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www.hrmasia.com

DECEMBER 2017 - JANUARY 2018

MANAGING DISRUPTION WITH KPMG SHISEIDO’S NEW SINGAPORE HOME THE MOST EFFECTIVE WORKPLACE DESIGNS IN ASIA

Behind the Price inc. GST $9.95

Multi-stage Life Thinkers50’s Lynda Gratton on leadership, trust, and employee longevity


A Place-and-Train Programme for Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs) PROGRAMME CONCEPT

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Administered by the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) and supported by the Workforce Singapore (WSG), P-Max is a three-year place-and-train programme which will assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to recruit, train, manage and retain their newly-hired PMETs, encourage the adoption of progressive HR Practices within SMEs, and to place job-seeking PMETs into suitable SME job roles.

CY

CMY

Hiring SMEs

WHAT THE SMEs SAY

Job-seeking PMETs

SMEs and newly-hired PMETs Complete respective workshops for SMEs (1-Day)

PMETs (2-Day)

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SMEs to retain PMET/s and complete six months follow-up with SNEF Receive a one-off Assistance Grant of $5,000 upon completion of programme

“As a leader in the digital inter-active industry, REVEZ needs to assimilate our newly hired PMETs, while increasing the rate of retention of our best people. The P-Max SME training at SNEF has empowered me with essential HR concepts, processes, and techniques that can be applied to keep our staff motivated and excited to grow with the company.” Victor Neo, Chief Executive Ofiicer, Revez Pte Ltd “I enjoyed the P-Max PMET Training workshop, and specifically benefitted from the tips on leadership, problem solving and self development. It also showed me the significance of working in an SME, motivated me to find my place and contribute meaningfully to the company. On the organisational level, the P-Max Resource Toolkit introduced a conscious mentoring structure to the company. In turn, this helps PMETs, like myself, to adapt faster and receive more guidance along the way.” Lim Jingyi, Asst. Manager (HR & Training), Selffix Pte Ltd

SME Criteria

PMET Criteria

1. Be registered and incorporated in Singapore;

1. Be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident;

2. Have an annual sales turnover (at group level) of not more than S$100 million or employment size (at group level) not exceeding 200 employees; and

2. Possess educational qualifaications that are Diploma or higher, or employed/have prior work experience in a PMET position; and

3. Minimum 30% local shareholding by Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents

3. Have graduated or completed National Service for a minimum period of 12 months

 www.p-max.sg Administered by:

 6827-6977

 p-max@snef.org.sg Supported by:


EDITOR’S NOTE

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Paul Howell SENIOR JOURNALIST

Kelvin Ong JOURNALIST

Yamini Chinnuswamy PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATOR

Ezzaty Nazurah Zainal SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Muhamad Azlin Ismail GRAPHIC DESIGNER

John Paul Lozano ACCOUNT MANAGER

Edwin Lim MARKETING MANAGER

Jenilyn Rabino EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER

Joanna Bush PHOTOGRAPHER

Ted Chen

tedchenphoto.com CARTOONIST

Gene Whitlock

up2speed.biz PRINTED BY

Times Printers Pte Ltd

PUBLISHED BY

Proudly owned by Diversified Group of Companies

HRM Asia Pte Ltd 60 Albert Street, Albert Complex #16-08 Singapore 189969 Tel: +65 6423 4631 Fax: +65 6423 4632 Email: info@hrmasia.com.sg

Dear HRM Magazine readers,

W

elcome to our final issue for 2017, an expanded edition which includes the first reveal of all the finalists competing for next year’s HRM Awards. The 15th anniversary event promises to be the biggest and best yet, with more than 30 organisations competing for the first time. All will be revealed at the Great Gatsby-themed gala event on March 2. So dust off the flapper dresses and button up the zoot suits for a night of fun and glamour as we celebrate the best of HR in Singapore. Also in this magazine is a look at some of the most effective workspaces in the Asia-Pacific region. While many of the offices listed have a cool and funky edge, that’s not what gets them on our inaugural Top 10 list. As Andrew Grant told the Smart Workforce Summit earlier this year, “an innovation lab is fantastic, but only if it actually leads to more innovation”. So HRM Magazine sought out only those spaces that have had a clear and positive impact on the workforces occupying them. And that impact needs to have been translating directly into the organisation’s business goals. But the most important story in the December-January issue is our exclusive interview with Lynda Gratton. The four-

time Thinkers50 representative has just completed a major piece of research into the impact of higher life-expectancies across the majority of the global workforce. With careers of 50 years or more becoming more common, she says HR needs to rethink its whole approach to the employee lifecycle. The Professor of Management Practice at London Business School will be revealing even more in her keynote presentation to HR Summit & Expo 2018 on May 9 and 10. She’ll join a standout line up of speakers (also including Marcus Buckingham and Jon Ingham) across eight conference streams. So reserve your seat now for what will be 2018’s biggest and best workforce management event. Thank you all for your support over 2017, and we look forward to bringing you more HR news, insights, and innovative practices in 2018. Best regards,

PAUL HOWELL Editorial Director, 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

MEET THE TEAM

©HRM Asia Pte Ltd, 2017. All rights reserved. Republication permitted only with the approval of the Editorial Director.

PAUL HOWELL

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

Editorial Director paul.howell@hrmasia.com.sg

KELVIN ONG

Senior Journalist kelvin.ong@hrmasia.com.sg

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

YAMINI CHINNUSWAMY Journalist yamini.chinnuswamy @hrmasia.com.sg

HRM ASIA.COM

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CONTENTS

DECEMBER 2017 - JANUARY 2018

ON THE COVER

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BEHIND THE MULTISTAGE LIFE

Four-time Thinkers50 Lister Lynda Gratton shares her latest research on employee longevity, and the ways organisations are being impacted by workers enjoying careers of 50 years or more

“The real challenge for HR is to build a great deal more flexibility into their organisations, in terms of how they remunerate, how they develop, and what they believe a career to be” – LYNDA GRATTON,

PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICE, LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL

F E AT U R E S

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MOST EFFECTIVE 22ASIA’S WORKSPACES

CHARGING FORWARD

Shiseido Asia-Pacific’s President Jean-Philippe Charrier shares how his cross-cultural experiences have helped guide the cosmetics company through a period of intense disruption in the beauty business

In this inaugural list, HRM Magazine goes on the hunt for Asia’s best-designed workplaces, with a keen focus on their effectiveness in helping workforces excel

AWARDS: 32HRM WINNERS TAKE ALL

Asia’s showpiece HR awards event is back. Here’s everything you need to know about the 15th edition of the HRM Awards, including all 85 finalists

46 FUTURE SKILLS TODAY

Professional services firm KPMG is gamely embracing today’s trends through a tried and tested formula of people development

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DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018


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REGULARS 04 06 10 68

BEST OF HRMASIA.COM NEWS LEADERS ON LEADERSHIP TWO CENTS

MY HR CAREER

ACROSS THE 52COLLABORATION BLENDED WORKFORCE

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Damien Delard, Vice President of Channel and Territory with AlcatelLucent Enterprise, Asia-Pacific, argues that companies need to evolve if they want to leverage the region’s increasingly contingent workforce

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BEING A BUSINESS MANAGER OF PEOPLE

Raamann Ahuja, Senior Director of HR for Thermo Fisher in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, says the role of the HR Business Partner has evolved with the fast-changing business environment

HOW TO MAKE YOUR VACATION WORK FOR YOUR CAREER

Strategic networking expert Gil Petersil says taking a break from work gives HR professionals an important opportunity to refresh, and also take stock of their own careers

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HR CLINIC HR PEP TALK CONGRESS WRAP UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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BEST OF HRMASIA.COM

What’s on

.com Watch - HR in Focus

Data Dimension’s Johan van Vuuren chats with outgoing HRM Magazine editor Sham Majid about the continuing sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, as well as the future of employment practices in a world where artificial intelligence and automation are high on the business strategy agenda.

Debate

Can businesses place too much faith in communications technology? HRM Magazine’s Kelvin Ong certainly believes so. He dissects the worldwide outage of the Whatsapp messaging service on November 3, and asks how HR can best firewall their organisations from the technical issues of a single service.

Your Say

Last month, we asked: : What is an acceptable time-to-hire for non-senior roles? This is your response.

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One month or less

Two to three months

49%

10%

Six weeks

More than three months

38%

3%

HRM ASIA.COM

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018


Watch - Siemens on HR transformation

Share - From the HRM Asia Forums

Mike Bokina, Global Head of HR Organisational Effectiveness, shares how the ongoing HR transformation is focused on building a more agile service delivery model.

“If employees

are leaving or have left to make new beginnings, then organisations have missed the beat already” Former HR Director of Redmart Prem Bhagat says organisations need to keep their staff challenged and developing, or risk losing them to the competition

Your Say

“Some might even resort to exploiting gig workers because of this vendor NO mindset. They might think % that since they are paying for the same amount, why not extract more value?”

Last month, we asked: Are technical skills alone enough to thrive in today’s disruptive world of work? This is your response.

YES

9%

91

Sam Neo says that organisations get best results when they treat their freelance and gig workers as part of the family

Debate

Some of the biggest names of Hollywood, US media, and politics have been outed for their long histories of staff harassment over the past two months. HRM Magazine’s Yamini Chinnuswamy looks into the less publicised case of DC Comics to reveal the long-term impact when business leaders “promote the problem” to avoid disciplining a favoured employee.

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hile emotional intelligence isimportant atallstagesofacareer, wearguethatitbecomesallthe moreimportantasyouriseinthe organisation” Aarti Ramaswami shares her team’s research linking emotional intelligence and individual career success DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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NEWS ASIA

SINGAPORE

WORKPLACE SAFETY LAWS AMENDED A SUITE OF of amendments have been made to Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health Act. From January 1 next year, unsafe work practices resulting in death or serious harm can result in fines of up to $50,000 – more than double the current maximum of $20,000. Such lapses could include a failure to implement protective structures, or inadequate supervision of hazardous work. Also kicking off next year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be able to release learning points and recommendations from workplace safety incidents – even before any criminal proceedings have concluded. With some court cases taking as long as three years to wrap up, the learning reports will enable the national government to quickly issue recommendations that could prevent future accidents.

MALAYSIA

2,002 DAYS OF LEAVE A CIVIL SERVANT from Malaysia’s Ministry of Education has finally been dismissed after missing work for 2,002 days, or almost 5.5 years. Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid told local media that it was still unclear who the staff member was or how the lapse happened, but that it took place in a rural school. “We take into consideration the fact that civil servants staying in rural areas sometimes are forced to take a boat for six

TOKYO, JAPAN

CIGARETTES OR VACATION? A TOKYO-BASED marketing firm has

introduced a new leave scheme that gives non-smokers six extra days of annual leave to match the number of breaks their smoking colleagues take each day. The leave entitlement was rolled out in September by Piala Inc. The company noted that there had been complaints from non-smokers, who said they were working longer hours than their smoking co-workers. A big reason for the unhappiness was that the office was located on level 29, which meant employees going for cigarette breaks at the designated smoking corner would take at least 15 minutes on each

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occassion. This resulted in resentment among the non-smokers, who felt they were being short-changed. But the firm’s CEO Takao Asuka said the idea was not about appeasing those few unhappy staff, but rather to encourage smokers to quit their habit with incentives, and not penalties or coercion. The additional leave benefits have already encouraged four employees to give up smoking, Asuka revealed in November. Some 30 of the company’s 120 employees have utilised their extra leave days since the leave system’s launch.

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

hours, then drive for two hours before walking for another four hours to finally get to work ... but I’m not saying that’s what happened (in this case),” he said. The minister revealed that there were some 1,950 reported cases of absenteeism committed by ministry employees between 2010 and October 2017 Of this number, 68% were committed by rank-and-file staff, while the rest involved managers and above.


UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA

32 DEAD AFTER PLANT EXPLOSION AT LEAST 32 workers were killed at a power plant in the state of Uttar Pradesh, following an explosion. Around 100 others were injured. The coal-fired plant was run by the government-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). According to state police, the

explosion was caused by a collection of ash in a furnace below the boiler. Families of the dead have each been offered compensation of 200,000 rupees (~S$4,200) by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who also sent his condolences.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

GENDER EQUALITY REVOLUTION

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

ICE CREAM WORKERS TRIUMPH IT TOOK A UNION-LED boycott in the lead-up to the summer

season, but workers of the Streets brand of confectionary have managed to reverse a corporate decision to cut jobs and wages. Streets is owned by global corporation Unilever, and produces popular international ice-cream products such as Magnum, Cornetto and Paddle Pop. In August this year, Unilever applied to the Australian Fair Work Commission to terminate the collective agreement for its Sydney factory workers. According to Unilever, the Sydney factory was too expensive to run, with a Magnum Classic ice-cream imported from Europe being 30% cheaper than one made there. However, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) claimed that if Unilever succeeded in terminating the collective agreement, workers at the factory would see their salaries slashed by almost half. The AMWU subsequently called for a national boycott of Streets products – which succeeded in bringing Unilever back to the negotiation table. Unilever recently withdrew its application to terminate the enterprise agreement, with both sides announcing that they had reached a new agreement.

WITH REVISIONS TO gender equality laws in South Korea, companies and individuals in violation now face harsher penalties. Failing to providing anti-sexual harassment training can result in a fine of up to S$6,200 for companies – almost twice as much as the previous fine of S$3,700. Covering up offences can result in a fine of ~S$30,000, instead of ~S$25,000. These amendments follow a recent string of sexual harassment scandals in the country, starting with a woman alleging that she had been secretly filmed and then raped by colleagues at furniture making giant Hanssem. Another woman claimed that she was raped by a colleague while working at Hyundai subsidiary Hyundai Card. South Korea’s Labour Ministry and Gender Equality Ministry have announced that they will launching public outreach campaigns to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace.

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

WASHINGTON DC, US

FIRED FOR OBSCENE GESTURE A US WOMAN has been fired from her

role with a US government building contractor after a photo of her making an obscene gesture toward US President Donald Trump’s motorcade went viral last month. 50 year-old Juli Briskman was caught on camera by a press photographer who was travelling with the convoy. Just three days later, her employers at Akima - a

builder that has contracts with the US government and military – fired her. “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media,” Briskman said. “So they were calling (the gesture) ‘obscene’.” Briskman was also brought down by the probusiness rules of the state of Virginia where she worked. Employers there are able to fire staff at any time for a broad range of reasons.

NEW YORK CITY, US

RAINY DAY HOLIDAY A US SOFTWARE software

company is now offering employees what is in effect “climate change” leave. Fog Creek Software will provide up to five days of paid leave per year for staff impacted by “the increasingly frequent disruptions of extreme weather and environmental conditions due to climate change.” The leave will be further extended if a state of emergency is declared. CEO Anil Dash says the new

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policy was brought in after recent hurricanes displaced some members of the Fog Creek team. “[Taking] care of employees means putting down our commitments to them and their families — in writing,” he said. “[Launching this initiative] is especially important [now] because these situations of being displaced by weather or environmental conditions are only going to become more common.”

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

MESSAGE IN A T-SHIRT HIGH STREET SHOPPERS in Turkey

received a surprise gift in garments purchased from fashion retailer Zara earlier this year: handwritten notes saying “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” The messages came from labourers who were not employed by Zara directly, but rather by third-party manufacturer Bravo Tekstil. The manufacturer reportedly closed down overnight in July, leaving workers unpaid. “Inditex (Zara’s parent company) has met all of its contractual obligations to Bravo Textil [sic] and is currently working to establish a hardship fund for the workers affected by the fraudulent disappearance of the Bravo factory’s owner,” an Inditex spokesperson said. “This hardship fund will cover unpaid wages, notice indemnity, unused vacation, and severance payments. We are committed to finding a swift solution for all of those impacted.”


SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL

LABOUR LAW OVERHAUL BRAZIL HAS LAUNCHED new

regulations to prompt more small business to hire non-traditional workers only through the proper channels. The regulations comprise the biggest changes to labour laws in more than 30 years. They cover seasonal hiring, remote working, and “autonomous” workers such as doctors and lawyers. Previously, restrictions on part-time contracts made it difficult for business to engage in seasonal employment and many

developed strategies to circumvent the rules. The laws now demand stiffer penalties against businesses which hire workers “off the books”. The new regulations have come under fire from labour lawyers and auditors, who say that full-time workers may be moved on to cheaper, part-time contracts. Reports show that one quarter of Brazil’s workforce is employed for less than 40 hours a week.

MUNICH, GERMANY

6,900 JOB CUTS FOR SIEMENS ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING

manufacturing giant Siemens is cutting 6,900 jobs worldwide – almost 2% of its 370,000 strong global workforce. Around half of the cuts will affect workers in Germany, while another 1,800 jobs will be lost in the US specifically. The cuts are a response to the shifting landscapes in the energy and commodity sectors.

“The power generation industry is experiencing disruption of unprecedented scope and speed,” board member Lisa Davis explained. “Renewables are putting other forms of power generation under increasing pressure.” Siemens still has 3,200 vacant positions, and plans to channel as many affected employees as possible into these.

LONDON, UK

FIGHT FOR OUTSOURCED WORKER RIGHTS A UNION REPRESENTING porters, security officers, and receptionists working

at the University of London has launched a landmark case that could have implications for employers of outsourced labour throughout the UK. The 75 university workers are employed through a facilities company, and do not receive the same benefits as those employed directly through the university. “In order for these workers’ collective bargaining and human rights to mean anything, we need to be able to negotiate directly with the university, not the glorified middle man,” said Jason Moyer-Lee, general-secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain.

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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LEADERS ON LEADERSHIP

WHAT WERE YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS AS A LEADER IN 2017?

KEN KOH

Group CEO, Yang Kee Logistics

FROM SUCCESSFUL business acquisitions and partnerships, to building the world’s first framed, multi-story automated container depot, Yang Kee Logistics has seen tremendous business growth in 2017. While partnerships are crucial to business growth, at the heart of every business is its human capital. To this end, we were recently recognised under the Human Capital Partnership (HCP) Programme, and received the HCP Mark to signify Yang Kee Logistics as an exemplary employer in the community. As we set our sights on becoming an industry game-changer, we are proud to witness exponential growth. I must emphasise that our achievements today are attributed to our people. I always believe they are our company’s building blocks. Yang Kee Logistics would just be an empty shell without them. To enjoy sustained success,

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we continuously invest in developing human capital, setting aside annual budgets for customised training, and upskilling to maximise their potential. We run our own teaching academy, training employees on the core operational skills they require for their jobs. As the logistics industry is constantly facing manpower challenges, we also strive to innovate how we grow and attract new staff. We strongly believe in empowering our employees to do their best for the company. Apart from training and development opportunities, we also invested heavily in our staff facilities this year. At our headquarters in Jurong, we have a fully equipped gym, canteen, and children’s corner. This affords our employees convenience when it comes to taking care of their health, and also empowers our working mothers to balance their career and family responsibilities. As we expand our global footprint, there will be more career development opportunities for our employees, especially Singaporeans. We are looking at a yearly headcount growth rate of 5%, so it is ever-more vital that we bolster our recruitment and HR strategies to build a robust global team.

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

SIMON FIQUET

General Manager, Southeast Asia and India, Expedia

MY GREATEST achievement at work is also one of the most rewarding parts of my job at Expedia – which is bringing people from diverse backgrounds and with various experiences to collectively embrace and celebrate this corporate culture. At Expedia, we have six cultural norms that are deeply ingrained into our DNA: being different; leading humbly; being transparent; being organised for speed; believing in the scientific method; and acting as one team. These are also the principles that I truly believe in, and that have guided me throughout my career as well. Last year, we brought in many new people to the team, and it was fabulous to see how they have adopted those cultural norms and made them their own. Through the onboarding process and by

working closely with their peers, our recruits became “Expedians” in mind and spirit in no time. We also helped part of our marketing team to embrace a new way of doing things. With a culture of transparency, scientific exigence and team mentality, this has allowed us to drive through change with much greater speed and adhesion. Finally, we believe in empowering people and decentralising decisionmaking. I take great joy in observing team members that have joined the company recently, making important decisions for the company on their own. This truly enables us to move faster, while growing our talents at the same time by giving them ownership and responsibility. Of course, this also requires a strong company culture, and our core culture of being different is all about valuing our employees and trusting them to do the right thing for the company. At the end of the day, we all have a single vision in mind – to grow the Expedia brand in the region to help people go places. Being able to work with them and achieve our vision together has been a truly gratifying achievement in the past year.


The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore | 2 March

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Reserve your table today at www.hrmawards.com Reach out to Cheryl Lau at 6423 4631 or cheryl@hrmasia.com.sg for further enquiries.


F E AT U R E

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L E A D E R S TA L K H R

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DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018


CHARGING

FORWARD

With over 30 years in various countries across Asia, Shiseido Asia-Pacific’s President JEAN-PHILIPPE CHARRIER’s cross-cultural experiences have helped the Japanese beauty giant to remain relevant in the widely-disrupted beauty business

J

ean-Philippe Charrier has spent more time in Asia than he has in his native country of France. Having left his home in the southern town of Agen at the age of 20, he has now spent over 30 years in the Asia-Pacific region. He first arrived in Japan in 1986 as an exchange student, and immediately fell in love with the country. “When I arrived in Japan I immediately thought ‘wow this country is unbelievable’,” Charrier recalls. He went back to France to complete his Masters degree (as well as brush up on his Japanese) before returning to Tokyo three years later when L’oreal deployed him there as the local marketing manager. A 29-year beauty and cosmetics veteran who has spent more than 12 years each of L’oreal and Shiseido, Charrier says he fell into the industry completely by chance. “I had the opportunity to be in different companies, and I went to L’oreal because it was a company everyone wanted to work for. They asked me to join because they wanted to send somebody to Japan and I could speak Japanese. So that was luck,” he says. Today, Charrier is married to a Japanese wife with whom he has two kids. He jokes that he has become so “Asian-ised” since those first days of his career.

B Y K E LV I N O N G Fast forward 20 years, Charrier then moved to Shiseido, where he was eventually appointed to his current role as President of the Asia-Pacific region in 2015. One of the first, and most significant things he did, was to move Shiseido’s Asia-Pacific headquarters entirely to Singapore that same year in July – a big challenge that he not only approached head on, but relished. Only a year later, the organisation had a staff strength of more than 2,000. Charrier says his ability, and even inclination, towards difficult situations, be it starting a new office from scratch or uprooting his career every few years, lies in his life and management philosophy. “I am a person who likes challenging roles because I think a leader is here to challenge the business models and the way we do business,” he shares. He believes this outlook has helped Shiseido to leverage new innovations and skillsets like e-commerce and “experience-based” shopping in today’s ever-changing conditions. “One of my philosophies is always to find something which is disruptive and innovative. I try to push things to the very end, whether you’re talking about your products or counter design, or anything which could impact our results. That’s what I do.”

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F E AT U R E

L E A D E R S TA L K H R retail that people are used to. But they will have a lot of competition in the future. There will be a lot more local intelligent retailers who will go through select stores and this trend will happen everywhere. But it’s not just the beauty industry that is affected. All companies are disrupted by technology.

“I’m very hands-on. I spend a lot of time selecting people because, of course, it is the people that have the biggest impact on our results and on our success”

How has the personal care and beauty industry changed since you first joined some 30 years ago?

Q

Very dramatically, especially in Asia. The industry at that time was very much influenced by Western companies. Women in Asia were also very influenced by the Western standards of beauty. I’m not sure if there was a kind of inferiority complex or simply admiration for the West. Big players like American and French companies at that time were taking the main share of the beauty market here. Today, it’s totally different. Asian beauty standards are now looked at as the benchmark here. You have Japanese and Korean companies which are becoming global players and are undertaking a lot of innovation. And you have consumers who are interested in finding more products that fit them and their skin needs. So the market has been evolving with more maturity. I think the market has also evolved in terms of where people are shopping. Young consumers today shop totally differently than they did 20 years ago. Then, people shopped mostly at department

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How have these changes influenced people strategies at Shiseido?

Q

stores, which were probably the only route for foreign beauty brands. Today there’s e-commerce and digital access to information; there are standalone boutiques; and people are also travelling more and buying more at duty free stores – so the complexity of consumer shopping habits has also very clearly had an influence on our business.

Do you think the beauty industry is less affected by disruption than other industries because consumers still need a physical touchpoint? I mean look at Sephora, which is doing so well.

Q

No, not at all. The beauty industry is certainly not spared from the disruption of e-commerce. In fact it’s very advanced in North Asia. In Southeast Asia, there is a lot more room to grow and big changes are coming. Sure, Sephora is a game changer and the consumers love it. Honestly, they are expecting it in some countries where Sephora has not entered yet. Sephora is something different from the traditional

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

We look at expertise differently to many other companies. In order to market our products, we need people who are specialised in digital marketing and e-commerce. The way we sell to consumers is also very different. Before it was a battle of very big media, with television and magazines – the traditional media. When you talk about teams and competencies and HR, those have totally changed. Today you need to have people who look at advertising in a totally different way. So in our organsiation here, we try to build competencies to match these changes in terms of distribution. We are also looking at retail because it has changed a lot. In a way, retail now is about experience. So when consumers choose a product, they have so many choices in buying online or anywhere else. The point of differentiation for our shops today should be the experience that they have. Some people would go to the extreme to say that you go into a store not to buy a product but to ‘buy the experience’, and the product is just a souvenir that you take away that reminds you of that feeling in the store. So for us, when talking about HR and competencies, we need to have people who understand these changes, and people who can take us through the different innovations and market environments.

The emphasis on experience would also mean store employees now have to be trained in many other areas?

Q

If you look at a company like Shiseido, which has been selling cosmetics constantly through beauty consultants for many years, it is a given fact that staff are heavily trained in product knowledge and service. But today, the problem is more complex than that because some consumers don’t necessarily want to be influenced by a


salesperson when they make a purchase. So they research the product online first, test it at a store, before buying it somewhere else. The challenge now is how to engage these consumers effectively, but in a different way.

of different skill sets gives you the success you are looking for — so that’s definitely something I cherish a lot.

Q

What are the biggest challenges for the beauty industry here in Asia?

There are several. One of them is definitely to create products that are fitting with what consumers want. We are in an industry where innovation is very strong, which means that the cycle of launching new products is very high. For us, the challenge is to get close to the Asian consumer needs. That’s why we are trying to set up a research and development unit here in Singapore. We have set up a team here because we want to be able to give to them products from Japan and from the US – products which are really fitting what they are looking for.

were the general manager at Q You L’oreal Korea before people operations roles and now leadership at Shiseido. How would you describe your leadership style? Well I’m very hands-on. I spend a lot of time selecting people because, of course, it is the people that have the biggest impact on our results and on our success. In all my assignments in the past, I have spent a lot of time looking at what kind of capabilities and competencies we need to have, how to train people, and the like. In the end, this mixture

one ON

I LOVE:

Travelling and spending time with my family I DISLIKE:

Not being challenged MY INSPIRATION IS:

My family

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Not to be afraid of taking risks

1

WHAT’S THE BEST DECISION YOU EVER MADE?

To come to Asia

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR CAREER-DEFINING MOMENT?

Moving from a French company to a Japanese company DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD:

I’m very adventurous

As a Japanese company, another challenge is to see how far we can go with Asian brands. Asia has been influenced by Japan and Korea, and consumers are increasingly interested in buying Japanquality products that are reliable and coming from very high quality standards. The Korean beauty industry is in the same boat today. They try to expand in Asia with a different quality standard because for them the primary competitive advantage is their innovation. It’s now Japan and Korea versus the world so we need to figure out how to win this battle.

Shiseido moved its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Tokyo to Singapore in 2015, and also opened a research and development centre there 12 months later. What was the rationale behind these moves?

Q

These were both something I wanted to accomplish personally, because we had a new CEO in 2014, and he wanted to globalise the company and get closer to customers. At that time we were very Japan-centric. We were selling our products by managing everything in Japan. There was a very strong need to decentralise the organisation and diversify our human resources. I felt that Singapore, which I knew before I had even joined Shiseido, was the right spot to do that. I convinced my head office and CEO that if we wanted to expand in Asia we needed to relocate to change the game totally. It was dramatic change all within one year. The decision was taken in the beginning of 2015. I was the first one to set up office here in August, 2015. Then I started recruiting people immediately and we started operations on January 1, 2016. And we are expecting to finish the year (2017) with 2,080 people.

Q

That’s a huge growth in headcount!

Yes it is a big change. But you know what? Today I look back and I say I’m very proud of it, and honestly, I have a team which has about 80 people with a perfect blend of nationalities. I was calculating for about 10 nationalities, so it wasn’t a monoculture like it used to be. Because of that, we manage Asia in a different way. We are close to the markets and our sales have increased dramatically in the past three years. kelvin.ong@hrmasia.com.sg DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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Asia

2018

9th & 10th May SUNTEC SINGAPORE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

H R 4 . 0 – R e t h i n k T h e W a y Yo u W o r k

HR 4.0 - Rethink The Way You Work

Find out more here

Organised by:

www.hrsummit.com.sg


THOUGHT LEADERS

F E AT U R E

BEHIND THE

MULTISTAGE

LIFE

World-renowned management expert LYNDA GRATTON says the typical life cycle of an employee has changed forever. She explains the concept of a multi-stage life ahead of her keynote presentation to HR Summit & Expo Asia 2018

F

or Dr Lynda Gratton, the trailblazing consultant, academic, and four-time Thinkers50 List member, now is a crucial period of change for both organisations and the employees who work with TCH CA them. By natural extension, it’s also a vital time for HR professionals across the globe. They’ll need to get t a their people strategies absolutely mit right if they are going to steer their HR Sum xpo Asia E & 9 th 0 organisations and workforces through & 1 0th May 2 the coming challenges. 18

LYNDA N GRATTO

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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F E AT U R E

THOUGHT LEADERS

“I’m fascinated in the way that the future develops, and feel that we are in a really crucial point of transition,” she tells HRM Magazine. With technology and other forces disrupting traditional business models at the moment, and the changing ways that young consumers in particular are interacting with brands, the air is full of both threats and opportunities, she notes. Over a 30-year career in academia and management consulting, Gratton certainly has experience in these kinds of global, economic shifts. She first broke into the Thinkers50 list in 2011 (ranked #12 that year, and #29 in 2017), just as the Global Financial Crisis was subsiding and the first evidence of new developed economy working patterns was emerging. Her book The Shift was also published that year, with the now oft-repeated tagline: “The future of work is already here”. “What we know of work and what we know of careers has changed fundamentally, and that means we have to think about changing our lives (in response),” she said at the time. Fast-forward six years, and that same challenge has grown exponentially. Certainly, it’s been fuelled in part by the disruption and technological changes that businesses are adapting to currently, but Grattan argues a more significant,

18

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“WE SEE THAT THE TYPICAL THREE-STAGE LIFE WILL VERY QUICKLY MORPH INTO A MULTISTAGE LIFE WHICH INCLUDES PERIODS OF EXPLORATION, TRANSITION, POSSIBLY BUILDING A COMPANY, AND CREATING A PORTFOLIO

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

fundamental change is also at play. She says greater life expectancies across both developed and emerging markets have broken down the traditional “three-stage” view of an individual career. Where once people moved systematically from full-time education to full-time work, and then to full-time retirement, today the lines are far more blurred. Organisations looking for the best and most reliable talent will need to broaden their horizons in response, accepting that true “talent” can now be of almost any age and background.

The 100-year life This is the key concept behind Gratton’s latest book, The 100-Year Life, written together with economist Andrew Scott and published earlier this year. She says the partnership between economist and psychologist was an unusual one, but ultimately important for the thoroughly researched and conceptually sound understanding it enabled. “I think it brought really fresh insight into what it means when people live to 100,” she tells HRM Magazine. Chief among these insights is the near revolution that is happening to that traditional three-stage life. Gratton says it is being replaced by the multi-stage life, in which education, work, and relaxation can happen concurrently, with varying weight given to each at different times. And just to make it more complicated, new “stages” are also set to emerge.


UP

LYNDA GRATTON Professor of management practice, Consultant, and Thinkers50 List member

SE CLwO ith...

Based in: London, UK Academic background: PhD in psychology. Mantra: Focus on the “Intangible Assets” What does that mean? In times of disruption, it is vital for employees to actively manage their full range of resources, including skills, reputation, vitality, self-knowledge, openness to new experiences, and diverse networks. In turn, HR needs to recognise, develop, and reward these assets. Social media of choice: Twitter, and I also blog and send out a monthly newsletter. Most supported sports team: My husband is an Arsenal football club supporter, so that’s who I support as well. Biggest moment of your life thus far: I’ve had many interesting and exciting moments. I like to travel and push myself to the limits. So that means I’ve had lots of adventures. You’re presentation is complete. You’re fully rested – and you’ve got 24 hours left in Singapore – what’s on the agenda? I’ll spend at least half a day wandering around the beautiful. botanical gardens, and gaze at the extraordinary orchid collection. I’d then go and eat some wonderful Singaporean food, preferably from the street markets. And if it’s durian time, I’ll also eat that!

“We see that the typical three-stage life will very quickly morph into a multi-stage life which includes periods of exploration, transition, possibly building a company, and creating a portfolio,” Gratton says. These multi-stage lives are set to be a challenge for HR in particular, as workforce managers will have to go outside their comfort zones to find new ways of attracting, rewarding, and retaining talent. “Multi-stage lives have many more transitions, and each person will build their own stages in their own sequences,” Gratton adds. “So the real challenge for HR is to build a great deal more flexibility, in terms of how they remunerate, how they develop, and what they believe a career to be.” Stereotyping around age could become an Achilles heel, she warns specifically. “When people live healthily into the 90s, and work into their 70s and 80s, then we have to drop many of our old stereotypes of what it means ‘to age’.”

A 30-year career, and counting The 100-Year Life is not Gratton’s first foray into this kind of human-focused thought leadership in the business management space, indeed neither was Shift. She coauthored the academic Strategic Human Resource Management: Corporate Rhetoric and Human Reality in 1999, before releasing The Democratic Enterprise as a solo project in 2004. Gratton’s consultancy career began with

a stint with British Airways and then further work in a private consulting practice. “But I never really lost my love of writing and thinking,” she says. “And so in my early 30s I went back into academia and I’ve been at London Business School ever since.” Ten years ago, she launched the Future of Work Consortium, and since then more than 80 companies of all sizes from across the world have been involved in its co-creation work. It looks at the new and

HR SUMMIT & EXPO ASIA 2018 celebrates its 16th anniversary in 2018, with a jampacked programme of ground-breaking HR thinking and best practice case studies. With multiple conference streamsand a free expo filled with the latest HR solutions and innovations, the two-day event is a must for anyone in business and workforce management in this part of the world. The conference takes place on May 9 and 10 next year, at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information, and early bird registration deals, visit: www.hrsummit.com.sg/

emerging challenges facing organisations and employees, and works collaboratively to develop new solutions and best-practice responses to them.

The leadership multiplier But while the circumstances change and evolve over the years, Gratton and her teams have found there are some common strategies that organisations can employ to stay ahead of the curve. Strong leadership and organisation-wide trust are consistently powerful tools, she says. In terms of leadership, Gratton says the biggest gap right now is in the area of foresight. While organisational leaders typically excel at near-term strategy and execution at the moment, there are far fewer who can project those skills much further into the future and prepare their organisations for the challenges that lie ahead in five, 10, or even 20 years’ time. “There are few leaders who spend significance time reflecting on the future, or indeed building a narrative to help guide their employees through to that.” Gratton was Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Leadership this year, and says it quickly became clear that leaders actually have two journeys that they need to take on: an inner journey, and an outer one. “The inner journey is in the sense of developing their own skills, visions and competencies; and the external journey is about how they view the world and prepare their own organisation for it.” It is this outer journey that many leaders are falling short on, maintaining a reactive stance to the changing world, rather than a proactive and creative approach that factors in the wide range of unknown elements. True trust is another vital element for organisations navigating the changing business environment, but Gratton warns that this has also diminished across organisations in recent years. “We know that trust in organisations has gone down over the last decade. People feel that the rhetoric and reality are not aligned, and of course they also see the selfish ways that some leaders behave,” she says. “The risk is that when trust breaks down, then individual motives and aspirations takeover (and) the community rapidly disintegrates.”

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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Asia

2018

9th & 10th May SUNTEC SINGAPORE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

ASIA’S LEADING HR EVENT

H R 4 . 0 – R e t h i n k T h e W a y Yo u W o r k

Speakers Announced: Thinkers

50

LYNDA GRATTON Organisational Management Thought-Leader & Professor of Management Practice, London Business School

MARCUS BUCKINGHAM World’s Leading Expert on Talent, Internationally Renowned Thought Leader & Business Expert

NICK WALTON Head, ASEAN Amazon Web Services

ANNELLA HEYTENS Vice President, Human Resources, APJC Cisco

DN PRASAD Director and Head of People Services, APAC Google

JORDAN PETTMAN Global Head People Data, Analytics and Planning Nestlé (Switzerland)

HR Summit features over 100 international, regional, local speakers & influencers. For more information please view

Tel: +65 6423 4631 | Email: info@hrmasia.com.sg

LIVE FROM THE USA

C-SUITE C-SUITE C-SUITE C-SUI SYMPOSIUM SYMPOSIUM SYMPOSIUM S SYMPO

84,68,48,40 84,68,48,40 84,68,48,40 84,68,8


es at e R l d ab ir il B va y rl A Ea ow N

HR 4.0 - Rethink The Way You Work

G

Today, rapidly evolving technologies, demographics, business models, and workplace expectations are shifting concurrently - and at break-neck speed. Work smarter, not harder - now is the time to discover how you can best benefit from new technologies, high-impact HR strategies and new ways of working to create an agile, digital organisation, that will withstand the test of time and maintain its competitive advantage. The Revolution is here. So, how are you and your organisation adapting to support this evolution and becoming change-agents to meet the constantly evolving business needs of the future economy? C-SUITE C-SUITE SYMPOSIUM SYMPOSIUM

TRANSFORM & TRANSFORM & REDESIGN REDESIGN

Tailor Your Experience! 84,68,48,40 84,68,48,40

ENGAGE & ENGAGE & EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE

85, 30, 44, 5 85, 30, 44, 5

0, 47, 99, 0 0, 47, 99, 0

Choose from 8 focused conference streams and cost options:

SME C-SUITE TRANSFORM & ENGAGE DEVELOP START-UP DAY SME DAYDAY C-SUITE TRANSFORM ENGAGE & & DEVELOP & & GROW & THRIVE SME DAY C-SUITE TRANSFORM & &TRANSFORM & ENGAGE &DEVELOP GROW & THRIVE DAYDAY START-UP DAY SME DAYDAYDAY C-SUITE &ENGAGE ENGAGE &DEVELOP DEVELOP & &&THRIVE C-SUITE TRANSFORM & & & GROW SME C-SUITE TRANSFORM & EXPERIENCE ENGAGE &PERFORM DEVELOP SYMPOSIUM REDESIGN PERFORM GROW & THRIVE DAY GROW& & THRIVE GROW &DAY THRIVE DAY SME DAY SYMPOSIUM REDESIGN EXPERIENCE C-SUITE TRANSFORM ENGAGE & DEVELOP & GROW SME DAY START-UP SYMPOSIUM REDESIGN EXPERIENCE PERFORM SYMPOSIUM REDESIGN EXPERIENCE PERFORM SYMPOSIUM REDESIGN EXPERIENCE PERFORM SYMPOSIUM REDESIGN EXPERIENCE PERFORM

SYMPOSIUM

& REDESIGN

EXPERIENCE

PERFORM

THRIVE DAY

DAY

0, 100, 84,68,48,40 85, 30, 0,99, 47, 099, 0 73, 2, 93, 72,100, 0, 100, 0, 0 0, 100, 100, 0 0 100, 100, 84,68,48,40 544, 5 0, 47, 73, 93, 1 2, 1 0, 0 0 0, 100, 100, 00, 100, 84,68,48,40 85,85, 30,30, 44,44, 585, 47, 99, 0 72, 72, 0, 100, 0 100, 100, 100, 100,100, 0 00, 0 100,0, 100, 84,68,48,40 30, 44, 44, 5 0, 0, 47, 073, 093, 2, 1 73, 93,73, 72, 0, 0 0 84,68,48,40 30,85, 44,85, 5 30, 0, 47, 99, 00, 99, 2, 193, 72, 0, 100, 0 100, 0,0100, 84,68,48,40 5 47, 99, 73, 2, 93,1 2, 1 72, 0, 100,

Topics include: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Redefining the Employee Experience in the Digital Age – High Touch, High Tech Global People Analytics The Future of Work START-UP HR MILLENNIALS START-UP DAYDAY MILLENNIALS DAYDAY START-UP DAY HRHR MILLENNIALS DAY PLENARY Transforming the HR Organisation PLENARY START-UP DAYDAYHR MILLENNIALS HR MILLENNIALS DAY START-UP DAY DAYPLENARY START-UP HR MILLENNIALS DAY PLENARY PLENARY PLENARY Future-Proof Your Talent 0, 100, 100, 100, 100, 0,100, 0,0,100, 0 0 100, 100, 0, 0 0, 0 100,0, 0,00,0,0 0, 0 0, 0, 0 100, 0, 0 0, 0, 0 0 0, 0, 100, 00,100, 0, 100, 100, 100, 0,100, 00,0, 0, 0,0,00, 0 100, 100, 0,100, 0 100, 100, 0,100, 0, 0100, Cracking the 100, Code of Employee 0Disengagement Creating Successful Collaborative Workplaces Design Thinking for Improved Candidate and Employee Experience Total Rewards: The Evolving Landscape and Emerging Trends Learning & Development Strategies During Rapid Expansion Experience Vs. Potential: A Controversial Approach to Recruitment Unconventional Practices Through Agile HR For Business Success and many more...

www.hrsummit.com.sg | Organised by:

DEVELOP & DEVELOP & PERFORM PERFORM

GROW GR

73, 93, 2, 1 73, 93, 2, 1

HR MILLENNIALS DAY HR MILLENNIALS DAY

HR MILLENNIALS DAY 100, 0, 0, 0

100, 0, 0, 0

PLENARY PLENAR

0, 0, 100, 0 0, 0, 10


F E AT U R E

IN DEPTH

ASIA’S MOST EFFECTIVE

WORKSPACES When it comes to workplace design, the emphasis is now as much on function as it is about form. In this inaugural list, HRM Magazine combs Asia for the standout office designs that revolve primarily around employees’ needs B Y K E LV I N O N G A N D PAU L H OW E L L

ome of the world’s most celebrated workspaces, like Google and Facebook, have a few things in common. Besides being architectural and interior design wonders that have spawned many copycats and changed the corporate aesthetics game; they have also given people management an all-new dimension. These pioneers have re-invented the modern-day office: Today, it is a purpose-driven, purpose-built workspace with one end-goal in mind – to get employees to do their best work while living their best lives. What these organisations have discovered is that for employees to be working at their optimal levels all the time, employers and HR should look at more than just a highly attractive compensation and benefits package and a great career development framework. That’s because the average white-collar worker spends some 280 days, or nearly 2,300 hours, in the office every year, equating to over 25% of their lives. So it has become increasingly important for companies not to be limited by the concept of “office hours”. They are not only splitting hairs, but also completely missing the mark: Work is now life; and life is work. 22

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With that line now fully blurred, it is no wonder more and more companies are spending so much time, money and energy into creating some of the world’s most stunning and compelling offices. And it is with this in mind that this list, Asia’s Most Effective Workspaces, was created. What has been surprising is that while technology firms tend to be at the forefront of most HR-driven transformation, the 10 companies featured here are from very different industries. They include representatives of the pharmaceutical, infrastructure management, telecommunications, and advertising sectors. One of HRM Magazine’s picks is Malaysian telecommunications giant Maxis, whose current office in downtown Kuala Lumpur was unveiled in early-2015. For Maxis, organisational culture transformation was the main driving force behind the redesign. The company wanted to create a flatter organisation and a culture of transparency. Its head of people and organisation Adzhar Ibrahim said this would only be possible if all divisive layers were removed. By that, he meant not only the minimisation of job titles and reporting lines, but even the complete removal of physical barriers in the form of cubicles and partitions. Today, every employee at Maxis’s Plaza Sentral site (see: page 29) is given the same type of workstation regardless of their job scope and designation. This practice even applies to senior company leaders like CEO Morten Lundal, whose desk is located in a corner in the open and looks just like any other. Over at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), natural lighting and greenery seemed to have been the top design priorities (see: page 24). In fact, from the moment one steps into the building, it feels like they have been transported into a massive greenhouse. The purpose of this, Dr Andrew Epaphroditus Tay Swee Kwang, Director (Health & Productivity) – Singapore, Health Share Services at GSK says, is to stimulate positive moods and increase wakefulness

among employees. And it’s not just the big boys that are approaching workspace design with such scientific precision. Start-ups like Singapore e-commerce player Shopee (see: page 25) and Indonesian transport network Go-Jek (see: page 26) are also among the entities that have given new meaning to workplace design through innovative floor plans and clever use of home elements like beds and sofas. Shopee, a subsidiary of Sea Group, for example, moved to its new home at Science Park after only two years at its previous location at nearby One-North. The shift was part of the online retailer’s growing focus on cultivating talent. While the new office comes with fancier trimmings, like sleeping pods, an entertainment corner and an in-house masseuse, the overarching open-plan concept was developed around the goal of improving connectivity and collaboration among staff, and fostering a stronger internal community. What is also noteworthy is the fact that the office refresh took place simultaneously across all Shopee offices in the region. For Go-Jek, one of Indonesia’s most successful startups in recent years, the design emphasis was clear: To make employees feel at home in the office. Parts of the premises were designed to feel and look like a living room, allowing staff to use those spaces when they prefer to work in a more relaxing environment. Regardless of whether they are a large multinational or an emerging technology start-up, these organisations show that the key to unlocking employees’ full potential is sometimes hidden in the little touches. Something as simple as a sofa could just be what was missing all along. kelvin.ong@hrmasia.com.sg

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F E AT U R E

IN DEPTH

GSK (Singapore) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

Over 800 Hassell Studio

The newest compound on the list, GSK officially moved into its six-storey, stateof-the-art Asian hub – named The GSK Asia House – in October this year. The mammoth building, which sits on 1.3 hectares at Singapore’s chic Rochester Park, was designed to foster better connectivity and collaboration among employees and customers alike.

HIGHLIGHTS

Over 15 types of reconfigurable work

spaces, meeting venues and interaction spaces Sculptural roof form with unique “petal” shading Almost feels like a greenhouse : Over 62,000 different plants scattered across the premises, with sunlight streaming in through universal full-length windows Health studio and gym offering daily fitness classes

SO WHAT?

Creates a highly appealing, welcoming vibe Stimulates positive moods, and promotes wakefulness and good respiratory health

Promotes a less sedentary and healthier lifestyle Encourages flexibility, collaboration and movement among teams

THEY SAY:

Our new regional headquarters GSK Asia House’s open-plan working design removes unnecessary cubicles, partitions and visual barriers, creating a spacious physical environment that feels more spacious, bright and energised, with a good ‘buzz’ in the central collaborative zones, which enhances creativity and productivity. To reduce sedentary working behaviour, GSK provides adjustable sit-stand desks for employees’ use. This has been shown

to enhance caloric expenditure, improve productivity, and reduces the risk of metabolic diseases,

including high cholesterol levels. Such workstations and other ergonomic considerations, together with the centrally accessible stairwells, outdoor working trails, and proximity to Singapore’s network of interlinking park connectors, will support healthy working behaviours.” - DR ANDREW EPAPHRODITUS TAY SWEE KWANG,

DIRECTOR (HEALTH & PRODUCTIVITY) – SINGAPORE, HEALTH SHARE SERVICES, GLAXOSMITHKLINE

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LEO BURNETT (Hong Kong) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

200 Bean Buro

Visitors to Leo Burnett’s Hong Kong office are left with no doubt of the advertising agency’s creative credentials. Spread across two stories as well as a large outdoor terrace, the 35,000 square-foot space in the burgeoning Kwun Tong district of East Kowloon is designed to mimic the vibrant, urban (read: US hipster) life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It features writable walls, and strategic noise reduction elements so that meetings and discussions can take place spontaneously, all in support of a dynamic working culture.

HIGHLIGHTS

Variety of work spaces for staff to choose from, including: a. Open-plan work clusters b. Semi-private discussion areas c. Private meeting rooms Full-height glass walls throughout Designated writeable walls

SO WHAT?

Large outdoor terrace, with a 10-meterlong bar and barbecue area that also hosts casual work meetings

Semi-private discussion areas allow people to brainstorm, review works, or hold informal meetings within smaller groups. The terrace creates another option for staff to meet in, with some fresh air Overall layout and design elements improve work-balance and employee health

THEY SAY:

Leo Burnett is a ‘HumanKind’ agency – we are advocates for putting people first in everything. We believe what we are doing is not advertising, this is about people. We practice what we preach internally with our people too. We need to understand our people, and how we can create an office environment and layout that fosters productivity. My favourite part of the office is the lovely café area and large outdoor terrace where

staff can have lunch, hold informal meetings, or throw parties. It is also the perfect place for Friday drinks after a stressful week.” - CARY SHEK,

DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE AND CULTURE, LEO BURNETT HONG KONG

Massage room, that comes with a dedicated in-house masseuse

SO WHAT?

SHOPEE (Singapore) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

400 DB&B

The main floor of online marketplace Shopee’s Singapore headquarters looks normal enough, with rows of desks across a single level of the Science Park business hub in the west of the island. But surrounding this space is a whole host of unique features that help inspire the collaboration and staff wellbeing that is at the heart of the startup’s enviable employer brand. From the massage

room, to the huge supermarket-style cafeteria and pantry, to the dormitory-style room of sleeping pods, this office has made employee experience central to its design

HIGHLIGHTS

Larger work desks by default Booth set-ups of various sizes, including one-seaters dubbed “Forever Alone Booths” Massive staff cafeteria, including an extensive fridge and separate, wellstocked pantry Numerous sleeping pods

Office space allows for both quiet and collaborative spaces Employee health is highlighted, with staff able to take a nap and recharge at any time of the day Larger desks give developers ample space for their preferred screen and device configuration

THEY SAY:

We emphasised to our designers the need for both collaboration and community in our work environment. Collaboration is in our DNA. A huge part of our strong growth

has been due to the magic that happens when you bring highly motivated, smart people together and give them the space to create. Our community is also a tight-knit one. This is most evident from a quick visit to our bustling cafe, which acts as a nexus point for business and social needs.” - LIM TECK YONG,

HEAD OF PEOPLE TEAM, SHOPEE

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F E AT U R E

IN DEPTH

GO-JEK (Jakarta, Indonesia) EMPLOYEES

800

Indonesia’s hottest startup has created its own take on the open-plan office, by designing its South Jakarta headquarters in the style of a home living room. Its 200 staff can relax in groups around the widescreen television monitor, work alone in individual small pods, or take advantage of the Go-Chill and GoLibrary multipurpose rooms. This is all designed to enhance employee health and wellness, while contributing to a familiar atmosphere that drives collaboration and productivity.

HIGHLIGHTS

Open space working environment, with individual pods also available Lounge room feel to add to the family- like culture within the organisation Adaptable rooms for training sessions, long meetings, and even just hanging out

MICROSOFT (Hong Kong) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

Around 380 M Moser

THEY SAY:

“For us, an ergonomically-sound

and effective workspace means looking at our employees’ wellbeing holistically. It goes beyond

just providing fancy facilities. We believe in the importance of not only healthy minds and healthy bodies to increase productivity, but also healthy relationship between our employees. It is part of our commitment to creating a conducive environment to support this.” - MONICA OUDANG,

CHIEF HR OFFICER, GO-JEK

is aiming for a “neighbourhood” feel, where everybody is on hand to help each other out – whether that is in any of the functionbased workplaces, the massage chairs, or even at one of the dedicated cafés.

Microsoft’s Hong Kong hub, a centrepiece of the futuristic Cyberport business park, is designed to have employees collaborating from the moment they step in. There are no individual work spaces. Rather, the company

SO WHAT?

Recreating the living room experience helps to enhance employees’ comfort, productivity as well as collaboration levels. Also conducive for individuals who need to “zone in” ahead of urgent deadlines Ergonomic furniture supports good sitting posture and improves blood circulation Activity and exercise classes further encourage healthier lifestyles

HIGHLIGHTS

Function-based workplaces Work desks equipped with large monitors and ergonomic keyboards Full-service café’s on site

SO WHAT?

Open-plan layout gives staff the inspiration to build communities Higher collaboration levels enhance both innovation and productivity

THEY SAY:

“Our new ways of working include collaborative hubs which facilitate teamwork and brainstorming; open plan design with no dedicated seats; blackboards to promote ideas generation.

We recognise the important relationship between human performance and wellbeing, and the environment around them.

When designing the new office, we were thoughtful about factors such as daylight, colour, ergonomic designs, organic materials, furniture, views and collaborative presence.” - MARIA HUI,

HR DIRECTOR OF MICROSOFT HONG KONG

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CBRE(Tokyo, Japan)

EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

Over 600 Gensler

CBRE’s headquarters in the heart of Tokyo’s historic Chiyoda ward provides a testament to both its commercial property experience and its internal HR philosophy. With a culture set around activity-based working, the two floors of the Meiji Seimei Yasuda building are fitted out according to working themes. This means staff can choose a work zone based on the type of work they plan to do on that particular day.

HIGHLIGHTS

300 work positions set across 15 different types of work style options Activity-based working built into the entire workspace design Open collaboration areas, as well as a dedicated café space deliberately in the centre of the office

SO WHAT?

Employees can choose a work zone based on the type of work they will be doing that day Allows more unplanned conversations

and encounters that spark creativity Enables flexible working Promotes a paperless culture while still enabling efficiency and information security

THEY SAY:

“An activity-based workplace is a workplace that places emphasis on not only cost efficiency and organisational flexibility, but also the degree of freedom for individual work. Employees are now taking more ownership on their way of working.

The amount of collaboration has increased, and sales resulting from collaboration with other departments increased by an average of 70%, compared to before the introduction of the activity-based workplace concept. In addition, this structure has now become one of our strongest resources for talent attraction.” -AKIKO MARUSAWA,

HR DIRECTOR, HR MANAGEMENT, CBRE DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

HRM ASIA.COM

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IN DEPTH

AIRBNB (Japan,Tokyo) DESIGNED BY

HIGHLIGHTS

Suppose Design Office

Home-style accommodation provider Airbnb’s Tokyo offices look more like one of the many picture-perfect listings on its app than a dynamic business complex. The old office, which staff complained was too “corporate” with “limited communal space”, underwent a complete transformation in 2016 to the 500 square-metre team-centred space that it is today.

Localised neighbourhood theme based on different iconic Tokyo districts Varied work stations, from outdoorinspired communal zones to private booths with height-adjustable desks Rooms with traditional Japanese elevated platforms (Engawa) and Tatami mats Other rooms based on existing accommodation listings from Prague, Tijuana, Barcelona and Terrebonne Thought-provoking art and historical artefacts displayed in each of the citythemed rooms

SO WHAT?

Employees get to alternate between spaces as they choose The layout and furniture encourage healthy, ergonomic movement, increased socialising, and engagement Also ample quiet working spaces where employees can escape the chaotic urban environment of the local area in Shinjuku

THEY SAY:

“We (the Environments Team) are culture keepers, both for Airbnb and the cities, like Tokyo, where we are lucky enough to have offices. We carry certain standards through every Airbnb office, so when you walk in, you know where you are even without a logo on the door. But we also partner with a local architect like Suppose Design and the local employees to ensure that the design has a true sense of place.

The elements are not cheap imitations of that culture or copies of the same tech design we’ve begun to see around the world. Instead, it feels authentic and true to the spirit of both Airbnb and Tokyo.” - REBECCA RUGGLES,

AIRBNB ENVIRONMENTS TEAM

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MAXIS (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

Around 500 SLA Sdn Bhd

As part of its overall business transformation in 2014, Malaysian telecommunications service provider Maxis Berhad also revamped its Plaza Sentral offices in a bid to become one of the “most desired workplaces” in Malaysia. The organisation did away with cubicles and any features that were “enemies” of teamwork, innovation and agility. The result is a lively workspace that engenders its present cultural values of being transparent and flexible.

HIGHLIGHTS

Open-concept layout is central to Maxis’ transformation as a business Activity-based seating with no counter intuitive restrictions Work areas with low partitions for teams and individuals who prefer some element of privacy Fully automated and mobile employee

SO WHAT?

help desk reporting Not quite the same as beds, but resting pods also do the trick in letting staff get some shut-eye during the day

The design creates a sense of transparency, inclusiveness and flexibility throughout the company Also promotes employee morale, comfort, productivity and wellbeing Has enabled office digitalisation, automation, and more mobility

THEY SAY:

“We believe the working environment in the office must be in line with our culture – one of openness and transparency and being unhierarchical. At the same time, the design must also help us promote health and wellness, with aspects such as ample natural light, well-designed workstations and chairs, rest and common socialising areas, as well as spaces for workouts and employee events.” - ADZHAR IBRAHIM,

HEAD OF PEOPLE AND ORGANISATION, MAXIS

to personal ergonomic and productivity preferences

SO WHAT?

Allows employees to work smart, and always at their optimum Much more comfortable than previous workspace, and helps to foster a community spirit among teams Ever-present technology also enhances collaboration with global teams

THEY SAY:

TABLEAU (Singapore) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

Over 130 Gensler

Tableau’s Asia-Pacific headquarters at the swanky South Beach Towers in Singapore was created with the goal of enhancing the human intellect through its blend of technology, creativity, and collaboration spaces, while fostering a sense of community. Opened in 2015, the four-storey, 50,000-square foot office underscores the

importance of Singapore as the software company’s regional hub.

HIGHLIGHTS

“Smart” technology, including hand sensors that automatically open doors and electronic screens to book meeting rooms, used throughout the office Desks and meeting rooms are also equipped with globally compatible video, telephone, and conferencing equipment Workstations can be adjusted according

“In this office,

our management made a conscious decision to build the executives’ rooms in the centre of the entire floor area.

This is so that workstations can be built around the perimeters of the office floor for employees to enjoy bright and beautiful streams of natural light coming through into workstations (but without the heat), in addition to relishing a great view of the outside.” - GINA KUEK,

SENIOR MANAGER, HR, TABLEAU ASIA-PACIFIC

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IN DEPTH

These communities are connected by a wide variety of alternative discussion spots and rooms “Bio-phillic” design that brings the outdoors into the office: over 1,800 potted plants, green walls, and even a paludarium (aquarium combining both land and water elements)

SO WHAT?

CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP (Singapore) EMPLOYEES DESIGNED BY

Over 900 Realys Group

Singapore airport operator Changi Airport Group’s newly-unveiled office – within Terminal 2 of the hub – is a product of the organisation’s Workplace Transformation initiative that started back in 2013. The transformed space, equivalent to some 88 five-bedroom apartments, is in line with the group’s vision of being a “workplace of the future”.

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HIGHLIGHTS

Teams sit in small clusters of four workstations each Instead of the usual large floor of open workstations, the workspace is divided into smaller “communities” of between 40 and 60 employees

An environment that not only facilitates but also encourages more in-depth conversations within teams Atmosphere also reinforces the company’s sense of community spirit and belonging Layout designed to prevent possible visual and noise distractions, even in open settings

THEY SAY:

“We are extremely proud of how we as a company have embraced the positive changes that Workplace Transformation has brought about. Through our post-transformation survey,

our employees shared that effectiveness and communication at work are enhanced in the new workplace. In fact, 98% of our employees feel proud of our new workplace! At the end of the day, it’s really all about our people.”

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- JUSTINA TAN,

MANAGING DIRECTOR, PEOPLE, CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP


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HRM Awards: Winners take it all Asia’s showpiece HR awards event is back. Here are all the nominees and everything you need to know about the 15th edition of the HRM Awards, taking place on March 2 next year

F

or the 15th year running, Singapore’s showpiece HR awards event is set to pay tribute to the best and brightest HR people and practices once more. On March 2 next year, Singapore’s HR community will gather at the RitzCarlton Millenia Singapore to wine, dine, and schmooze for a gala evening that has been dubbed “the Oscars of the local HR industry”. As HR continues to nurture progressive work environments in this age of disruption,

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the HRM Awards 2018 are an opportunity for organisations across both the public and private sectors to showcase their achievements as strategic and forwardthinking HR champions.

Celebrating 15 years of excellence Next year’s showpiece event will see 85 finalists battle it out in 19 categories, including Health and Wellbeing, Leadership, and Workplace Culture and Engagement. The finalists include Singapore-based

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employers from across industries, be they multinationals, local companies, government agencies, or SMEs. Among those competing next year are more than 30 newcomers, including BlackBerry Singapore, Fitness First Singapore, Grab, and STMicroelectronics. The winners will not be known until they are announced on stage at the gala ceremony; the culmination of a halfyear long process, which started with nominations between July and October this year. The nominees, shared for the first time over the next 12 pages, will now provide a detailed report on their strategies and achievements for our esteemed judging panel, which includes representatives


THE HRM AWARDS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ORGANISATIONS TO SHOWCASE THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS AS STRATEGIC AND FORWARD-THINKING HR CHAMPIONS from the Employment and Employability Institute and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, along with HR scholars and veterans. “With change as the only constant in today’s ultra-competitive and disruptive environment, the HRM Awards is the perfect platform to showcase the wonderful progress HR has made over the past year and how the profession has become a more strategic and business-focused role,” Emma Dean, Events Director, HRM Asia, said. “As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2018, we are excited to recognise innovative and progressive HR, and look forward to introducing initiatives that will bring the HR community even closer together on the awards night.”

The big one The flagship prize, the Hays Award for

HR’s big night out JOIN OUR esteemed judges, emcee and hundreds of fellow HR and industry professionals on March 2, 2018 for a Great Gatsby-themed gala that includes pre-dinner cocktails, a gourmet five course meal, free-flowing wines, world class

entertainment – and of course, the announcement of all the winners. Book your table now at www. hrmawards.com

Employer of Choice, will this year see eight finalists battle it out to be named the best of them all. The Employer of Choice award seeks to recognise the multiple aspects that make a workplace great: strong commitment to human capital, robust talent management initiatives, and harmonious workplace culture. “We are thrilled to be title sponsor of the 2018 HRM Awards for the eighth year

running,” said Lynne Roeder, Managing Director, Hays Singapore. “We have continuously sponsored the prestigious Employer of Choice award as it celebrates commitment to human capital by recognising exceptional organisations at the forefront of innovative HR practices. “With a long-standing history of 15 years, the HRM Awards has become an industry benchmark in recognising excellence and best practices in HR,” she added.

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BEST HR LEADER The Best HR Leader Award celebrates the best of the highest levels of strategic HR leadership. The 8 finalists listed here are not just taking their organisations forward on a daily basis, but also advancing the HR profession across Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

DEBORAH CHEW

SHAUN E E

Chief Operating Officer and HR Leader, Emergenetics Caelan and Sage

Head, Group HR, Commonwealth Capital

ANGIE NG

ALEX ANG

Vice President – HR, Brenntag Asia-Pacific

JESSICA DOURCY

LYNETTE NG

HR Director - Global, PALO IT

Head ofTalent Management Asia-Pacific, Sanofi

JPS CHOUDHARY

Regional HR Head for Asia, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific, Vodafone

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Global Vice President, Human Resources, Millennium Hotels & Resorts

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NICOLE POON

Senior Vice President -Performance, MatchMove Pay


BEST WORK-LIFE BALANCE The Best Work-Life Balance Award celebrates those organisations that truly understand the need for employees to develop both their careers and their personal pursuits. The finalists here have demonstrated commitment to such holistic development, through flexible work initiatives, health and recreation facilities, and a broad range of leave benefits – all with significant management buy-in.

Building and Construction Authority Citi Singapore Henkel Singapore

IKEA Southeast Asia RF360 Singapore Tata Communications Vodafone

BEST WORK-LIFE BALANCE (small employers) Work-Life Balance is not just a perk of working for the biggest multinationals. Smaller organisations in Singapore, the following list in with fewer than 500 staff in particular, are also seeing the need for employees to be able to pursue both their career and personal commitments concurrently.

DLE M&E Hawksford Singapore MatchMove Pay PropertyGuru Group R3Worldwide

Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park Titansoft Wohlrab Asia

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HR TEAM OF THE YEAR HR is not an individual sport. Successful strategy and project implementation invariably comes down to good, honest teamwork – and it is here that the following organisations shine bright. Their HR teams have contributed to broad workforce goals as a single unit, setting an important example for the rest of the organisations.

BreadTalk Group Cartus CenturyLink Certis Cisco Security Commonwealth Capital DLE M&E

Dow Chemical Pacific (Singapore) Iron Mountain Singapore Kemin Industries (Asia) STMicroelectronics Vodafone

BEST CHANGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES The Best Change Management Strategies Award celebrates organisations that have improved business performance through an effective change strategy. The finalists here have each demonstrated a compelling case of change, and then followed through with a clear transition resulting in marked improvements to the business.

AXA Insurance Brenntag Asia-Pacific Cargill Asia-Pacific Commonwealth Capital

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Iron Mountain Singapore Land Transport Authority Sanofi State Courts Singapore


BEST WORKPLACE CULTURE AND ENGAGEMENT The Best Workplace Culture and Engagement Award recognises the wide variety of characters and personalities that organisations in Singapore now share. The finalists here have developed a unique vision of themselves in terms of their values, traditions, beliefs, and how these are leveraged to enhance employee engagement.

Building and Construction Authority Changi Airport Group Danone Eagle Services Asia (Pratt & Whitney) Grab

Henkel Singapore Lendlease Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Red Hat Total Oil Asia-Pacific Vodafone

BEST WORKPLACE CULTURE AND ENGAGEMENT (small employers) The value of great workplace culture is not just something that large multinationals can leverage on. The finalists for the Best Workplace Culture and Engagement Award for smaller organisations with fewer than 500 staff have also been able to shape a unique and positive environment for their hard-working staff.

CenturyLink Decathlon Singapore Dow Chemical Pacific (Singapore) Heraeus Materials Singapore Kaspersky Lab Singapore

Kohler Singapore Nu Skin Enterprises Singapore PropertyGuru Group R3Worldwide Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park Titansoft

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BEST C-SUITE LEADER To truly succeed and add value to their organisations, HR departments need the buy-in and support of their top leadership. The following C-Suite level leaders are known as fiercely passionate champions of the HR profession, and offer great contributions to the design and implementation of HR initiatives throughout their organisations

LEE SEOW HIANG

TAN HAI MENG

CEO, Changi Airport Group

HENRY CHU

President and CEO, Kemin Industries (Asia)

JACQUELINE LOW

Group CEO, BreadTalk Group

Chief Operating Officer, Hawksford Singapore

ANDREW PHILLIPS

THOMAS HOLENIA

Managing Director, Fitness First Singapore

HENRI NEJADE

STEVEN WONG

President and CEO, Brenntag Asia-Pacific

Vice President and Managing Director, Asia -Pacific, Michelman Asia-Pacific

JOE GIOVANNI CEO, Frontline Security

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President, Henkel Singapore

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SANG YI

President, Asia-Pacific, Zimmer Biomet


BEST LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT The Best Leadership Development Award recognises the achievements of organisations and HR teams that build effective internal pipelines of leadership talent. The judging criteria will consider the effectiveness of succession planning initiatives, and how future needs are incorporated into performance management, mentoring and career planning.

CFLD International Citi Singapore Fitness First Singapore Henkel Singapore Kemin Industries (Asia) Ministry of Home Affairs Singapore

Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore at Zhongshan Park Singtel ThoughtWorks UBS AG Vishay Intertechnology Asia Zimmer Biomet

BEST DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION STRATEGIES The Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategies Award acknowledges the important innovation cultures that come with inclusive workplaces. The finalists here not only celebrate their diversity, they actively seek it out, with policies that ensure merit-based hiring is aligned with broader organisational objectives.

Frontline Security Henkel Singapore Lendlease R3Worldwide Red Hat RF360 Singapore

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Singtel Tata Communications Unilever Asia Vodafone Zimmer Biomet

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BEST TRAINING, LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT The Best Training, Learning and Development Award celebrate companies that excel in building up the capabilities and skills of each part of their respective workforces. The finalists here have all strategically aligned their training programmes with their organisation’s goals and future talent needs.

AXA Insurance BreadTalk Group Brenntag Asia-Pacific Fitness First Singapore OCBC Bank Singtel

Standard Chartered Bank UBS AG Unilever Asia Vodafone ZEISS

BEST NEXT-GEN OPPORTUNITIES AND DEVELOPMENT This award celebrates the ways employers are crafting employment and experience opportunities specifically for young people and graduates. The finalists here are each investing heavily in their next generation of talent for long-term improvements to productivity, engagement and retention.

AccorHotels CenturyLink Citi Singapore DBS Bank GSK NBCUniversal

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Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park Singtel Tan Tock Seng Hospital UBS AG


HR MANAGER OF THE YEAR The HR Manager of the Year Award celebrates the individual HR professionals taking great strides toward their organisation’s strategic objectives.

TAY CHOON GUAN HR Manager, Apex Retail

JOANNE HU HR Manager, Breadtalk Group

KARIN GOH LIJIA

Senior Manager, Compensation and Benefits, Gardens by the Bay

IVY ZHENG

NIKHIL DHAWAN

HR Manager, Henkel Singapore

Senior Regional HR Manager, Dell

ERIC GOH

HR Manager, Fitness First Singapore

LYNN LIM

HR Business Partner, T-Systems Singapore

LORNA MCDOWALL HR Manager, Study Group

NG SHER LYNN

HR Manager, Talent Development and Quality, Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore at Zhongshan Park

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HR RISING STAR OF THE YEAR The HR Rising Star of The Year Award recognises the value and importance of celebrating the next generation of HR talent. Especially for early career HR professionals with less than three years’ experience, the award will take pride of place on the mantle of one of these hardworking stars.

WYNN ONG

HR Senior Officer, BreadTalk Group

SER HUI SI

Human Capital Executive, Etiqa Insurance

CERLYN NEO

Regional HR Specialist, Michelman Asia-Pacific

ANGIE NG

HR Executive, Pezzo Singapore

BEST HEALTH AND WELLBEING The Best Health and Wellbeing Award celebrates employers who take an active role in the long-term health of their staff. The finalists below have each incorporated key wellness programmes into their HR strategies, and are seeing positive returns in terms of productivity and staff retention.

BlackBerry Singapore CenturyLink Fuji Xerox Singapore GSK Institute of Technical Education Land Transport Authority

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Lendlease Rolls-Royce Singapore Singtel State Courts Singapore Unilever Asia Vodafone


SIM AWARD FOR BEST TALENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES The SIM Award for Best Talent Management Practices celebrates the arts of finding and developing high potentials, aligning onboarding and development initiatives to the organisation’s business objective, and effective succession planning. The finalists will be judged on their across-the-board approach to the full employee lifecycle.

Citi Singapore Henkel Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs Singapore Singtel

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Total Oil Asia-Pacific UBS AG Unilever Asia

SIM AWARD FOR BEST TALENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (small employers) The SIM Award for Best Talent Management Practices for smaller employers (with fewer than 500 staff ) recognises that highly effective talent management can be found in all organisations, regardless of size. The finalists here will be judged on their across-the-board approach to the full employee lifecycle, something of vital interest to smaller business in Singapore.

DLE M&E Etiqa Insurance Feinmetall Singapore Hawksford Singapore Heraeus Materials Singapore

Kemin Industries (Asia) PropertyGuru Group Study Group Wohlrab Asia

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SME EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR The SME Employer of the Year Award is the flagship prize for small and medium organisations at the HRM Awards. The finalists will be judged on a wide range of criteria, including management’s commitment to human capital development, employee communications, and overall corporate culture.

DLE M&E

FEINMETALL SINGAPORE

FRONTLINE SECURITY

ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS

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GARDENS BY THE BAY

SAFRAN LANDING SYSTEMS SERVICES SINGAPORE

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FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP

PROPERTYGURU GROUP

THE LO & BEHOLD GROUP


HAYS AWARD FOR EMPLOYER OF CHOICE The Hays Award for Employer of Choice stands alone as the most prestigious prize for HR teams and the impact they have on their organisations. The 8 finalists here will take part in a rigourous judging process that will look at all things HR, from culture and employer brand to learning, training, and staff development initiatives, as well as corporate social responsibility practices.

BRENNTAG ASIA-PACIFIC

LENDLEASE

SINGTEL

STMICROELECTRONICS

TAN TOCK SENG HOSPITAL

UBS AG

UNILEVER ASIA

VODAFONE

AWARD SUPPORTED BY

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HR INSIDER

FUTURE SKILLS TODAY While professional services firm KPMG is not spared from the disruptive realities of the current business environment, the organisation is gamely embracing today’s trends through a tried and tested formula of people development BY SHAM MAJID DIANA CHANG Associate Director, Resourcing and Mobility

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STEPHEN TJOA Partner, People, Performance, and Culture

LINDY SIEW

Manager, Talent and Branding


CLODIMIR BOGAERT

ANG FUNG FUNG

Manager, Organisation Development and Change and Consulting Business Partner

Audit Partner and Head of People, Performance and Culture

ADELINE NG Director, Compensation and Benefits

JULIE LEE Director, HR Operations

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A

s a global firm providing audit, tax, and advisory services across a multitude of industries and geographies, KPMG prides itself on fostering strong and dynamic relationships with its army of clients. However, robust people ties are also emphasised internally: the organisation has long been fostering a people-first culture within its ranks. That emphasis has been brought into sharper focus in light of today’s disruptive working world. Ang Fung Fung, Audit Partner and Head of People, Performance, and Culture at KPMG Singapore, says these complexities make it all the more pertinent for the organisation to comprehensively review and restructure its people practices. These include areas such as recruitment, onboarding, career progression for all 3,000 local staff, and even employee exits. “This is the whole ecosystem we are trying to work on in terms of an employee lifecycle,” says Ang. “A lot of these technology disruptions are cutting across different functions and they are blurring the lines.”

Long-term challenges Two key issues continue to gnaw at Ang and her team: ensuring staff can ride on the disruptive digital wave, and grooming the next generation of Singaporean leaders. While a lot of workers around the world are rushing to build their technical skill sets, Ang urges the staff on her watch to also develop their soft skills. These are also highly valued in today’s client-facing and digital-first world. “I’m pushing very hard for this mindset,” she says. “In Singapore, we’re very good technically but once we stand in front of an audience we don’t seem to do as well as our counterparts elsewhere.” Ang describes the Singapore economy as in a “digital-disruption transition”. “The work that we’re doing is going to be very different with things like robotics and artificial intelligence now part of the picture,” she says. Local regulations also dictate people practices within KPMG. With Singapore’s Manpower Ministry actively pushing for a stronger “core” of local staff across organisations, KPMG has embraced the Human Capital Partnership Programme. Under this programme, managed by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and

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Progressive Employment Practices, companies are recognised for enhancing skills transfer from foreigners to local employees. Ang says possessing a strong local core is central to KPMG’s succession-planning efforts. “As a whole, KPMG is a partnership,” she explains. “The partnership mantra is that we all leave the partnership better as compared to when we receive it. As Head of People, the idea is to make sure that when the partners retire, the firm doesn’t disintegrate. So there’s a real need to have a strong succession-planning pipeline.”

Winning and managing talents All soft skills aside, there is no running away from the fact that hard and technical financial skillsets form the lifeblood of KPMG. The organisation fights for both talent and customers with the other “Big Four” auditing firms, and Ang concedes there

is stiff competition for capable staff in particular. KPMG’s chief local recruitment channel is through a combined recruitment fair targeting graduates of National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore Management University, though Ang says the Singapore recruitment team also considers a substantial number of applications from final year students in overseas universities. The organisation’s internship programme is a further source of highpotential, enthusiastic, and invested talent. KPMG ensures students who have performed well during the short-term assignments are given priority access to full-time jobs after the completion of their studies. “This personal connection that has been built during internships really helps us in finding the right talent for the firm,” Ang shares. The challenge for the People, Performance, and Culture team does not end as soon as the necessary roles become occupied. With the majority of new hires coming straight from universities, Ang says the organisation must calibrate the workload of newbies to ensure they do not quickly burn out. “The profession itself is quite challenging, and professional work is very client-centric,” she says. “On the other hand, we have graduates who have just left university. Many are new to the world of work and there is often a steep learning curve when they first take on their new roles.” Ang says new hires have a tendency to overcompensate when they discover that working life is very different from their time at university – and they end up spending

AT A GLANCE Total number of employees at KPMG (Singapore) Key HR Focus Areas

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3,000

Size of HR Team (Singapore)

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The People, Performance, and Culture team supports the firm throughout the entire employee lifecycle, including through: Talent development Talent retention Talent acquisition


“When you have a larger base, you have a better way of allocating resources. That’s one way of managing the volume of work,” Ang explains.

Vital skills

“We aim to ensure our employees have broad perspectives while also being able to go deep into one specialised area” – ANG FUNG FUNG,

AUDIT PARTNER AND HEAD OF PEOPLE, PERFORMANCE, AND CULTURE, KPMG

long hours in the office. To combat this over the past few years, KPMG has planned its HR interventions ahead of schedule. “We train them during the less busy periods of the year,” Ang says. “For example,

auditors have a very heavy workload from December to February. So we try to flatten it by shifting work at different times.” Audit professionals form close to 40% of KPMG’s Singapore workforce, with these backbone staff managed into four pools.

Most major accounting firms would traditionally consist of structured departments, but today’s complex business environment has many in this profession rethinking the status quo. While the audit and tax functions of KPMG do retain a degree of structure – including minimum training requirements, continuing professional education, and structured training programmes – the organisation’s advisory department operates in a more fluid manner. Ang says opportunities are available for certain industry specialisations within each unit. For example, employees in the Audit team are able to move to a due-diligence team within Advisory. Ang highlights another opportunity now afforded in today’s fluid world of work. “In the past, we only had our IT audit support sitting in the advisory department helping us do that part of the audit,” she says. “But we are now realising that a lot of our auditors need to be upskilled in terms of IT knowledge and data analytics. Our IT people in advisory now can’t spend as much time supporting us, so we need to depend on ourselves.” Instead, the IT support employees are moving to other areas, such as digital consulting, and understanding how companies embrace digital disruption. They are then applying these skills in their own operations. In order to thrive in today’s tech-enabled working world, Ang says the organisation is driving the concept of equipping every employee with what she calls “T-shaped skills”. The vertical bar on the letter ‘T’ epitomises the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, while the horizontal bar represents the ability to collaborate across disciplines. “We aim to ensure our employees have broad perspectives while also being able to go deep into one specialised area,” says Ang. This philosophy shapes the entire

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REPLICATING OPPORTUNITIES ANG FUNG FUNG, Audit Partner and Head of People, Performance and Culture at KPMG Singapore, is resolute in ensuring all employees are afforded a plethora of opportunities to develop their careers and realise their potential. In fact, she has been the beneficiary of this faith herself. After accepting a scholarship with KPMG, Ang served a five-year bond in its audit department.

She long held ambitions to work overseas, which she says was “rare in those days”. Ang subsequently realised that goal when she spent two years working in Melbourne, Australia, in the early 1990s. “As you assume more responsibilities and as your clients get more globalised, you get to travel with your clients, depending on where their operations are,” she explains. Since then, Ang has travelled abroad for work

learning and development blueprint of KPMG. Running parallel to it is the organisation’s equally-resolute determination to cultivate its workforce’s soft skills, particularly in today’s digital-first world. With KPMG a client-facing organisation, the ability to confidently communicate and collaborate with clients is a cornerstone of the company’s success.

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assignments in the US, Europe, and also throughout the Asia-Pacific region. “My aim is to replicate my experience for employees,” says Ang. “My generation grew up with practically nothing and it was all about making full use of the opportunities that were given to us. I have benefited enormously from the system so I’m trying my best to see how I can replicate these opportunities for every single employee.”

According to Ang, the nature of today’s work has also meant that geography has been consigned to the backburner. “I could be sitting here (in Singapore) but working in the US. I need to be able to present myself online over Skype or Facetime to compete for an assignment,” she explains. “This is an important soft skill which we’re trying to develop for all staff.”

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One training programme is the organisation’s “Lunch and Learn” sessions, held every month for the senior management group. This involves an external speaker conducting lessons on a wide range of softskill topical areas, such as networking. “Lunch and Learn is very focused on senior management because its aim is to get the senior employees together for a short period of time,” says Ang. “This has been very popular and I’ve attended them myself.” The organisation has crafted a full suite of learning offerings, covering everything from business development, to presentation skills, to coaching. “We have moved into an e-learning platform and bite-sized, self-directed learning. We have all these learning resources available and it’s up to the staff to register for whatever lessons they want to undertake,” says Ang. While traditional platforms, such as classroom and face-to-face sessions, are still part of the overall learning and development framework, KPMG zooms in on problemsolving and critical thinking in particular. “It is a challenge to avoid doing things robotically, and to move to become nimbler and more agile,” shares Ang. “Our employees know they need to catch up and thus, they are open to changes in their work scope and trying out new things.”

Having a voice On top of all this skills development, KPMG is also looking to inculcate an empowering mindset to ensure staff feel free to voice out differing views. With a total of 41 nationalities working in the Singapore office, the organisation is brimming with diversity and employees can enrich themselves with different thinking and perspectives. “I want our employees to be more empowered to make rational choices,” says Ang. This could mean managers granting time off for staff who have been clocking in extra hours to complete assignments. “I would like more of these sorts of conversations to be happening within teams on a regular basis, to empower them to make decisions on their own and to enhance the team spirit,” Ang explains.


Asia H R 4 .0 – Re t h i n k T h e Way Yo u Wo r k

2018

Visit Asia’s Biggest Showcase of HR Solution Providers 9 & 10 May | Suntec Singapore Convention & Exibition Centre

ALL UNDER ONE ROOF! Discover the hottest HR technologies, trends, innovations and effortlessly source from the latest products, offerings & service providers in the market, as well as... • • • • •

Experience live demos and product launches Network with over 4,000 peers Get free personal development advice Welcome the new Start-ups Benefit from savings, offers and prize draws

Registration is FREE Simply visit the EXPO page on www.hrsummit.com.sg to register.

Organised by:

www.hrsummit.com.sg

ASIA’S

CO-LOCATED LEADING HR EXPO WITH FOR OVER HR SUMMIT ASIA 2018


F E AT U R E

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Collaboration across the blended workforce

DAMIEN DELARD, Vice President of Channel and Territory with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Asia-Pacific, says the labour markets in this region have shifted toward a greater availability of deliberately freelance and casual staff. He argues organisations will need to improve their collaboration techniques to ensure they can take full advantage 52

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the office walls worked. With this new diversity however, employees – full-time and freelancers alike – are no longer confined to their office desks. Organisations must create a secure online environment to ensure smooth and secure collaborations between all employees.

The need for collaboration

T

he technology trends of today — big data, artificial

intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things — are feeding into the fourth industrial revolution. Today, we are connected to unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge. As technology continues to fuse into our lives, what does it all mean for the workforce? According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, robots and computers will see the elimination of routine labour. As automation increases, we might see an exponential growth in products. At the same time, traditional jobs are making way for hybrid roles. The current labour climate is shifting away from traditional employment toward temporary work arrangements. According to a Ministry of Manpower survey, about 167,000 individuals in Singapore were engaged in freelance work as their

primary job last year. With a tight labour market, companies have increasingly turned to hiring these freelancers to supplement their permanent staff. This creates a new kind of diversity at the workplace. It is a diversity that is fundamentally different from the vertical, hierarchical structure most organisations have been running on. Traditionally, keeping communications solely within

Collaboration is more than connecting networks, people, processes, and knowledge. It is about engaging the diverse workforce and bringing employees, customers, and partners together anywhere and at any time. It requires planned effort, is time-consuming, and can sometimes result in even more administrative chores. As organisations grow, they create new products and services, enter new regions, and move into new businesses, inevitably becoming more complex. According to a Boston Consulting Group report, “the index of complicatedness” has grown 600% over the past 60 years. With an increase in complexity, employees are spending more time looking for information, leaving them little time to collaborate with their teams. Organisations also tend to rely on large, diverse teams of highly educated specialists in the face of challenging projects. Research by Harvard Business Review however revealed an interesting paradox: the qualities required for success are the same that can undermine it. It found that “the greater the proportion of experts a team has, the more likely it is to disintegrate into non-productive conflict or stalemate”. These experts are less likely to share knowledge freely, learn from one another, or help others complete jobs and meet deadlines. In

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F E AT U R E

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

place, the need for back and forth emails with multiple versions of each document is erased.

Blending workforces

other words, they are less likely to collaborate.

The alternative strategy Trust needs to be evident in all business relationships today. Without trust, collaboration falls apart quickly. But, how does a full-time employee trust a stranger (in this case, a freelancer) to get the job done without risking jeopardy to oneself? Here’s where online collaborative tools come in – most of which come with easy-to-use software so all you need is a secured network. Such tools have a variety of tracking capabilities that make it easy for

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A diverse and collaborative culture is a powerful competitive advantage. A well-implemented, trained and supported highperformance team will better align their outcomes around both their objective and company mission members to track the evolution of the project on hand. As everything is logged online, team members can easily send their updates regardless of their location. Collaboration technologies also cut time spent waiting for members to be available

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for discussion. If there’s a need for a face-to-face discussion, scheduled video conference calls are always available. Documents can be uploaded into the tool, which allow team members to provide comments at their own time. With documents stored in a single

A diverse and collaborative culture is a powerful competitive advantage. A well-implemented, trained, and supported highperformance team will better align outcomes around both their objective and company mission. The work environment and business leaders must help employees to work in flexible, dynamic teams and to respectfully share information, decision-making, responsibility, learning, and recognition. As technology advances, we expect more from the new wave of collaborative technologies. They must help shape how work is performed and enable teamwork that leads to better results, greater innovation, and higher productivity. When planned and executed with skill, the development of a blended workforce can make a company more creative, productive, and just plain better. Enterprises that take the time and effort to do it right discover the benefits of traditional employees and freelancers working together, and bask in an engaged, collaborative, and productive workforce.

About the Author DAMIEN DELARD is the Vice President of Channel and Territory with telecommunications equipment company AlcatelLucent Enterprise, Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore.


Pantone Code: Pantone Red/Orange V PMS 1795 Pantone Black

27-28 February 2018 Singapore

Strategic HR Business Partner Congress 2018 Strengthening HRBP’s Strategic Impacts to Achieve Greater Business Results In today’s highly competitive business environment, many organisations are expanding the role of HR. Other than its traditional responsibilities, the function is increasingly expected to drive performance in the lines of business, creating solutions that address critical operational and talent challenges. It should not be just “HR for HR” rather “HR for the business”. Join us at the 3rd Annual Strategic HR Business Partner Congress, taking place on 27-28 February 2018 in Singapore, to share insights and discuss new strategies on how HR can effectively drive better business performance.

Featured Speakers:

Kenny Jin Rahul Kalia Head of Talent Acquisition Regional Human Resources & HR Business Partner Business Partner (Head of Reapra HR) Asia Pacific Bayer Crop Science

Stephen Sidebottom Global Head, Business HR Standard Chartered Bank

June Cho Business HR Leader Micro Focus

Meena Wadhera Director, Human Resources Business Partner Mastercard

Amitabh Nigam Lead International HRBP AT&T

Key Topics to be Discussed Include: • • • •

Beyond a function: rewriting the role of strategic HR partner for maximizing business impact Localizing global HR strategies – tailoring head office’s guidelines in local context Nurturing business understanding in HR business partners Developing a strong stakeholder engagement plan to gain buy-ins and align strategies

• • • • •

Articulating business strategies into people agenda From “strategy drives talent” to “talent drives strategy” Adopting a growth mindset to drive learning agility How HRBP can leverage on digital and technology trends to create business impacts Optimizing analytics as the winning card for HRBP

SAVE MORE! LAUNCH RATE HR Practitioner launch rate of S$1395 available until 15th December 2017

BRING YOUR TEAM Get an additional 10% discount for groups of 3 or more.

PLUS Productivity Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme: Further 40% cash back for Singapore companies

REGISTER TODAY! Tel: (65) 6423 4631 | Email: info@hrmasia.com.sg | www.hrmcongress.com


CONGRESS INSIGHTS

Being a P business manager of people

lease tell us more about your role at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

As the HR Leader for Thermo Fisher’s operations in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, I am a business partner for leadership across the commercial, operations, and shared service teams. The role spans 11 countries across the region and more than 1,700 employees. My role gives me a unique opportunity to engage with the organisation’s most valuable assets: our employees. I consider my role as a business manager – and my business is people.

What do you see the goal of HR business partners as being?

RAAMANN AHUJA, Senior Director of HR for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, talks about how HR business partners can create more strategic impact for their respective organisations

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The HR business partner role is to align the people agenda with the company’s business growth strategy, whether through talent acquisition, talent management and development, or enhancing leadership capabilities to achieve long-term business goals. It’s about linking employee strategy to business strategy specifically – and not vice-versa. For example, if you want to continue the business growth agenda, the only answer may not be additional hiring! The answers will come from considering: what are our real business challenges? What is the changing landscape in our industry and business lines? How do we improve our existing processes? How do we upskill our people to be more productive without getting stressed out? We need to take a more holistic and business-oriented approach. We’re all familiar with the Dave Ulrich model: are we employee


champions or administrative experts? I think a lot of businesses and even HR folks confuse that model, saying that all of us need to be change management agents or strategic partners. The reality is, even basic HR transactions and payroll are important functions from an employee experience perspective. Employee experience is as valuable as customer experience for the company. You need to be operationally strong, and you also need to have a strategic focus which is “business-oriented” and let’s not forget once more that our business is people!

The strategic HR Business Partner RAAMANN AHUJA, Senior Director HR of Thermo Fisher Scientific in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, will be one of

more than a dozen speakers and panellists at the Strategic HR Business Partner Congress, taking place in Singapore on

How have perceptions of HR business partners evolved? Traditional leaders, have seen HR being more operationally-focused or only able to deal with the softer side of business. They are considered diplomatic, typically positive in outlook, and gracious. But today’s savvy and people-focused senior management and leaders are now leveraging HR leaders as critical partners to business success. Now, they’re wondering: How can HR be a CEO’s trusted and strategic partner? We have the seat on the table and it has to be continuously earned with credible value-add to business.

What is your biggest concern today, as someone living and breathing the HR Business Partner function? I won’t say it’s my biggest concern today, but I do wonder if today’s crop of HR professionals really knows the business like a business manager. Everyone wants to be strategic without knowing the ground level realities of business. Even today, I try to keep close connections with both employees and customers, and also recommend to my teams that they make a site visit every few months to meet the frontend teams and customers. In fact, this used to be the traditional HR way of learning business. But somewhere in our rush to be strategic we have missed the finer nuances and subtleties of learning business by rolling up our sleeves.

How do you see the role evolving in this climate of disruption? I do think technology will give HR partners more time to evaluate our potential impact on business, and analyse where we can make

smarter decisions with a smaller margin of error. It will give us time to truly own our people agenda. I hope a lot of us operate just as a business unit president does, and be more accountable to the CEO. As strategic HR partners, the role will evolve where we will perform like the CEO, enabling human capital solutions for the company.

How exactly do you envision technology helping you in your job? I see technological advances as a big help to HR and business leaders in general, and certainly not as a threat. To begin with, I envision technology helping us with smart analytics and more accurate data in much shorter time frames. The future belongs to apps like Siri or Alexa, where a manager will ask for data like, “What’s my attrition data for the last three months?”; and “How’s my employee engagement score looking?” The artificial intelligence would throw meaningful data and also suggest trends: this region is having issues; that particular leader is losing a lot of people; and so on. That will save both managers and HR a lot of time. This will also help evolve the expectations of business managers from the value-add that HR partners can bring to the table to more meaningful discussions that support businesses.

What do you see as some competencies that HR Business Partners should focus on for maximum impact? In today’s complex world I’d say there are a

February 27 and 28, 2018. Delegates will learn about articulating business strategies into the people agenda, with input from leading HR business partners working across a wide range of industries. Along with Ahuja, the programme includes speakers from Citibank, AT&T, and Shell. For more information, visit www.congress. hrmasia.com

few core competencies HR professionals need to be mindful of: An understanding of the ‘bare bones’: the HR tools and systems, and the business growth strategy of the organisation. Analytical reasoning: The ability to read trends, and employ data analytics. Organisational agility: The ability to navigate through organisational layers, and to create social networks and relationships that enable collaboration and business success. Consulting ability: Understanding of the business, and the ability to talk the business language. HR needs to provide meaningful consultation, rather than superficial advice. Change management leadership: Many of us in HR have burned our fingers on this. Are we really equipped to learn how to manage change within or around our organisations? Your organisation may not be changing, but the world around us is. Hence, how do we help business teams manage that?

What do you hope delegates to the Strategic HR Business Partner Congress will take away from your presentation? Today, HR is as critical as Finance and core to any business’ success. We are the advisor to business leaders and today we share the responsibility with the CEO in ensuring a high-functioning executive team. HR must be more courageous and proactive, and must have a point of view. Be the business manager you were hired for!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

CALENDAR First quarter of 2018

3MAR

HRM AWARDS 2018

HRM Awards celebrates 15 years of recognising HR’s best and brightest people and practices. The Great Gatsby-themed gala ceremony is HR’s biggest night out of the year, and the 15th anniversary event promises to be the biggest and best yet

20-21MAR

SINGAPORE TALENT RECRUITMENT AND MANAGEMENT SHOW The Talent Recruitment and Management Show is focused on helping HR and talent management leaders to not only recruit but also build and maintain, a futureready workforce. With this in place, organisations will be best-placed to drive business transformation over the long term.

27-28FEB

STRATEGIC HR BUSINESS PARTNER CONGRESS 2018 Delegates to the Strategic HR Business Partner Congress 2018 will hear from a wide range of expert practitioners about the changing business partner role across Asia-Pacific. They’ll also gain a fresh understanding of how people strategies can be successfully integrated into the long-term business agenda

9-10MAY HR SUMMIT & EXPO 2018

Asia’s biggest workforce management show is back with a stellar line up of thought leaders, business heads, and senior HR practitioners. With eight conference streams and a huge HRfocused expo, this is a not-to-be missed event for anyone looking to get the most out of their workforce in this disruptive economy

Do you have an upcoming event to share with the HR community in Singapore? Email paul.howell@hrmasia.com.sg with the details.

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HR CLINIC 62 CONGRESS WRAP 64 UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL 65

MY HR CAREER

“You still read on vacations, so make it helpful reading. Choose the books that will give something to your professional life”

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GIL PETERSIL,

Business coach and strategic networking expert

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MY HR CAREER HR PEP TALK CONGRESS WRAP UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL HR CLINIC FEATURE

HOW TO MAKE YOUR VACATION WORK FOR YOUR CAREER A break from work is always a valuable thing – for HR and professionals of all functions. But as the holiday season approaches, GIL PETERSIL advises that time away from the office doesn’t have to mean time away from your own career development

W

hile on vacation, switch off from your work completely, don’t check your business email and forget about social media! For most people, this is how a holiday should be spent. However, before that perfect vacation time starts, you still have to finish all your tasks for the coming next two weeks. And once you get back from vacation, you’ll find yourself sorting your overloaded mailbox, and quickly facing numerous tasks again. And that’s totally fine. At least you had that chance to rejuvenate and refresh your mind and body to tackle a new set of tasks at work. Even HR professionals agree that vacation time is beneficial to employees. In fact, one study conducted by the Society for HR Management’s Project: Time Off found that employees who fully utilise their vacation leave are more productive and happier with their work than those who do not. This is why encouraging employees to take a vacation is helpful to the bottom line – it contributes to the development and overall wellbeing of each individual, as well as to the success of the organisation. Having said that, it’s certainly important for any company to set and enforce a vacation policy that suits its business’s operations. Study your company’s policy and grab the chance to take that vacation. It’s for your own good! Well – that’s true, even for somebody like me who considers work to be a major part of life. We won’t totally give up work, even during a vacation. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll lock yourself in a hotel room, stay away from your family and friends, be glued to your laptop, and refuse to talk to anyone. What is important here is you can still maximise your productivity while being on holiday. Reply only to urgent emails and important calls. Don’t dive into routine and

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remember that you can also use this vacation time as an opportunity to address issues about your career and your future. You can allot one hour a day for such issues and leave the rest of the time for sleep, connecting with the ones you love, and new experiences. If you have 60 minutes a day for this, what would you do? Here are a few suggestions.

Think about your goals, what you really want to achieve Write down three goals for the coming month; three – for the next quarter; and another three for the rest of the year. If you want to lose weight, write it down. Want a

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new car? Write it down. New job? Put it on the list. Let your goals address all aspects of your life. This exercise looks easy at first sight but actually, you can spend your whole vacation on it. But having your goals expressed and written down, you now are halfway to success. Your next step is to start sharing your goals with other people. It lets you kill two birds with one stone: first, you have no way back, you have to complete them. Second, people around you can help. You can’t achieve anything on your own – you need help and support, and people are ready


to provide it. Someone might introduce you to a recruitment specialist from your dream company. Someone might join you for a morning jog, as they also want to get in shape. You’ll be surprised to see: goals are much easier to achieve when you are not alone.

Meet with a career counselor Even if you have no plans to change your job, talk to a consultant. You don’t have to arrange a personal meeting – meet online. After one Q&A session, a career counselor can help create your professional profile, define your strengths and weaknesses, and show your current position in the market and the career opportunities available for you. Sometimes we consider ourselves super valuable and think that as soon as we leave our current position, a bunch of employers will be seeking our attention. Leaping from retail to IT looks like a child’s play for us. Reality can dampen your feelings but also gives you an opportunity to create a workable plan to get the desired results.

to your professional life. No need to focus on your own narrow area. For example, if you are a recruiting officer and work for a marketing department – read the latest book about marketing. You will have something to discuss with clients and applicants; and you’ll be able to show your knowledge of the issue. If you are a top manager, you may be interested in psychology or change management.

efficient time management. I assure you, even if you consider yourself a highly-structured person, you will get ideas on how to become even more productive. I also recommend any course on personal financial management. We easily operate annual budgets in the office, yet don’t get around personal financial planning. Careful planning of your available resources – time and money – is a way to achieving goals quicker.

Start a personal blog

Start learning a foreign language

Blogs are a perfect instrument to develop your personal brand and show your level of expertise. If your blog sparks interest, you become well-known in professional circles. Journalists ask you for comments, and colleagues ask for advice. You are also invited to business events as a speaker. It’s not a fast way, but definitely a steady one. I, for example, can’t fit writing into my regular workflow –there are too many meetings and presentations. When I am somewhere away, my mind is routine-free, and I can concentrate on texts.

For example, if you plan to spend your vacation in Italy, don’t take individual lessons beforehand. It is not realistic for most people. Download an audio course for beginners or Italian study podcasts on your phone. Also, listen to people on the streets and try to speak to them.

Read useful books

Learn something new

You still read on vacations, so make it helpful. Choose the reading that will give something

You don’t have to select some fundamental training course. Get a short online training on

Connect with people You have finally broken from the office and your regular social network! Use that time to meet new people. If you dream of moving to another city, go there for a vacation. Visit some local businesses and networking events to get the opportunity to meet the right people. It will make relocation and job search easier for you. By connecting with people, you can get new ideas that can grow into a new business. On holidays, you collect impressions and stories so you’ll have something to share in the office when you return from vacation. Use your vacation to 100%, and don’t forget about your main objective – to relax. Spend some time with your family and the people you love, and regain strength for your next career breakthrough.

About the author Gil Petersil is a communication and strategic networking expert with over 20 years of business experience as a serial entrepreneur and a business coach for more than 200 companies spanning across diverse industries. He has lived, studied, and worked in Israel, Canada, the UK, and Russia, using his broad knowledge in effective communication, customer engagement, marketing mindsets and business experience to enable people and organisations to flourish. Connect with him at www.gilpetersil.com DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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How can HR implement job rotations effectively? LOH KWOK CHEONG

General Manager, Corporate HR, Panasonic People Services, Singapore

TO GROOM

new skills and knowledge. In 2007, we fully introduced the “Working in Japan” programme to accelerate the learning and development of this talent pool from across the globe. To-date, 800 employees have benefited from this programme. In Asia-Pacific, promising talents are assigned to take up various roles in regional offices for frontline experience. These roles range from manufacturing to sales and support functions, such as procurement and IT. These assignments last between one and two years. To prepare assignees for these roles, we host and conduct executive training regionally. One such training intervention is the Global Leadership Programme held in the UK and Singapore. The training is

PROMISING TALENTS ARE ASSIGNED TO TAKE UP VARIOUS ROLES IN REGIONAL OFFICES FOR FRONTLINE EXPERIENCE. THESE ROLES RANGE FROM MANUFACTURING TO SALES AND SUPPORT FUNCTIONS

a globallycompetitive workforce, Panasonic has a job rotation programme for employees at the global and regional levels. These programmes not only develop and nurture our people for key roles, but also optimise their potential and skillsets as well. Additionally, on a global scale, our high potential candidates are seconded to our headquarters in Japan for work attachments, to acquire

a collaboration with our counterparts in Europe and our Japanese headquarters. To imbue our talents with different global perspectives, we have Singapore’s NUS Business School and NTU Nanyang Business School as our training partners. Upon successful completion of their training stint and job attachments, these high potentials will return to their home countries to assume leadership positions. They are also expected to do knowledge transfer, impart skills and groom the next level of high potentials who will succeed them. At the local level, we extend job rotations across different and within business entities. We also have an internal career opportunities programme, whereby employees can apply for internal positions as part of their career development.

ASK OUR HR EXPERTS Email your questions to kelvin.ong@hrmasia.com.sg

Confessions of an HR disruptor GRACE YIP

Managing Director, Head of HR, Accenture Southeast Asia

THE SURVIVAL and success of a company is directly attributed back to the quality and capability of the HR function. Today, disruption is creating seismic shifts that will create a new normal and divide companies. There will be those that fall away, those that survive, and those that will not just survive, but thrive. While the war for talent is not a new one, the weapons that HR teams need to use to fight this modern battle are different. Today, these weapons include: Phenomenal, personalised candidate and employee experiences, delivered consistently; Smart use of digital technology to drive

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both efficiency and effectiveness, utilising a people-first approach; and Use of neuroscience and behavioural economics concepts to redesign key people capabilities and processes. Many HR functions are struggling with the gravitational shifts that they need to make at speed. Too often they are insular, lack diversity of thought, and are disconnected from the businesses they serve. We need to intentionally disrupt our teams to rotate them to this new world. In my experience, the tipping point occurs when about a third of the function is operating with a different mindset and possess new capabilities to successfully drive sustainable change. This is not to say that

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experienced HR professionals no longer have a place in the new world. It is about creating a new context and environment such that the infusion of new people, perspectives and capabilities can permeate and effect lasting change in the team. The role of an HR disruptor is not an easy one. You still need to be an expert relationship builder and influencer who possesses the ability to be both a strategic thinker and a strong executor. But most importantly, you need the strong sponsorship of senior leadership to stand with you. There is no greater time to be in the business of people. And there is no time like now to open our arms to people who bring a different perspective.

“THE ROLE OF AN HR DISRUPTOR IS NOT AN EASY ONE. YOU NEED TO BE AN EXPERT RELATIONSHIP BUILDER AND INFLUENCER WHO IS BOTH A STRATEGIC THINKER AND A STRONG EXECUTOR.”


IHRP

Why HR certification is long overdue

LOW PECK KEM, Chief HR Officer and Senior Director of Workforce Development for the Singapore Public Service, says HR professionals in Singapore should embrace the new certification regime to improve both their own skills, and their organisations

O

LOW PECK KEM is the Chief HR Officer & Senior Director, Workforce Development for the Singapore Public Service, providing HR leadership and building up the HR community across whole of government to better serve the country’s more than 140,000 public officers

over the last 30 years, the HR or Personnel function has evolved from a back office, administrative role to an indispensable strategic business partner that is a key part of the leadership team. In an increasingly complex and cost-competitive environment, HR is now expected to own business and people outcomes the same way a functional senior leader is held accountable for their respective KPIs in contribution to the business growth. HR departments have moved from a mere administrative, transactional role to a consultative, business-savvy, and value-creating role. Hence there has also been a shift in skills and capabilities needed in this new normal. Regardless of the size of the organisation, or whether it is in the private or public sector, the shifts in the workforce and HR are universal. As HR departments need to acquire the relevant skills required for the future, the Institute for HR Professionals (IHRP) plays a critical role in creating the awareness, identifying the relevant future ready skills, aggregating demand for development, building a community of HR professionals, and encouraging continued learning and growth in the sector. We are in a golden era for HR in Singapore. The economy is growing; unemployment is low; and our government is pushing for future

skills in a big way, with HR being a key focus sector. The need to upskill is imminent. The government, with its tripartite partners, is rolling out structured platforms to identify, certify, and develop HR professionals to be ready for the future. HR professionals in Singapore today are blessed to have many platforms and choices to upgrade themselves. The stars are aligned and I would encourage HR professionals to take that first step to find out more and acquire the right skills which are relevant to their own development so as to better serve their organisations. When we do an environmental scan of countries which are progressive in the professionalisation and recognition of HR, the UK and Australia come up as being quite far ahead of the game. Both countries have strong, HR professional bodies. In the UK, one cannot get a HR job unless you are certified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). In Australia, HR professionals and, increasingly,

PA R T N E R CO N T E N T

employers are also seeking Australian HR Institute certification as a quality check on the level of competency of the HR professional. The big difference between IHRP and these other HR bodies is that IHRP serves all HR professionals, and does not require membership as a prerequisite. The tripartite support has also cleared the path for HR professionals to acquire certification. The benefits of having HR certification are obvious, for both the HR profession as well as for business in Singapore. HR certification and accreditation is way overdue, considering people are our only resource in this country. HR professionals need to up their game; businesses have to see the benefits of having well-qualified HR professionals and demand that quality in the HR they hire. The only way certification and accreditation will work is when businesses demand it – because it is a business imperative and makes business sense. I would highly encourage my HR colleagues to take ownership to get inoculated with a dose of HR certification in order to adapt and thrive in a changing environment. Our next generation of HR professionals will be business and technology-savvy. With continuous improvement and upgrading, HR will indeed be a highly respected profession and one which cannot be replaced by robots. I am very confident that HR will continue to be a highly valued function in the business world because of our ability to evolve and change.

IHRP'S NEW PARTNER

IHRP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CIPD to help further its goal of building a world-class HR community. Certified professionals under both the UK and Singapore frameworks will attain mutual recognition from both bodies through each respective bridging pathway, and the two partners will collaborate on continuing professional development pathways and services in Singapore. This collaboration is a milestone for IHRP and we are very honoured to have the CIPD as a key strategic partner," Mayank Parekh, CEO of IHRP, said at the signing on November 16. Find out more about the partnership at www.ihrp.sg/cipd, and get IHRP Certified today! DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

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Total rewards in the spotlight REWARDS ARE a great way to recognise staff achievements, but HR leaders shouldn’t rely on them to drive core performance on their own. This was a key message imparted by HR thought leaders during the Reinventing Total Rewards Congress 2017, which took place on October 31 and November 1. The event saw HR practitioners converge at One Farrer Hotel in Singapore to talk about implementing comprehensive total rewards strategies, understanding how they relate to other HR functions, and also exploring how the inclusion of analytics can enable more effective and cost-effective performance management. People don’t leave companies because the salary rewards are not good enough, but because the overall experience is perceived as unsatisfactory, delegates heard. It’s important, then, to approach total rewards as just one component of building a strong employee engagement experience. Jaslyn Koh, Head of Rewards at Thomson Reuters, noted that using perks to make

people happy was a short-term approach to employee engagement. “Design employeecentric rewards to create a unique employee experience,” she said, recommending that information about available rewards should be communicated as widely as possible, including through mobile apps. “Leverage on all social media and communication platforms to communicate your strong rewards programme. Let your employees talk and share about your rewards and benefits on social media,” she said. “The frequency of communication

determines the success of your total rewards programme. Allow employees to access critical info through a comprehensive set of total rewards tools.” Madhumita Banerjee, Senior Vice President of Regional Compensation and Benefits at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, agreed that communicating with employees’ about the company’s rewards – JASLYN KOH, programme was key. HEAD OF REWARDS, “Only 35% of THOMSON REUTERS employees understand how the organisation’s reward programme works,” she noted. “You need to ask: is your rewards programme reaching the target customers (staff) in a way that they understand?”

“THE FREQUENCY OF COMMUNICATION DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF YOUR TOTAL REWARDS PROGRAMME. ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO ACCESS CRITICAL INFO THROUGH A COMPREHENSIVE SET OF TOTAL REWARDS TOOLS.”

Five things we learned at the... 1

Don’t treat rewards as a commodity

Instead, consider it a core tool to drive strong employee experience and engagement and use it to recognise the achievements of employees and teams.

2

Rewards do not drive core performance

It is dangerous to rely on them as the be-all/end-all of performance management. No matter how good your rewards are, poor management and poor employee experience will still push employees out the door.

Rewards 3 should be about respect People won’t take a job just because of strong rewards, but they will leave due to things like negative increments, which will be perceived as a lack of respect.

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4

REINVENTING TOTAL REWARDS CONGRESS Balance your short-term and long-term goals

Employee engagement has become a short-term fix focused on perks to make people happy over the long run. But neglecting to consider a long-term strategy for your total rewards programme will make them meaningless to the broader health of the business.

5

Ensure consistent messaging

Have a consistent, core message about the rewards and benefits available to your employees. Leverage on mobile apps, social media, and blogs to get the word out there. These will also add a ‘fun’ factor that makes it clear that rewards isn’t just a HR function, but something for everyone to benefit from.


MY HR CAREER FEATURE HR CLINIC UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL CONGRESS WRAP HR PEP TALK

Gaurav Sharma

HR Director Coca-Cola Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei

W

ho is Gaurav Sharma? How would you describe yourself?

I’m a regular guy with my feet firmly planted on the ground; someone who thinks out of the box and possesses the skills to get things done!

Complete this sentence. HR is… A seat at the table to do maximum good for your company. It is people, it is culture, and it is your community.

What’s the best part of your job? Leading change, and building strong teams by helping the individuals in those teams to realise and achieve their full potential.

What’s the worst part? Letting go of people during retrenchment exercises. So I make it a point to ensure that the change for impacted employees is as harmonious as possible.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

DIGITAL IMAGING BY MUHAMAD AZLIN

This was shared by my Neurolinguistic programming teacher Barney Wee – “There’s no failure in life, only feedback” What has been the highlight of your career so far? I have gained a broad spectrum of business experiences, from leading new green field business operations to closing existing business operations during different stages of my career.

Was HR always on the cards for you? I am an HR professional by design. I earned my Masters in HR.

What would you be doing if you were not in HR? I would still be working closely with people, perhaps as a doctor.

How do you unwind after work? I have diverse routines to renew myself after work and on weekends. I enjoy reading books, staying closely connected to my family, playing badminton, exercising, running every alternative day, and taking part in a weekly boot camp with my buddies at West Coast Park in Singapore.

Who is one person you would most like to trade places with for a day? This would be my mother, so I can learn from her how one person can accomplish so much in one day with so much precision, while taking so little help from anyone else!

If you were stranded on an island and could only keep three items, what would they be? A knife to help cut and shape stuff for survival, a thick book to read and then use to make fire, and finally a can of Coke Zero. DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

HRM ASIA.COM

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Licence No: 03C4828

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HRM ASIA.COM

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018


frazerjones.com

Opportunities for Life

@frazerjoneshr

frazer-jones

RGF HR Agent Singapore Pte Ltd EA Licence No. 10C2978

Head of Human Resources

HR Manager • Covers Asia • Full spectrum HR role

• Information Technology organization • Strategic, exciting and hands-on role

Our client, a global MNC in the component distribution industry is looking to recruit a HR Manager to join the team.

Highly recognized technology-based organization with aggressive expansion plan, our client has an immediate need for a consummate and dynamic HR Leader to shape and drive its people agenda.

In this newly created role, you will report to the Asia MD in Singapore and Global HR Director in UK. You will provide full spectrum HR services to the business in Singapore and Malaysia while act as Asia region HR contact for China, Thailand, Japan, Australia and India. This role requires you to be hands on with operational aspects of HR and deliver strategic value to the business. You will also be expected to take on ad hoc HR projects driven globally as well as regionally. You will have a degree in HRM or relevant, ideally with 7+ years HR experience within MNC matrix environment covering a regional function. Ability to initiate and drive solutions is essential along with strategic perspective. You should have good level of energy, is creative, possess strong people and influencing skills and have strengths in fostering a work environment for both the business and the employees to succeed. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to Li Li Kang at lili.kang@rgf-executive.com.sg or Audrey Chong at audrey@rgf-executive.com.sg EA Personnel Registration No. R1108467 & R1105147

As strategic HR advisor to leadership team, you will participate in business strategy development to drive and maximize organizational performance. You will develop and implement HR strategies and programs in areas of talent acquisition, development and management, total rewards and employee engagement. You will provide direction, develop and coach HR team with required competencies to support the business. Ideally, you possess post-graduate degree in Business Administration or HR with minimum 8 years relevant experience in strategic HR leadership roles with Asia remit. You are a hands-on and forward-thinking leader with exceptional organizational development capability particularly in areas of people and leadership development, succession planning and culture building, pre and post-merger & acquisition HR activities. Demonstrated ability in stakeholder management, dealing with ambiguity in highly matrix and fast-paced work environment is mandatory. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to Maureen Ho at maureen@rgf-executive.com.sg or Audrey Chong at audrey@rgf-executive.com.sg EA Personnel Registration No. R1105976 & R1105147

RGF is the global brand of Recruit Holdings, the world’s fourth largest HR and recruitment services company and the largest in Japan, generating over US$14 million annual net sales in annual revenue. For more than 56 years, RGF provides comprehensive HR and talent acquisition services which include retained and contingency executive recruitment and market mapping, senior to staff level specialist and contract recruitment as well as payroll services. RGF operates in more than 48 locations across 27 cities in 11 countries and markets in Asia with in-country specialist consultants. Best Recruitment Firm in Accounting, Banking, Finance; The Executive Search Company of the Year; The HR Recruitment Company of the Year; Best Recruitment Firm, Non-Management Roles and Best Recruitment Firm, RPO. HRM ASIA, RI ASIA, Human Resources magazine SINGAPORE VIETNAM INDIA INDONESIA MALAYSIA PHILIPPINES THAILAND CHINA HONG KONG TAIWAN JAPAN

DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018

www.rgf-hr.com.sg

HRM ASIA.COM

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TWO CENTS

Tis’ the season to be… appropriate B Y K E LV I N O N G

MAKING A FOOL of themselves throughout the night while under the influence. Offending a colleague with awkward and uncomfortable comments. Crying hysterically about a lost love. Flirting with a co-worker only to regret it the next morning. These are just a few of the inappropriate behaviours employees have been known to display at the annual office holiday party. They think no one’s watching, but the reality is that every eye is on them. In the 2016 film literally titled Office Christmas Party, the staff of a fictitious technology firm throw an extremely wild Christmas party behind their not-sofestive boss’ back, and while what ensued was hilarity and an eventually happy ending, staff in Asia-Pacific would definitely be fired if they tried the same thing. Sure, as Fergie once sang, “a little party never killed nobody”. But she doesn’t mention “disciplinary action” and I’m pretty sure she’s not referring to a workplace function. The holiday bash is a great way for staff to finally let their hair down and have a good ol’ time with the same people they don’t always see eye to eye with, but this is where many of us (yes, myself included) can make the mistake of going too far.

I’ve certainly experienced my fair share of being the party clown. And let me tell you – it was not pretty. Falling asleep right in the midst of all the commotion, when it is barely 8pm, is just the one example I’ll share in print today. But over the years, here are some things I’ve learned to tell myself on the eve of the company Christmas party. You might find them useful too, either for yourself, or simply to share subtly with any “at-risk” staff or teams: This is not a dance off This is not open-mic night. And more importantly, you’re not a stand-up comic If you’re drinking more than you’re eating, you need to change the ratio Don’t mix your drinks. This always seems like it will end well, but never does There is always one person taking stock of everyone’s actions That is your boss, not your best friend

Like Cinderella, leave before midnight If all else fails, truly own your silliest behaviour come Monday At HRM Asia, we take our annual festivities very seriously. Our day is split into two parts: An inter-department area decoration competition in the morning, followed by a second half where the actual merry-making happens. For last year’s area decoration competition, a few of the teams turned out some ridiculously elaborate and stunning designs. One team had snow puffs hanging from the ceiling above their seats, while another made their work zone look like the Kingdom of Arendelle from the movie Frozen. (The editorial team didn’t have the best of showings, but we’re out to make serious amends this year.) We then took to the outdoors, as in East Coast Park in Singapore, to indulge in a few very serious games of laser tag (people got really competitive), before night fell and the beer and wine replaced the iced tea and soft drinks. Thankfully, nothing wild happened that night, at least for me. And I intend to keep my positive reputation at my second end-of-year party with the company this year. So if you’re not cool with your senior colleagues never looking at you in the same, professional way again, try having one less drink, or two. Unless, of course, they’re the ones partying the hardest. In that case, I just hope you hold your liquor well. kelvin.ong@hrmasia.com.sg

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DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018


HRM December 2017 - January 2018 Behind The Multi-Stage Life  

Higher life expectancies across the global workforce are demanding a new approach to the employee life-cycle. Thinkers50 representative Lynd...

HRM December 2017 - January 2018 Behind The Multi-Stage Life  

Higher life expectancies across the global workforce are demanding a new approach to the employee life-cycle. Thinkers50 representative Lynd...