIC2 stand for? • Execution: We focus on results. We debate and decide, but always check our egos at the door; • Passion: We are fuelled by curiosity and aim to continuously make things better for our customers, products, and for each other; • Integrity: We maintain a fair

and transparent workplace by saying what we do and doing what we say; • Customers: We always put our customers first; and • Community: We strive towards building a collaborative and thriving community. We bring these values to life through a number of complementary initiatives that focus on training and empowering our managers. We have launched new campaigns such as the VMware Leader Academy, and we ensure our staff have a strong support network and access to the most current and exciting learning programmes available.

Linda Hamill HR Director, VMware Australia and New Zealand


Embark with WAF on a continous and rewarding journey towards building a Well-Rounded, Adaptable and Forward-Looking workforce in your organisation.


Feature your organisation on WAF’s website and be acknowledged as an ambassador showcasing exemplary employment practices.


Receive exclusive invitations to participate in workshops, seminars, training programmes and networking events.


Participate in constructive feedback sessions with various policymakers to tackle workforce and productivity related issues.


Share your workforce issues and receive complimentary advisory services provided by WAF’s Partners.


Receive news and alerts on workforce-related matters, best employer practices and labour insights.

Workforce Advancement Federation Ltd (WAF) is a non-profit organisation incorporated to provide assistance and support to the local business communities in building a sustainable workforce. Through its various initiatives and activities, WAF aims to provide sharing and learning platforms to facilitate the exchange of best practices in human resource and capability development for the local workforce. In tandem of fostering the spirit of tripartism within Singapore’s dynamic business environment, the federation envision its core objective of shaping a productive and competitive workforce as key to the overall economic progress of the nation. For more infomation, log on to

WAF_Halfpg Ad_15.12.indd 1

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23/11/2015 2:03:00 PM



Navigating an HR career:

Create your own plan Strong professional network and advanced educational credentials help prepare future leaders with the critical skills required for operating at a strategic level.


hen it is time to step up to a senior leadership role in HR, will you be ready? While most of us might generally answer, “Yes, of course!” to this increasingly pressing question, the sad truth of the matter is that most HR professionals are not prepared for this challenge. As it turns out, the gap between operational HR and strategic HR is quite significant, coupled with the fact that we seem to be failing in our ability to develop future HR leaders. How could HR be failing to develop future HR leaders? After all, we are the ones most attuned to developing people and managing careers! Of course, the HR department is generally tasked with helping to address the attraction, retention and career management challenges within the organisation. Unfortunately, HR professionals are so busy taking care of talent issues across the organisation that they do not often have the time to care for their own talent and succession. Recent research at SMU shows that 60% of these top HR jobs are filled externally

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or from outside the HR function. In other words, we are failing to build our own HR talent for the future. A recent report entitled HR Leadership Stall Points: Developing the Next Generation HR Leader from Singapore’s Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) identified several “Stall Points” in developing the next generation HR leader in Asia. These development challenges included limited individual aspiration,

avoidance of mobility, lack of top HR talent for mentoring, and top-level HR skill gaps. The good news is that for someone with the aspiration and the ability to be mobile, there might be opportunities. The challenge remains that they must find a way to develop their skills in HR at a more senior or strategic level. While an HR professional may be highly skilled in an area of HR, the skills learned in operational HR

roles are generally related to HR processes and do little prepare future HR leaders. More junior HR professionals learn all the essentials on employee relations, recruiting, performance management, compensation, and employee engagement. However, at a more senior level, HR leaders are engaged in a very different set of activities. As such, the prior roles in HR do not adequately prepare people

to operate as a member of the top management team. Researchers at Cornell University classified the ways that successful CHROs spend their time, including in areas such as being a trusted advisor to the CEO and executive team; a counselor/coach to the executive team; a liaison to the board of directors; a talent architect; and a HR function leader. Clearly, the step-up from a typical HR professional to the role of the CHRO is quite significant. So, how do HR professionals put their own career development programme in place? Based on a review of current CHROs’ career paths, three elements seem to come to the fore as critical ingredients for success: • Advanced Educational Credentials • Successful Overseas Assignments • A Strong Professional Network Advanced educational credentials help prepare future leaders with the critical skills required for operating at a strategic level. While having a master’s degree in HR was not common with HR leaders in the past, it has now become the norm. A study by consulting firm PWC has showed that more than 90% of top HR leaders in global firms have a master’s degree of some type (e.g. MS, MA, MBA, JD, or PhD). When Asian HR leaders were asked about development in a recent HR leader survey conducted by SMU,

most explained that for strategic HR development, they often turned to overseas educational programmes due to the limited availability of more strategic experiences in Asia. HR certification from global associations such as CIPD, SHRM, as well as local ones can provide a level of professional competence in HR, but these alone are not sufficient for business leadership as they are not anchored in the more strategic aspects of leading human capital or top-level business leadership. Successful overseas assignments help prepare future HR leaders with experiences across borders. Mobility in Asia continues to be a challenge as many successful HR professionals are embedded in the local community with both personal and family obligations. Since mobility generally becomes more challenging later on in careers as people generally have increased family and personal obligations, experts advise young professionals to look for those overseas assignments early to not only build a regional perspective, but to also create a more regional network. A strong professional network is something that comes with both time and effort. Joining HR professional associations, business groups, and attending conferences can help improve a network. A strong network will not only put you in demand for your skills, but also help improve

your awareness of other practices and situations that may help you in your future challenges. Of course, maintaining a strong network takes time to keep up with contacts and to continue to build relationships. Studies have shown that common experiences such as a shared education programme or alma-mater create strong ties that help boost the network effect of those in each cohort. Finding ways to build and maintain a strong network is a great way help

navigate within your own organisation as well. Taking on the next level of HR leadership may not be for everyone; however, it seems that we are not adequately building our pipeline of future HR leaders. Rather than waiting to find out what the future might hold, HR professionals should take an active role in creating their own future. Building a strong professional network, taking an overseas assignment, and completing an advanced degree are all great ways to start preparing the future you.

Richard R. Smith Academic Director, Human Capital Programmes Senior Lecturer of Strategic Management Email: Tel: +65 68085339 Singapore Management University Lee Kong Chian School of Business Masters of Human Capital Leadership Tel: +65 6828 0012 Emails:

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There is no “one-sized-fits-all” approach when it comes to designing relocation policies. HRM finds out how service providers can best work in tandem with HR to design customisable and flexible policies Naadiah Badib


ending employees abroad is always a tough decision for employers. It can be tempting to use a single framework for setting out the terms of each assignment, but it’s also HR’s job to ensure that the company’s policies are able to be customised to fit the needs of staff. Some 76% of respondents to 2014 Global Mobility Policy and Practices survey, cited family or personal circumstances as the top reason as to why employees turned down international assignments. This was followed by changing business conditions (63%), and the expected difficulties the employee’s family would face in adjusting to a new environment (61%). The survey also indicated that 50% of companies expected to see the number of assignments increase over 2015 and next year. Rae Ng, Relocation Manager at Asian Tigers Mobility Singapore, stresses the importance for companies to understand each individual’s profile and needs while sourcing for suitable candidates, and to provide relevant assistance when relocating them. This, in turn, will help to attract the The cost of relocating staff to Singapore dropped in 2015, at least when right employees to support overseas compared to 11 other global cities. business needs. According to a survey by property company Savills, the nation slipped She says relocating a family with from the sixth most expensive to the seventh in June this year. children has different requirements More expensive cities to relocate staff to include London, Hong Kong as compared to relocating singles or and New York. couples.

Relocating employees to Singapore becomes cheaper

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RELOCATION “Schooling needs are one of the most important criteria in moving children, and companies must research the host location to ensure there are adequate international schooling options,” she says. “If no suitable schools are available, they should provide options for the family to either remain as a split family arrangement or to have the family stay in the nearest location with schooling options while the transferee works in the actual host location.” In order to deliver a positive employee experience, Wendy Chee, Director of Sales, Santa Fe Relocation Services, believes it is essential that policies reflect both the business and the talent drivers for the proposed assignment. Especially with the emergence of different generations in the workforce, the need to design relocation programmes according to individual demands is becoming vital, she says. “Organisations are increasingly segmenting and customising their

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“Organisations are increasingly segmenting and customising their policies to align their unique culture” Wendy Chee, Director of Sales, Santa Fe Relocation Services

policies to align their unique culture with the right level of compensation and employment conditions, and relocation support to ensure they deploy the right people to the right roles in a timely and cost-optimal way,” Chee explains.

Overlooked factors As much as HR departments have prepared their employees ahead

of overseas assignments, there are several factors that are often overlooked. Chee says HR departments sometimes make mistakes as early as in the selection stage. In this phase, there may be a lack of investment in understanding the employee’s career expectations after the assignment, or important factors associated with their family situation. “While it may seem intrusive, organisations have a duty of care to support their employees throughout the international assignment,” she says. She advises companies to pay more attention to factors such as the career of the employee’s spouse, and children with special needs, both at home and in an educational context. “If these factors are poorly investigated and managed, they can become make or break situations resulting in failed assignments or early repatriation,” Chee adds. The employee’s soft skills, including cultural adaptability and language training, can also be overlooked at the preparation stage. “While these are often included in mobility policies, the fact that assignees have previously been business travellers can sometimes see this waived,” she adds. “But, there is a big difference between a three-year assignment and

RELOCATION only spending a few days on business in a country.” “The trailing family or partner can often become isolated and will not have the same support infrastructure as the assignee.” Ng agrees. She says cost-conscious organisations may try to save money on adaptability assessments, crosscultural training, spousal assistance and language training for these transferees. “Relocation assistance is usually concluded after the transferees find their properties and schools, and assignees and families may feel a sense of being lost after they have checked into the property,” she shares. “It is not uncommon that assignments failed after the first few months if transferees or their families did not have adequate support and cannot get used to the new host location.”

Going the extra mile Chee recounts an instance where Sante Fe was authorised to assist an assignee with orientation and settling-in services. For example, the company was able to arrange for sourcing, delivery and the assembly of furniture for the employee’s new home. A security deposit was also arranged, and a local account manager working on the relocation was able to be at the property to oversee the entire process. “We do try to accommodate such unique requests as much as possible as we understand that relocating to another country involves many emotional aspects,” Chee shares. “Within reasonable limits, we will always get the company or employee’s HR representative to discuss the predicament and we will arrange for solutions accordingly.” With the housing rental market

currently soft in Singapore, rental prices remain stable and are even dropping in some areas. Despite this, Ng notes that there have been some unrealistic expectations and requests when finding accommodations. Assignees relocating to Singapore also seem to have a preference for two-bedroom private apartments in central areas, Ng says. Some specific accommodation demands include having no wooden furnishing, no steps on the property, or the installation of a pool within a landed property. These are among the requests that Asian Tiger has accommodated. “Where possible, we will do our best to source or negotiate on such properties,” Ng explains. “However, as these are not common requests, we will advise the transferees appropriately and keep them updated at all times.”

Working collaboratively with HR As much as the HR departments are mainly in charge of an employee’ relocation process, relocation companies like Asian Tiger and Santa Fe work alongside the departments to ensure the process remains within budget and according to policy guidelines. After a briefing from the HR or mobility team, Asian Tiger usually takes over the communication with the employee and administers the authorised programmes. However, the HR team will be kept in the loop and updated on key milestones of the relocation process. For instance, Asian Tiger will update the office at the point of home selection, signing of the tenancy agreement, and move-in dates. “We also position ourselves as the main point of accountability for the transferee,” Ng shares. “If the transferees need any additional support from HR, we can assess the requests and provide advice

UAE listed as top global career destination The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been listed as the top emerging market destination globally for professional fulfillment. The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 cited that the UAE outshone China, Brazil, South Africa and India. The top attributes that employees look for in a global employer are: • Career advancement: 48% • Company culture: 38% • Training and development opportunities: 32%

as deemed appropriate and facilitate the communication between the company and the transferee.” Depending on individual business requirements, Santa Fe’s global assignment management programmes enable companies to outsource as much of the management processes as they need. Chee shares, “Santa Fe’s global assignment team provides personalised relocation services, managing every aspect of the assignment with minimal resource requirements from the business”. Among the things that Santa Fe assists HR in are: controlling costs, assignment administration, programme consultation and planning, and supporting employees on assignment. In terms of controlling costs for example, Santa Fe works with the HR team to manage the costs of global assignment programmes. It does so via tracking and reporting costs, monitoring supplier costs and implementing appropriate costsaving initiatives.

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Outsourcing is a common way of tackling manpower issues, but what about “insourcing”? Rajah & Tann Singapore has capitalised on both employees’ and employers’ hunger for freelance work by launching its very own allocation platform. HRM finds out more Sham Majid


yan Loh, Partner, Rajah & Tann Singapore, says legal profession statistics from The Law Society of Singapore consistently show an inverted bell curve, whereby many practitioners leave the profession for different reasons once they’ve reached their sixth or seventh year of practice. Hence, Loh explains the idea of a flexible 70 ISSUE 15.12


insourcing service was mooted a year ago when Rajah & Tann observed there was a gap between clients’ increasing needs to contain legal costs and control headcount, while still requiring additional in-house legal support during peak periods. Fast forward to August this year, and the flexible insourcing service was launched by Rajah & Tann Singapore.

“We were in an ideal position to bridge the gap by providing clients with quality practitioners on a contract basis and this led to the launch of R&T Asia Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP,” he says. R&T Asia Resources is helmed by Wilma Cheng and Loh, both of whom are partners in Rajah & Tann Singapore’s restructuring and insolvency group.

A multitude of benefits According to Loh, the flexible insourcing service is a “win-win” situation for all involved, including clients, legal practitioners and for Rajah & Tann Singapore. “We remain nimble in our practice by providing the right resources to our

clients while at the same time, creating an avenue for legal practitioners who want to practise, but only on a contract basis,” he elaborates. “Our clients benefit, as the legal practitioners from R&T Asia Resources can tap on a full suite of legal services and resources offered by Rajah & Tann Asia, and on our full service legal network across nine countries in Southeast Asia and China.” Loh says this is also an opportunity for legal practitioners to venture into different sectors, something that may not have been an option for them if they had remained in full-time practice.

Bringing part-timers back into the fray Koay Saw Lean, Director of HR, Rajah & Tann Singapore, says there’s a growing trend in terms of Singaporeans working part-time. “According to Singapore’s Manpower Ministry Labour Force report last year, 10.5% of the resident workforce was part-time workers, up from 6.8% in 2008,” she shares. “Instead of completely losing people with the relevant experience after they leave the profession, the flexible insourcing service provides a way for the employer to keep in touch with the employee and keeps the door open for them to return to work.” Koay explains that by helping an employee to attain their work-life balance goals, Rajah & Tann Singapore is able to entice the right people to remain in the firm for as long as possible. Moreover, she says if flexible insourcing helps an employee in their professional and personal goals, the employer will profit from a happy employee who will contribute their best at work. “The employer will also benefit, as the employee has industry insight and the skill sets to do a job well; hence, saving time and money on training a person who’s new to the sector,” adds Koay.

Lawyers leveraging on the scheme From a professional standpoint, lawyers themselves have much to gain from this flexible insourcing service, says Loh. “They can keep abreast of legal developments and at the same time, have an avenue to return to work full time,” he explains. “They are also able to manage their schedule, as they decide when to accept contracts.”

“Instead of completely losing people with the relevant experience after they leave the profession, the flexible insourcing service provides a way for the employer to keep in touch with the employee and keeps the door open for them to return to work” Koay Saw Lean, Director of HR, Rajah & Tann Singapore

“They are assured that R&T Asia Resources will assign them to the right employers and that they will be paid market rates.” So, how has the flexible insourcing fared thus far? According to Loh, the response has been “encouraging”. “Since we introduced the service in August this year, demand from employers has exceeded our supply of

lawyers on the panel,” he says. “We have successfully seconded lawyers mainly in the financial sector as well as in the logistics sector. “Contracts are usually for about three to six months, mainly to assist in ongoing projects, or to cover women who are on maternity leave. We hope to attract more lawyers who are available on a contract basis to join our panel.”

Sourcing for professionals The professionals will be insourced by clients for a specified period and will work in clients’ offices. R&T Asia Resources, which is led by designated partners of Rajah & Tann Singapore, will actively help to handle these assignments and be direct contact points for the clients. Rajah & Tann Singapore’s Managing Partner Lee Eng Beng SC says R&T Asia Resources will ensure the suitability and quality of the professionals on its panel, and the insourced professionals will also be able to rely on the expertise, reach and full suite of legal services of Rajah & Tann Asia’s offices across South-East Asia where necessary. Ryan Loh, a partner of Rajah & Tann Singapore and a director of R&T Asia Resources, explains R&T Asia Resources has a stringent selection process to make sure the professionals on its panel are a suitable fit for clients. In addition, the professionals on the panel will also be able to gain entry to Rajah & Tann Asia’s training programmes and resources. “Clients of R&T Asia Resources will have the confidence and comfort of dealing with a company backed by one of the leading and largest legal service providers in Southeast Asia. They will be assured of the highest standards of quality, service and professionalism,” says Loh. He also acknowledges the rising trend of lawyers who prefer to work fewer than five days per week, specified hours during the workday, or at home. Moreover, there are also lawyers who fancy working full-time for fixed periods, and undertake non-work activities in between stints. ISSUE 15.12




ACHIEVING COLLECTIVE SUCCESS From a very tight team of eight in 2002, the Unlisted Collection group has bloomed into a brand that spans across a range of different businesses. HRM finds out how the boutique hotel chain keeps up with the big boys in the hospitality industry Muneerah Bee


hen we first started with Hotel 1929, we had small dreams and it was a very tight and lean company,” Charmaine Wee, General Manager of Unlisted Collection, recalls. Today, the group has grown to add more boutique hotels and restaurants under its belt. Headed by hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, the brand employs around 300 workers from all walks of life and ages, from teenagers in their first jobs to housekeeping attendants in their 50s and 60s. Four years ago, the group revamped its HR policies and was encouraged to “think out of the box” in order to survive the competition for manpower from larger hotels. Wee shares that while higher management and bosses knew the desired culture they had wished to cultivate for the company, they were aware that they did not really know how the rank and file employees felt. Hence, the company embarked on an extensive internal audit where all employees, from the ground staff all the way to the managers, were asked to list the top five priorities from 20 options listed. Wee recalls, “When we did the exercise, it was really an eye opener for the managers because what they thought was important for the 72 ISSUE 15.12


Employees engaging in a charity run company and the staff did not always match the employees’ feedback.” For example, while the managers felt that the rank and file employees valued monetary rewards the most, the exercise showed that development and empowerment were also important to them, along with communication, transparency, and having a sense of

belonging. The exercise helped to then create a better culture and HR policies that reflected that.

Progressive practices The company strives to be a role model for other hotels in the industry, particularly when it comes to setting progressive work-life balance policies.

SME SPOTLIGHT “A healthy work-life balance was rather unheard of in the hospitality industry. Just years back, it was very much regimented because even the schools will teach you that when you enter the hotel sector, you must be passionate enough to endure the long hours,” Wee says. To help its employees achieve worklife balance, Unlisted Collection reduced its six-day work week, which is quite common in the industry, to five days by cutting out redundant processes, and by bringing in technology so that employees no longer needed to do things manually. Staff were also given a sense of empowerment, such that they could make certain decisions on their own without much red tape. This also contributed to them being able to carry out tasks much more quickly. “It’s a steep learning curve for all of us but we are quite blessed and proud to say the turnover for the rank and file staff within our company is very controlled,” she continues. Wee has also found that a recommendation and referral programme is useful in attracting the right talent. The hiring process is also a time for employers to share the career path that a candidate can expect when they join Unlisted Collection, she says. Seet Hui Qin, HR Executive at Unlisted Collection, says, “During the interview, we ask them what are they looking for. If they have a goal in terms of what they want to do, it’s easy for management to take those plans into account.” “Sometimes employees are concerned about their future salary and remuneration; so we’ll tell them, and they then know what they are looking to work towards.” For candidates and employees who have certain expectations for their

An open mind to change To gather employees’ feedback, Unlisted Collection has various channels in place. These include the General Manager sessions, which happen on a quarterly basis. At these sessions, rank and file workers can voice out their challenges on the job and provide suggestions for improvements. During the no holds barred sessions, they are encouraged to gather their thoughts and they can tell general manager Charmaine Wee anything. “The first few meetings were hell because they have never had a chance to communicate, so there was a lot of anguish, frustrations and misunderstandings,” Wee says. “A lot of them were very small problems that were pent-up frustrations at that time.” Over the three-and-a-half years since the programme began, there have been better channels to communicate such minor issues and sometimes, the employee has even able to resolve it before it escalates. “Right now, the General Manager sessions are very enjoyable because they think about what they want to say and it is very constructive,” Wee shares. For example, the suggestions to provide a baby bassinet to guests, and to put up ‘No Smoking’ signs in certain areas were offered at these meetings. These are details that managers may not be able to see, but that employees on the ground are more aware of. As a result of such initiatives, there has been a change in the company’s culture compared to then and now. Wee says, “We may be a young team, but we have improved and we constantly change. There are so many rewards we have earned from being open-minded to change.” career, she discusses with them about how they can go about to reach that position and the type of professional training that will be needed. “We are open enough to tell them that if they want to reach this certain position, they have to really work up the ladder, and it’s not always something that can be achieved in a year,” she explains.

Two-way street

Unlisted Collection has also rolled out a programme that aims to be beneficial to the company’s bottom line, as well as to act as an incentive for workers. When the hotels are 90% occupied, the high occupancy often requires a faster turnaround time which means a heavier workload for the employees. However, the company adds an incentive sum for each day the hotel is highly booked, and this in turn motivates them to maintain a high occupancy rate throughout the year. Another instance of incentivising employees is in the area of reservations. When the reservation desk is closed after 6pm, guests are often directed to other third party websites or travel Staff at a Singapore Hotel Associations Gala Dinner agents to make their

bookings. Instead of leaving the rooms empty, the company implemented a policy that rewards employees who manage to sell unused rooms with a commission. They will also get a percentage of future bookings for successfully extending or upgrading existing bookings. “What it means is, if we’re earning money, they are earning money too,” Wee says. “We don’t waste rooms and they get to earn a bit more. It’s a win-win situation and it works quite well for us.” Earlier this year, authorities investigated one of Unlisted Collection’s restaurants for hiring foreigners without valid work permits. Acknowledging this as a human error, Wee says the incident has served as a lesson and a reminder to be more detailed when it comes to hiring and not to assume and ensure that all levels understand the requirements. “It’s something that we need to acknowledge,” Wee says. “Yes, we made a mistake and it will never happen again.” She adds the company now ensures that all employees understand that there is a no grey area when it comes to Singapore’s recruitment laws. “It was such a painful incident for us; it’s not something we can forget in a long time,” Wee states. “What that actually means is that the entire HR team will make sure that they are a lot more detailed,” Wee concludes. ISSUE 15.12




Industry gathers for Future Workforce Summit H

RM Asia hosted two inaugural events for the HR community in Singapore in October, including the first-ever Future Workforce Summit. Featuring over 100 participants, this two-day working conference focused on strategies to capitlaise on disruptive technologies, the emerging workforce of the future, and ways to drive performance, value , and innovation. Day One of the summit saw lively C-Suite panel members from W.R. Grace, Olam Group, the Prime Minister’s Office, UOB, the Infocomm Development Authority, Standard Chartered Bank, Visa, OCBC Group, BW Group and Johnson & Johnson. They discussed the prevalent use of smart technologies in our digitally-savvy workforce and how these will likely lead to disrupting trends affecting how businesses and jobs will operate in the future. On Day Two, leading experts from Shell, Jones Lang Lasalle, DBS and CBRE Group shed light on the future workplace and how the design and technology can bring about more collaborative workspaces. In the second part of the day, distinguished speakers from Credit Suisse, Mondelez, the National Library Board, SATS, Monsanto and TetraPak discussed the good, bad and “grey” aspects of the rise of Big Data. The Future Workforce Summit welcomed three sponsors: Rolling Arrays, CareerBuilder Singapore, and Raffles International Relocation. Earlier in the month, HRM Asia also hosted the Strategic Human Capital Management in SMEs Congress. Graced by special guest of honour Christophane Foo, Executive Director,

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Human Capital and Organisation Development of SPRING Singapore, the October 13 event saw over 50 participants attending. The one-day congress featured interactive dialogues, lively debates, engaging panel discussions, roundtables and exclusive miniworkshops. It proved an excellent opportunity for networking and sharing experiences in some of the thorny human capital issues faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These included: talent attraction, employee engagement, compensation and benefits, training and development, and succession planning. Top thought leaders from Visa, Orange Clove Catering, MatchMove Pay, APS Management, Lowe & Partners, and other SME employers of choice, convened to share these best practices. The event itself was supported by SPRING Singapore, the Association of Process Industries, and the Association of Electronic Industries in Singapore.

UPCOMING CONGRESSES HRM Asia is proud to be your partner in progress and professional development. We bring you quality conferences and training and have many exciting congresses and masterclasses in the upcoming months. Mark your calendar now! • Learning Innovations Congress 20 – 21 January 2016, Singapore • L&D Analytics Masterclass 26 – 27 January 2016, Singapore • Strategic Workforce Planning & Analytics Congress & Workshop 17 – 18 February 2016, Singapore

IN PERSON BOSKY ARORA Head of Learning Management, Asia-Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding

BOOK REVIEW Maximising organisational performance

A How many years of HR experience?

I have 12 years of experience within the HR landscape at national as well as regional levels. I have been associated with sectors ranging from telecoms to entertainment and logistics.

Why HR?

With further exposure in other areas of HR after completing my masters and internship, I was sure about my long-term career. I felt passionate about the field and I believe that HR is an integral part of any organisation where we can influence and contribute to make a difference in a big and positive way.

Why DHL?

When I was hired, the recruitment process was quite stringent and I was impressed with the team and leaders. No leader shies away from recognising and applauding you for your contribution. The organisation is also dynamic and no two days are the same. It always has something new to offer.

Biggest achievement?

I have held various roles from HR business partnering to specialist roles such as management development, recruitment and selection at various levels of the organisation. The exposure has also varied in terms of geography where I’m currently managing regional as well as country roles.

After hours?

After hours are definitely “me time” where I prefer to catch up with my evening walks, do yoga, read, or watch movies. There are many things that inspire me. So, life is never dull for me.


I enjoy my personal life with my husband who is always there for me. My parents and in-laws are also very supportive in all my professional and personal endeavours. I have two lovely siblings and my goal is to always find time and ensure that I am able to catch up with everyone amid the fast-paced life.

re you facing issues in unlocking your organisation’s full potential? Are you looking for ways to deliver outstanding business achievements? If so, then Linda Ashdown’s Performance Management will help you understand the essential components needed to create a high performance culture at work. This book not only explores the key aspects of managing performance, but also identifies how performance management can be used to support firms in achieving their goals. An informative read, each of its eight main chapters are equipped with a range of examples, case studies, and activities such as diagnostic questionnaires, reflection and action planning. These features will allow readers to grasp the topics easily and effectively apply the learning into a working environment. Aimed to fit the needs of HR practitioners and line managers, the tools and examples given aim to build up knowledge on key performance areas including motivation, performance reviews, and even on dealing with underperforming employees. The book also cites examples from the current global business environment, as well as historical issues. This added context makes it especially ideal for those who are not experienced in HR. Written in a clear and concise manner, Performance Management is a complete overview of the field, and provides relevant strategies that can be implemented into any type of organisation. This fundamental guide will allow readers to reflect on their current measures and also make significant changes that can boost both employee and organisational performance.

Title: Performance Management Author: Linda Ashdown Publisher: Kogan Page Price: S$62.50 (Before GST)

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HR FROM THE CLASSROOM Every month, HRM speaks to a young university talent hoping to carve out a career in HR upon graduation What attracted you to HR? Why are you studying it? Having always been passionate about impacting people’s lives and driving social change, I feel HR is one area I can actively contribute to, while also achieving my goals of integrating sustainable business and social practices within an organisation. My previous HR internship in the banking industry showed me how being in HR allows one to interact and influence employees within the company. More importantly, I feel that these interactions will allow me to hone my soft skills and further develop my character. The experience gained during this internship has further solidified my decision to pursue HR as a career. Lastly, I feel HR gives me the best of both worlds, where I am able to pursue both of my business interests: marketing and HR. I feel that elements of marketing are embedded in HR where HR is just considering a different set of stakeholders. This is the reason why I enjoy HR so much, because I feel that my interests are aligned with each other.

What aspect of HR do you hope to specialise in upon graduation? Having been exposed more to recruitment as well as to training and development in my previous internship, these are the two areas that I am more inclined towards. At the same time, people in the industry have mentioned to me how other functions such as compensation and benefits and payroll are equally exciting and stimulating. Thus, I am also interested in learning more about these functions. Nonetheless, I feel it is important to first start in a generalist role. This will allow me to have a greater exposure and understanding of what each function

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within HR encompasses. Through this, I will be better able to see how the various functions complement each other and at the same time, see where my strengths lie, and build upon them.

The top three things you want from your HR career? The first would be the understanding that I have made a positive impact on both the organisation and its employees. I hope to be able to motivate and empower employees, while simultaneously integrating sustainable and social practices within the business model. Second, I wish to change people’s impression of HR. Many view HR as merely a support function, where in some companies, there is a lack of empowerment of the HR department. However, I feel HR is the core of a company. As cliché as it sounds, I have always believed that a company is only as successful as the people in it. Thus, I hope to change people’s mindsets, such that the HR department can be given greater power to implement changes. Last, I hope that every day will be an insightful and challenging one, giving me more opportunities to learn and grow as an individual.

What challenges do you anticipate? One challenge I foresee is learning how to negotiate effectively. Understanding that HR professionals often need to convince the business units and employees about any new changes or decisions made, I feel this is an area I need to strengthen, such that I am able to gain support from the various business units and employees.

Your HR career five years from now? I hope to first gain a deeper understanding on all the functions

Sherlyn Kaela Teo Xin Yi National HR Scholar, Final Year Business Administration student, Double major in Management in HR and Marketing, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore

within HR. After which, I hope to go into a specialised role, and work towards honing my skills and knowledge in that particular area.

Hobbies or inspiration? I personally enjoy playing sports and travelling. I feel that playing sports is an area that trains my determination and perseverance, as I seek to push my body to the limit and outperform myself. Travelling solo on the other hand is a journey of self-discovery. It challenges me to step out of my comfort zone, boosts my confidence, while simultaneously giving me a new perspective of the world around me.

The power of

HR in CSR By Sherlyn Kaela Teo Xin Yi


The concept of “social entrepreneurship” is increasingly gaining traction, whereby we see many new social enterprises springing up across the globe. The successes of these social businesses in acting as change agents has spurred much optimism in people where many are hopeful that “social entrepreneurship” will transform into “entrepreneurship for society”. While I feel that this is an overly romanticised ideal, I do believe that being in HR allows one to play an integral role in integrating sustainability and social causes into the firm’s business model. This is particularly because HR managers are well positioned to influence and to help the organisation incorporate and achieve its goals of being socially and environmentally responsible.

Problem of implementation This is evident from the plethora of companies weaving Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices into their business practices. Due to the increased scrutiny of the public, firms are increasingly under pressure to be accountable for the impact their business practices have on society. Nonetheless, the execution of this is often an uphill task, where some firms may run into the common problem of “doing it for the sake of doing it”. This happens when employees and the management are not convinced, and are much less engaged and supportive of such movements. This is where HR comes in, to effectively communicate and implement ideas, policies and change within an organisation.

Benefits of integrating CSR In order to achieve our desired goals, those in HR must first understand and be able to communicate to all stakeholders within the company about the expected increase in value to them. In other words, employees and the management more often than not want to know “what is in it for me?” Companies that have implemented CSR within their business have enjoyed benefits such as increased employee motivation and employee retention. Studies have shown that employees who feel that the company’s interests are aligned with their interests and values tend to be more engaged and loyal. This allows the company to increase its productivity while simultaneously attracting and retaining talent.

How can HR address this issue? Being in a function and position that is able to identify both businesses’ benefits and employees’ benefits, this puts HR in an advantageous position. It is able to reconcile any misalignment in CSR integration within the company. More importantly, being in HR allows one to convince the top management about formally embedding CSR into the firm’s culture. Once support from the top management is given, HR is then able to communicate and influence the other employees. To effectively roll this out, there are multitudes of methods companies can choose to adopt. One is to integrate CSR practices within the employee code of conduct. When such goals are verbalised and written, it is a symbol of the company’s commitment to CSR. This serves to highlight to employees

the importance the company places on CSR throughout its business. Next, the company could consider building a strong employer brand around those CSR practices. Integrating CSR as part of employer branding allows the company to attract and recruit employees whose visions are aligned to that of the company’s. Following which, onboarding procedures could allow for an orientation for new employees to understand why the company strongly supports CSR and the various ways the company adopts CSR practices. Necessary training and development courses should also be available for employees to constantly remain updated about any strategic change in direction the company wishes to take, with respect to CSR. These ideas are by no means exhaustive. The key point I wish to drive at is how HR is an amazing position to be in, due to one’s ability to guide and influence a firm’s strategic direction and, more importantly, to facilitate the inclusion of sustainability and social causes into firms’ operations.

Conclusion To conclude, the success of integrating CSR into a company’s DNA is dependent on how committed employees are to it, including those in HR. Only when all internal stakeholders are able to understand the value and importance of embedding their firm’s CSR values throughout the organisation, the firm will truly succeed in achieving its CSR goals and reap the fruits of that labour.

ISSUE 15.12


Human Resource Director, South East Asia

Regional Manager, Learning & Development

› Healthcare and life science MNC › Strategic and operational focused

› International hospitality group › Exciting and challenging start-up role

› Stand-up training delivery required › Challenging and hands-on regional role

A leading player in its fields, our client has an established presence in Singapore and globally. It now seeks a dynamic and consummate HR Business Partner to be part of their Singapore operation.

An international brand in the hospitality industry, our client is rapidly expanding and has an immediate need for an experienced HR Leader to lead its people strategy in the region.

With global presence, our client has an immediate need for a dynamic and hands-on Learning & Development Manager to play a key role in their regional team.

Reporting to the SVP of HR, you will be responsible for the overall HR Operations of South East Asia & Pacific Rim corporate office and the managed properties for Asia. You will perform an advisory role to the management team, implement policies and procedures and monitor compliance, plan and monitor HR performance, direct the recruitment, training and development of staff, drive compensation & benefits strategies aligning with headquarter.

You will design, implement capability development programmes for sales and management teams, partner business leaders and internal customers in building capability by generating solutions, facilitate talent development through coaching, leadership programmes, and psychometrics and assessments. You will also lead the performance management and employee development processes by formulating initiatives to build and sustain a performance-driven culture.

Successful candidate is degree qualified in HR or Business Management with minimum 10 years of relevant experience in MNCs, ideally in hospitality. Highly motivated, hands-on and resourceful, you have a can-do attitude and are willing to take on new challenges. You are a team player and should be comfortable building relationships at all levels of organisation.

Degree qualified with professional certifications in training and competence development tools, you have minimum 8 years of relevant work experience in MNCs. You are highly energetic and hands-on, able to work independently in a fast-paced and lean environment. You are a team player who is willing to share knowledge, develop others, and work in a collaborative style to ensure delivery and quality of service. Excellent communication, interpersonal and presentation skills are key success factors.

Reference number: MH/JD52587 Contact person: Maureen Ho (Registration Number R1105976)

Reference number: MH/JD47740C Contact person: Maureen Ho (Registration Number R1105976)

You will partner closely with Business Heads to ensure HR goals are aligned with the organisational plan for the assigned business units. You are responsible for the development and application of policies and programs in the area of recruitment, HR planning, compensation & benefits, talent development and management, performance management, employee and labour relations. Degree qualified, the successful candidate should have at least 10 years experience as HR generalist including 5 years HR business partnering experience with MNCs known for HR best practices. Preference will be given those with experience as site HR in a manufacturing environment. You possess high adaptability, are hands-on and possess excellent interpersonal, communications and influencing skills and ability to work in a diverse culture environment. Reference number: MH/JD51255A Contact person: Maureen Ho (Registration Number R1105976)

Your Human Resources recruitment specialists To apply, please go to and search for respective reference number. For a confidential discussion, you can contact Maureen Ho for the relevant position in our Singapore Office on +65 6511 8555 

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Talent2 Singapore Pte Ltd. Company Reg. No. 200909448N EA Licence No. 10C4544

An Allegis Group Company


HR Business Partner


Regional C&B Manager, SEA

Talent Management Director, APAC

AVP, HR Business Partner

› Global market leader › Exposure in both mature and growing markets

› Newly created role › Strong human resource leadership

› Strong career progression opportunity › Full visibility to senior stakeholders

Our client is a European medical devices multinational. Strongly sales-oriented with a reliance on cuttingedge technology, the organisation has around 22,000 employees worldwide. Reporting to the HR Director, you will guide business leaders in developing and implementing compensation strategies that are aligned with corporate needs. You will lead annual salary reviews and develop compensation plans across the regions. With a minimum of 10 years of experience in C&B and/or team management, and a strong foundation of Asia Pacific compensation practices and legislations, you can look forward to a highly rewarding career with a market leader.

Our client is a global professional services organisation looking for their next Asia Pacific Talent Management Director to work across multiple business units of the organisation and cover key growth markets across the world. You will be responsible for full-spectrum talent management, including working on leadership succession planning, high potential talent development and key performance management initiatives. With at least 10 years of talent development experience, ideally in a business partner capacity, you will add genuine insight to the business in a high energy environment.

Our client is a global banking & financial services leader, and is looking for an HR Business Partner. Reporting to the HR Vice President, you will maintain and build effective relationships with internal and external key stakeholders. In this full-spectrum role, you will provide operational support and guidance on organisational change management, employee relations, performance management, employee development and succession planning matters. You have least 5 years of HR generalist experience within the global financial services sector, and can look forward to stable career progression, international exposure in a forwardthinking environment and extremely rewarding benefits.

Please contact Sean Tong (Lic No: R1110029) quoting job reference H3011600 or visit our website.

Please contact Eugene Wong (Lic No: R1331128) quoting job reference H2928960 or visit our website.

Please contact Domitilla Di Marco (Lic No: R1331128) quoting job reference H3037870 or visit our website.

To apply for any of the above positions, please go to and search for the reference number, or contact the relevant consultant on +65 6533 2777 for a confidential discussion.

Get Connected. Stay Ahead.

Specialists in human resources recruitment

Human Resources

#15564 | Michael Page International Pte Ltd (EA Licence No.98C5473) is part of the PageGroup. Registered Office: One Raffles Place, #09-61 Office Tower Two, Singapore 048616


EMPOWERING YOUR CAREER Human Resource Business Partner, APAC

Assistant HR Manager/HR Manager

Regional exposure Business partnering Attractive package

Collaborative working environment Dynamic and exciting role Competitive compensation package

Our client is currently in search of a Human Resource Business Partner, Asia Pacific. Based in Singapore, you will report directly to the VP, Human Resource, Asia Pacific with dotted reporting line to the Global HR VP.

Our client, a US listed MNC, is currently in search of an Assistant HR Manager/HR Manager due to business needs.

You will be the key player in the strategic support for APAC with strong focus on South East Asia region. You will be responsible for recruiting, compensation and benefits, talent development as well as employee relations. You will partner closely with the business leaders to formulate talent management strategies on headcount planning, recruitment, performance management, succession planning, training and development to support the business.

Reporting to the Head of HR, you will be responsible for the whole spectrum of HR duties, including manpower planning, talent acquisition, performance management and appraisal, compensation and benefits, training and development, talent management, employee health and welfare. You will review HR policies and processes, and participate in HR initiatives and projects. You need to be a selfstarter with the ability to act as a change leader, partnering with business leaders to achieve organizational strategies and objectives.

You should possess 8 to 10 years of related work experience, a strong degree and good knowledge of the entire talent management process. Strong communication and effectively bilingual skills to liaise with stakeholders from Hong Kong is a must. The ability to work under tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment will be a strong advantage. Some travelling will be required.

You should hold a Degree from recognized university, with 5 to 8 years of HR experience. You should also have good HR project management experience with strong understanding and knowledge of the HR system, processes and solutions. Prior proven leadership with strong influencing and communication skills to interact effectively with all levels of staff will be highly advantageous.

If you meet the above criteria, please email your detailed CV in WORD format to We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

If you meet the above criteria, please email your detailed CV in WORD format to We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Maggie Ong Ai Leng EA Personnel Registration No. R1105973

Soh Bee Hoon Jona EA Personnel Registration No. R1326865

Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions globally. For more than 35 years, Kelly in Singapore has been partnering the finest

local companies, key government agencies as well as some of the world’s most respected multinational companies to deliver the best talent in the market. Kelly’s centralised recruitment hub makes nearly 8,000 placements in Singapore last year. Complementing our general staffing capability, Kelly also offers great expertise in the sourcing of specialised professionals across technical disciplines such as Engineering, Technology and Science, as well as functional specialties for Finance, HR, Sales & Marketing, Procurement and Banking.

Kelly Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd | EA License No. 01C4394 | RCB No. 200007268E

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Headquartered in Singapore since 2003, Kerry Consulting is Singaporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading Search & Selection firm. Our consulting team is the most experienced, and amongst the largest, in the ASEAN region. We offer positions in the following sectors: Banking & Financial Services Commerce Finance Energy & Commodities Engineering & Supply Chain Healthcare & Life Sciences Human Resources Legal Sales & Marketing Technology

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HRMASIA.COM | Returning the Human to Resourcing

Senior HR Specialist (2-Year Contract)

HR Business Partner, Manufacturing

Focus in C&B Headcount of 2000 Fast-paced and Dynamic Work Environment

US-headquartered Multinational Company Well-established in Singapore Excellent Career Prospects

Reporting to the Head of HR, you will be responsible for the full spectrum of human resource functions including talent acquisition, compensation & benefits, performance management, and employee relations. You will develop and manage recruitment activities, handle and assist the implementation of HR policies to support best practices, as well as ensure that all activities related to HR functions are in compliance with legal requirements and relevant labour law and employment act.

This is a US-headquartered multinational company with a strong manufacturing and MRO presence in Singapore. In a bid to strengthen the human resource function, it is now seeking talented HR Business Partners to align the HR function with the business.

You will be an experienced HR professional with at least 5 years of full spectrum HR experience and a strong C&B background, preferably in the Hospitality, F&B, or Retail industry. You will be familiar with Ministry of Manpower regulations and have the ability to work as a good team player. You will also have experience in liaising with senior stakeholders. To apply, please submit your resume to Joy Seow at, quoting the job title and reference number of 9426. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Reporting to the Senior HR Manager, you will fulfil the role of a full-fledged Human Resource Business Partner. You will support the business and line managers in the full spectrum of HR work, build strong relationships with business stakeholders, and provide advisory in strategic and operational work. You will have at least 3 years of business partnering experience and a solid background in the full spectrum of HR work, such as recruitment, learning and development, compensation, and manpower planning. You will be a strong communicator and an excellent team player with a passion in human resource. To apply, please submit your resume to Junchen at, quoting the job title. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Reg No.: 03C4828

Reg No.: R1107886

Campus Recruiter, Banking Leading European Bank International Presence Fast-paced and Challenging Work Environment This well-regarded European bank has a strong international presence and established reputation in the market. To aid efforts in talent management, it is now seeking a graduate recruiter to support internship and graduate recruitment initiatives for the bank. Reporting to the Recruitment and Talent Lead, you will be responsible for the full range of internship and graduate recruitment programmes. You will build and develop key stakeholder relationships and work closely with leading universities to build a graduate pipeline. You will also work with business and functional heads to understand business requirements and develop long-term strategies and plans to find the right talent. In addition, you will support talent management efforts and play a critical role in talent identification. You will have at least 4 years of experience in graduate recruitment, preferably within the Banking industry. You will also be an intelligent, passionate, and dynamic individual with solid experience in the full recruitment cycle and the ability to be comfortable with conducting interviews and engaging senior stakeholders.

Senior HR Manager (HRBP), SGX Listed Organisation SGX Listed Organisation Senior HR Leadership Role Highly Visible to Top Management This leading player (SGX Listed) in the property development industry is a well established and well regarded organisation with a strong SEA and ANZ presence. It has strong commitments in the region as it continues to expand in APAC. You will be involved in overseeing and driving HR best practices and a defined talent strategy across Asia. This highly visible role takes on a strategic yet hands-on mandate and sits within a matrix structure where it is fully responsible for all aspects of HR. The broad remit will require you to focus on building and developing a strong team and HR capability in a demanding and ever-changing environment. You will be in a position to build on a solid foundation and work with high-calibre people to pursue great results, which makes this a highly attractive opportunity with significant potential for advancement. You will be a results-oriented and high-calibre HR Leader with a successful track record in a senior regional capacity in Asia. You will be strategic in mindset and tactical in delivery. Critical success factors for this role include strong interpersonal and communication skills as well as a team mindset.

To apply, please submit your resume to Junchen at, quoting the job title. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

To apply, please submit your resume to Finian Toh at, quoting the job title and reference number FT9341.

Reg No.: 03C4828

Reg No.: R1104310

HR Manager, FMCG Established Brand FMCG Industry HR Operations This large established MNC Company is seeking a dynamic HR Manager to join the team. You will be responsible for the end-to-end HR spectrum that supports retail operations. Working closely with the C&B team, you will analyse and propose new schemes and strategies to attract talents. You will also serve as the overall project manager and recommend improvements on talent management as well as compensation and benefits. Ideally, you will have 6 to 8 years of relevant experience and have worked in a multiple-brand environment. In addition, this role requires strong interpersonal skills. To apply, please submit your resume to Joy Seow at, quoting the job title and reference number of 9306. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Reg No.: R1107886

Learning & Development Manager â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Southeast Asia Newly Created Role Excellent Career Opportunity Southeast Asia Focus This high-profile industry leader has significant a global footprint and is poised for continued growth in the region. In preparation for its growth plans, it is now seeking a dynamic recruitment professional to join the team. Reporting to the SEA HR Director, you will focus on the development, implementation, and management of the Learning & Development strategy and its processes. You will create a learning environment that provides a platform for the overall development of employees and aligns with business performance. You will also manage efforts in developing cost-effective L&D options to meet specific business needs of the organisation, which include providing training budget support and recommendations. In addition, you will be involved in the hands-on execution of plans over a wider network through collaboration with the HR Team as well as business and function leaders across all levels. You will be experienced in running a training or L&D function in a managerial capacity and be knowledgeable in various technology tools that are essential to delivering the L&D platform. You will also possess demonstrated success in the development and implementation of learning and development strategies that are aligned to business strategy and organisational capability requirements. It is important that you are comfortable with working in a client-focused and people-centric environment that requires you to strike a balance between interests of the client and the firm. To apply, please submit your resume to Finian Toh at, quoting the job title and reference number FT9297. Reg No.: R1104310

Licence No: 03C4828

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Regional Benefits Analyst (Banking)

Due to business growth, a newly created opportunity exists for a SEA HR Manager at a top FMCG brand. You’ll build the HR platform for the region and champion initiatives to sculpt a winning culture. You’ll be a master’s/bachelor’s degree graduate with 10 years of experience. You’ll be resourceful, analytical and strategic, and have excellent spoken and written English skills to liaise well at all levels. Contact Sean Wong (Registration ID no. R1101782) at or call +65 6303 0721.

A multinational in the banking industry is looking for a Benefits Specialist to join their dynamic compensation & benefits team Reporting into the Senior Vice President, you’ll be a technical expert in benefits. Supporting Australia, you’ll conduct in-depth analysis for flexi-benefits delivery. You’ll implement and review market trends to attract, motivate and retain employees. You’ll have 4 years of benefits operations experience and experience partnering with vendors. Contact Edwin Lee (Registration ID No. R1546591) at or call +65 6303 0721.

Global L&D Director (Corporate Campus) A global MNC in the financial services business is looking to hire a Global Learning & Development Director for their global learning campus in Singapore. As a Senior Director, your mandate will be to drive and implement global L&D strategies by partnering closely with various regional and global leaders. Your aim is to increase organisation effectiveness by supporting your stakeholders on aspects of learning and talent management. To qualify for this opportunity, you’ll have 15 years of solid L&D and organisation development experience. You must have experience starting up a corporate campus. Contact Edwin Lee (Registration ID No. R1546591) at or call +65 6303 0721.

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EA License Number: 07C3924

Global L&D Manager (Technology) This global technology consulting firm is looking to add a Global Learning & Development Manager to their team in Singapore. They’re one of the most recognised and sought after employers of choice in their industry, with advanced IT services and solutions offerings in their consulting portfolio. You’ll deploy global learning programs for a major business unit and collaborate with in-country teams to understand skills gaps and formulate education delivery requirements. You’ll build trusted relationships with key stakeholders and ensure alignment on global delivery programs. Contact Ash Russell (Registration ID no. R1109296) at or call +65 6303 0721.

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Asking the right questions is the answer Leaders today face new and increasingly complex problems. They need to engage their teams and learn to get to the right solutions. Bring out the inquisitive nature of your leaders with the Better Leaders Ask Better Questions programme (26 Jan 2016) at SIM Professional Development.


Productive Time and Stress Management 23 & 24 Feb 2016 Edward de Bonoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Power of Perception 17 & 18 Mar 2016 NLP for Professionals 9 & 10 Mar 2016

6248 9407















Formerly Steve Morris Associates






HRM 15.12  

- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There® author Dr Marshall Goldsmith ‘Live’ at HR Summit 2016

HRM 15.12  

- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There® author Dr Marshall Goldsmith ‘Live’ at HR Summit 2016