HRM Asia Magazine August/September 2021 Issue

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AUGUSTSEPTEMBER 2021

HR TECH FESTIVAL ASIA ONLINE 2021: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASIA’S LARGEST VIRTUAL CONFERENCE AND EXPO FOR ASIA-PACIFIC’S HR COMMUNITY.

HR REDEFINED:

What does next generation HR look like? Lars Schmidt discusses how the role of the CHRO is evolving as the next generation of HR continues to take shape.

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EDITOR’S NOTE Dear HRM Magazine Asia readers, SENIOR JOURNALIST

Shawn Liew GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Adrian Taylor adrian.taylor@mac.com SALES DIRECTOR

Luke Kasprzak SENIOR ACCOUNTS MANAGER

Edwin Lim MARKETING DIRECTOR

Yee Ling Chua MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PUBLISHER

Joanna Bush

PUBLISHED BY

HRM Asia Pte Ltd 109 North Bridge Road, #05-21 Singapore, 179097 Email: info@hrmasia.com.sg ©HRM Asia Pte Ltd, 2021. All rights reserved. Republication permitted only with the approval of the Publisher.

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espite a challenging 2021, many HR and business leaders are continuing to set their organisations on the way to recovery by displaying flexibility and adaptability in the face of constant disruption. With 2022 rapidly on the horizon, these leaders are now facing a timecritical period of 2021, where they are reviewing their changing business needs as they begin to formulate strategies for the new year ahead. To provide insights into how HR’s roadmap might look like in 2022, and to help prepare and strengthen HR strategies for 2022, HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 is a must-not-miss event for HR leaders and practitioners in Asia. Powered by ADP, HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 is taking place from September 21-23 and is brought to you by the industry’s global leading HR media and event organisers HR Tech Conference Las Vegas, HRE Magazine US, HRM Magazine and HRM Asia. To provide an in-depth look at key workplace issues such as leadership, technology, culture and employee experience, we have curated a lineup of some of the most forward-thinking personalities in the HR field, many of whom are speaking in Asia for the first time. These include, to name but a few, Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and CEO of the Josh Bersin Company; Lucy Adams, CEO of Disruptive HR; Jon Ingham, Director, Strategic HR Academy; and Lars Schmidt, Author and Founder of Amplify.

In this issue, we spoke exclusively to Schmidt, who highlighted his vision of how next-generation HR will look like, and why flexibility will define the future of work. He also explained why there has never been a better time to work in HR, saying, “We have this once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally change how our function works and drive better outcomes for our business and employees.” Elsewhere in the issue, we have prepared a comprehensive show guide that lays out everything you need to know about HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021, which will also see the return of the popular ASEAN Future of Work conference track. Organised collaboratively with Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, the ASEAN Future of Work track will shine a spotlight on how ASEAN governments continue to address the impact of the pandemic on the region’s labour market. To kick off HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021, Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Manpower, will be giving his opening remarks on September 21. While challenges will remain as organisations continue to navigate their way towards 2022, the road to recovery has already begun. As you continue to ponder how you can successfully drive change for your organisation, we invite you to join us, and Asia’s HR community, at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021, in mapping up HR’s roadmap for 2022.

SHAWN LIEW, Senior Journalist, HRM Asia

CONTACT US: Read something you like? Or something you don’t? Perhaps there’s some insight we haven’t considered? Have your say on HRM Asia’s news, features, and contributions by emailing: info@hrmasia.com.sg Shawn Liew

MCI(P) 028/07/2017 ISSN 0219-6883

Senior Journalist shawn.liew@hrmasia.com.sg

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CONTENTS

AU G U S T - S E P T E M B E R 2021

ON THE COVER

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HR REDEFINED: WHAT DOES NEXT GENERATION HR LOOK LIKE?

Lars Schmidt, Author and Founder of Amplify, discusses how the role of the CHRO is evolving as the next generation of HR continues to take shape.

“We have this oncein-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally change how our (HR) function works and drive better outcomes for our business and employees.” – LARS SCHMIDT

F E AT U R E S

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BEYOND RECOVERY: PITFALLS 10 HOLDING BACK APAC GROWTH INTIATIVES

COVID-19 has been seismic, but so are emerging growth opportunities posed by recovery. In today’s highly competitive snooze-and-lose environment, there is zero time to waste.

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO 12 AEMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Forward-thinking leaders must approach the employee experience in a holistic way, rather than in parts, says Rob Squires, VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia & Japan, Ceridian.

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READINESS: 43 WORKORCE A MYSTERY TO MOST, ESSENTIAL TO ALL

SHOW GUIDE

The pandemic exposed the importance of an organisation’s ability to pivot quickly and embrace change, writes Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). Powered by

ONLINE

21 - 23 Sep 2021 | Online Conference & Exhibition Brought to you by

BUSINESSES SHOULD BACKGROUND 44 WHY CHECK ALL EMPLOYEES Guna Govin, VP Sales Management, HK and ASEAN, First Advantage explains why the cost of not screening potential hires can far exceed the cost of limiting risks.

46 UNICORNS ARE EVERYWHERE

Even during downturns, the HR tech market continues to grow and show continuous innovation, observes Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and CEO of the Josh Bersin Company.

THE FUTURE OF HR 47 WHY IS PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST

Show Guide

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HR TECH FESTIVAL ASIA ONLINE 2021

All you need to know about Asia’s largest virtual conference and expo for Asia-Pacific’s HR community.

The future of HR involves moving to a truly people-centric approach, says Jon Ingham, Director of the Strategic HR Academy.

TO FROM HERE: 48 WHERE HR IN THE YEAR AHEAD

Now is the time for people to rethink their role in HR, and to consider what it means to be strategic in both their approach to HR, as well as their supporting systems.

TO DEVELOP SUCCESSFUL 50 HOW PEOPLE LEADERS

Katie Burke, Chief People Officer, Hubspot, says that companies, now more than ever, need people professionals to help drive talent strategies that deliver.

& COFFEE: MASTERING THE 51 KARATE ART OF CHANGE FROM WITHIN

Amer Iqbal, APAC Head of Digital Transformation, Facebook, explains how organisations can use Shuhari to effect change.

A NEW GLOBAL 14 SETTING GROWTH RECORD

IS THE STATE OF DIGITAL 52 WHAT LEADERSHIP IN YOUR ORGANISATION?

THE HOLISTIC CHALLENGE 16 WELL-BEING: (AND OPPORTUNITY) FOR APAC EMPLOYERS

REGULARS

Globalization Partners is helping Fusion Sports to accelerate their expansion into Singapore and Asia-Pacific region.

Adrian Seligman, Chief Commercial Officer, Top Employers Institute, explains why APAC employers have the chance to transform the performance of their people.

42 WE DO NOT NEED A SEAT AT THE TABLE

Lucy Adams, CEO of Disruptive TV, identifies the key characteristics of successful and influential HR leaders.

The Center for Creative Leadership invites leaders to check the current state of digital leadership in their organisations.

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ASIA NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEWS TWO CENTS AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2021

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NEWS ASIA

SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE ADDRESSES WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION SINGAPORE HAS SET UP a Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness (TCWF) to review the framework for workplace fairness in Singapore. The committee, comprising representatives from the government, unions and employers, will deliberate on whether legislation is “the best policy option” in tackling workplace discrimination, according to Singapore’s Manpower Minister Tan See Leng. TCWF is tasked with upholding workplace fairness and examining policy options in tackling workplace discrimination and aims to complete its work by the first half of 2022.

JAPAN

REMOTE WORKING IN JAPAN FALLS AMID TELEWORK FATIGUE THE PROPORTION OF PEOPLE

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES TRAINING SCHEME TO BOOST DIGITAL SKILLS THE TRIAL BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) will benefit employers, job seekers and training providers across Australia’s digital sector by working with them to create improved qualifications and training that meet the evolving workforce needs of the digital economy. The trial will focus on entry-level data analysts and general digital skills required across the workforce, and builds on the DSO’s successful Train 100 Data Analyst project, which is already providing opportunities for Australians to develop digital skills.

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in Japan who are teleworking in July 2021 fell from that of April’s, showed a survey by the Japan Productivity Centre. Many workers are finding their work productivity plummet amid a wave of telework fatigue, despite the government’s calls for employees to work from home under Japan’s latest COVID-19 state of emergency. The proportion of people working completely remotely in a recent week in July stood at 11.6%, down from 18.5% in April, and is the lowest since the survey began in May 2020.


NEW ZEALAND

10-DAY SICK LEAVE RULE TAKES EFFECT IN NEW ZEALAND THE LEGISLATION DOUBLING the minimum number of sick leave from five to 10 took effect on July 24 for employees in New Zealand. Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood said the move will bring benefits to both businesses and employees to “help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy”. He explained that employees are eligible for the increased entitlement at different times over the next year in line with their work anniversary date.

SOUTH KOREA

MORE SOUTH KOREAN WORKERS WANT TO DELAY RETIREMENT

MALAYSIA

ABOUT 68.1% OF SOUTH KOREANS aged between 55 and 79 said they would want to work till an average age of 73, health permitting. This works out to about 10 million people out of the 14.76 million in this age bracket, an increase of 0.7 percentage point year-on-year in May, according to a Statistics Korea survey. As for why they wish to continue working, 58.7% said they want to continue earning their living expenses, while 33.2% said they want to feel the joy of work as long as their health permits.

MALAYSIAN BUSINESSES URGED TO EMBRACE WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH DATUK DR SYED HUSSAIN SYED HUSMAN

President of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), has encouraged employers in Malaysia to embrace workplace safety and health culture in a post-pandemic ‘new normal’. Employees are the employers’ greatest assets and the safety and health of employees at the workplace must be prioritised, he added while also urging employers to set up a dedicated safety department at the workplace and appoint a safety officer at the work site.

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N E W S I N T E R N AT I O N A L

GERMANY

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE EBBS IN GERMANY GERMAN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE has dipped from a decade-long high as companies grow more concerned about the impact of global supply chain disruption and a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. According to the Ifo Institute in Munich, its business climate index fell for the first time in six months, from 101.7 in June to 100.8 in July. “Supply bottlenecks and concerns over newly rising infection numbers are weighing on the German economy,” said Ifo president Clemens Fuest.

UK

UK

UK SKIPS QUARANTINE FOR VACCINATED TRAVELERS VISITORS TO THE UK who have

been fully vaccinated are now permitted to enter England, Scotland and Wales without having to quarantine. The new rules came into effect on August 2 and will apply specifically to passengers arriving from countries on the UK’s “amber” travel list who have been fully vaccinated in the US, EU member states, European Free Trade Association countries and Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City.

PAY US MORE TO RETURN TO OFFICE, SAY LONDON WORKERS OFFICE WORKERS IN LONDON are demanding an average annual pay rise of £5,100 (US$7,102) to return to the office on a permanent basis. According to a recent survey by workplace analytics firm Locatee, only 17% of London office workers are in favour of a full-time return to the office, even as many firms begin to plan for a hybrid work arrangement that will include both remote work and a return to the office.

GLOBAL

TWO THIRDS OF GLOBAL WORKERS WANT TO WORK FLEXIBLY POST-COVID-19 THE MAJORITY OF WORKERS worldwide want flexible working to be the norm, and almost a third would consider looking for another job if they were forced to go back to the office full time, reveals a survey commissioned by the World Economic Forum. The survey, which seeked the opinions of 12,500 workers in 29 countries, finds that only a minority support the views that people would miss their co-workers, be less productive and become burned out by flexible working.

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US

US EMPLOYEES FACE MANDATORY VACCINATION BEFORE RETURN TO OFFICE BOTH GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK

have made it mandatory for their employees in the US to be vaccinated before being allowed to step into offices. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, this policy will first be rolled out in the US, before being expanded to other regions in the coming months. The announcement by the tech giants comes after New York mayor Bill de Blasio urged the city’s private businesses to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, after saying he would introduce similar measures for municipal employees.

RUSSIA

RUSSIA WANTS EMPLOYERS TO ENFORCE MANDATORY VACCINATION AMIDST RISING OPPOSITION more businesses in Russia have been tasked to take the lead in ensuring that their employers are vaccinated against COVID-19. Besides businesses potentially facing harsh punishments for non-compliance, they have also been told to suspend workers who refuse to be vaccinated. In late June, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered employers in key service and retail industries to ensure at least 60 percent of staff were fully vaccinated by mid-August, and dozens of other provinces followed suit.

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COVER STORY

INTERVIEW

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ith the pandemic having fundamentally changed the world of HR, many concepts and practices that had previously been deemed as “for the future”, are now being viewed by HR leaders as critical for success. B Y S H AW N L I E W Having to work in a work environment that differs markedly from what they have been used to for the majority of their careers, one of the biggest challenges HR leaders face today is to stay on top of the multiple external factors that are impacting organisations and their employees, said Lars Schmidt, Author and Founder of Amplify. Speaking exclusively to HRM Asia Magazine, he elaborated, “The demands of our jobs have never been greater or more complex but finding and prioritising the time to say abreast of external news, trends and practices with our limited bandwidth can be a real challenge.”

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“WE HAVE THIS ONCE-IN-A-GENERATION OPPORTUNITY TO FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE HOW OUR (HR) FUNCTION WORKS AND DRIVE BETTER OUTCOMES FOR OUR BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEES.” Author of the bestselling book, Redefining HR: Transforming People Teams To Drive Business Performance, Schmidt will be a keynote speaker at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021, where he will describe his vision of next-generation HR to help leaders plan their HR roadmap for 2022 and beyond. To start with, do HR leaders have a clear idea of where they want their organisations to be, and how they can build towards that? Schmidt observed, “Many organisations are experiencing transformation as they move from more traditional HR approaches and systems to more progressive approaches. It’s hard to do that all at once, especially at scale. Identify where your business wants and needs to be in two years and prioritise upgrading your current systems and processes in terms of how they align and support that future state.” He also urged HR leaders to see the events of 2020 has a “real opportunity” to access practices and approaches with fresh eyes. Many of the HR systems and approaches in play today, Schmidt said, are either inherited from earlier states of business, or are based on traditional playbooks about how to performance individual functions such as performance, talent management and compensation. “The evolution is often iterative with small changes, so fundamentally we are working on core systems that were built for the world of work a decade or more ago.” However, this should not stop HR leaders from asking questions such as: What if we build the function from the ground up based on all of today’s realities? What would we change? What would we hold onto? Schmidt urged, “These are the types of thought exercises that are so important right now, and there is so much potential in what we can build and our role in creating better workplaces for employees.” He also sees recruiting and retention of talent as the other main challenges for HR leaders for the remainder of 2021. “Whether the great resignation comes to be or not, our ability to hold onto our talent and keep them engaged will be a struggle.” For instance, different employees have been impacted by the pandemic in different ways. While some are desperate to get back to an office, others will choose to work remotely indefinitely. This variance, according to Schmidt, is putting real pressure on HR to accommodate a range of needs and expectations. He added, “There’s so much talk about remote and hybrid work, but the real winner is choice and

flexibility. The acceleration of remote has created a broad global talent pool for many organisations. In this new world where many roles are no longer limited to geography, companies will have to be very clear about their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and what prospects potential employees can expect if they join.”

Flexibility will define the future of work Despite the obvious challenges currently facing HR leaders, Schmidt is optimistic about what lies ahead in a future of work that is defined by flexibility. He highlighted, “There’s never been a better time to work in HR – I believe that deeply. We have this oncein-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally change how our function works and drive better outcomes for our business and employees.” “Companies that successfully navigate this new landscape will have a range of different constructs employees can opt into based on what works best for them. Where. When. How. Employees will have more agency to optimise their employee experience.” To achieve this, organisations need to improve how they measure the output of work to better understand individual performances in remote and/ or flexible environments. They also have to make significant investments in optimising asynchronous communication and collaborations, Schmidt pointed out. He continued, “Office culture was dominated by meetings and we basically carried that with us when we shifted to remote during the pandemic. It’s our default, but it doesn’t need to be. Companies who optimise async will unlock so much potential in their teams.” While 2021 will largely be defined by volatility as HR leaders manage change in the form of remote and hybrid work experiments, and the re-engineering of HR systems, Schmidt is already looking forward to what 2022 can potentially bring. “I’m really excited about we we’ll do in 2022 as those changes stablise and we start building on this new foundation we’ve created – it’s going to be a wide ride!”

Join Lars Schmidt at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021, where he will presenting his keynote address titled HR redefined: What does next generation HR look like? on Wednesday, September 22, 10am (SGT). AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2021

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F E AT U R E

ADP

Beyond Recovery: Pitfalls holding back APAC growth initiatives COVID-19 has been seismic, but so are emerging growth opportunities posed by recovery. In today’s highly competitive snooze-and-lose environment, there is zero time to waste.

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nticipating vaccination critical mass and economic reopening, organisations are moving into growth planning while still finalising new working

models. There are many often conflicting considerations to reconcile – from distributed working models to employee engagement, skills gaps to pay parity, and talent shortages to brand new undefined skills yet to be scoped. Strong hesitance exists over writing growth requirements into new HR policies while working towards testing and assessing new structures. “If you’re not seeking new approaches, you’re on borrowed time,” said John Antos, VP of Strategy at ADP. “Workforce costs for some businesses can account for up to 60% of total business costs, yet ADP’s research shows only 27% of financial leaders consider payroll data when developing their commercial and growth strategies,” he explained. “Equally concerning, nearly a third (30%) of finance and HR leaders are not confident that their payroll system can support their plans for growth or geographical expansion.” The pandemic continues to highlight the shortcomings of separate and complex systems. The inability to work real-time based on a single source of truth is forcing many organisations to face spiralling costs associated with multiple systems compliance, operational vulnerabilities related to effort required, and inability to scale to meet mid-term business requirements and future growth strategies. COVID-19 has turned business operations upside down across the board, but perhaps none more so than payroll teams. A jump in pay errors is an unforeseen

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“COVID-19 HAS TURNED BUSINESS OPERATIONS UPSIDE DOWN ACROSS THE BOARD, BUT PERHAPS NONE MORE SO THAN PAYROLL TEAMS. ” consequence. According to ADP research, more than three quarters (76%) of employees in Asia Pacific say they were paid late at some point during the pandemic. Almost two thirds (65%) say they were underpaid and around half were overpaid (57%) or received some other kind of incorrect payment (55%). While inaccuracies were recorded across the world, APAC is the worst-performing geography. Unsurprisingly, half of workers review their pay more closely than they did before COVID-19. Companies have scrambled to respond to increased scrutiny and expectations from employees to receive accurate compensation each pay cycle. ADP’s research shows before the pandemic, only 52% of businesses said their payroll accuracy was above 90%. This fell to a mere 27% after the first six months of the onset of COVID-19. Antos also highlighted how the pandemic introduced an unprecedented influx of legislative changes in quick succession. Not all payroll systems were ready to respond. “A spotlight shone on compliance as tax changes, employee furloughs, variations to working hours and various support schemes were added to the books,” he said. “As HR and payroll

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professionals were working through these changes, businesses were also shifting to remote work, making it increasingly difficult to access information and systems that were not yet digitised.” Following the ambiguity imposed by pandemic-triggered compliance changes, ADP’s latest research overwhelmingly shows the majority of businesses (70%) believe their payroll is unprepared for future disruption or major regulatory change, while just over half (51%) currently have limited confidence in their payroll compliance. The research also shows 26% of businesses believe integrating payroll with other HR systems would be one of their top 3 gains given the opportunity to transform. “Payroll is more important than people think. Managing workforce costs is core to both employee retention and business growth strategy,” Antos explained. “Optimised, agile payroll and HR systems can provide real value to business continuity, help reduce risks of losing top talent and aid modelling future workforce operational scenarios for growth while managing the bottom line.” HR and Finance leaders now have an opportunity to rethink payroll. Managed strategically, it has the potential to form a critical part of the COVID-19 recovery and enable greater business growth. Click here to find out more about optimising payroll for your business.

Join NELA RICHARDSON, Chief Economist, ADP, at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 where her session, titled, Onsite, Remote or Hybrid: Employee Sentiments On The Workplace, will be taking place on Wednesday, September 22 at 11am (SGT).


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F E AT U R E

CERIDIAN

A holistic approach to employee experience

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he last 18 months accelerated the need to provide tailored, connected, and on-demand employee experiences. As organisations return to work, some employees will phase back into physical locations, while others will continue to work remotely. As these business environments evolve and change, so too will the expectations, needs, and preferences of the workforce. In short, it is time to modernise how organisations approach employee experience to meet the present and future needs of employees. This is good for workers, and for a company’s bottom line.

The workforce was changing even before the pandemic It may seem like most of the changes in the workforce only happened in the past year, but there are many instances of change occurring even before the pandemic. Business critical workplace priorities such as payroll compliance, data privacy, pay equity, wage theft and underpayment all precede the pandemic, and must be addressed when creating a positive employee experience. Technology has a key role to play in helping organisations tackle these workplace priorities that have become table stakes in the war for talent. Employers need to think about how they are interacting with their employees, from before they are hired to after they leave the company, and about the value they’re providing in between.

Delivering a unified employee experience in the new world of work The dispersed workforce – which includes remote employees and those working in physical locations – promises greater access to talent and more individual flexibility. Technology is critical to ensure

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“FORWARDTHINKING LEADERS MUST APPROACH THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE IN A HOLISTIC WAY, RATHER THAN IN PARTS. ” a level playing field for all employees, and a consistent experience regardless of where an employee works. According to Ceridian’s 2021-2022 Executive Survey, 71% of respondents say they will hire more remote employees in the next two years, with 63% saying that they will hire outside of their country. It is clear the work ’place’ is changing. Employers need to provide a unified and consistent experience for all. One way to do this is by using a central hub to better communicate with employees about company policies and updates to ensure everyone is well informed. Forward-thinking leaders must approach the employee experience in a holistic way, rather than in parts. This is where an integrated human capital management (HCM) solution comes in. For example, many organisations have already implemented recruitment and onboarding systems to hire and welcome employees remotely. Organisations can take it a step further with a modern Learning Management System enabling their employees to take part in educational training and upskilling opportunities, including necessary certifications, from anywhere at any time. Leveraging a holistic workforce management system, managers can easily

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keep track of time, attendance, scheduling, and payroll, ensuring employees get paid accurately and on time, reducing the risk of underpayment. An integrated HCM platform addresses gaps between HR processes by making sure all systems work together seamlessly while giving employees a unified experience. Because all parts are connected, business leaders get a full view of their employee lifecycle, helping them identify and mitigate risks.

Leading toward the future Employees are expecting a better-designed experience and, importantly, are paying attention to how these experiences are delivered. Mobile technology is a key part of building a tailored and connected experience for employees and will continue to be an imperative in the future as workforces become more remote. Leaders who respond effectively to meet changing employee needs and build valuable experiences for their workforce will benefit from the ability to more easily attract, engage, and retain top talent.

About the Author ROB SQUIRES is VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia & Japan, Ceridian. He will be making a presentation titled Powering the Future of Work at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on Wednesday, September 22 at 12.10pm (SGT).


We have 1,500 employees working anywhere from 15 to 50 hours a week. You name it – part-time, full-time, overtime, overseas, or from home. And they all need to get paid on time. Is it really possible to manage payroll and time, any time, in real time?

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F E AT U R E

G L O B A L I Z AT I O N PA R T N E R S

Setting a New Global Growth Record: How Fusion Sport Accelerated Their Expansion, From Months to Days

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ext time you turn on your TV to watch some sports, remember there is a good chance the athletes on screen have been tracking their physical performance using one of the Fusion Sport human performance solutions. Founded in 2003, Fusion Sport is recognised globally for its innovation in the human performance sector and for providing the benchmark analytics platform for the world’s leading athletes.

When big data meets big sports We all know about it: Big data is transforming our lives. All kinds of information is captured and analysed to improve our cities, banking systems, shopping experiences, and even the way we connect with others on social media. Our bodies are big data sources too, and with the right analytics software, athletes, leagues, franchises, teams, and venues can reach higher levels of performance and enrich the fan experience. Hundreds of organisations are currently using Fusion Sport technology — from universities to football clubs and ballet schools, and even military and tactical groups worldwide. That is why the company has almost doubled their number of employees, now with 70 people in their Brisbane and New Zealand offices and 30 more scattered through the U.S., the Netherlands, and Singapore. However, maintaining rapid growth requires new market entry and new talent. Fusion Sport quickly realised they needed to expand globally, and rapidly.

Running alone only slows you down When Fusion Sport secured the Netherlands Olympic Committee and a famous Dutch soccer team as clients, it became evident that they would need a local team to provide support to new customers and increase sales to continue building their momentum. They predicted that

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establishing an entity there would take them six months. They were wrong. It took them 12 long months to set up an entity. So, when they secured the Singapore Navy and the Football Association of Singapore, they knew they would have to do things differently. “We spoke to a couple of accountants and financial advisers for Singapore, and we felt like the time was a little bit too long. We might lose our momentum in terms of our most recent success. So that’s what really prompted us to look for other alternatives,” said Karl Wood, People and Culture Manager at Fusion Sport. They learned that there is a better way to get started quickly in a new country: Use a global Employer of Record like Globalization Partners.

(APAC) region. Our pipeline has been really strong since we’ve been able to hire a staff member there, based in a country where we were unable to hire before. That is directly a sales opportunity bringing value to the business for our revenue and our growth,” Wood said. Being able to hire in APAC quickly helped Fusion Sport reach big sporting countries like Taiwan and Japan. They now have a presence on the ground that can easily travel in that region. “Don’t feel like you have to create a business that could take six or 12 months,” said Wood. “If you have momentum now or you see an entry into the market, Globalization Partners can really help to speed up the process of getting people or employees there.”

The best team for global expansion

Join the From Local Hires To Global Workforce: The War For Talent In 2022 session by Charles Ferguson, General Manager of Asia Pacific, Globalization Partners at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on Wednesday, September 22 at 2.40pm (SGT).

Fusion Sport chose Globalization Partners to expand to Singapore, a strategic decision that has paid dividends. “Globalization Partners has brought in a lot for our growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific

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TOP EMPLOYERS INSTITUTE

Well-being: The holistic challenge (and opportunity) for APAC employers

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mong our certified Top Employers worldwide, AsiaPacific (APAC) organisations perform well in most areas of people strategy, Well-being, however, seems to be an exception. This is important because employee wellbeing clearly impacts on engagement and performance levels. Why do APAC businesses lag behind their peers elsewhere in this crucial area – and what can they do to improve?

The Challenge: Room for improvement Employee well-being had been a growing area of focus for many employers worldwide, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption caused to many organisations, however, proved a positive catalyst for finding new ways to maintain engagement through well-being, despite a largely disparate workforce. Engagement is fundamental to every employee’s journey, and every employer’s bottom line. Our Top Employers Institute HR Best Practices Survey contains six domains covering all aspects of people strategy. Our “Engage” domain covers the core elements of winning and maintaining the commitment of employees, with a holistic approach to well-being the crucial driver behind higher engagement scores. Our most recent survey reveals the importance attached to preventative well-being policies and practices for APAC Top Employers, versus those in the Rest of the World (ROW). When we looked at whether Top Employers offer the following consistently, we found the following disparities: • Active discouragement of email use outside of work hours: APAC 32% (vs ROW at 44%). • A responsibility on managers to encourage use of vacation time: APAC 86% (vs ROW 93%). • A “Do not disturb” policy for employees on

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vacation: APAC 16% (vs ROW 33%). Prevention measures are only part of the story. The very best employers also need ways to support employees when prevention efforts are not enough to mitigate stress. Here, too, there is more that can be done. Among our Top Employers we found: • Programmes to help employees cope with information overload: APAC 26% (vs ROW 39%). • Burn-out recovery support programmes: APAC 36% (vs ROW 51%). • Guaranteed time to “unplug” and/or take stress-relief breaks during working hours: 52% of APAC Top Employers do this consistently (vs ROW at 65%).

The Opportunity: The perfect time to experiment Faced with the cliché of understanding and meeting the challenges of the “new normal”, some Top Employer organisations are becoming bolder in their experiments to protect and support a more holistic approach to well-being. They know that a more “human-centric” approach is required to win and retain the trust of their talent. One key to experimentation lies in the willingness of senior managers to get actively involved in well-being programmes and here, there is real hope for APAC employers, with 85% of Top Employers in the region doing this consistently (better than the 79% ROW figure). Now the opportunity is to turn that commitment into real change. How can this be achieved?

Best practices in well-being: What are other Top Employers doing? Here’s how some Top Employers have innovated in creating a more holistic approach to well-being, usually with technology to the fore in enabling rapid progress to be made: •K uehne & Nagel’s UK business set up a mobile platform to support employee well-

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being, which allowed employees to assess their mental health and access support where needed. •A llied Technology created a digital programme for peer-to-peer recognition for its employees in Brazil and aligns this recognition with the needs of the business. • Saint-Gobain in China has enjoyed considerable success in developing virtual meetings, group chats and surveys to manage and measure well-being. It strongly encouraged flexible working hours, rather than all hours. Rapid change is possible. Even though HR leaders in APAC face a challenge to do more to embed holistic well-being initiatives, they also have a unique opportunity, right now, to experiment and build further on the gains already made - and transform the performance of their people.

About the Author ADRIAN SELIGMAN is Chief Commercial Officer at Top Employers Institute. Together with Ammara Naeem, Head of Client Success, at Top Employers Institute, he will present Holistic Well-being: Presenting the Challenges and Opportunities for APAC’s Employers at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on Thursday, September 23 at 2.30pm (SGT). Top Employers Institute recognises leading organisations around the world for their commitment to their employees and people practices.


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Show Guide


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WELCOME

Building HR’s Roadmap for 2022 Welcome to HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021, Asia’s largest HR Tech event of the year, which is bringing together the region’s biggest HR community, global influencers and industry experts together to network, share and inspire. During this time-critical period in the year, HR leaders are gathering their teams to start strategising and taking stock of the changing business needs as they head in to 2022. With a continuing focus on the welfare and well-being of employees, as well as the need to refresh strategies on engaging employees, the war on talent and rise of a younger workforce, and investments into new budgets are also being directed to explore how emerging technologies can support these strategy plans. Now in its 20th year, the award-winning HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 has been curated especially for HR leaders who are looking to prepare and strengthen their HR strategies for 2022. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the region’s biggest HR community all coming together online in September to hear and interact with industry influencers, thought leaders and experts, and to get first-hand experience of the latest technologies coming into the market. To help HR leaders as they plan their roadmaps for 2022, we have brought together a carefully curated lineup of some of the most forward-thinking personalities in the HR field, many of whom are speaking in Asia for the first time. These include HR luminaries such as Lars Schmidt, Author and Founder of Amplify; Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy; Lucy Adams, CEO of Disruptive HR; and Jon Ingham, Director, Strategic HR Academy, who will discuss key workplace topics such as the evolving role of CHROs, talent management, employee experience and leadership, to name but a few. In an exclusive collaboration with Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 will also bring back the popular ASEAN Future of Work conference track, which will shine a spotlight on how ASEAN governments continue to address the impact of the pandemic on the region’s labour market. To kick off the event, Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Manpower, will be giving his opening remarks on September 21. The road to recovery has already begun, and we invite you to join us at HR Tech Festival Asia Powered by Online 2021, and together, discover how you can start creating strategies to strengthen your organisation’s ability to drive change as we head into 2022.

“WE HAVE BROUGHT TOGETHER A CAREFULLY CURATED LINEUP OF SOME OF THE MOST FORWARDTHINKING PERSONALITIES IN THE HR FIELD”

ONLINE

Joanna Bush Managing Director 29 Sep - 1 Oct 2020 | Online Conference & Exhibition HRM Asia Brought to you by

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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS HIGHLIGHT

Meet HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021’s lineup of speakers To bring new ideas and key insights for organisations building their HR roadmap for 2022, HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 is presenting a carefully curated lineup of some of the most forward-thinking personalities in the HR field, many of whom are speaking in Asia for the first time. They will lead discussions and provide key insights into key workforce issues such as leadership, culture, technology and employee experience over three days of thought-provoking conference tracks.

Guest-of-Honour

Zaqy Mohamad

Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin is a Global Industry Analyst and CEO of the Josh Bersin Company. During his Mr Zaqy Mohamad keynote session titled was appointed Senior Prepare for the New Paradigm Minister of State in the of Talent Management on Ministry of Manpower September 21 at 10.10am and Ministry of Defence (SGT), Bersin will discuss in July 2020. He is also the Deputy Leader of the a new paradigm where business agility will depend House. Prior, he served on a talent model in which as Minister of State in people can quickly move the Ministry of National Development and Ministry into news roles and adapt to new, changing business of Manpower from needs. May 2018 to July 2020, Besides highlighting as well as the Deputy what this new paradigm Government Whip. means to employees and In support of the managers, Bersin will also business community, review the technology Mr Zaqy is Advisor to solutions and innovations the Singapore Business that are making internal Federation SME talent marketplaces a Committee, as well as reality in forward-thinking the Singapore Malay companies. Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He will kick off HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on September 21 at 10am (SGT) with his opening remarks.

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Lucy Adams Lars Schmidt Jon Ingham Lucy Adams is CEO of Disruptive HR and has previously led HR in major organisations such as the BBC, offering fresh perspectives on why HR has to change and how to do it. Her keynote session on September 21 at 3.20pm (SGT), titled Building and Leading HR Teams That Are Relevant in a Disrupted World, will delve into how leaders can build and lead HR teams that are relevant in a disrupted world. She will also provide key insights and tips on how organisations can work at pace and with agility, how to create new relationships with leaders, and how to build the right skills and mindsets for future HR teams.

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Lars Schmidt is Founder of Amplify and Redefining HR Accelerator, and is also author of the bestselling book Redefining HR. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the industry building a range of leading global companies, Schmidt will discuss how the role of the CHRO is evolving as the next generation of HR continues to take shape during his keynote presentation titled What Does Next Generation HR Look Like? on September 22 at 10am (SGT). One of the biggest challenges facing HR leaders today, is to stay on top of the multiple external factors that are impacting businesses and their employees. Forwardlooking HR leaders, however, are those who see the events of 2020 as a real opportunity to access their practices and approaches with fresh eyes, said Schmidt. (Turn to pages 8 and 9 for more insights from Schmidt).

Jon Ingham is Director of the Strategic HR Academy, and a people and organisation strategist who has written numerous articles, book chapters and books on the future of work and HR. In his keynote presentation on September 22 at 3.10pm (SGT) titled Unlocking a People Centric Approach to Employee Experience for Optimum Business Performance, Ingham will highlight how organisations can adopt a people-centric approach by understanding employees’ real motivations for coming to work. He will also discuss how business leaders can be engaged to support Powered by this approach, and how to focus on what to do instead of calculating return on investment.

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

Finally, an open-door policy that actually works Qualtrics EmployeeXM gathers continuous feedback from every employee experience to take the right actions to impact engagement, talent planning, productivity, and innovation. Powered by

ONLINE

Learn more at qualtrics.com/employee-experience 29 Sep - 1 Oct 2020 | Online Conference & Exhibition Brought to you by

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SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

What’s happening on Day 1 Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company Keynote Session: Prepare for the New Paradigm of Talent Management In his presentation, Josh Bersin will discuss a new paradigm of talent management and what it means to employees and managers. He will also review the technology solutions and innovations that are making internal talent marketplaces a reality in forwardthinking companies.

Amer Iqbal, APAC Head of Digital Transformation, Facebook Session Title: Mastering the Art of Change from Within – Unlocking New Capabilities From Your Internal Teams One of the most common ways that corporates innovate is through internal upskilling programmes, but many of these efforts fall short: armies of newly agile certified employees flock back to their desk only to discover everything around them stayed the same. This session reveals some of the secrets that global tech companies have used to drive innovation behaviour, providing a simple framework for internal change that has been successfully adopted by incumbents in traditional industries.

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Eklavya Bhave, Regional Director ONLINE – APAC and Japan, Coursera Session Title: Driving Business Outcomes Through Skills-First Learning Changing work patterns, business models and29 reliance on2020 digital technologies Sep - 1 Oct | Online Conference require & Exhibition organisations to upskill their employees Brought to you by

with future-age competencies swiftly. An evolution of enterprise learning is taking place, with organisations taking a skillsfirst approach to build critical skills for critical roles. Join this session to see how organisations can successfully implement this new model of workplace learning.

Kim Nguyen, Head of HR, Tech APAC, Google; Datuk Nora A Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer, Maybank. Moderator: Dr Tanvi Gautam, HR Influencer, Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author and Transformational Leadership Expert Panel Discussion: From Survive to Thrive: How HR Can Sustain Their Leadership Voice and Boardroom Status Beyond the Pandemic As organisations move out of survival mode to contemplate what is next, HR remains at the nexus of these conversations, shifting the focus to align overall corporate initiatives and objectives rather than just do HR for the sake of HR anymore. This session will highlight how HR leaders can sustain their leadership voice, be the driver in the middle of what an organisation needs to do from the growth and strategy perspective, speak the language of your CEO and most importantly gather insights on how to demonstrate and sustain the value that HR can offer beyond the pandemic.

Lauren Huntington, EX Solution Strategist, Qualtrics Session title: How to Build and Mature Your EX Programmes For A Changing World Of Work Join this session to understand how to devise a roadmap for building and maturing the EX-programmes that help in improving employee engagement, experience, and productivity, including: • The different stages of EX maturity and

how to elevate your programme to the next level. • What competencies HR professionals need to develop and prioritise. • How to use employee feedback to create new work experiences that enhance productivity, innovation, and growth in the new world of work.

Lucy Adams, CEO, Disruptive HR Keynote Session: Building and Leading HR Teams That Are Relevant in A Disrupted World This session will delve into how leaders can build and lead HR teams that are relevant in a disrupted world. Adams will provide key insights and tips on how organisations can work at pace and with agility, how to create new relationships with leaders and how to build the right skills and mindsets for future HR teams.

What’s happening on Day 2 Lars Schmidt, Author, Founder of Amplify and Redefining HR Accelerator Keynote Session: HR Redefined: What Does Next Generation HR Look Like? Schmidt will discuss how the role of the CHRO is evolving as the next generation of HR continues to take shape. In discussing the foundational components of modern HR, from people analytics to inclusion, he will also highlight how forward-thinking HR leaders are those who see the events of 2020 as an opportunity to access their practices and approaches with fresh eyes.

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SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

Katie Burke, Chief People Officer, HubSpot Session title: The Future of Leadership Is Human – How to Develop Successful People Leaders Companies who want to win in the future of work will need to require a new kind of leadership - one that is authentically more human, is rooted in empathy and connections, and focuses on inspiring and enabling people to do their best work. In this session, HubSpot’s Chief People Officer will cover, why a shift to human-centric leadership is critical for the future of work, how remote work can support diversity and inclusion, and how to scale development and learning for HR professionals.

Nela Richardson, Chief Economist, ADP Session title: Onsite, Remote or Hybrid: Employee Sentiments on the workplace Richardson will share the ADP Research Institute’s latest intriguing research findings on remote and on-site workers and how those experiences vary by industry in the new post-pandemic world of work. She will discuss how companies and managers have a wide range of considerations on what makes sense for their organisations and the analysis of the employee perspectives for the return to on-site work post-COVID era.

Rob Squires, VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia & Japan, Ceridian Session title: Powering the Future Of Work In the corporate world today, workforce needs are constantly changing. The pandemic further accelerated this change, causing a workplace trend of overworked employees wanting to change their jobs within this year. Retaining and recruiting talent becomes a challenge for organisations

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as the war for talent begins to heat up. It comes down to understanding what employees and job seekers want and need. This session highlights how HR leaders can approach digital transformation strategically to help organisations become agile and future-ready to win in the war for talent and achieve business success by creating a strong employee experience.

Natalia Navin, Chief Human Resources Officer, Maxis; Yvonne Teo, Vice President Human Resources Asia Pacific, ADP Moderator: Rachele Focardi, Global Thought Leader, Author and Founder of XYZ@Work Panel discussion: Gen Z Will Revolutionise the Workplace: Are Your Leaders Ready? Gen Z employees are transforming the workplace. They are the first fully digital generation and because of their hightech and hyper-connected upbringing, they will bring a new set of behaviours and expectations into the workplace. This session will highlight the important changes organisations need to recognise, create, and consider, to stay ahead and develop the best and brightest of Gen Z employees.

Emma Harvie, Head of Client Services Team, Achievers APAC Session title: Powerful Employee Recognition Strategies to Maximise ROI HR leaders and company executives are aware of the benefits of employee recognition: stronger employee engagement, retention, and productivity to name a few. Research suggests that 90% of companies have some kind of recognition programme, yet 1 in 3 employees report they do not feel recognised. In this session, Harvie will share best practice strategies on how organisations can shift the needle on recognition programmes to deliver frequent recognition for employees and deliver on their organisation’s objectives.

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Stephen Roche, CEO, Cloud Services Solutions Session title: Selecting the Right HR Platform For 2022 And Beyond Most companies wind up selecting the wrong HR solution for their company, spending a lot of time and money in the process. Join this presentation and find out how to select the best package for your company’s needs.

Ben Whitter, CEO, HEX Organization & Author, Human Experience at Work Session title: EX 4.0: The New World of Employee Experience Has Arrived Drawing on an intense period of global research, this session will identify the most important areas to focus on within the employee experience and detail how the world’s best EX leaders are building elite teams with the right mindset, capabilities, and skills for human-centred business success.

Charles Ferguson, General Manager of Asia Pacific, Globalization Partners Session title: From Local Hires to Global Workforce: The War for Talent In 2022 Employees now want increased worklife balance, flexibility, and the option to work from anywhere, which spurred major companies like Reddit and Zillow to abandon location-based salaries altogether. An aging population, a growing skills gap, and talent shortage further pits companies and nations against each other as they Powered by desperately try to win over a limited pool of professionals. This session will share the challenges O organisations will face in the war for talent and how to remain agile; how a remote talent acquisition strategy can win over talent and accelerate business growth; and how Globalization Partners’ full stack global employment platform guarantees29 compliant Sep - 1 Oct 2020 | Online Co hiring anywhere in the world. Brought to you by


SESSION HIGHLIGHTS

Jon Ingham, Director, Strategic HR Academy Keynote presentation: Unlocking A People Centric Approach to Employee Experience for Optimum Business Performance Ingham will highlight how organisations can adopt a people-centric approach by understanding employees’ real motivations for coming to work. He will also discuss how business leaders can be engaged to support this approach, and how to focus on what to do instead of calculating return on investment (ROI).

Stephanie Sng, Manager, Creative & Professional Services Division, Workforce Singapore Session title: Support for HR Digitisation and Transformation Workforce Singapore (WSG) will be sharing the HR Tech Transformation Programme (HRTTP) and the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Professional Executives, HR Track. These two programmes aim to build a pipeline of HR talent and uplift the HR sector, in areas of HR technology adoption so that HR can shift towards a more strategic role. WSG will also be sharing the Design Thinking Business Transformation Programme. Through this programme, HRs will learn to use Design Thinking methodology to empathise employees’ needs, set effective HR policies and build a strong employee experience.

What’s happening on Day 3 Susan Cheong, Managing Director & Head, Talent Acquisition Group, Group Human Resources, DBS Bank Session title: AI Powered Recruitment: Efficient Strategies to Make Hiring More Human The rise of AI in recruiting raises a provocative question for talent acquisition professionals: What is the role of humans in hiring? Recruiting will become a symbiosis of human and machine, complementing each other’s strengths. As AI takes over more manual tasks, some functions of a recruiter’s role may disappear. However, new, higher-

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SESSION HIGHLIGHTS value, more fulfilling human roles will also emerge. This session will discuss how to make hiring more human; the importance to stay ahead of the game by learning, experimenting, and adapting to emerging technologies; and provide tips on how to continue delivering on a positive candidate experience.

Vandna Dawar Ramchandani, Regional Head of Corporate Philanthropy Asia Pacific, Bloomberg; Jacely Voon, Chief of People Officer, People, Culture & CSR, FUJIFILM Business Innovation Singapore. Moderator: Fleur Tonies, Aberkyn Senior Leader, McKinsey & Company Panel discussion: From Wellness to Wellbeing: The Next Evolution in Employee Health for 2022 Today, leaders are expected to have tabs on their employees’ lives, morale, and wellness almost as much as their ongoing tasks. This evolution corroborates a trend that many of us already held true: employee wellness and overall performance go hand-in-hand. With that said, many questions remain. This session will analyse where organisations are today and what trends will remain or change; why CSR is the missing piece of holistic employee wellness; and how companies can further invest in their employees.

Mathew Ward, CEO and Founder, Workmate; Bhavani Shankar Mishra, Regional Director, Logistics (APAC), foodpanda. Fireside chat: Tools for Building a Winning Frontline Workforce As logistics, manufacturing, and service industries recognise the need for ongoing agile operations to stay resilient during the crisis and beyond, many companies

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are accelerating the adoption of digital tools to automate and drive efficiencies in recruitment, retention, and workforce productivity. This fireside chat will examine the key challenges to hiring quality workers at scale; strategies to hire and retain workers when managing a large shift-based workforce; and opportunities for tech-enablement in recruitment and operational excellence.

Stacey Harris, Chief Research Officer, Sapient Insights Group Session title: Global Insights into Emerging Trends on HR And Workforce Planning Technology Harris will share the most recent global research data on how organisations leveraged talent, technology, and culture to overcome the challenges of the last year and achieve sustainable long-term growth against the odds. She will also highlight key findings and data from Sapient Insights Annual HR Systems Survey, including a global view of HR Technology adoption, usage, and proven practices for achieving outcomes.

Adrian Seligman, Chief Commercial Officer, Top Employers Institute; Ammara Naeem, Head of Client Success, Top Employers Institute Session title: Holistic Well-Being: Presenting the Challenges And Opportunities For APAC’s Employers Among Top Employers Institute’s certified Top Employers worldwide, Asia-Pacific (APAC) organisations are making progress in almost all areas focused on People Strategy. However, there is certainly room for growth when looking at well-being practices. This presentation from Top Employers Institute shows how APAC businesses are performing in this domain, and what they can do to improve. Faced with the cliché of understanding and meeting the challenges of the “new normal”, the presentation will give practical examples of how leading organisations

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worldwide are becoming bolder in their experiments to drive and support a more holistic approach to well-being.

Premsheila Khindria, Content Management Analyst, Wolters Kluwer; Kavitha Kesavan, Content Management Analyst, Wolters Kluwer Session title: Looking Ahead To 2022: Key HR And Employment Law Updates Across Asia-Pacific You Need to Know While companies have continued to meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the business landscape is fluidly changing so HR leaders need to be ready to shift priorities in order to meet the evolving needs of their business. This session will be providing a glimpse across a few countries within the APAC region on the latest labour and employment laws, rules to take into consideration and policies to be implemented in 2022. This knowledge sharing session prepares HR and employment law professionals well in advance of 2022 in developing a structured approach to employee management and the implementation of their company’s work rules in accordance with the latest changes.

ASEAN Future of Work Conference Track: Towards An Inclusive World of Work: Lessons From COVID-19 This conference track will ill bring together regional senior government, union and employer representatives, to share lessons learnt from COVID-19 on promoting inclusivity in the future world of work. In view of the International Labour Powered by Organisation’s global call to orient a humancentred recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient, the speakers will also discuss the pertinent challenges and opportunities for regional tripartite partners to build more inclusive ecosystems to embrace industry 4.0, make lifelong learning a reality for all and support well-being and work life harmony.

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

Day 1 21 September 2021 10.00 am Guest Of Honour - Opening Remarks 10.10 am Keynote Session Prepare For The New Paradigm Of Talent Management

MORNING

10.40 am Mastering The Art Of Change From Within - Unlocking New Capabilities From Your Internal Teams 11.10am Driving Business Outcomes Through Skills-First Learning 11.40 am Panel Discussion From Survive To Thrive: How HR Can Sustain Their Leadership Voice And Boardroom Status Beyond The Pandemic

12.20 pm Presentation By ServiceNow 12.50 - 1.50 pm Lunch 1.50 pm Presentation By Cornerstone

AFTERNOON

2.20 pm Global Study: Workforce Readiness In The Next Era Of Work 2.50 pm How To Build And Mature Your EX Programs For A Changing World Of Work 3.20 - 4.00 pm Keynote Session Building and Leading HR Teams That Are Relevant in A Disrupted World

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4.00 - 4.45 pm Exclusive Technology Presentation 4.45 pm End of Conference Day 1

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Singapore Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Manpower Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and CEO Of The Josh Bersin Company

MORNING

Amer Iqbal, APAC Head of Digital Transformation, Facebook Eklavya Bhave, Regional Director – APAC and Japan, Coursera Moderator: Dr Tanvi Gautam, HR Influencer, Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Author & Transformational Leadership Expert Speakers: Kim Nguyen, Head of HR, Tech APAC, Google Datuk Nora A Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer, Maybank

AFTERNOON

Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) Lauren Huntington, EX Solution Strategist, Qualtrics Lucy Adams, Powered by CEO, Disruptive HR ONLINE

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

Day 2 22 September 2021 10.00 am Keynote Session HR Redefined: What Does Next Generation HR Look Like? 10.30 am The Future of Leadership Is Human – How To Develop Successful People Leaders

MORNING

11.00 am Onsite, Remote or Hybrid: Employee Sentiments On The Workplace 11.30am Panel Discussion Gen Z Will Revolutionise The Workplace: Are Your Leaders Ready?

11.30 am - 12.00 pm Selecting The Right HR Platform For 2022 And Beyond 12.10 pm Powering The Future Of Work 12.40 - 1.40 pm Lunch 1.40 pm Powerful Employee Recognition Strategies To Maximise ROI

AFTERNOON

2.10 pm EX 4.0: The New World Of Employee Experience Has Arrived 2.40 pm From Local Hires To Global Workforce: The War For Talent In 2022 3.10 pm Powered by Keynote Session Unlocking A People Centric Approach To Employee Experience For Optimum Business Performance

O

3.50 pm Support For HR Digitisation And Transformation 4.20 - 5.05 pm Exclusive Technology Presentation 5.05 pm End of Conference Day 2

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

Lars Schmidt, Author, Founder of Amplify and Redefining HR Accelerator Katie Burke, Chief People Officer, HubSpot

MORNING

Nela Richardson, Chief Economist, ADP Moderator: Rachele Focardi, Global Thought Leader, Author and Founder of XYZ@Work Speakers: Natalia Navin Chief Human Resources Officer, Maxis Yvonne Teo, Vice President Human Resources Asia Pacific, ADP Stephen Roche, CEO, Cloud Services Solutions, Inc. Rob Squires, VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia & Japan, Ceridian

Emma Harvie, Head of Client Services Team, Achievers APAC Ben Whitter, CEO, HEX Organization & Author, Human Experience at Work

AFTERNOON

Charles H. Ferguson, General Manager of Asia Pacific, Globalization Partners Jon Ingham, Powered by Director, Strategic HR Academy ONLINE

Stephanie Sng, Manager, Creative & Professional Services Division, WSG 29 Sep - 1 Oct 2020 | Online Conference & Exhibition Brought to you by

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

MORNING

Day 3 23 September 2021 10.15 am Leadership AI Powered Recruitment: Efficient Strategies To Make Hiring More Human

Susan Cheong, Managing Director & Head, Tale DBS Bank

10.45 am Want To Reduce Attrition And Nurture Talent? Why L&D Should Be A Key Focus Of Your Ex-Strategy

Drew Fernandez, Global Chief People Officer, Coc The Coca-Cola Company

11.15 am Presentation By Cornerstone 11.45 am Panel Discussion From Wellness to Wellbeing: The Next Evolution in Employee Health for 2022

Moderator: Fleur Tonies, Aberkyn Senior Leader, McKins Speakers: Vandna Dawar Ramchandani Regional Head of Corporate Ph Jacely Voon, Chief of People Officer, People,

AFTERNOON

12.25 - 1.30 pm Lunch 1.30 pm Tools For Building A Winning Frontline Workforce

Mathew Ward, CEO and Founder, Workmate Bhavani Shankar Mishra, Regional Director, Logistics (APA

2.00 pm Exclusive Research Global Insights Into Emerging Trends On HR And Workforce Planning Technology

Stacey Harris, Chief Research Officer, Sapient

2.30 pm Holistic Well-Being: Presenting The Challenges And Opportunities For APAC’s Employers

Adrian Seligman, Chief Commercial Officer, Top E Ammara Naeem, Head of Client Success, Top Em

3.40 pm Looking Ahead To 2022: Key HR And Employment Law Updates Across Asia-Pacific You Need To Know

Premsheila Khindria, Content Management Analyst, O Kavitha Kesavan, Content Management Analyst,

Powered by

4.10 pm Exclusive Technology Presentation 5.00 pm End of Conference Day 3

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CONFERENCE AGENDA

Day 3

Additional Exclusive Track ASEAN Future of Work Conference 10.00 am Keynote Address and Opening Remarks of ASEAN FoW Conference

ent Acquisition Group, Group Human Resources,

MORNING

ca-Cola Bottling Investments Group,

10.15 am Panel Discussion: Towards an Inclusive Industry 4.0 in ASEAN

11.15 am Panel Discussion: Making Lifelong Learning and Reskilling a Reality for All

sey & Company

i, hilanthropy Asia Pacific, Bloomberg Culture & CSR, FUJIFILM Business Innovation Singapore

1.30 pm Panel Discussion: Fostering Inclusive Workplaces that Support Mental Well-Being and Work Life Harmony

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Employers Institute

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3.00 pm Panel Discussion: The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022 – Understanding the Trends that Will Impact How We Work Next Year

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READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2021

Celebrating Asia’s best HR tech solutions provider As organisations continue to plan for the future of work, picking the right HR tools and partners will be critical for success. This is why the highly anticipated HRM Asia Readers’ Choice Awards 2021, organised by HRM Asia, is a not-to-bemissed event for Asia’s HR community, as we recognise the most innovative and forwardthinking HR tech solutions providers in the market today. Recognising the best and brightest HR and HR technology solutions providers: consultants, recruiters, technology providers, relocation experts, trainers and coaches, and more, the 2021 awards presentation will take place on November 19, with the winner for each category chosen by HRM Magazine Asia readers (70% weighting) and a panel of independent expert judges (30%).

All organisations and businesses are welcome to nominate themselves, as well as anyone else worthy. Nominations are filling up fast and will close on August 31, so don’t miss the opportunity to send in your

nominations for Asia’s biggest awards for HR and HR tech solutions providers! Click here for a full list of the awards categories for the HRM Asia Readers’ Choice Awards 2021.

Bring regional HR management tasks under control

CCH Asia Pacific Employment Law  Your one-stop online research platform covering employment law in 14 countries  Minimise risk for misinterpreting any local laws your business is operating in  Meet your HR and employment law compliance needs across the region

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Exhibitor Listings


EXHIBITOR LISTINGS

ADP Designing better ways to work through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that enable people to reach their full potential. HR, Payroll, Talent and Time. Informed by data and designed for people. Learn more at sg.adp.com.

Achievers Achievers’ employee voice and recognition solutions bring your organisation’s values and strategy to life by activating employee participation and accelerating a culture of performance. Achievers leverages the science behind behaviour change, so your people and your organisation can experience sustainable, data-driven business results. Find out more at www. achievers.com

Ceridian. Intelligence at work. Ceridian is a global human capital management software company. Dayforce, their flagship cloud HCM platform, provides human resources, payroll, benefits, workforce management, and talent management functionality to more than 5,000 customers across the globe.

Cloud Services Solutions Cloud Services Solutions provides global advisory services for clients to measurably improve the performance & efficiency of their ERP ecosystem. Find out how they saved a global energy company eight million dollars and reduced a three-year project to six months using their C.R.E methodology. Make sure your company has the right guidance to be successful in 2022. Office locations in Americas, Europe, and Asia. Learn more at www.cloudservicesolution.sg

Cornerstone OnDemand is a global leader in people development solutions. We offer organisations the technology, content, expertise and specialised focus to help them realise their people potential. Featuring comprehensive recruiting, personalised learning, modern content delivered in the flow of work, development-driven performance management and holistic workforce data management and insights, Cornerstone’s people development solutions are used by over 6,000 global clients of all sizes, spanning more than 75 million users across over 180 countries and over 50 languages. Find out more at cornerstoneondemand.com.

Their platform is used to optimise management of the entire employee lifecycle, including attracting, engaging, paying, deploying, and developing people. Ceridian has solutions for organisations of all sizes. Visit Ceridian.com or follow them @ Ceridian.

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Qualtrics

Coursera is the global online learning platform that offers anyone, anywhere access to online courses and degrees from world-class universities and companies. Coursera for Business is the complete, jobbased skill development solution for empowering your teams with the high-impact skills that drive innovation, competitiveness, and growth. Coursera for Business provides world-class-content, AI-powered and expert-curated learning programs, hands-on projects, and the ability to benchmark skill proficiency against over 70 million learners. Learn more at www.coursera.org

Qualtrics, the world’s No. 1 Experience Management (XM) provider and creator of the XM category, is changing the way organisations manage and improve the four core experiences of business––customer, employee, product, and brand. Over 13,000 organisations globally are using Qualtrics to listen, understand, and take action on experience data. The Qualtrics XM Platform is a system of action that helps businesses attract customers who stay longer and buy more, engage employees who build a positive culture, develop breakthrough products people love, and build a brand people are passionate about. To learn more, visit qualtrics.com.

Cornerstone

Today, Ceridian is the most comprehensive HCM and payroll solution in Asia Pacific Japan, bolstered by the recent acquisitions of Australia-based Ascender and RITEQ, and Singapore-based Excelity.

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Globalization Partners Globalization Partners simplify global remote team building by making it fast and easy for companies to hire anyone, anywhere, within minutes, without setting up subsidiaries – via their legally compliant SaaS Employer of Record platform, AI-powered guided user experience, and worldclass customer support team. Click here to find out more.

SAP SuccessFactors SAP helps give people and organisations deep business insights and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 425,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt and continuously make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com

HSBC Bank (Singapore) HSBC, with operations in 66 countries and territories, is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world, and one of the leading banks in Singapore. Employee Banking Solutions by HSBC offers employee banking benefits to your organisation, as well as your employees. With their global footprint, HSBC’s specialist Employee Banking Solutions (EBS) team will offer professional and tailored guidance for your employees’ financial decisions, wherever you are. Find out more at www.hsbc.com.sg

ServiceNow

ServiceNow is the fastest-growing enterprise cloud software company in the world above US$1 billion. Founded Powered by in 2004 with the goal of making work easier for people, ServiceNow is making the world of work, work better O for people. Their cloud-based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows that create great experiences and unlock productivity for more than 6,200 enterprise customers worldwide, including approximately 80% of the 29 Sep - 1 Oct 2020 | Online Co Fortune 500. For more information, visit http://www.servicenow.com. Brought to you by


EXHIBITOR LISTINGS

Top Employers Institute Top Employers Institute is the global authority on recognising excellence in People Practices. They help accelerate these practices to enrich the world of work. Through the Top Employers Institute Certification Programme, participating companies can be validated, certified and recognised as an employer of choice. Established more than 30 years ago, Top Employers Institute has certified over 1,691 organisations in 120 countries/ regions. These certified Top Employers positively impact the lives of over 7 million employees globally. Discover more at www.top-employers.com

Wolters Kluwer

Workforce Singapore

Workmate

Wolters Kluwer is a global provider of professional information, software solutions, and services for the healthcare; tax and accounting; governance, risk and compliance; and legal and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer enables legal, compliance and HR professionals to improve productivity and performance, mitigate risk, and solve complex problems with confidence. With expert information enriched with advanced technologies, they help professionals thrive in the complex and changing areas of legal and regulatory compliance. Learn more at www.wolterskluwer.com

Workforce Singapore promotes the development, competitiveness, inclusiveness, and employability of all levels of the workforce. Its key mission is to enable Singaporeans to meet their career aspirations, take on quality jobs at different stages of life, and help enterprises be competitive and manpower-lean. Workforce Singapore’s focus is on strengthening the Singaporean core and ensuring that Singaporeans are able to have better jobs and careers. Workforce Singapore, in partnership with key stakeholders, also provides support to business owners and companies to enable them to transform and grow, while building a future-ready workforce. Visit www.wsg.gov.sg for more information.

Southeast Asia’s leading end-to-end frontline workforce management platform with intelligent tools across recruitment and operations. Workmate helps enterprise businesses across logistics, F&B, and hospitality sectors leverage rich data for greater control and visibility over their shift-based workforce. Learn more at workmate.asia

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asean future of work track

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COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need to address growing inequalities in the world of work. The ASEAN Future of Work track focuses on sharing lessons learnt on promoting inclusivity in the future world of work and how the region is responding International Labour Organisation’s global call to orient a human-centred recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

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Guest-of-honour: Zaqy Mohamad Senior Minister of State Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Manpower

Paving The Way Through The Next Era Of Leadership A HR Leader’s Perspective 21 September 2021 | Pan Pacific Hotel | 10am – 2pm Powered by Challenged by the global pandemic, HR leaders have expediated their strategies for how they best support not only their leadership teams through the next era but also how they can continue to progressively develop their own role as an influential leader in the business.

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Join us at the first in-person event of the HR Leadership Series in Singapore this year! Adhering to strict safe event measures, invitations are limited so register your interest today to avoid missing out on this content-packed day with your industry peers! Get a first-look at the latest innovative methodologies, technologies and approaches that HR leaders should consider for workforce success in tomorrow’s economy. Powered by 29 Sep - 1 Oct 2020 | Online Conference & Exhibition Brought to you by

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F E AT U R E

LUCY ADAMS

We do not need a seat at the table We have all got our buttons – that if pressed, are guaranteed to get us over-reacting. One of mine is when I am asked the question, “Don’t you think it’s important for HR to have a seat at the top table?’

I

think what gets me agitated about this – is the assumption behind the question that, unless we have the recognised positional power that comes with a Board place or being a member of the Exec – that we are unable to wield influence. Which I think is frankly, rubbish. Throughout my career as an HRD, there have been times when I have been on the Board – and not on the Board, part of the Exec and not part of the Exec. And I can honestly say that it never made an iota of difference when it came to having genuine credibility and influence with my peers or the wider organisation. The great HR leaders I know are hugely influential. And this is not about their positional power. What they do is to build their influence through a number of other routes and I would like to share my top 3.

1. They are passionate and knowledgeable about the business. Of course, you are not going to know as much as the technical specialists, but you should know enough about what is top of mind for them, how each part of the business makes its money, what are the new business areas they are developing, who are their new customers – and so on. At the BBC, we had a marketing director who was incredibly influential. Whenever he went to meet with a TV executive (which he did a lot), he made a point of looking at the previous night’s viewing figures, reading up about the top talent on their show and understanding who they were competing against – so that he was able to ask them intelligent questions about their work. He knew that if he engaged them in this first,

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“THE GREAT HR LEADERS I KNOW ARE HUGELY INFLUENTIAL. AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT THEIR POSITIONAL POWER. ” they would be more open to his suggestions about changes in marketing strategy. Interestingly, the guy I am talking about was recently promoted to head up the BBC.

2. Secondly, highly influential leaders are known for being incredibly well networked and for bringing outside intelligence into the company. They do not just network with other HR professionals – but with a range of leaders across a range of sectors. They are wellread. They share interesting articles and other resources as a matter of course. They are not just seen as an expert in their own field. I have known highly influential leaders who were seen as indispensable primarily because of the wide-ranging rich network of contacts they had spent years cultivating.

3. Finally, influential HR leaders are seen as someone who has bags of common sense . They have the confidence not to hide behind a professional veneer – you know, the kind of people who like to create a sense of distance from their colleagues by making HR seem like something very difficult and

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special. I am not for one moment saying that being an experienced HR Director is not something that takes skill and experience. Of course, it does. But the smart and influential ones manage to remove the barriers and make HR accessible to their colleagues. They do not use HR jargon or acronyms. They do not look for reasons why things cannot be done. They apply judgement rather than black and white policy detail. They coach leaders through appealing to their human intuition rather than some specialist technique. Above all, they are seen as wise and smart because are comfortable with ambiguity – and with all the nuances of dealing with human beings. Business savvy, well-networked and with bags of common sense. These are the truly influential HR leaders. Ironically, whilst they do not worry about having a seat at the table – they tend to get them anyway.

About the Author LUCY ADAMS is CEO of Disruptive HR, and will be presenting a keynote session titled Building And Leading HR Teams That Are Relevant In A Disrupted World on Tuesday, September 21 at 3.20pm (SGT), at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021.


F E AT U R E

i4cp

Workforce Readiness: A Mystery to Most, Essential to All

The pandemic exposed the importance of an organisation’s ability to pivot quickly and embrace change.

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ssential to both is a workforce with the skills and capabilities when needed, and organisational systems and processes that ensure a readynow workforce whenever and wherever it is needed. This is workforce readiness at its core. The pandemic also simultaneously and universally forced organisations to radically alter their strategies and embrace different work models. And for most, these now represent the future of work; a future that dictates different skillsets and mindsets about the work that gets done. This includes who gets the work done, as well as where, when, and how. All of this makes workforce readiness more critical and more complex. To understand how organisations around the world are addressing this important issue, the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), in partnership with HRM Asia, collected survey data in June 2021 from 1,334 human resources and other non-HR business professionals worldwide. The respondents included 131 professionals based in Southeast Asia who work for organisations with at least 100 employees. The research found that the current state of workforce readiness is bleak. Only 30% of the total respondents (31% of whom are based in Southeast Asia) believe that their organisations’ current workforce has the skills and capabilities needed to execute their strategy in the next one- to three years. Further, nearly onehalf of all global respondents (including 45% in Southeast Asia) reported that their organisations do not have a clear definition of what workforce readiness means. This lack of clarity has numerous negative downstream effects. Consider, for example, the indicators used to gauge workforce readiness: • Most popular is level of employee engagement (cited by 61% globally and 59%

of those in Southeast Asia). • However, our research found a much more effective indicator is worker progress in targeted upskilling or reskilling programmes (utilised by only 20% of organizations overall and 35% in Southeast Asia). • Only 36% of organisations globally (including 44% in Southeast Asia) believe that their organisations are highly effective at providing opportunities for workers to develop new skills. The research also made clear what organisations need to do to ensure they have the skills and capabilities where and when needed going forward. • Know what you have and what you need – 27% of global respondents overall (and 26% of those in Southeast Asia) told us that LinkedIn knows more about their workforce than their organisation does. Tremendous gaps exist in information about the skills and capabilities an organisation currently has and the skills and capabilities anticipated that will be needed over the next one to three years. Employers must prioritise cataloging the skills and capabilities of their current workforce, as well as forecasting what they will need in the future. Fewer than 30% of the respondents overall reported that their organisations are highly effective at both. • Unleash your organisation’s trapped value – In addition to not knowing about the skills, capabilities, interests, and knowledge of its workforce, most organisations do not provide the means for its workers to fully leverage what is unique to them. This is one area that i4cp’s research shows should particularly see strong progress in the coming months. Take, for example, internal talent marketplaces that map individual employees to jobs or tasks. These have a very strong positive impact on overall workforce readiness and are also viewed as the most opportunistic source

of skills and capabilities organisations will look to in the coming year. • Foster a culture of continuous learning – An organisational culture that is resistant to change has strong negative impact on both its overall market performance as well as its effectiveness in workforce readiness. Much of an organisation’s culture is determined by how people leaders lead, and i4cp research has consistently shown that leaders at high-performance organisations are foremost developers of talent. Offering job rotations to employees is among the most impactful practices to drive high market performance and workforce readiness effectiveness. Unfortunately, 35% of the overall respondents told us that managers often hoard high-performing talent rather than encourage their movement internally across the organisation. Most savvy business executives know that talent risk is business risk and talent advantage is business advantage. Workforce readiness is essential to overall business sustainability and success and should be viewed and managed as a key organisational success criterion.

About the Author KEVIN MARTIN is Chief Research Officer at the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), and will be making a presentation titled Global Study: Workforce Readiness In The Next Era of Work, at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on Tuesday, September 21 at 2.20pm (SGT).

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F E AT U R E

F I R S T A D VA N TA G E

Why businesses should background check all employees not just executives The cost of not screening can far exceed the cost of limiting your risk.

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ntegrity means everything in the business world. Just ask American investment billionaire and philanthropist Warren Buffett, who has said he looks for three things when hiring people: intelligence, initiative, and integrity. However, he warns, if they do not have integrity, the first two will kill you. Throughout the Asia Pacific, organisations get it. They want to hire fundamentally “good” people who will support the integrity of their business, not threaten it. Knowing this, most will thoroughly background check their executive leaders to ensure they possess the experience, expertise and, yes, the integrity required to lead the business. But what about other employees? What about workers at all levels of the business who are at the front lines, facing customers and partners every day? The short answer is, yes: all employees should be screened, not just executives, and here is why. Executive screening—leading by example. Business leaders are the face of an organisation. They have the power to lead a company through tough times, or they can destroy it with bad decisions, flawed judgement, and irresponsible behaviour. To mitigate these risks, most organisations thoroughly vet executives with intensive background checks to help: • Ensure the “right” person is making key strategic decisions. • Give shareholders peace of mind. • Mitigate the risk of financial impropriety. • Foster respect and minimise the potential for negative publicity. Yet, when you consider the possible risk

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“BACKGROUND CHECKS HELP STOP THIS DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE BEFORE AN EMPLOYEE IS HIRED BY REVEALING HIGHRISK INFORMATION ” associated with a handful of executives compared to that of an entire workforce that is NOT being screened, the odds are not in your favour. And, with the potential for increased employee risk, comes the potential for decreased organisational integrity. Employee screening—setting a standard. Unlike most executives, employees are not usually bound by corporate policies to conduct themselves in the best interest of the business. Instead, they are often hired without a basic background check. This means they bring their past indiscretions with them to the workplace, along with a potential for future disruption, and an acute lack of awareness of how their actions can impact their employer. Background checks help stop this destructive cycle before an employee is hired by revealing high-risk information such as prior criminal records, falsified employment history, and suspended professional credentials. This positions HR to proactively recognise risky candidates who might cause harm to the organisation, be it a legal, financial, physical, or reputational threat.

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In turn, it also sets a higher standard of integrity by establishing a clear correlation between an employee’s actions and their employment. It deters those with a history of inappropriate behaviour from applying to work at the business, while making existing workers aware that their actions inside and outside the workplace matter. Do the math—background checks pay for themselves. Most businesses weigh the price of a background check against mitigating their risk. For example, a 2020 report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners shows that employeedriven fraud cases within the Asia-Pacific region drive a median loss of USD $195,000. In this case, you might say, “Sure, if a USD$200 background check can save me a USD $200,000 fraud loss, it’s worth it.” However, that math is flawed; the loss is much more than that. Consider the ripple effects of negative publicity resulting from an employee incident, which often includes increased costs and resource investments related to: •H iring and replacing the employee. •O verhauling internal processes to prevent a similar incident from happening. •P ivoting the brand message to overcome negative publicity. •A dapting marketing communications to the repositioned brand message. •D eclining stock prices and shareholder values. •A bility to compete for top talent and attract quality executive leadership. When you factor these very real costs into the equation, the price of background checking all employees for the greater good of the organisation makes perfect sense. Remember this: business integrity is a meaningful differentiator in today’s global marketplace, but it only takes one negative employee incident to destroy the reputation you have worked so hard to build.

About the Author GUNA GOVIN is VP Sales Management, HK and ASEAN, First Advantage


Delivering background checks that enable you to hire smarter and onboard faster. Help protect your brand, workplace and relationships from risk with First Advantage. Find the solution optimized for your business today!

Learn more at www.fadv.com.sg | Email info.asia@fadv.com A P R I L - M AY 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E

JOSH BERSIN

Unicorns Are Everywhere The HR tech market is as hot as I have ever seen it. New funding announcements are coming across my desk almost every day.

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hy the market growth and huge investments? That’s because almost every business challenge points toward needing more HR tech. Pandemic? We need HR tech to help people work from home. Hybrid work? We need HR tech to schedule employees coming back to physical workplaces and to keep work spaces safe. Hot job market? We need HR tech to find, hire, and retain people amidst labour shortages. Digital transformation? We need HR tech to reskill and upskill our workforces. Here are a few of the HR tech unicorns: • Go1 raises US$200 million at US$1 billion valuation: Go1, which has only one direct competitor (OpenSesame), has become the “middleman” or “Spotify” of corporate learning. Go1 has a vast content library of approximately 150,000 titles, provides access to other content providers, and has an easy-to-buy, easyto-use business model. The company just received a US$200M from several big investors (Microsoft, Salesforce, Softbank). • SmartRecruiters raises US$110 million at US$1.5 billion valuation: Jerome Ternynck, the founder of SmartRecruiters, is a seasoned veteran in recruitment technology. Under his leadership, SmartRecruiters has grown from a midmarket ATS platform to one of the leading enterprise solutions. SmartRecruiters now competes with companies such as Avature, PhenomPeople, Oracle, and iCims. In the last 12 months, the company added more than 200 enterprise customers and grew revenue by 50%, demonstrating the company’s strength

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“EVEN DURING DOWNTURNS, THIS MARKET CONTINUES TO GROW AND SHOW CONTINUOUS INNOVATION. ” and the rapid transformation in the recruiting market. • BetterUp, valued at over US$1.7 billion, is the fast-growing coaching and development company. Its success has attracted many investors to the AI coaching niche, and now Torch and others are now nipping at its heels. • Eightfold.ai, the leader in AI-enabled talent intelligence, is valued at well over US$1 billion and just received US$300 million. Built around an advanced AIenabled platform, Eightfold’s solution has disrupted recruiting in a big way. • Visier, the pioneer and leader in people analytics, just raised US$125 million and now has a US$1 billion valuation. • Docebo (now public) is now valued at US$2 billion and is growing by more than 60% annually. No LMS company has grown at this rate for a long time. • Articulate Global, one of the leaders in content development tools, just received US$1.5 billion in funding. The company is part of the creator platform market for learning – a segment that is just getting started. • Lattice, a performance management

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platform that mid-sized companies love, is now valued at US$1 billion (the first performance management company to reach this valuation since SuccessFactors was acquired by SAP). Its success is creating interest in vendors like 15Five, Workboard, Betterworks, and TinyPulse.

Why Such High Valuations? First, the HR tech market is a healthy and sustainable growth market. With over 100 million businesses around the world and a fast-growing economy, everyone is arming up with HR tech. Even during downturns, this market continues to grow and show continuous innovation. Second, products like the ones above (as well as those from HiBob, Degreed, EdCast, Gloat, Fuel50, and 360Learning) are reinventing the market. Learning platforms are AI-powered, skills-enabled, and VRready. Talent marketplace systems are becoming integrated employee experience systems. And HR and payroll platforms are becoming management tools and end-toend hybrid work management systems. Lastly, interest rates are low so investors are willing to pay. HR tech is not a risky market. Rather, most HR tech companies have solid business potential. And since most are cloud platforms, recurring revenues grow at compounded rates. Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for the HR tech market and for HR teams. Never before have we had such a wide range of innovative options to help us reimagine HR.

About the Author JOSH BERSIN is Global Industry Analyst and CEO of the Josh Bersin Company, and will be presenting a keynote session titled Prepare for the New Paradigm of Talent Management on Tuesday, September 21 at 10.10am (SGT), at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021


F E AT U R E

JON INGHAM

Why the Future of HR is Putting People First

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R’s shift in focus from employee engagement to experience, reinforced by increasingly people-centric approaches during the pandemic, indicate a major inflection point in the way organisations manage their people. This shift to experience includes: • An increasingly cross-functional approach, with HR and OD working together with Facilities Management, the Digital Workplace, and other areas. • Technologies to simplify and integrate functionality and employee journeys around organisational touchpoints. • Technological and more human approaches to listening to employees and other workers about their own experience. • Using personas, design thinking and journey mapping to redesign the experience around particular moments that matter. The benefits of shifting focus from engagement to experience may include enabling employees to improve their work, leading to better customer experience, higher productivity and more innovation. Paradoxically, it may also lead to higher levels of engagement than focusing on this. Engagement has always been defined as something that will benefit organisations, and therefore can seem a little like manipulation, resulting in employees asking themselves whether engagement offers any benefits to them. Experience starts to look at our organisations from an employee perspective, which can offer the potential for developing a transformationally different approach to work, where improved engagement is a supplementary, oblique benefit of the change in approach. However, despite the emphasis on employee experience, it is not really the experience itself which marks the main

“MOVING TO THIS TRULY PEOPLECENTRIC APPROACH WILL NOT BE EASY, BUT THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN START DOING NOW. ” basis for this shift and many improvements do relatively little to change the way people work, or how motivated they may be. The real key then is for HR to take on the perspectives of our employees, and come together with these people to design organisational structures, processes and systems that help and enable them. This is about taking a more people-centric perspective to everything we do, putting people at the centre of our strategies and seeing them as the main customers of our activities. This is firstly because the type of improvements in experience which do produce significant business benefits are those which help people do their jobs better, or to contribute in different ways, and it is generally the people doing a job who understand best how it can be improved. But these benefits are actually less about the improved experience of work, than they are down to the way work is redesigned. Secondly, people do not come to work for the experience of work but because work provides them something that they need. This obviously includes money and other aspects of our employment value propositions, but also, often, other idiosyncratic requirements that have nothing to do with the core focus of our organisations, such as building a strong

personal brand. Moving to this truly people-centric approach will not be easy, but there are things we can start doing now. The first requirement is to continue to make our business strategies more peoplecentric, looking at ways our companies can differentiate and compete through our people and the ways we manage, develop and organise them. This is because, for most organisations, putting people-first approaches will build on what we are already doing, rather than replacing these. Secondly, we should invest in technologies that help employees manage themselves, giving them access to their own data, or better, the insights from analytics, enabling them to improve their own performance, rather than seeking to use this data to manage people more tightly. Thirdly, we need to talk to people about their real needs and how the organisation can help achieve these. I will be talking more about these opportunities in my keynote at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021.

About the Author JON INGHAM is Director of the Strategic HR Academy, and will be presenting a keynote session titled Unlocking A People Centric Approach To Employee Experience For Optimum Business Performance on Wednesday, September 22 at 3.10pm (SGT), at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021

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F E AT U R E

SAPIENT

Where to From Here? HR in the Year Ahead

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Toptaken Human Resource actionsthe takenglobal during the global crisis e will all look back on Top Human Resource actions during crisis 60% the last few years as a defining moment in our collective memories. 50% Literally overnight, HR functions were asked to reimagine the 40% work environment and make ongoing critical decisions about the safety and sustainability of the workplace. Global 30% Prior to Pandemic, Remote Working Employees organisation leaders had to rapidly figure out how to ramp up or down employment 80% 20% and business operations on a country-by6 0% country basis as the pandemic’s health 40% concerns ebbed or increased regionally. 10% 20% The recent global crisis brought into 0% focus just how diverse we are when it comes None Working 1% - 24% 25%-49% 50%-74% 75%- 100% 0% Remotely Redistributed workforces Temporary furloughs Reduce contract workers Increased Non-HR Tech spend Reduce leadership saleries Permanent furloughts Rapid hi ring or critical roles to achieving business outcomes and meeting ca Aggregate Aggregate APACAPAC EMEA EMEA North Ameri North Ameri ca the needs of our employees. Health care Source: Sapient Insights 2020-2021 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 23rd Annual Edition and grocery stores saw rapidly increasing workloads for front-line employees, while increasing non-HR technology spending and rapid hiring of travel and entertainment industries furloughed thousands of field critical roles and were less likely than other regions to temporarily employees overnight. Some organisations managed the crisis with furlough workers. a laser focus on the bottom line, keeping workers in possibly unsafe The work of HR has always been a combined response to environments or rushing layoffs without proper communications. business needs and societal changes. In this new era, an outcomeOther organisations chose to gather data, focus on safety, and make focused approach to HR shifts the focus from reactionary to leadership-level sacrifices, providing clear communication during visionary — a vision that supports achieving business outcomes in a workforce reductions or increases, and innovating where possible. sustainable and ethical manner. The number one response to the global pandemic, in almost In an outcome-focused HR environment, financial metrics are every industry and region Sapient Insights surveyed for the tightly connected to critical employee outcomes such as employee 2020-2021 Annual HR Systems Survey, 23rd Annual Edition, was health and safety, engagement, and diversity alongside long-term redistribution of an organisation’s critical workforce. Organisations business outcomes like market share, brand, and innovation. headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region focused heavily on

Shifting from Traditional HR to an Outcome-Focused HR

Source: Sapient Insights 2020-2021 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 23rd Annual Edition

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Prior to Pandemic, Remote Working Prior to Pandemic, Remote Employees Working Employees 6 0% 40% 20% 0%

Current, Remote Working Employees Current, Remote Working Employees 6 0% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

80%

None Working Remotely

1% - 24%

25%-49%

Aggregate

APAC

50%-74% EMEA

75%- 100%

None Working Remotely

1% - 24% Aggregate

North Ameri ca

25%-49% APAC

50%-74% EMEA

75%- 100%

North Ameri ca

Source: Sapient Insights 2020-2021 HR Systems Survey Data, 23rd Annual Edition

Source: Sapient Insights 2021-2022 HR Systems Survey Preliminary Data, 24th Annual Edition

Sapient Insights, Annual HR Systems Survey research showed that organisations that invested in talent management practices aligned with business outcomes prior to the global crisis, were more likely to take strategic steps to increase and redistribute critical workforces with the tools they needed.

•U pdated scheduling and productivity applications, focused on managing contact risks and pod-based work environments •E mployee health and safety applications, focused on both physical and mental health issues The global crisis has propelled us to look more broadly at HR’s role in our business environments and invest heavily in new and innovative technology areas – but organizations that continue to focus on achieving ethical and sustainable business outcomes through their HR Technology environments will be the most successful. Investment in any HR Application can be costly and should only be undertaken with a clear understanding of how to maximize adoption to achieve the stated business goals. Misalignment in any number of areas such as strategy, culture, features, or user expectations can lead to low adoption, lack of data, no return on value or investment, and missed outcomes. Developing a clear Blueprint of your HR Systems environment provides a common basis for acquiring and optimizing your HR Applications. This is the time to rethink our role in HR, and to consider what it means to be strategic in both our approach to HR as well as our supporting systems. Just 39% of organizations who participated in Sapient Insights 2020-2021 Annual HR Systems Survey stated their HR System environments were being utilized to inform business strategy in the last year. This percentage had not increased from the previous year, but we wonder if another 12 months of crisis will see a change in how organizations are leveraging their HR applications. We have seen amazing stories of innovation in the last year that provide a model for what the future of HR could look like, if we only take the opportunity to act.

The Role of HR Technology in New Work Environments Tomorrow’s work environment may look vastly different, but it also may not. All the commentators on this topic forget that we as business and HR leaders are choosing “How” we go back to work. Some organisations are heading back to work, adhering only to the minimum compliance requirements, and making very few changes to address this new world of work, while others are being more imaginative in how work can get done in this new environment. One way global HR leaders are expanding the notion of work is by offering continued support for remote work. The options for remote work have expanded exponentially overnight, and as you can see in the chart a large percentage of organisations are now embracing a hybrid work model. In the Asia-Pacific region, we saw a dramatic shift from 43% of organisations with no remote work options for employees prior to the pandemic, to just 8% of organisations today, and more dramatically 37% of organisations with 75 to 100% of their workforces still working remotely. Increased remote workforces have led to increased investments in both HR and Non-HR technology to support the employee, business performance, and data security and compliance requirements. Asia-Pacific organisations were much less likely to purchase remote work equipment, perhaps because of the tools already in use. In addition to remote working, other HR systems investments and process changes provide a more nuanced view of how work may change for many employees in coming years. These investments include: • Employee tracking and contact tracing applications • Employee communication and service delivery applications • Updated payroll applications, that provided more flexibility in pay options

Current Support Remote Employees Currentfor Support forWork Remote Work Employees 80%

About the Authors

60% 40% 20% 0%

Purchase remote work equipment

Regular virtual team activities Aggregate

Conduct regular pul se survey s APAC

EMEA

Schedule daily check-ins North Ameri ca

Source: Sapient Insights 2020-2021 HR Systems Survey Data, 23rd Annual Edition

Stipend for remote work equipment

Philippa Penfold, CEO and Co-Founder, People Collider; and Stacey Harris, Chief Research Officer, Sapient Insights Group. Join Harris at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on Thursday, September 23 at 2.00pm (SGT), where she will be presenting a session titled Global Insights Into Emerging Trends On HR and Workforce Planning Technology. A P R I L - M AY 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E

K AT I E B U R K E

The Future of Leadership Is Human – How To Develop Successful People Leaders

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ccording to a recent Microsoft report, 41% of employees globally are considering leaving their jobs, a data point that has been highly reported. What has been under-reported, however, is the number of companies desperate to find forward-thinking people leaders across core human resources, recruitment, and employee experience to help organisations develop initiatives that help shape the future of work. Data from Hays suggests 63% of HR professionals are seeking new opportunities. Needless to say, companies and leaders need to be thinking about meaningfully engaging and developing talent in the people space. So, what does it take? Below are a few of the skills that matter most in developing current and future people leaders: 1. Empathy: COVID-19 brought with it certainly a global health epidemic, but also a mental health crisis and a lot of turbulence and change for people, both in their lives and work. Now more than ever, we need a shift away from HR leaders managing administration and forms and instead becoming the centre of an organisation’s empathy, heart, and compassion. In July this year, HubSpot leaders declared a Global Week of Rest, a full week off for all employees to prioritise wellbeing after a challenging year. Employees look to organisations and people teams to cultivate this type of empathetic initiative. 2. Leaning into the future versus the past: Everyone has a view of what “work” looks like, and often it is shaped by your own experience going into an office, commuting, and meeting with folks around a conference room. As regions around the world re-emerge post-pandemic and return to a level of normalcy, there will be a temptation

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“NOW MORE THAN EVER, COMPANIES NEED PEOPLE PROFESSIONALS TO HELP DRIVE TALENT STRATEGIES THAT DELIVER. ” to fall back to pre-COVID-19 norms. Forward-thinking people leaders need to help their organisations balance traditions with innovation. Knowing that employees want employers who embrace new ways of working, people leaders need to help shape the future versus relying on the rules of the past. 3. Leading with data: People analytics, operations and systems teams within people organisations have historically not been as celebrated as they should be. The truth is, people data represents meaningful opportunities to help your organisation be more diverse, more inclusive, and more compelling for top talent in your company. Training people leaders to adopt leading with data versus following with it will help ensure companies get the insights they need to drive business impact at global scale. 4. Crafting great communications: During COVID-19, we realised our internal communications organisation, which had previously been rather informal, needed both investment and intention behind it. Now, our culture and internal communications team work hand-in-hand to ensure employees get communications they need via channels that resonate.

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Moreover, because we know that having more than 4500 employees globally means that not every email or Slack is read, we need to ensure our directors around the world are equipped with the right messaging to inform their teams. Most HR professionals are not trained to be great marketers, but as companies grow, it is more important that teams be able to cut through the clutter and tell a compelling story to capture people’s attention and interest. Now more than ever, companies need people professionals to help drive talent strategies that deliver. To do that, organizations and leaders need to help their human resources teams develop and operate differently than they have in the past. It is great news that people leaders are getting the kudos they deserve; now it is on all of us to ensure they get the training and support they need to grow into the roles companies and employees expect of them. It is a tall and humbling order, but it is mission critical that we help folks learn to do it, and do it well.

About the Author KATIE BURKE is Chief People Officer at HubSpot, and will be presenting a session titled The Future of Leadership Is Human – How To Develop Successful People Leaders on Wednesday, September 22 at 10.30am (SGT), at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021.


F E AT U R E

AMER IQBAL

Karate & Coffee: Mastering the art of change from within

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am standing at the counter in a coffee shop in Bali. The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans mingles with the sticky morning air. Outside, scooters speed down the narrow lane as local residents prepare to go about their day. I had chosen this café based on stellar reviews that assured the best coffee in town – but I am starting to have my doubts. The young man brewing our beverages seems hesitant and unsure of what he is doing. Quizzically, I decide to observe the coffee making process more closely. Beans are individually counted, then weighed on a precision scale. Water and milk is measured to the millilitre – then weighed as well. A stopwatch comes out to time the brewing process like an Olympic official. And once all elements are finally assembled in their cup? You guessed it, back on the scale again. The process seems entirely overengineered. The manager notices my fascination and explains: It is tough to retain staff in Bali, so he had devised a system to enable his revolving door of young, inexperienced staff to consistently produce the best coffee around. His part-time master barista had created a detailed checklist of each step to create the perfect coffee, something even beginners could easily follow. The process instantly struck me as reminiscent of an ancient Japanese martial arts learning model called “Shuhari”.

Shuhari: An ancient model for transformation Shu… Ha… Ri. The method describes the three stages a student takes on the path to mastery: • Shu (beginner): The student follows specific instructions from a single master. Do not question the theory, just copy and do. • Ha (intermediate): The student applies best practices and adopts lessons from other masters.

•R i (master): The student is able to learn and adapt based on their own practice. They transition from playbooks to principles. The student becomes the master. Whether knowingly or not, our master barista had adopted this ancient teaching pattern for his apprentice coffee makers. The young man currently making my coffee? Currently at the Shu stage, diligently following his master’s instructions without question.

Applying change in the corporate world Much like “Kaizen” before it, “Shuhari” has begun to gain popularity in the business community. A few years ago, my team and I had helped implement agile process adoption at a large telco. As a traditional, hierarchical organisation, the transformation had proven difficult; even basic agile patterns like daily standups had been derailed by a C-suite attendee’s demands for in-depth status presentations and last minute timing changes to suit senior execs’ busy schedules. Looking for inspiration, we turned to the Shuhari framework: • Shu: A strict set of rules for the daily standup: no slides, fixed timing, limit of three questions and one minute per person. Senior execs were only allowed to observe. Within two weeks, it began to improve productivity rather than hinder. • Ha: Experimentation was introduced. New formats were trialled and adapted to fit the specific work in each group. Within two

months, work carried over between sprints decreased dramatically; they could accurately forecast work for the first time. • Ri: After three months of experimentation, teams organically abandoned strict structures and used standups for timely, rapid exchanges of information. No status updates, just a focus on efficiently producing work. The company in question has gone on to successfully roll out agile waysof-working to a significant portion of their workforce, enabling teams to tackle projects and launch new products to market at an unprecedented rate. By applying Shuhari, they were able to walk before trying to run, which saved them from the instinct to revert back to their old ways. Back in Bali, I smile as the young barista finally hands over the cup of coffee I had ordered what seems like a lifetime ago. I flash him a knowing smile, feeling a connection with this young apprentice who has embraced the beginner’s mindset. “See you tomorrow,” I say as I cradle the precious cargo and step back out into the warm morning air.

About the Author AMER IQBAL is APAC Head of Digital Transformation at Facebook, and will be making a presentation titled Mastering The Art Of Change From Within – Unlocking New Capabilities From Your Internal Teams at HR Tech Festival Asia Online 2021 on Tuesday, September 21 at 10.40am (SGT).

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CCL

What is the state of digital leadership in your organisation?

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ith data and digital tools being the backbone of the economy today, digital transformation has become a national imperative for countries all across the globe, and Singapore is no exception. Singapore is currently ahead of many other countries in Southeast Asia, a lead that can be largely distilled down to three factors: the ease of conducting business, close collaboration between the government and industry, as well as an outside-in perspective that enables the citystate to learn quickly from others. Earlier this March, the Singapore government announced a new Digital Leaders Programme for companies that are more advanced in their digital journeys, to help equip them “with the capabilities and talent to accelerate their digital transformation journey”. This is testament to how Singapore is already thinking ahead, looking beyond equipping businesses with digital tools, to accelerate its digital talent development. With a clear vision to become the digital capital of Asia and a road map to get there, Singapore is well-positioned to thrive in a digital-first future. However, within the country, the rate of digital transformation is not even across businesses, with a study by UOB revealing that small enterprises are lagging behind their larger peers in digital transformation. To sustain its lead in digital transformation, Singapore will need to address these shortcomings. One key aspect: the capability of digital leaders in Singapore.

Building holistic digital leadership capabilities Until now, digital transformation efforts have been approached piecemeal or in a fragmented and uncoordinated manner. To build a holistic picture of what is really required for digital transformation, the Center for Creative

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Fig 1.1 Nine digital leadership roles

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Leadership has identified and mapped nine digital leadership roles, spanning three themes — setting direction, creating alignment, and scaling commitment. Our latest study on digital leadership readiness in Singapore found that leaders in Singapore have low- to mid-level ability in performing each of the nine roles associated with digital leadership, revealing a need for all-around development of digital leadership capability. One area where Singapore leaders stand out, comparatively, is in their ability to encourage commitment to digital, as well as to create positive employee experiences with digital tools. This is critical to any digital transformation journey, which is often met with resistance due to the ambiguity and uncertainty involved. Leaders who embody these traits, who we have named Engagement Energisers, facilitate the digital transformation process by connecting with the community impacted by the transformation, and creating a compelling view of the organisation’s digital future. Engagement Energisers are internal champions of digital transformation efforts, building confidence within the organisation to navigate change. To achieve this, close to 60% of Singapore leaders role model digital behaviours, encouraging their teams to embrace change by being the first to adapt to new processes. One area that our research revealed where Singapore can do better, is in grooming leaders who can take on the role of Innovation Accelerators. Singapore leaders scored the lowest in this aspect of digital leadership, with only about 50% of respondents reporting some- to moderate use of agile approaches for innovation — indicating that many leaders continue to be risk-averse, less ready to allow for and learn from failures.

Gearing up for the next wave of digitalisation: Are you ready? There is no doubt that digital is at the heart of the economic recovery. Governments and businesses that are more digitally enabled will not only be more resilient to future disruptions, but also far better positioned to cater to regional and global consumers and ecosystems. To thrive in the new digital economy, organisations have to start planning ahead, mapping out a blueprint for the next phase of digitisation. To do so, organisations must first gain a clear sense of where they are now

Fig 1.2 State of Digital Leadership questionnaire in their digital transformation journey and the state of digital leadership within the organisation. To evaluate the level of digital leadership readiness in your organisation and identify opportunities for improvement, you can complete the following State of Digital Leadership questionnaire or contact the Center for Creative Leadership to access the full Digital Leadership Survey (DLS). Depending on which of the 9 you need to focus on improving, access the full CCL report for the organisation shifts and best practices that will accelerate your digital transformation journey.

About the Authors ELISA MALLIS is Managing Director and Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Center for Creative Leadership; and ANAND CHANDRASEKAR is Leadership Solutions Specialist, Societal Advancement Lead (APAC), Center for Creative Leadership.

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TWO CENTS

Debate over COVID-19 vaccination should be driven by employee wellbeing BY SHAWN LIEW

As governments in Asia and beyond continue to readjust their policies and approaches to flexibly respond to the pandemic, remote work has continued to be the predominant arrangement in many countries, whether through choice or circumstance. While that may be the case, many organisations are beginning to formulate hybrid work models that will eventually require some, if not all employees, to return to the workplace. That in turn, will raise a pertinent question: Can employers mandate employees to be vaccinated before allowing them back to the workplace? According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), employers should not make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, and employees who decline vaccination should not have their employment terminated on the ground of declining vaccination. While people working in certain employment settings where there is higher risk of COVID-19 infection can be required by their employers to get vaccinated, employees who decline vaccination should be redeployed to lower risk settings or be asked to cover the difference in coronavirus-related costs incurred by them compared to vaccinated employees, as opposed to termination. Singapore’s stand on non-compulsory vaccination is echoed in neighbouring Malaysia, where speaking earlier this year, Shamsuddin Bardan, Executive Director of the Malaysian Employers Federation, said employers who force their staff to get COVID-19 vaccinations are essentially “violating human rights.” Other countries in South-East Asia, however, are adopting a decidedly different approach. Indonesia, for instance, made vaccination compulsory for citizens as early as February this year, while Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen warned employees in the public service and armed forces that they would be removed from their jobs if they refuse to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. However, it is developments in the US that could potentially set a precedent for many countries to follow. Last month, New York mayor Bill de Blasio called on the city’s private businesses to require their employees to be vaccinated. This comes after new guidance issued by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes that employers can legally require COVID-19

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vaccination for employees to re-enter the workplace and can provide incentives to encourage employees to get a shot. For those who advocate for mandatory vaccination for workers, the reasons are clear. Besides creating a safer work environment, such a move will assuage the uncertainty and fear employees may have in being told to return to the workplace with unvaccinated colleagues. Coercion, through the threat of termination, however, is unlikely to be the answer moving forward, and organisations will be ill-advised to embark on this path. In June this year, a New Zealand border staff who was dismissed for refusing to get the COVID-19 jab brought her case to the country’s Employment Relations Authority. Clearly, the legal ramifications of terminating employees who refuse to be vaccinated are an unwanted distraction for organisations as they attempt to recover and rebuild from the pandemic. Instead, it is more important than ever before to maintain clear lines of communication where HR leaders can begin to understand the underlying reasons why employees may be reluctant to be vaccinated. Employees should be encouraged to voluntarily be vaccinated and be supported through measures such as granting time off. Organisations can also launch education programmes that highlight vaccine safety and efficacy and more importantly, by showing employees that their safety and wellbeing are the top priority, organisations can alleviate many of the fears and concerns that are holding back many people from being vaccinated. Naturally, not all employees will be convinced, and there might be a proportion who will continue to decline, alongside the group of employees who cannot be vaccinated because of underlying health issues. Rather than exercising the right, or lack thereof, to terminate employees on the basis of non-compliance when it comes to vaccinations, organisations will be better served to use dialogue and open communication to find solutions that will benefit the organisation and their employees in the long-term.


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Leading An Agile Workforce For An Adaptable Organisation

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An exclusive by-invitation event for HR leaders With the wide-ranging level of disruption brought about by the pandemic we have witnessed a seismic shift in workforce operations. HR leaders are tasked with developing effective plans for hybrid work with the rollout of vaccines and countries looking to open up gradually. This has challenged HR Leaders to be highly agile as they face unprecedented demands not only to implement the structure of return to workplace but to define the culture of the company for the future. The CHRO Series has been curated to support HR Leaders to navigate around the challenges faced during this period and plan for a safe return to workplace in 2022.

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