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Parallel career paths India Country Report Comp & Ben in lean times

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+ Attracting the right talent at St Regis Singapore + Customer service training + Building global talent

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ISSUE 12.3

Inside the retail giant


CONTENTS hrm12.3

COVER STORY 12 Walmart: Inside the retail giant

With fiscal year 2011 sales of US$419bn and more than 2 million associates (employees) worldwide, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the world’s largest corporate employer. Scott Price, CEO and President, Walmart Asia shares how the retail giant attracts, retains and grows its people to achieve such success

IN THIS COVER STORY “How we find, train and motivate tens of thousands of new associates in the region every year keeps me thinking” Scott Price, CEO and President, Walmart Asia

EDITOR

TRAFFIC MANAGER

JOURNALISTS

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Evelyn Lim

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Yogesh Chandiramani

Sumathi V Selvaretnam Shalini Shukla-Pandey Priya de Langen EDITORIAL RESEARCHER

Vivien Shiao Shufen

Fiza Ramli Amos Lee

John Paul Lozano

REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR

ACCOUNT MANAGERS

SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER

GENERAL MANAGER

Natasha Vincent Charlene Lim

Kaveri Ayahsamy

REGIONAL MANAGING EDITOR

George Walmsley

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Richard Curzon

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

David Teng Photography White Box Photography PRINTED BY

Times Printers Pte Ltd

MICA (P) 158/07/2010 ISSN 0219-6883

Published by: Key Media Pte Ltd 121 Telok Ayer Street #02-01 Singapore 068590 • T: +65 6423-4631 • F: +65 6423-4632 • E: info@keymedia.com.sg

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hrm12.3 CONTENTS

18

36

40

FEATURES 18 Regal service

36 Training for service

22 India shines

40 Paying in lean times

28 Parallel career paths

44 Conquering corporate climate change

The St. Regis is a brand name that has been synonymous with luxury for more than a century. Evelyn Goh, Director of HR, The St. Regis Singapore, tells HRM that maintaining such high standards of service for guests begins with attracting talented individuals who give a ‘human touch’ to their work India is not only glowing, it is shining in the region and beyond. The Asian giant’s economic clout is becoming one to be reckoned with, especially due to its vast manpower tool. HRM examines challenges and practices unique to the land of festivals Contrary to popular belief, not everyone covets a management role. As an alternative, many companies are offering employees dual career paths where they can stretch their abilities, become an expert in their field and add value to the organisation

32 Responsible business

Being an employer of choice is no longer just about great talent development or a fat paycheck. Job seekers are increasingly looking for companies with a heart or those that are actively involved in social causes. HRM looks at the latest CSR activities that have been gaining traction

Frontline employees are the face of the organisation. Ensuring that they offer top-notch service is critical for business growth. Experts speak to HRM about the latest courses that will help staff go that extra mile Compensation and benefits plans are often the first to come under pressure in response to gloomy economic conditions. HRM considers how wages can remain competitive to attract, motivate and retain talent in lean times Organisations that continue to do things the same old way may find themselves lagging behind the competition. Helping employees to adapt to new ways of working is one of the key challenges facing HR, writes guest contributor and HR Summit speaker Catherine DeVrye

50 Creating global talent

As businesses expand, they need their employees to work beyond borders. Developing leaders with a global mindset is critical for an organisation’s long-term success

REGULARS 4 Analysis

54 In Person

65 Resources

69 Talent Challenge

6 News

57 MICE

67 Talent Ladder

71 Viewpoint

11 Leaders on Leadership

64 Twenty-four Seven

68 Talent Feature

72 Executive Appointments

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’s news, features, and contributions by emailing: info@keymedia.com.sg

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analysis

A workforce for the future T

apping on a latent local talent pool, making older workers more employable, and reducing dependency on foreign labour were some of the key points raised in the Singapore Budget 2012 announcement. HRM gets some reactions from the ground.

Reducing dependency on foreign workers

“The message is very clear, the government is looking at long-term productivity growth” Chan Chong Beng, President, Asssociation for Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME)

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In his speech, Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that there will a calibrated reduction in Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs) in the manufacturing and services sector. He added that firms that are the most heavily reliant on foreign labour should take advantage of a slow growth year to find ways to reduce their dependence. The minister also pointed out an economic reason for reductions: “The easy availability of foreign labour will reduce the incentives for our companies to upgrade, design better jobs and raise productivity,” he said. Responding to the announcement, the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) said companies need more time to adjust to the tightening of foreign worker quotas. “The Government has indicated in a statement that it will help companies to attract local workers from the latent pool of the economically active, which number around 338,000 from ages 25 to 29. We look forward to this, because almost 10,000 employers will be affected by the lower DRCs,” said Tan Kwang Cheak, Assistant Executive Director and Director for Development, SNEF. The Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation echoed this sentiment. “In general, the reduction of the DRCs may be difficult to be replaced by locals in the near to mid-term as they may not be interested in many of these jobs,” said Dr Moh Chong Tau (PBM), Deputy President, The Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation (SMa). Tapping on the non-active working population through job redesign is one way to alleviate the shortage of foreign talent, said Douglas Foo, CEO, Sakae Sushi. Over the past 15 months, the company has been hiring homemakers to work during meal times.

This allows them to earn an income and still spend time with their families. Most of them live within a onekilometre radius of an outlet and have grown up children, Foo told HRM. “The message is very clear, the government is looking at long-term productivity growth” said, Chan Chong Beng, President, Asssociation for Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME). “Over the short term, SMEs have to adjust themselves to the level of labour and look at productivity and innovation to propel growth. Those days of easily available foreign workers are not going to come by anymore,” he said in an interview with HRM. Minister Tharman also announced enhancements to the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme to help SMEs make the transition. The government will now provide a 60% cash payout for up to $100,000 of firms’ PIC expenditures. This is double the previous amount. The changes to the PIC regime will serve to encourage companies to invest in productivity and innovation-related activities, said Chiu Wu Hong, Partner, Tax Services, KPMG in Singapore. “For instance, it will now be easier for companies to claim PIC benefits on their in-house training costs. The requirement that these training programmes must be certified will be removed for in-house training costs of up to $10,000 per year. Therefore, there is greater incentive for companies to train their employees.”

Engaging older workers Budget 2012 also underlined the importance of older workers as a source of manpower for companies. To encourage hiring, all employers will receive a Special Employment Credit (SEC) for their Singaporean workers who are above 50 years old and earning up to $3,000 per month. The SEC will be eight percent of wages. A lower SEC will also be provided for workers with a monthly wage of between $3,000 and $4,000. However, engaging older workers goes beyond cash incentives. To attract and retain older workers to


analysis

continue to work productively, there is a need to re-design current workplace and factory layouts to make them more ergonomic for older workers, said SMa’s Dr Moh. His organisation has embarked on a Silver Productivity programme and the first intake is targeted to kick-off on 26 Mar 2012. “This programme will help HR and line managers to re-design the workplace to cater to older workers, as well as equip these workers with the right knowledge to work more productively.” CPF contributions for older workers will also be increased to encourage them to return to the workforce. The contribution rates for workers aged between 50 and 55 will gradually increase by six percent - four percent from the employer and two percent from the employee - to reach the full CPF contribution rate of 36%. The initial increase will start in September 2012. (See Table for details) While this might be an added cost for employers, other provisions like the SEC will help to offset the overall costs of employing older workers, said Chan.

Increased CPF contribution rate Age

New contribution rates* from Sep 2012 (increases from current rates are in brackets) Employer Employee Total Above 50 to 55 14 (+2.0) 18.5 (+0.5) 32.5 (+2.5) Above 55 to 60 10.5 (+1.5) 13 (+0.5) 23.5 (+2.0) Above 60 to 65 7 (+0.5) 7.5 14.5 (+0.5) * % of wages

Overall, Budget 2012 has been largely viewed as a positive one by employers as it is focused on restructuring the economy for the future through the improvement of skills, innovation and productivity. “This will help Singapore to sustain and grow competitive industries and companies, thus enabling employers to uplift jobs and wages for Singaporeans,” said Tan of SNEF.

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NEWS ASIA TAIWAN

SINGAPORE

Workers most afraid of offending immediate boss

Flexible working for increased productivity and revenue

The majority of office workers in Taiwan are most afraid of offending their immediate superior. According to the results of a poll conducted by a manpower agency, 360d HR, some 67% of respondents said that offending their immediate boss would result in a harsher work environment, poor evaluations and an overall negative professional life. The survey also found that 12% of Taiwan’s office workers tried hard to avoid offending their company’s HR and general administration executives, fearing that any wrongdoing would make it difficult for them to apply for office supplies or benefits. A further 11% of respondents said it would be extremely dangerous if they angered the boss’ secretary. Local media, Focus Taiwan, reported that Chen Ching-ling, a 360d HR manager in charge of marketing, suggested office workers should refrain from being too explicit or assertive in the workplace before knowing their bosses’ likes and dislikes.

Sixty-seven per cent of Singapore companies report that their productivity has increased as a result of flexible working practices, while 66% link increasing revenues directly to flexi-working, new research from Regus has found. “Technology and network improvements as well as worker demands for a better work/life balance have driven flexible working to become the norm rather than the exception,” said William Willems, Regional Vice-President for Regus, Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia. “This survey confirms the business case for flexible working, revealing that global businesses see increased productivity and greater revenue generation as directly linked to flexible working practices.” Respondents also report feeling more energised and motivated thanks to flexible working (63%), perhaps indicating why they are able to be more productive and generate more revenue. Flexible

working, by improving worker morale and health, is therefore also taking on the important role of a talent retention tool, providing businesses with a valuable way of rewarding and attracting resources. Willems added that in addition to these benefits, staff report feeling healthier, more energised and more motivated – which in turn means that staff are happier in their jobs, more loyal and less likely to leave. “As workforce expectations and demands change, part-time arrangements are therefore becoming more common not only for freelancers, working mums and the working elderly, but also generation Y employees going straight into multi-job employment,” he said. The research also found: » 58% of respondents say workers in their company feel healthier thanks to flexible working. » 86% of respondents expect a surge in the number of people that go part-time at some point in their career path.Globally, small businesses have embraced flexible working more readily than large corporations, with 80% of workers saying that their company works more flexibly than it used to, compared with 68% of workers from large businesses.

MALAYSIA

Unions and management should be partners The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the Human Resources Ministry to recognise the need for workers to be unionised as it is beneficial to both workers and employers. MTUC also stated there is a need to amend present acts and restrictions placed against the formation of unions. Nine per cent of Malaysia’s 11 million workers are unionised, far less than nations like Singapore (18%), Japan (21%) and the UK (29%). “This percentage has never increased and has been at the same level for the past few

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decades. We still face a lot of challenges in forming unions, and compared to many Asian countries, we are still way below average,” MTUC Vice-President, A Balasubramaniam, told Bernama. He cautioned that the number of workers joining trade unions was on the decline, while the population and the opportunities for work are on a steady rise. “Once a company is formed and has a minimum number of workers, the workers should be allowed to form auto unions. This means the union is automatically formed

without having to get the permission of the employer,” he added. Balasubramaniam said employers should consider trade unions to be their partners in the development of their companies rather than looking at unionised workers and unions as their enemy.


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NEWS INTERNATIONAL UK

SAUDI ARABIA

Diversity more of a PR exercise? Research has revealed that UK workers believe that the purpose of employers’ diversity programmes is predominantly to attract good PR rather than to actively change company culture. A survey undertaken as part of Adecco Group’s Unlocking Britain’s Potential campaign found that 27% of employees believe that campaigns are aimed at gaining publicity and are not designed to generate real change in company culture, while 29% of employers stated that they regularly try to recruit a person who fits a “certain type”. The poll also revealed that 20% of UK workers believe that their industry does not promote itself in

certain sectors of society. However, both employers and employees believe that diversity in workplaces is critical. Seventy per cent of employers said that a diverse and inclusive workforce improves company culture, while 69% of employers believed that organisations with diverse workforces are best placed to succeed. Diversity is important for attracting talent, with nearly half (44%) of workers saying that they are more interested in an organisation with a diverse workforce. Chris Moore, director for the Unlocking Britain’s Potential campaign, stated that there is a business case for diversity, adding specifically that it will widen the UK’s talent pool and have a direct impact on employees’ engagement, and also strengthen relationships with customers.

Bank wage system for foreigners Private employers to are now required to open bank accounts for their employees in Saudi Arabia. This new law is aimed to protect foreign workers’ rights and ensure that they are paid every month. The law will be enforced in three months’ time, stated the Saudi Labour Ministry. According to the Emirates 24/7 newspaper, 90% of private company employees in the country are foreign. The new bank salary system is to be part of the Nitagat programme to prioritise the hiring of locals. The Saudi government plans to create three million jobs for locals by 2015 and another three million by 2030, revealed GMANews.

US

UK

Changes in labour law to help US workers

Graduates need to take risks

Graduates in the UK need to get out of their comfort zones and take risks in order to realise their potential, a new study has revealed. Employment and Training Administration and its Wage and Hour Division The research by Ernst & Young tested 1,000 university has announced reforms to its H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker students for their employability skills. According to the study, programme. The reforms include changes that will ensure US workers students topped five skills: problem solving; building receive greater access to jobs, and also strengthen their job protection rights. relationships; taking pride in their work; being true to The H-2B programme allows the entry of themselves; and having a sense of humour. They foreign workers into the US on a temporary basis were also found to be weakest in the areas of time The unemployment rate for when qualified US workers are not available, and optimisation, risk taking, resilience, making under 25s in Greece is provides that the employment of those foreign themselves the centre of attention, and showing workers will not adversely affect the wages courage at overcoming their fears. and working conditions of US workers. Stephen Isherwood, Head of Graduate The H-2B programme is limited by law Recruitment, stated that the possession of a to a cap of 66,000 visas per year. good degree from a respected university no “The H-2B programme is designed to help longer guarantees a job after graduation. He businesses when there is a temporary shortage pointed out that of the 3,000-plus graduates that of US workers,” said Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis. “The rule will ensure the organisation interviews, only that the programme is used as intended by making these jobs more accessible about 25% have the “all-round skill to US workers and provides stronger job protection for every worker.” set” that they require. The final rule creates a national registry for all H-2B job postings and He highlighted that graduates who increases the amount of time during which US workers must be recruited. end up with job offers usually demonstrate The rule also requires the rehiring of former employees when available. particular traits including determination, In addition, H-2B programme benefits such as transportation costs resilience, and the ability to work hard and wages will be extended to US workers performing substantially the and thrive in difficult situations. same work as H-2B workers. Worker protection will also be strengthened The survey also revealed that 83% by enhanced transparency throughout the employment process. of the respondents were optimistic The rule will be effective on April 23. about achieving their career aspirations.

47.2%

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leaders on leadership

Change management What leadership qualities are critical in times of change or uncertainty?

Yasmin Aladad Khan

Senior Vice President, DHL Express, Southeast Asia

In order to ensure long term profitability and sustainability of a company, a leader must not only possess the required skills set, but be complemented with emotional quotient (EQ) as well. A leader must have the foresight and ability to identify opportunities in order to effectively steer the business in the right direction. Especially during times of change or uncertainty, it is important for a leader to stay focused and continue strengthening the core assets of the business, thus enabling the company to gain a better foothold and remain competitive. A leader with strong analytical skills will also be able to view a situation from various perspectives, and effectively execute appropriate solutions to overcome any challenges. The EQ part, in my opinion, is the key differentiating factor of a strong leader. Human capital is an important asset to any company and each employee plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth operation of a business. A people-oriented leader is one who will continually engage his/her employees and takes interest in identifying and developing the full potential of the employees. This is critical as a motivated team is a team that will continue to be inspired and driven to excel in their jobs.

Foo Mao Gen Vice President, Asia, OpenText

As organisations continue to face the year of subdued global economy, the need to have a smart leader has become more important than ever before. During this tumultuous period, a leader must instil a common vision for the organisation to follow and keep employees focused on the tasks at hand. As a quality leader, one needs to continuously emphasise the corporate objectives and keep the entire organisation on the same track to achieve a common goal. To achieve this, it is imperative for the leader to display empathy, listen to feedback from the ground and weave them into regular leadership communications as employees may be receiving differing messages via multiple channels. Consistent messaging helps to reinforce the company’s core values to both internal and external stakeholders. Although the fear of potentially antagonising the situation further may prevent the leader from making hard decisions, leaders need to stay visionary and be nimble to assess the situation quickly, and have the strength to make hard decisions. As Martin Luther King aptly put it: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a moulder of consensus.”

Wee Tee Hsien General Manager, Cisco Recall

Change in an organisation is often difficult to accept and brings with it stress, fear and uncertainty among employees. Change brings about new opportunities but a leader must first have the courage to undertake hard painful truths and recognise the need for change before these new opportunities can be realised. Organisations tend to resist change as it involves a deviation from the status quo. It is thus crucial that its leaders possess the ability to clearly articulate their vision for the company and galvanise employees to embrace the impending changes required in order to remain relevant in the market. Change often involves taking tough stands. While leaders need to act firmly, empathy is also necessary especially when changes affect employees’ and their families’ well-being. An empathetic leader will not only ease the transition process but also boost the morale of the organisation during difficult times. A strong leader with these qualities will be able to steer the organisation through turbulent times and transform the fear of the unknown to positive energy required to take the organisation to its next phase. issue 12.3

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cover story

Walmart

Inside the retail giant With fiscal year 2011 sales of US$419bn and more than 2 million associates (employees) worldwide, Walmart. is the world’s largest corporate employer. Scott Price, CEO and President, Walmart Asia shares how the retail giant attracts, retains and grows its people to achieve such success By Shalini Shukla-Pandey

W

almart, the world’s biggest corporate employer with over 2.1 million associates (employees) worldwide, has developed a sizeable footprint in Asia in less than two decades. “We are on a huge growth drive in Asia. With over US$16bn in sales and 140,000 associates in the region, we are poised for extremely ambitious growth,” says Scott Price, CEO and President, Walmart Asia. “We already have a significant presence in China, Japan and India.” Over the next five years, Walmart Asia plans to double its outlets and floor space in Asian markets and increase its sales significantly. “The ability to get, keep and grow top talent to lead our growth is therefore one of the most significant challenges we face in Asia, especially given the unique cultural diversity in this region, the expertise and skill sets needed and the pace at which we hire, says Price. “We will continue to be one of the largest employers in the region.”

Walmart facts + More than 200 million transactions per week + 9,700 retail units + 69 different banners + 28 countries

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Recruiting business partners

In just 15 years, Walmart has grown its staff to over 140,000 associates in Asia. In the next five years, Walmart will more than double this number in the region. The American multinational retailer corporation is using several different tools to achieve this recruitment goal. “We are actively partnering with universities and colleges, attracting graduates and providing thousands of


cover story

“How we find, train and motivate tens of thousands of new associates in the region every year keeps me thinking� Scott Price, CEO and President, Walmart Asia

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cover story

Bio brief Scott Price is the president and CEO of Walmart Asia. He has responsibility for the company’s current operations in Asia, including China, India and Japan, as well as business development in the Asia region. Walmart has a significant presence in Asia with more than 100,000 associates and more than 650 units in China, India and Japan. Price joined Walmart in 2009. Most recently, he served as CEO of DHL Express Europe. Prior to that, he was CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific. He also was the president of DHL Express Japan, DHL’s largest market in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining DHL, Price spent a decade with the Coca-Cola Company. During that period, he assumed various roles which included country leader in Japan, and as director and country manager in China, which included Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia. A US native, Price earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina. He also holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master’s in Asian studies from the University of Virginia

associates with their first jobs every year, giving them training and work experience,” says Price. “We also have an opportunity to recruit young international leaders through a partnership with global youth organisation, AIESEC. This will allow us to attract talent from more than 110 countries and offer them internships in the Walmart Asia office, with subsequent employment in our Asian markets,” he adds. One of the most effective ways to attract store associates is via word of mouth – and every single associate counts. Given the large number of people who work for Walmart in stores, for them to become ambassadors for the company is very important, says Price. “People who are working in the stores share with their friends about the opportunities and experiences at Walmart, and this creates great interest from new people wanting to join our company.” Indeed, when Walmart opens a store, it creates jobs that offer competitive wages and benefits as well as the opportunity to advance. An example of how compelling jobs are to prospective employees is found at the Walmart store in Huaibei, Tier 3 City of Anhui Province in China, which received more than 2,200 applications for around 260 available positions when it opened. Walmart has also been recognised on several occasions for being a good employer in the last few years in Asia. These awards include Best Employer in China, given by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and Best Retail Place to Work and the Retail Innovation Award in China in 2010.

Championing diversity

Recently, Walmart appointed Rosalind Brewer as the new head of Sam’s Club, its warehouse club business, making her the most senior female employee in the company’s history. The head of Sam’s Club is one of the three most senior positions in the company below the chief executive. Sam’s Club has annual sales of US$53bn. This is one of the many things that show Walmart is a big proponent of gender diversity. The organisation capitalises on the melting pot of its diverse talent to help the business grow and develop. “Since 80% of the 200 million people who shop at a Walmart globally every week are women, we have placed a great deal of focus on ensuring that there are women in important decision-making roles,” says Price. “We have already achieved significant results in this area in Asia – one out of three leaders in Walmart home offices and almost 60% of our associates across the Asia region are women. In Walmart China, 21% of store managers are women; and 22% of senior leaders in Walmart Japan (Senior VP and above) are women.” Since 2008, Walmart has had Women Leadership Councils in each market to build a pipeline of female talent and to support their progress internally and help them cope externally. Female Leadership Councils have direct access to country CEOs, helping to ensure that there are

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cover story

Me-Myself-I + I love: Being with my family excellent employment opportunities and attractive training and development programmes for women at all levels. + I dislike: Excuses and avoiding responsibility It is not only gender diversity that is encouraged at Walmart Asia, but + My inspiration is: Regular people who do meaningful things also diversity in opinions and an open work environment where associates’ suggestions, observations, problems or concerns can regularly be brought + My biggest weakness is: I am genetically impatient to the attention of management. + In five years’ time I’d like to be: Having fun with whatever I am doing “With our Open Door Policies working in all the markets, it is possible + Favourite quote: Keep Calm & Carry On for anyone to phone up or talk face-to-face with staff at any level of supervision in our company,” says Price. The retail giant also believes in providing excellent opportunities for physically-challenged employees to develop in the company. For instance, Walmart China currently employs 1,080 disabled associates. Peter Cai, the General Merchandising and Operations (GMO) manager in Sam’s Club, has been recognised by the local government as an ‘Advanced Individual in Helping the Disabled’, awarding him for his commitment to serving the community. Walmart Japan employs 418 physically or mentally-challenged associates. “We are not only employing differently abled people in Walmart Japan, we are also striving to propose special service to physically or mentally-challenged customers,” says Price. WalMart's founder, Sam Walton, believed that under For example, Yuka Miyachi from the Gifu Kayo the right circumstances every employee has the store in Japan learned sign language in order to capacity to be a business leader. For this reason, he serve better those customers who have special pushed decision-making downwards by empowering needs. Miyachi was able to provide them with a all of his employees to act like business owners. better shopping experience, showing them where Walton referred to his ‘employees’ as ‘associates’ so items are located, and explaining how to use the they would act like entrepreneurs, and take ownership things they bought. She was honoured at the 2010 of the business. This has been embedded in the retail Shareholders’ Meeting for Walmart International giant’s corporate culture ever since. with a special recognition award.

Empowering employees

Globalising talent

The three markets that Walmart currently covers in Asia – Japan, China and India – are quite diverse. “In India, where 47% of the population is under the age of 20, mobile commerce is emerging, skipping even the e-commerce step,” says Price. “While in Japan, more than a third of the population will be aged over 60 years by 2020, and our customers there are increasingly looking for value for money in their daily shopping.” Similarly, associates’ needs are also quite unique, differing from country to country. The India team is entrepreneurial, eager to grow by more than 200% each year. The Japan team has great professionals in the retail area, as the SEIYU business that Walmart acquired is one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan, being established in 1963. China is the retail giant’s oldest operation in Asia and celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2011. Price is passionate about the cultivation of a ‘glocalised’ Walmart culture in Asia. “Being a multinational retail company, we bring values that have issue 12.3

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cover story

Walmart: Helping people live better While the regional office in Hong Kong is small, it is making a big difference in building capability across the region and in enabling the reapplication of best practices between countries in a number of areas. On a local level, the office is also seeking to make an impact in the Hong Kong community. A recent project was a Mentoring Day for female youth from underprivileged schools of Hong Kong. Walmart Asia has also successfully launched the ‘My Sustainability’ programme in China and Japan to enhance social involvement of associates and stimulate their teamwork and motivation. Examples of the ‘My Sustainability’ programme are the ‘Charity Bazaar’ and ‘Save Electricity Together’ projects in Japan. They were launched after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan. “During the ‘Charity Bazaar’, we raised ¥2 million to support associates in Tohoku, and 15,000 associates in Walmart Japan managed to save 40,000 kWh of electricity during the ‘Save Electricity Together’ initiative,” says Price. Throughout 2011, China associates contributed more than 200,000 working hours through community events. Walmart is also topping DiversityBusiness. com’s list of the Top 50 Organisations for Multicultural Business Opportunities, Business Week’s list of the Top 20 Companies for Leadership, and was recognised as Best Employer in China by the International Public Management Association. Walmart supports the community by empowering women in APEC countries by sourcing from women-owned businesses, training women in farms and in factories, and through charitable giving. It sources directly from more than 1 million farmers in APEC countries, raising their income and reducing waste in the supply chain.

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been incumbent for our company since its birth in 1962,” he says. “But we understand that our culture needs to be adapted to local cultures and primarily motivate associates who are working in the stores day-to-day.” For instance, while Walmart has international assignees in the Asia leadership teams, the company’s main intention is to develop local talent in the market. “In China, 99.9% of our associates are Chinese,” says Price. “And in India, more than 70% of our store management team started out as hourly-paid associates.”

Developing leaderships

Leadership development is an integral part of Walmart’s talent management mix. The company is bringing international standards of leadership development to the retail industry in Asia, setting up institutes that provide leadership development programmes, including the Walton Institute which provides store managers with additional education in an academic setting. “Since its inception in 1985, over 29,000 Walmart managers have attended Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton, nearly 700 classes in Bentonville, hated the clinical feel of the name Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa ‘Human Resources’ so he decided to Rica, China, India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, call his HR department, the UK and Japan,” says Price. Walmart Asia also launched the first Global Leadership Institute in June 2011 for leaders from China, Japan, India and the regional office in Hong Kong. The programme was designed to help leaders expand their capabilities and build the skills necessary to lead the company. The seminar consists of week-long classroom sessions, extensive diagnostics, coaching, and action learning. The Leadership Assessment Center, on the other hand, provides accelerated development and potential career growth by evaluating an individual’s proficiency in the competencies required for success within an identified role or position. The Advanced Leadership Development programme provides interactive exercises for participants to gain training in judgment, communication of goals, and displaying interpersonal savvy, while the Business Leadership Series helps to build capabilities in meeting global business needs, enhancing cross-functional experience/expertise, collaboration, developing strategy, shaping business direction, upholding high ethical standards, sustaining Walmart’s culture and core values, and developing talent. The Presidents Roundtable provides top talent with exposure to strategic business discussions among regional presidents, country presidents and other key leaders. “Our growth opportunities are limitless. However, it takes great associates and leaders to ensure we grow with excellence,” says Price. “How we find, train and motivate tens of thousands of new associates in the region every year keeps me thinking.”

‘THE PEOPLE DIVISION’


hr insider

Regal

service

The St. Regis is a brand name that has been synonymous with luxury for more than a century. Evelyn Goh, Director of HR, The St. Regis Singapore, tells HRM that maintaining such high standards of service for guests begins with attracting talented individuals who give a ‘human touch’ to their work By Priya de Langen

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hr insider

T

“We look for talent with a passion for service, who understand that the job requires you to give more than you take, and those with the right attitude towards service. These attributes are what makes a good service professional”

he St. Regis New York was founded in 1904 and since then, numerous hotels under this brand have been built around the globe offering luxury bespoke service to its guests. Royalty to famed artists, such as Salvadore Dali, have been frequent visitors and even residents of The St. Regis hotel. Even a century later, the impeccable service has not changed. The St. Regis Singapore opened its doors five years ago and has been maintaining the high standards of service.

Facing industry challenges

Keeping the high standards of a brand is not an easy feat, especially in an industry where finding the right talent is difficult. And while the majority of employers do suffer from talent paucity, the hospitality industry in Evelyn Goh, Director of HR, Singapore presents its own set of challenges for organisations. The St. Regis Singapore Evelyn Goh, Director of HR, The St. Regis Singapore, says that the issue could be due to culture as well as perception about long shift hours or the physical demands. “It’s not the most attractive line of work for Singaporeans who are now more educated and affluent. However given the government’s increasing focus on this area, we are seeing more and more interest and young entrants into the hotel sector.” Moreover, the arrival of mega resorts and casinos in the last five years have put an even higher strain on our supply of labour, she says. Retention of employees in the industry is challenging, especially among the younger generation. The hotel has a higher attrition rate among younger employees than older workers. “They are restless and impatient for success. Many choose to go back to school to continue their education. They also like variety and are easily attracted by different + Total number of employees: 400 environment, or they follow their friends,” Goh says. full-time staff Presently, the attrition rate is averaging at approximately + Size of HR team: 8 4% per month, which is fairly reflective of the sector’s high + Key focus areas: Talent management mobility rate due to labour scarcity. and organisation design Goh affirms that competitive salary is an important factor in staff retention but at the end of the day, “it is about how to differentiate your work environment from others, how you treat them, how you groom them, and if they enjoy being with the people at the workplace.”

At a glance

Attracting the right talent

Even with talent scarcity, The St. Regis Singapore has been attracting people to the company due to its brand. “The St. Regis brand is very attractive. We do have a lot of people writing in, so we actually have choice,” explains Goh. Though the hotel is relatively young (five years), the brand is not and has been reputable for a long time, and many people associate it with the highest level of hotel experience, she says. issue 12.3

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hr insider

Who’s who in HR? Evelyn Goh Director of Human Resources

Ng June Li

Vivian Wong

Training Manager

Human Resources Manager

Melinda Quek

Ong Shieh Fang

Training Executive

Human Resources Executive

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However, the hotel follows a meticulous talent management strategy to keep its impeccable service standards in place, which starts with choosing people with the right kind of mentality to be in the service industry. “We look for talent with a passion for service, who understands that the job requires you to give more than you take, and those with the right attitude towards service. These attributes are what makes a good service professional,” says Goh. With different levels of jobs in the hospitality industry, the selection process is rigorous and Goh states that they use behavioural tactics during the interview to find the right employee. “For example, an eye for detail is required for room attendants and to ask them to critique a space is more important than to ask them what their experiences are. For fresh graduates joining the industry, we pose scenarios and assess them based on their reactions.” She says that when it comes to recruitment for the HR team, knowledge of local legislations and employment practices are key criteria. They have to take written tests, and their ability to articulate are also assessed through scenario-based assessments such as ‘posting’ a job advertisement. The hotel also goes to great lengths to attract new talent into the organisation. The St. Regis Singapore conducts several campus talks at tertiary institutions including Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and hospitality campus, Shatec. “Within the span of six months, we have already done five campus talks to create awareness about career opportunities at the St. Regis,” explains Goh. The St. Regis Singapore encourages applicants for internships or part-time jobs. “We want them to know that the St. Regis offers good grounding in training and industry exposure if they are seeking an internship or part-time job,” states Goh. Internships in the hotel last between three to nine months, and ‘outstanding’ interns are given the option to become full-time employees. She says that this helps ease the talent acquisition challenge.

Grooming leaders

Developing employees in their roles and for potential leadership positions plays a great part in assuring a talent pipeline at The St. Regis Singapore. The hotel has various development programmes for its employees. It has a career path programme which “ is a holistic and integrated talent development programme that places our potential leaders on learning tracks that prepare them for the next stage of their career,” says Goh. Its leadership development program is supported by mentors assigned to take ownership of these employees’ progress. The programme is geared towards improving leadership skills, people skills, functional expertise and project management skills. “Upon successful completion of the programme, these leaders are then certified ready for any available and suitable opportunity within the hotel or within the Starwood Group, the parent company of the hotel,” she explains.


hr insider

The luxury butler Giving thanks

The act of recognising employees plays a great part in motivating them, especially for those in the service industry. In The St. Regis Singapore, the recognition of employees is done both formally and informally. The organisation has employees-of-the month awards which cover a spectrum of awards like Care of Guest, Care for Staff, Care for Business, as well as Trainee of the month. Additionally, employees are rewarded for referring new hires under the Great Talent Programme. Goh says that employees are often also recognised by guests with complimentary letters for service; the hotel sends the commended staff thank you notes and members of the Executive Committee lend their personal thanks to these individuals for a job well done. Giving thanks to employees come in another informal way – birthday celebrations. The hotel holds birthday celebrations on a monthly basis (arranged by the Employee Relations) and these employees receive birthday gifts. Also, the hotel celebrates its cultural diversity by commemorating events like national days of various countries. “We recognise that they may miss their home, and we celebrate by having special dishes in the staff dining room on these special days.” Goh recalls that they had turkey for Thanksgiving, since they have many employees from the US and Europe. Finally, variable bonuses are accorded to staff at the end of the year to recognise their contributions when financial targets and key performance indicators are achieved.

Coping with changes ahead

Goh states that the hotel will continue to face talent shortages in the next few years, especially in the recruitment of employees for labour intensive positions such as room attendants and stewarding staff, as well as building a stable team of capable middle-management and service staff. She feels that the country’s continuous tightening on foreign labour will compromise its service levels. Goh explains that due to supply and demand dynamics, the industry has to rely on foreign labour for such jobs as stewarding, public area cleaners and butlers. “I can appreciate the rationale of the government behind the progressive tightening of entry requirements for S passes and work permits, but it poses new challenges for human resources for the industry. Cost impact aside, service levels suffer when there is insufficient local labour to take on the jobs typically held by foreign workers.” On the other hand, she notes that this difficult situation forces HR professionals to look at the workforce from an economics point of view, and this could be a positive thing. “This industry is also about increasing productivity and not just about the human touch. If cost and wages increase, it becomes a priority for us to have the right talents who are able to balance effectiveness with serving the needs of our guests.”

The St. Regis brand is renowned for its Butler service – personalised and bespoke service, and is also the only hotel in Singapore to offer this service to every guest. “As the embodiment and representative of The St. Regis, Butlers are therefore chosen with the utmost care to ensure their work ethic and heart for service are aligned to the St. Regis vision,” says Evelyn Goh, Director of HR, The St. Regis Singapore. The hotel picks candidates with prior experience in similar guest relations roles, as well as fresh graduates from renowned hospitality institutions from around the world, “who are ambitious individuals who have the tenacity and determination to succeed in the hospitality industry.” New Butlers are provided with product and service training, and existing St. Regis Butlers are also continually provided skills training throughout the course of the year. “A St. Regis Butler’s attention to detail may be demonstrated in scenarios like remembering and addressing a guest by name, remembering the way they like to take their coffee and ensuring this is the standard throughout the guests’ stay. They ensure the highest level of personalisation and the true St. Regis experience is accorded each and every guest.”

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India shines 22

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country report

India is not only glowing, it is shining in the region and beyond. The Asian giant’s economic clout is becoming one to be reckoned with, especially due to its vast manpower pool. HRM examines challenges and practices unique to the land of festivals By Shalini Shukla-Pandey

I

n the last two decades, India has gone from being one of the least globalised economies in the world to one of the most dependent on international commerce. “Our markets are more open, we enjoy a wider range of consumer items than ever, and those who go abroad (far more than ever before) finance their travel expenses with foreign exchange,” says Shashi Tharoor, elected member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala and former Minister of State for External Affairs. “Business process outsourcing has (also) tied large numbers of Indians to foreign work environments and business partners.” This year, India is poised to over take Japan as the third largest economy in the world, based on purchasing power parity. James Agarwal, consulting director and head – India, BTI Consultants, a part of Kelly Services, says that main growth drivers seem to be a variety of internal and external factors, including investment-friendly public policies and regulations. “India has also successfully raised its aggregate savings rate to levels that Size of labour force in 2010 would allow sustained high levels of Source: Central Intelligence Agency domestic capital formation, in turn helping high growth,” says Agarwal. While India’s economy is one of the world’s most dynamic, corruption, sloppy standards, a lack of decent staff and too much red tape are common gripes amongst businesses. Prince Augustine, EVP – Human Capital at Mahindra & Mahindra, says there is much to be improved. “The potential of India has not been fully tapped in terms of its resources and people capability,” he says. “There is ample scope for growth looking at the vast expanse of the country, its population and rich cultural heritage.” The country’s labour force is one to be reckoned with. It boasts the world’s largest labour pool, with

478.3 MILLION

270 million entering the workforce over the next 20 years, says McKinsey & Company. It also has the world’s youngest workforce, with 70% of the population falling under the age of 35, according to the latest Indian Census. “By and large, people (in India) are hard-working, and management is participative, forward-looking and quite performance-oriented,” says Augustine. Agarwal agrees and says work culture in India requires one to be acclimatised to the behavioural as well as cultural variations of the country. “For instance, here, people consider their family when accepting job proposals, although Gen X is emulating the west gradually,” he says. “Also, workers in India have a strict work ethic; they do not mind even working on weekends if the demands are such, unlike most other countries where weekends are almost exclusively considered personal time.” However, Agarwal added that Indian workers can be rather particular about certain festivals which cannot be ignored, such as Diwali.

Gender equality

While India has certainly done some things right on the business front to achieve double-digit economic growth, gender equality in the country still has a long way to go before it comes even close to levels of other economic giants. According to the Gender Sensitivity Benchmark for Asia 2011 report, India is the worst among six top Asian economies when it comes to the representation of women in the workplace at the junior- and middle-level positions. Indian multinational companies studied had the lowest number of women employed, at 24.43% of the total workforce in India. Agarwal laments that despite the fact that recent times have witnessed a boost in the status of women, such discrimination still seems to exist. “Discrimination here relates to matters like pay, issue 12.3

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Laws to keep in mind when doing business in India + According to James Agarwal, consulting director and head – India, BTI Consultants, some important Labour Acts which are applicable for carrying out business in India are: + Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act + Employees’ State Insurance Act + Workmen’s Compensation Act + Maternity Benefit Act + Factories Act + Minimum Wages Act + Payment of Wages Act

conditions pre- and postemployment, promotions and other opportunity matters,” he says. “For a developing country like India, gender equality is still a long way off, coupled with unprecedented efforts to grant women an equal status and thereby ensure her development.” There is a silver lining though. In spite of all the challenges, India has shown and worked on progressive policies. Today, most of India’s companies are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all. Employers are increasingly realising the value of trained human resource, especially women in India. Diversity hiring intent among leading companies has gone up by almost 500% since 2010, according to a study by the Chennai-based FLEXI Careers India, which sources only women executives. “Some organisations are changing their HR policies to retain their valuable employees,” says Agarwal. “There are companies which are providing flexibility so that female employees at various life stages could benefit from these policies, like working from a different city, sabbatical from corporate life, and extended maternity leave.” A host of companies, like Godrej Industries, Pepsico, Genpact, Kraft, P&G, Deutsche Bank and others, have all stepped up their gender diversity hiring recently. Progressive companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra believe in equal opportunity and do not discriminate in any form. “Our philosophy is that the right person should be selected for the job. We have an evolutionary approach to diversity as the working population base needs to be aligned to ensure that there is a rich supply of employable workforce,” says Augustine. “In the manufacturing sector primarily in engineering, although the number of woman employees is limited, we have good representation.”

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IBM is another company that’s been championing diversity in the workplace. Three or four times a year, a team from IBM goes on a recruitment drive with a difference – they screen and select only female employees. Conservative estimates suggest IBM has added well over 2,000 women in two years, with the proportion of female workers increasing from 24% of the workforce to 26%. “We keep trying to find new ways of hiring women,” Kalpana Veeraraghavan, diversity manager for India and South Asia at IBM tells The Economist. “This is not just about filling a talent crunch. There is a strong correlation between success in the marketplace and having a diverse workforce.” Other examples include Genpact, where the overall ratio of men to women is 60:40; Kotak Mahindra Bank, where two out of 10 employees are women; and KPMG, which has increased its headcount for female employees by 75% as compared to its figures for 2010. Schneider Electric has also bumped up its percentage of women in the workforce from just 9% in 2009 to 20% in 2011.

Money talks

Companies in India are cautious, but also confident of long-term performance this year. Organisations have emerged in a mature way post-downturn with a stronger compensation philosophy in place, designed around ‘pay for performance’ and a comprehensive view for long-term sustainability. According to the Hay Group Compensation & Benefits Report 2011, the country witnessed an actual average salary increase of 11% in 2011 and is optimistic about seeing double-digit growth this year at an average of 12% across levels. Sridhar Ganesan, managing consultant and Rewards Practice Leader, Hay Group India, says, “in a short span of the last five years, the Indian employment market has witnessed a range of behaviours with employers on a hiring spree and also in rightsizing mode. The market is now stabilising and maturing to the next level of employer and employee relationships.” Graduate salaries are also picking up with monthly salaries touching Rs 40,000 (US$758) in industries including engineering, sales, marketing and even in support functions such as finance and HR.


country report

Exceed Expectations with Exceptional Service Salaries are going up at a good time as India experiences its highest inflation rates yet, with the annual inflation rate for the country accelerating to a 13-month high of 9.78% in August 2011. For instance, Mahindra & Mahindra does regular Mark-to-Market comparisons and appropriate changes are made in compensation based on market realities. “Employees are aligned to these realities,” says Augustine. Ganesan also observed that there is a constant reinforcement of pay for performance. “Bonus figures have been continuously showing an increasing trend year-on-year, as organisations now believe in pay for performance with controlled merit increments.” More organisations have certainly designed variable pay to induce a performance-driven culture. The target bonus percentage ranges between 8% and 44% of base salary at junior management levels, 11–63% of base salary at middle management, and 15–75% of base salary at senior A Hindi slang word, jugaad (pronounced ‘joo-gaardh’) management levels. translates to an improvisational style of innovation that’s The Hay Group report driven by scarce resources – a case of ‘get it done, by found that around 79% of hook or by crook’. Just as Guanxi describes the central idea the organisations in Chinese society, jugaad is almost a way of life in India. participating paid some form Most workers in India embody this intrinsic trait of jugaad in their day-to-day work, allowing them to of bonus in the last 12 creatively come up with products and services that are months. When it comes to more economical both for the supplier and consumer, bonuses, Diwali is the time and maximises resources for a company and its when employees expect stakeholders in as little time as possible. them in India. According to The Economic Times, Diwali bonuses range from 10% to over 200% of basic pay. Consumer durables companies and IT and business process outsourcing companies are the most generous, with the former giving out 20–250% of basic pay during the festive season and the latter shelling out 80–100% of basic wages as bonuses. Bonuses in the financial services sector range from more conservative figures of 16–50% while those in the automobile industry fluctuate between 10% and 25%. The retail sector can give out anywhere from 9% to 60% of basic pay in bonus pay-outs during the festive season. LG Electronics India is a case in point. The consumer durables company gives out a total of 200–700% of basic salaries to its 4,500 employees annually through six bonuses, including two half-yearly performance incentives in January and July, a Diwali bonus, a post-Diwali bonus, an LG birthday bonus in May and a retention bonus to employees who have completed two years of service at LG. The retention bonus is a maximum of 400% of an employee’s basic monthly salary and is paid in three instalments in every consecutive year.

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country report

Resolutions for 2012 The English daily, Mumbai Mirror, sums up some of the biggest workplace resolutions that people in all industries will try to keep in 2012: + Encourage leadership – This comes in handy as companies transition from closed to open source leadership formats this year + Monitor workplace gossip – Managing office gossip is important in keeping major conflicts at bay + Strike a connect – Know the ‘why’ and then focus on the task, helping to avoid miscommunication, politicking, etc…

Talent development

There is no doubt that India’s vast manpower pool has played a vital role in its economic success story. It is increasingly obvious that the success of Indian companies is not just based on superior access to raw materials or technology or patents, but also fundamentally upon human skills. The major challenge, though, seems to be the issue of upgrading skill sets of this human resource through training & development in the face of high attrition and competition, says Agarwal. “Indian companies are recognising their responsibilities to enhance the employee’s opportunity to develop skills and abilities for full performance within the position and for career advancement,” he says. The India that is going global is also a remarkably young country. “India’s youth population remains an under-utilised economic asset,” says Tharoor. Census figures show that nearly one-fifth of India belongs to the 15–24 year age group. Each year, the country will add around five million young adults in that age group – five million potentially productive workers providing India with the fuel it needs to drive productivity higher, powering its economy even further. The education system is working to create a steady stream of young talent. According to National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), each year over three million graduates and post-graduates are added to the Indian workforce. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of developing this talent. “Today’s new graduates seem to be grossly lacking in all-round skills – something that’s expected, given their formal education,” says Agarwal.

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Augustine agrees, saying some big concerns include the employability of fresh graduates and how aligned these graduates are to business reality. Still, many reforms are underway, from governance structure of higher education and decentralisation, to major investments in faculty development, for both private and public institutions. “A lot of effort is being put into expanding tertiary education, especially for lowand middle-income students,” says Agarwal. Corporates are also doing their business to improve the quality of education and hence increase the number of employable talent. For instance, Wipro works closely with the Indian school and college system through the Wipro Applying Thought in Schools (WATIS) programme. The strategy revolves around systemic education reform and transforming the current nature of schools and pedagogy, it works through building capacity of social sector organisations working in the space of education and directly with schools. The WATIS programme has engaged with over 2,000 schools and 30 social organisations across 17 states of India. Mission10X Learning Approach (MxLA) is another program by Wipro that focuses on improving the potential for employability of engineering graduates in India. It does this through direct engagement with engineering colleges and faculty capacity development. The program reaches out to over 300 colleges and has trained 10,000 engineering college faculty members. Aditya Birla Group offers Management Trainee Programmes through which the company recruits exceptional management graduates from the best business schools in the country. Siemens India’s one year training programme sees newly recruited management trainees undergo a rigorous five-week classroom training, six stints of three weeks each in Sales, Operations, Finance, HR and Corporate Strategy, and a 26-week project within a business unit or corporate function. The synergy between the public and private partnership with a strong focus on key HR programmes such as talent management and employee capability-building, coupled with attraction and retention will be pivotal as India continues its journey of rapid growth.


feature

Parallel

career paths Contrary to popular belief, not everyone covets a management role. As an alternative, many companies are offering employees dual career paths where they can stretch their abilities, become an expert in their field and add value to the organisation By Priya de Langen

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O

rganisations offer employees a number of ways to progress in their careers and the management track is definitely one of them. However, not all employees are interested in managing people or having a leadership role, say experts. A growing number of companies are realising this and are offering other career progression paths – besides the traditional management track – to enable employees to become experts in their fields of work, such as a technical or project management path. Employers say that offering alternative ways for employees to become specialists in their careers is beneficial to them as well as the organisation, as it helps engage and retain this group of employees.

The alternative path

Employers are offering alternative career progression tracks, from technical to project management paths, to develop employees into specialists in their fields of work. Global organisation 3M is offering a dual-ladder system to its employees – the Management Ladder and the Technical Ladder. Catharine Tan, Business


feature

Partner, R&D, 3M Human Resources, explains that the dual-ladder system offers employees in 3M equivalent opportunities for success in either track. “By doing this, the company helps to ensure that people pursue jobs for which they are best-suited,” she says. She adds that both ladders will allow employees to focus on where they can make the best contributions to the company and at the same time grow as an individual. For instance, engineers who would like to stay in their technical field can develop themselves through the Technical Ladder from Senior Engineer to Specialist/Scientist. Vestas Wind Systems offers multiple career paths to its employees. Besides the traditional People Leadership Track (management), there is the Knowledge and Innovation Leadership Track and Project Management Track. The Knowledge and Innovation Leadership Track applies to employees in a variety of roles -- HR in learning and development and compensation, Research & Development (R&D) and other technical employees. Noel Lenehan, Vice President, People & Culture, Vestas Asia Pacific Wind Technology, explains that the organisation is also very project-based and there are many opportunities for employees to develop through project work (the Project Management Track). “Project managers could be team leaders, but their skills and work are more orientated around specific delivery of projects and project management skills.” He cites an example, whereby in the R&D team, employees might need to develop a new turbine as part of a project. Similarly, Sony Electronics has a separate technical career path instead of the traditional management route, which allows participants to focus on enhancing their technical expertise in order to progress higher in the organisation. “We formed a different review panel for candidates who are recommended for promotion to a manager-equivalent level, so that they are assessed on the technical areas rather than management,” explains Hew Evans, Director, HR, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is another company that is interested in developing its employees in specialised fields. Lau Yin Cheng, Cluster Director, Human Resource & Organisation Development Cluster, IDA, states that the organisation “recognises the diversity of roles and functions at IDA and offers different career progression tracks for employees, including those who prefer to be specialists in their own area of expertise.”

“As HR professionals, our role is to make sure employees are equipped to make the right decision for themselves with all the information in front of them” Noel Lenehan, Vice President, People & Culture, Vestas Asia Pacific Wind Technology

HR’s facilitating role

HR has a big role to play in informing employees of their alternative choices for developing their careers. Employers say that besides formal appraisals, HR should ensure that employees have a good idea of the different career progression offerings in the organisation. Lenehan says that it is a challenge for all employees to have a full knowledge of all their development options in an organisation, particularly in the larger MNCs. This is especially so in Vestas, which has over 20,000 employees in 67 countries. However, Vestas has made efforts to ensure that its employees have the right facts so that they can make informed decisions about their career paths. The organisation developed an Employee Development Guide in the Asia Pacific over the past 12 months. He explains that the Guide is brief and issue 12.3

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Career progression line for experts

Master/ Expert Engineer

Fellow

abbreviated but it provides all the information on the development options and how it would fit a person’s aspirations as well as links for more information. In addition, he says that some employees have personally Senior talked to him about their interest in developing in the technical Engineer field. “Given that our company is a business focused on highly technical offerings to the market place, we attract people who Engineer are interested in the technicalities of the product. So, in some cases, this is what they want to make a career in, they don’t *An example of a specialist track for an engineer necessarily want to be a GM or want to have a team leadership experience,” explains Lenehan. Moreover, he adds that the onus is on HR to provide the right information to employees. “As HR professionals, our role is to make sure employees are equipped to make the right decision for themselves with all the information in front of them.” Lenehan adds that the employee might not have worked in a team leadership or general management role, so HR should talk to them about different opportunities before they commit themselves to a particular career path in the long run. Similarly in Sony Electronics and 3M, appraisals and performance reviews are a good time to talk to employees about their career plans. Furthermore, the organisations make sure that their employees are aware of the different career tracks available. “We publicise the dual-career path in our communications. Also, each year, the Division Head will discuss the career development plan with staff. This allows the staff to plan ahead in what type of career they prefer,” says Evans. 3M conducts an Annual Appraisal System where a supervisor conducts a discussion with an employee to review their performance for the previous year before moving on to setting objectives for the year and identifying key development which career path an employee plans. During the process, the employee will be asked whether is interested in helps both they see their progression on the Technical or Management management and HR to plan Ladder, explains Tan. for internal job opportunities “Knowing which career path an employee is interested in helps both management and HR to plan for internal job opportunities. This also forms an important aspect of the Human Capital Plan where we identify potential candidates in replacement and/or succession charts,” she adds. In IDA, technical competencies development is discussed during the performance review with the supervisors as part of the Individual Development Plan for each staff. “Management will discuss about aggregated technical or functional competencies development needs and incorporate them into the review of the group or division’s engagement and development plan annually. Some areas of focus include Security, Network Technologies and Business Intelligence/ Analytics, for the benefit of the industry and government,” explains Lau.

Principal Engineer

KNOWING

Developing experts

Offering a different specialisation path is just the beginning, as developing the skills of this group of employees is critical. Tan says that the Technical Forum at 3M's Singapore R&D Centre plays an important role in bringing the

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technical employees together to allow experts of different technical backgrounds to interact and build connections with them based on different technologies and platforms. There are also technical conferences that are held both locally and in other 3M subsidiaries. “This creates a platform for engineers and scientists to gather around and for subject matter experts to present on research & development work, such as new applications and/or new product development,” notes Tan. Employees in Vestas who have chosen the technical field are offered training and development programmes by the R&D team in the headquarters in Denmark in order to enhance specialist skills in the technology area. “There is also a high-potential and emerging leader development programme to develop talent coming through the technical field,” Lenehan explains. Known as the Talent Accelerator (TAC) programme, it is an initiative designed to find, assess and accelerate the development of the top talents within Technology R&D through different programmes such as Strategic self-awareness, Business driven career plan, and Action learning.

Promoting retention

Employers say that providing employees with another career track not only helps them develop specialised skills but also retains them. “It creates career opportunities for both types of employees. We have effectively implemented this since 2005, and it has helped to retain and motivate our technical staff,” notes Evans. “Offering a dual-career system has allowed us to provide our employees with diverse opportunities across the many businesses and functions,” says Tan. Moreover, she adds that 3M has had employees who started in a technical engineer role and progressed to business manager. “With their technical background and experience, the individual helps bring valuable insights to the business and allows a smoother transition into the role.” Lenehan notes that giving employees options makes them feel included and valued. “This benefits the employees and makes them feel more engaged and helps retains talent.” In the matter of retention, compensation and benefits also play a part. Experts and employers say that although pay is linked to performance and is benchmarked against the market, the pay of employees who are experts in their fields of work is comparable to manager levels. Tan notes that the pay grades for technical employees in 3M are comparable to those on the Management Ladder track. Moreover, the organisation also provides other benefits to retain employees on the technical path. She says that they are recognised and rewarded through both the Global and Local Recognition Programme. “One such example of a Global Programme is where we have an IP Broker of the Year award to increase the number of cross-divisional ROIs and patent applications, cultivating a local R&D culture and environment,” she states. At Vestas, the pay or reward could be different for jobs that are particularly competitive or for a role that needs a unique skill in order to attract and retain talent. Lenehan notes that in the India team, one of the more sought after talent is a Wind Site Analyst. “They assess the geography for wind farms. That is a rare skill and at times may be a skill set area where additional retention incentives could be required,” concludes Lenehan. issue 12.3

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Responsible business Being an employer of choice is no longer just about great talent development or a fat paycheck. Job seekers are increasingly looking for companies with a heart or those that are actively involved in social causes. HRM looks at the latest CSR activities that have been gaining traction By Priya de Langen

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usinesses across the globe have an increasing awareness of the critical importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the impact it has on their reputation as well as employees. With the presence of corporate watchdogs and focus-groups, corporate debacles lead to serious setbacks for organisations. After the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP’s stocks were reduced by half, amounting to a drop of a staggering $90bn in shareholder value. The above is just an example, but organisations understand that it is no longer just about the bottomline – it is about what the businesses can do for the community or environment. It can be seen by the increase in sustainable reporting – giving out updates on their CSR activities – that more companies are taking their corporate responsibility seriously. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) revealed that the number of sustainable reports submitted since 2000 has increased by over 30 times or 3,000% globally, with a 22% increase in 2009–10 alone. Numerous organisations in Singapore are involved in CSR activities that range from community projects

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to environmental work, but there is also a growing trend of involvement in the creative arts field. Experts say that although there are some challenges, such as setting aside time as well as money for these activities, involvement in CSR ultimately helps engage employees.

Setting the framework

Employers state that they are involved in various activities, and they allow employees the freedom to choose which ones they would like to participate in. However, one of the key things that employers do is to set a framework to work under as well as set up a separate committee to oversee the activities. Kelly Wee, chairperson of Jurong Town Corporation’s (JTC) Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, says that JTC has a formal CSR framework that gives the organisation direction. “It is anchored on two pillars; namely, Environment Sustainability and Community Engagement, and supported by three core strategies; namely, increasing awareness of corporate social practices (CSP), embedding environmental practices


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into workplace and business processes, and promoting a culture of community service,” she says. Similarly, another organisation, The RitzCarlton, Millenia Singapore, has a committee made up of volunteers from different divisions in the hotel. The hotel’s director of Public Relations, Cheryl Ng, says that its department heads all conceptualise and drive a project annually. “There is no limitation to the types of activities which are planned so long as the activity impacts at least one focus area: Wellbeing of Children; Hunger and Poverty Relief; and Environmental Conservation.” NTUC FairPrice is another organisation that has its own CSR Board to help steer CSR direction. It is made up of a high-level board of directors as well as a more operational CSR Committee formed by the senior management of FairPrice, says Angela Soo, Director, Corporate Communications, NTUC FairPrice. The retailer’s approach to “CSR activities revolve around 4 Pillars – Responsible Retailing, Community Care, Sustainable Environment and Wonderful Workplace,” she adds.

Making a group effort

Organisations in Singapore are involved in a variety of CSR activities, from community projects to environmental work. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore is one that is involved in community projects. The hotel has a Community Footprints

Programme, and in 2011 it organised a total of 38 activities, including ones to teach senior citizens computer software and social media skills, and another devoted to cleaning up the coastline. Ng says that one of the more significant projects that the hotel organised was ‘A Reason to Smile’, for which it teamed up with Singapore Marriott Hotel to raise over SGD$212,000 for ‘Operation Smile’, which assists in the treatment for over 300 children in Asia with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial The number of sustainable reports since deformities. “A total of 7,600 cakes 2000 has increased by were baked and sold, a solid testament to successful teamwork Source: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and dedication by volunteers, culinary team and pastry chefs.” JTC is also involved in several community projects within Singapore and overseas and has a number of adopted charities that include the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), Community Home for Senior Citizens, and the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) Fernvale Gardens School. “We focus our efforts on giving much-needed assistance to improve the quality of life in the communities where we operate,” explains Wee. The company organises an annual Care & Share Day, a lunch-time carnival to raise funds for its adopted charities. Last year, more than 750 employees

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volunteered as stall owners selling items for charity. JTC also organised overseas community service trips to Cambodia in 2007 and 2010 to assist in community development efforts. Wee says that JTC employees are enthusiastic and have the drive to initiate, organise and support various community projects. To encourage participation, JTC offers two days per year of Community Service Leave to employees. The organisation also offers a subsidy scheme whereby various divisions in JTC can claim up to $10 per staff participating in the volunteering activities which they organise. A well-known CSR activity that NTUC FairPrice has been engaging is the FairPrice Share-A-Textbook Project, which was implemented in 1983. “Conducted annually, we encourage our customers to donate their used textbooks for the needy, thereby encouraging recycling and thrift. To date, about 170,000 students have benefitted and over 2.32 million books have been collected over the past 29 years,” notes Soo. Moreover, the FairPrice Foundation, the retailer’s charity arm, have donated over $32 million to various community causes, one + Set up a CSR framework and committee – the of which is the Boys’ mission, objectives and the direction for the company’s CSR projects Brigade’s Share a Gift. + Provide platforms for all employees to Wong Ai Fong, contribute their ideas and objectives for CSR Director, Corporate + Get a poll of what type of activities employees Communications & in the organisation are interested in Marketing Services, National Arts Council (NAC), says that volunteering for arts-related activities can also be beneficial to the corporate brand. One of the key ways for companies to get involved in the arts is through sponsorships of events, festivals, projects, and programmes. “Arts sponsorships can also have a ‘spill over effect’ on corporate branding, as customers often look for meaning behind a brand, which cannot always be easily achieved by standard marketing activities,” she says. Wong adds that organisations should consider conducting arts-related activities at work. “Companies can go beyond sponsorship and opt for

Implementing CSR

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arts-based programmes where their employees become facilitators of the arts activities for beneficiaries of welfare organisations.” She adds that organisations could “engage artists and arts groups to conduct programmes such as drama and role-playing to help employees think ‘out of the box’. Lunch-time art talks, exhibitions and concerts can also enliven the office environment.” Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is a company that is involved in arts-related CSR projects. Chin Soo Fang, Head, Corporate Communications, SPH and Deputy General Manager, SPH Foundation, says that the company has been organising ‘The SPH Gift of Music’ series since 2005. Singapore audiences are entertained with different concerts covering classical, pop, and jazz musical genres. About 20 community concerts have been staged at different locations around Singapore in 2011. “Besides the performing arts, SPH and SPH Foundation also support the literary arts by sponsoring the Singapore Writers Festival and the SPH-Golden Point Award 2011, which aims to discover literary talents in short story and poetry writing,” notes Wong.

Connecting with employees

Employers and experts alike say that it is beneficial for businesses to be involved in CSR as it helps to engage employees. Moreover, it helps attract employees who are interested in being with an organisation that involves itself outside the business sphere. Ng says that employees at The Ritz Carlton, Millennia Singapore are engaged with their colleagues and the organisation through the CSR activities. “The sense of volunteerism and support generated by our Community Footprints Programme builds interpersonal relationships, leadership skills and teamwork. Generating and maintaining awareness of giving back to our community as key criteria towards defining our business success adds so much more meaning to what we do,” she highlights. “Departments at SPH can adopt their own charities, and staff can also take part in the charity outings organised by the SPH Staff Volunteers Club. Such meaningful activities promote team bonding and a sense of belonging amongst staff,” explains Chin.


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Soo says that employees in NTUC FairPrice take pride in how they can make a positive difference to the lives of the less fortunate in the community. “In addition, being involved in such volunteer activities also has development benefits as well – for example in the areas of teamwork, leadership skills, communication skills and personal morale.” Employers say that although involvement in CSR activities is fulfilling, there are some challenges that come with it such as the time and effort needed. Ng says that “time and resources are challenges but this is overcome by setting up the Community Footprints calendar of activities at the start of the year. Having this calendar helps us to stay on track towards meeting our objectives for the year and accomplishing what we set out to do.”

“There is no limitation to the types of activities which are planned so long as the activity impacts at least one focus area” Cheryl Ng, Director of Public Relations, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Wong of NAC explains that there is a general lack of awareness about the value and importance of the arts. “While the benefits and value of the arts are real and pervasive, its intrinsic qualities make the end results intangible and unquantifiable and, therefore, hard to measure in a traditional way.”

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corporate learning

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he service industry in Singapore has been gradually seeing improvement from the combined efforts of organisations as well as the government. Last year, enterprises in the services sector received a $84 million-dollar boost from the Government’s GEMS (Go-the-Extra-Milefor-Service) Up committee designed to help companies embark on CustomerCentric Initiative (CCI) projects and to train their service staff. (See sidebox) Lim Swee Say, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, also announced that the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has launched a suite of service innovation training programmes that will enable organisations to adopt a whole-company approach towards transforming the customer experience. Such benefits have helped organisations in Singapore to improve on their service quality. Moreover, HR departments in many companies are also sending their employees on various training programmes to upgrade their customer service skills.

Learning to go the extra mile

There is a range of programmes available for employers to send their employees to in order to receive good customer service training. TÜV SÜD PSB Learning is one organisation that provides such training. It delivers a gamut of programmes for employees who need to polish their customer service skills. It is also a Continuing Education & Training (CET) Centre appointed by WDA, and as such it offers two frontline programmes – WSQ The Service Innovator and WSQ Certified Service Professional.

r o f g n i n Trai

e c i serv suring that they n E . n o ti a is n a rg the o ak to s are the face of e ye lo p m w th. Experts spe e ro e g in tl ss e n Fron si u b r rvice is critical fo that extra mile o g ff a st lp e h offer top-notch se ill at w latest courses th HRM about the By Priya de Lan

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corporate learning

In the WSQ The Service Innovator course, trainees are taught to generate ideas to transform customer experiences, says Colin Tan, Vice President, Product Development and Corporate Training, TÜV SÜD PSB Learning. Trainees are also brought to real service establishments “to experience service innovations. They learn ‘out of the box’, play with problems and ideas.” In the WSQ Certified Service Professional course, trainees learn from various simulated activities such as role playing exercises and are able to meet award-winning service providers and benefit from their real-life perspectives and experiences, explains Tan. In addition, the institute offers other courses such as Telephone Skills with the Customer in Mind, Passion for Service, and Handling Difficult Customers. Tan says the company has worked with organisations from various sectors including retail, healthcare and banking. He says that the courses

“Organisations want their employees trained in developing a positive mindset towards service” Colin Tan, Vice President, Product Development and Corporate Training, TÜV SÜD PSB Learning

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RWS wows with service “Delivering a memorable guest experience is one of our top priorities for Resorts World Sentosa. As such, we place much emphasis on training our team members in delivering personalised service and exceeding our guests’ expectations,” says Robin Goh, Assistant Director, Communications, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). The company has been sending its employees to two different WSQ service programmes at TÜV SÜD PSB Learning to help better their skills – Lead to WOW for mid-level managers and Deliver the WOW for rank-andfile team members. “The Lead to WOW programme is designed for our managers to embrace, demonstrate and drive our strong service culture within RWS, while Deliver the WOW is for team members to discover and ignite the company’s service culture. It also equips our team members with knowledge and skills to create WOW moments for our guests,” says Goh. RWS introduced the programmes in 2011 and had more than 200 team members participating. “Feedback has been extremely positive so far, and with more participants this year, we will be monitoring the effectiveness of these programmes to further enhance our service quality standards,” says Goh.

assist companies in several areas, ranging from “enhancing their service mindset to improving their service support system.” The courses are suitable for employees at all levels, from operations to supervisory to managerial, including those in senior management. Another service provider, SIM, is also well-known for its broad range of customer service training courses. “The programmes that SIM offers cater to the different types of customer service functions within organisations. The focus is on the single largest challenge of maintaining superior service levels – which is experienced in all organisations and cuts across all industries,” explains Vincent Yeo, Director, Business Development & Training Management Support, SIM Professional Development. Some of the programmes that SIM offers are 5 Steps to Successful Customer Relationship Management, Managing Upset Customers Constructively and Learning from Service Breakdowns.

What organisations want

Employers can choose from the wide variety of courses for their employees, but what skill sets do they really want their employees to have? Experts say that companies fundamentally want the sort of training that creates a positive mindset among service employees – and providing good customer service does not mean that they must only be slaves to a customer. “As organisations struggle to keep pace with rapidly increasing consumer expectations, it is deemed necessary that employees be equipped with a positive service mindset – one that overcomes the negative perception of having to serve others,” explains Yeo. Tan affirms this, stating that “organisations want their employees trained in developing a positive mindset towards service.” He also says that they would like their employees trained in specific customer service skills to bolster fundamental communication techniques, like smiling, maintaining eye contact and customer greeting. “The other much sought-after service skill is The service industry received a understanding one’s self (self-mastery) so that you can take control of sensitive situations through your ability to read the behaviours of others. This will enable service staff to know when it is appropriate to assist or intervene,” says Yeo. Tan adds that employers would like their workers boost from the GEM UP committee in 2011 to “go the extra mile” for their customers; skills which would facilitate this attribute include understanding customers’ requirements, handling difficult situations with finesse, and spotting opportunities to go the extra mile.

$84m

Room for improvement

Experts say that the service industry in Singapore is good but there is room for improvement. In fact, the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore (CSISG) showed that perceived service quality improved from 70.4 points in 2007 to 71.3 points in 2010.

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The CCI help The Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) is a national tripartite effort chaired by The Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board (SPRING Singapore) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), with representatives from WDA, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). The CCI was launched in 2005 to encourage companies to commit to service excellence. Under the CCI, a total assistance package was specially developed to assist companies in their service quality transformation. Companies can receive funding of up to 50% to develop service strategies and service blueprints, set service standards, strengthen service systems, conduct service audits and consultancy for certification to Singapore Service Class.

Providers say that customer-facing employees can improve upon certain skills. “In my view, our customerfacing employees here largely lack good communications skills. Even if they have good product knowledge, many find it hard to explain the use and benefits of the product/service to customers succinctly and in a pleasant manner,” explains Tan. Yeo explains that there is a need to address challenges that the organisations in the industry are facing such as a high turnover rate for frontline or service staff, especially in the Food & Beverage (F&B) sector, and budget constraints in hiring and training new staff. In order to overcome this, employees must learn good service skills that are transferable. Also, in order to improve the customer experience, employees should learn to understand cultural needs. “Understanding differences in cultures and practices will aid in the provision of superior service as the service staff will be able to discern what are appropriate or inappropriate behaviours,” states Yeo.

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Paying in lean times

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Compensation and benefits plans are often the first to come under pressure in response to gloomy economic conditions. HRM considers how wages can remain competitive to attract, motivate and retain talent in lean times By Shalini Shukla-Pandey

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ean times often call for bold measures. With 75% of businesses in Singapore citing high labour costs as their biggest concern, according to a study by the Singapore Business Federation, companies are following a more cautious approach in planning compensation and benefits packages for staff. “In this economic climate where corporate offices are increasingly demanding profitable, capital-efficient growth from their Asian operations, HR leaders are especially challenged to demonstrate the tangible value of HR spends,” says Maneesh Sah, Marketing Director, Towers Watson, Singapore and Southeast Asia. “This is forcing them to look for analytical tools that can predict the change in outcome measures of a particular HR intervention. We believe this trend will grow in magnitude.” During economically lean times, HR must look outside the box for real, high-value retention strategies. While a typical compensation package includes a competitive base/fixed salary, HR needs to

Flexi pay for ministers Flexible wages with variable components related to performance are becoming more widespread, with the government recently also including a national bonus in the pay scheme for political appointment holders. Ministerial salaries in Singapore recently underwent an overhaul, with officials receiving pay cuts averaging 36–37%. The move was based on recommendations by the Ministerial Salaries Review Committee, which was set up to ease public grievances over high ministerial incomes while the general public endured wage cuts and freezes during tough economic circumstances. Under the revised framework, ministerial pay will be pegged to the performance of the individual and the country’s socio-economic progress, based on a broader scope of key performance indicators at both the national and individual levels. Pay for political appointment holders will now include a fixed pay component and a variable pay component based on real media income growth rate, real growth rate of the lowest 20th percentile income, unemployment rate and real GDP growth rate.

consider using rewards and other benefits including flexi benefits, variable pay, or pay for performance in order to ensure wages remain competitive and reduce talent attrition due to compensation issues.

Stretching the wage dollar

A reward system with a variable pay component could serve a number of objectives, says Kevin Ong, Director, Executive Compensation, Towers Watson, Southeast Asia. “One key objective of a variable pay programme is that it allows for ‘self-funding’ of additional payments. Additional payments are made only where performance warrants them.” Performance-based systems also work as motivational and retention tools. The Singapore government has recently done this with the payout of the National Bonus in the revised framework for ministerial salaries. The bonus is tied to a set of goals that are linked to the welfare of the citizenry. Joshua Yim, CEO, Achieve Group, suggests that while there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, HR should increase the ratio of the variable pay component that is pegged to performance. He also believes that a flexible wage scheme aligned with performance is a very effective method to motivate workers. “Through this pay structure, employees are held accountable for their effectiveness at work and are rewarded accordingly for meeting KPIs.” Given the power of variable pay and its usability in multiple settings, Ong believes that most organisations would be able to adopt it. In future, it is likely that there will be greater importance placed upon components linked to individual performance than on just base salary and company performance says National University of Singapore Business School Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen. “In the past, companies often followed the lead of the government and public sector and used components such as the Annual Wage Supplement issue 12.3

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(AWS) and bonuses linked more to the overall economic performance of the country,” says Mak. Increasingly though, organisations forgo the AWS, choosing instead to include a ‘variable’ component in the salary mix. This helps companies to retain some flexibility in adjusting salaries instead of retrenching workers during difficult times. Targus religiously utilises the variable pay component of its wage plan. Those who perform well in the company are well rewarded while those who do not meet performance indicators are guided towards achieving their goals. “I really believe in strong discrimination in this area, in handing out rewards and incentives,” says Steven Norman, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Targus. “If an employee is not working GMPREC0109_Tech_HRM Mag_Hi.pdf

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successfully, it’s the joint responsibility of that person and us.” Rewards and recognition policies are no different. “Definitely with annual increments, salary changes and so forth, we will discriminate very much between the good performers and the average employees,” Norman says. He believes that some bias is necessary to spur even better performance from both groups.

Beyond cash

While compensation is among the top three drivers of attraction in Singapore, once employees are on-board, attractive compensation (performancebased or otherwise) has no impact on their engagement and retention, says Sah. HR must look beyond just benchmarking wages and performance-


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related variables, and ensure that other employment conditions in the organisation are attractive as well, especially when times are tough. “Increasingly, companies have gone beyond just managing compensation to managing ‘total rewards’, which is a broader definition of all aspects of employee experience – pay, benefits, work environment, and learning and development opportunities,” says Sah. Darren Cerasi, director at e-discovery and digital forensics firm, I-Analysis, says that while benchmarking wages across an industry sector is always important, smaller companies may not necessarily have the resources to pay high wages so they should look at other benefits that have a positive impact on their workforce such as family days out, teambuilding exercises, and so on. “In lean times, everyone should work even harder together to thrive in the tougher economic climate, so team cohesion is key,” he says. Staff members at I-Analysis, an SME, are sent on training programmes regularly, regardless of economic conditions. “It gets them out of the office and they acquire new skills and knowledge which they share internally,” says Cerasi. “Some courses are expensive so we identify those that have some form of government subsidy, which helps us reach our goal of training our staff whilst also reducing our costs.” Staff also enjoy a tasty perk from time to time: Free beer. Employers are increasingly looking to provide the support their workforce needs to do their work efficiently and effectively, and also create a work environment that supports employees’ physical, social, and emotional wellbeing. “This should be supplemented by developing strong leaders and by building a sense of clarity, confidence, and community among employees,” says Robert Wilkes, Managing Director, Towers Watson, Singapore. “Towers Watson’s research shows that organisations that invest in developing these elements are able to achieve sustainable engagement of their workforce that will, in turn, lead to significant gains in productivity and performance, even in these dynamic times,” adds Wilkes.

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Conquering corporate climate change


guest contributor

Organisations that continue to do things the same old way may find themselves lagging behind in the competition. Helping employees to adapt to new ways of working is one of the key challenges facing HR, writes guest contributor and HR Summit speaker Catherine DeVrye

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ike the planet itself, work environments always change. Sometimes, change is dramatic in the form of mass redundancies or financial woe, which see tremors of fear sweep through an organisation, as if impacted by a tsunami. More often, it’s the ripple-like impact of more minor change that ebbs and flows, when employees feel needlessly threatened and dis-empowered. One of the many challenges facing HR professionals around the globe is to help finesse inevitable change in order that both individuals and the organisation better manage it. As the former HR Manager for IBM’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Tokyo, I appreciate the important role that dedicated HR professionals play. Although in those days we were called ‘Personnel Managers’, the challenge of change is not all that different! And, it remains important to recognise that the seven most expensive words in any organisation are: “We have always done it that way!” How often do you hear those words around your office? Wasn’t it only last month that a senior manager blocked a new employee’s suggestion with that exact phrase? Adding: “You just don’t understand how we do things around here.” Or, worse still: “We tried it that way once and the person who suggested it is no longer here.” If all this sounds overly familiar, it’s time to seriously examine the way in which your organisation operates in today’s rapidly changing environment. Certainly, it’s important to build on your past success and not simply change for the

sake of change, which is a costly exercise in itself. But, never forget that even if you don’t change, your competitors and customers may. That is not to say that you should ‘throw out the baby with the bath water’ but any organisation, regardless of past success, should always remain open to new ideas. It’s a recipe for disaster to continue to do things the same old way without at least occasionally assessing if that mode of operation is actually working, or you simply think it’s working for you. Past success is no guarantee of future success. Complacency is a curse. Take a look at the computer company that dominated the world for generations. IBM had incredible market share, rising stock prices and amongst the highest paid employees in the world. When I did my sales training with them in the 1980s, we were told that only three computer companies would exist by the turn of the century. Never was it considered even a remote possibility that IBM might not be one of them. It was widely agreed that personal computers were only a fad and wouldn’t be a serious contender in the market of the future! Meanwhile, a little ‘backyard’ company, Apple, was on the rise to become the new force in the PC business. Yet, Apple’s share performance also fluctuated over the years when their corporate culture temporarily shifted in the 1990s from being one of innovation to one of mass volume. Both Apple and IBM are excellent organisations but change happens particularly quickly in information technology. Both adapted in time and as a shareholder, I’m pleased to report IBM shares issue 12.3

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CHANGE IS INEVITABLE

were doing OK at the time of writing (as OK as shares can be in but learning from change this market). But, no high-tech is optional organisation will even have a parking place on the super highway (or super hypeway) of the future unless they constantly look at new ways of doing things. This applies not just to computer companies but to all organisations as technology, among other factors, continues to have an ever-increasing influence on the way business is conducted both domestically and internationally. Just look at Kodak – a century-old, iconic, global brand which (although still trading at the time this goes to print) declared bankruptcy in January 2012 because they could no longer compete in the digital age, when far fewer photographs are actually printed. Ironically, Kodak actually invented the digital camera which was later to cause its demise. Get the picture!? To succeed, enlightened leaders will look through the equivalent of a wide angle lens at better ways to run their organisations, rather than comfortably resort to that deadly phrase: “We have always done it that way.”

In today’s economy, no one – whether in the private or public sector – is immune from fluctuations. During the current global financial turmoil, most people have remained nervous about personal finances, interest rates and job security. What, if anything, can be done by the average man or woman? Fret or focus forwards? Resist or embrace change? This is always a choice we have – whether in good or bad times. If only I could conceive a formula to encourage every employee in big business to think like a small business owner, I’d make a fortune bottling it; and organisations would save a fortune implementing it! Sadly, there is no such magic wand or silver bullet. However, every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. The good news is that tough times offer a greater incentive to re-think our standard modus operandi. There’s no better time to eliminate waste – and stimulate value without sacrificing quality. So too in our personal lives, change is inevitable but learning from change is optional. Change happens in Mother Nature and human nature. HR professionals don’t need to be experts on environmental climate change but they do need to be closely attuned to corporate climate change within the microcosms of their own organisations. Having trekked to Timbuktu and beyond the Everest Base Camp, my awe and reverence of nature knows no limits. There is so much to learn from our precious planet and when it comes to human nature within our unique corporate environments, we must remember to not make mountains out of molehills! HR professionals can better position the benefits of change as a positive force and help the entire workforce to feel empowered and more confident about being victors – rather than victims – from the inevitable waves of change. + Catherine DeVrye is a best-selling author of eight books translated into over a dozen languages. The 2010 Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year and former recipient of the Executive Woman of the Year Award speaks globally on customer service, managing change and turning obstacles into opportunities. Visit www.greatmotivation.com

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10th Anniversary Special

9 & 10 May 2012 • Marina Bay Sands • Singapore Discover Qian Hu’s ‘Fishy’ HR ideology with Kenny Yap ‘The Fish’, Chairman & Group CEO

Back by overwhelming popular demand! Don’t miss Chester Elton only at the HR Summit

Jessica Tan Soon Neo Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore Member of Parliament East Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC)

Dr Kevin Freiberg on the talent challenges behind TATA’s world conquering Nano

The Future of HR Rick Von Feldt International Speaker & HR Futurist

Siemens Case Study: The CEO Agenda and Leadership Nicolas Von Rosty Corporate Vice President Siemens AG

Future Talent Staffing Challenges Likely to Face Singapore Within the Next 10 Years Low Peck Kem Divisional Director, National Human Resources Division Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

HRM in Emerging Markets: Untold Stories Dr John Vong International Speaker & Leadership Expert

Innovative Leadership in Uncertain Times David Kwee Founder and CEO Training Vision

Branding Through People Positively Reflecting Your Organisation’s Image Christina Ong Branding Expert & Image Master

Flexibility and Work Life Integration - American Express Case Study Sonia Cargan VP Human Resources - East Asia American Express International

From Discussion to Decision The Role and Adaptation of HR in a Hyper Turbulent Environment Rakesh Seth Senior VP - Group HR Fedders Lloyd Corporation

Managing Your Demographic Risk Cheryl Liew-Chng WorkLife, Gender & Generation Expert

How HR Can Create Value to Impact Company Results Karl-Heinz Oehler, VP – Global Talent Management, The Hertz Corporation

Social Media Strategies for HR William Chin Director, Staffing, Asia Pacific Qualcomm

HR Lessons in the Face of a Natural Disaster - Christchurch Earthquake Case Study Leeanne Carson-Hughes General Manager HR Christchurch International Airport

If Succession Planning Works, How Do the Wrong People Get to the Top? Prof. David Clutterbuck International Speaker, Author & Management Thinker

Talent Management in a Global Chinese Company: Growing Pains Steven Wood, Global VP HR Enterprise BG HUAWEI

Work-Life Continuum - A New Proposition on Staff Engagement Stephen Tjoa Partner Human Resources KPMG

Developing Introverted Leaders: Building on Their Quiet Strengths Dr Jennifer Kahnweiler International Speaker, Author & Executive Coach

Beyond HR: Orchestrating the Broader Organisation to Build Future Capability Varun Bhatia VP Human Resources Kraft Foods APAC

High Impact Talent Management Aparna Kumar Regional Human Resource Lead PANSEA Monsanto Singapore Co (Pte) Ltd

Panel Discussion Steven Seek Managing Director JobsDB Singapore

Highly Effective Criticism, Discipline and Feedback Skills for Managing Employee Performance Pamela Jett International Speaker, Author & Communication Skills Expert

Diversity & Inclusive Leadership Christina Lu Vice President HR Volvo East Asia

Unlocking Culture - The Key to Executive Adjustment Peter Allen Head Alumni Programme-Talent Mgt. Group Learning & Talent Development Standard Chartered Bank

Hardwired Humans: Successful Change Management Using Human Instincts Andrew O’Keeffe International Speaker, Author & Behavioural Expert

Talent Assessment and Profiling to Create a Thriving Organisation - Hilti Case Study Low Khim Wah Head of Human Resources Hilti Far East

Practical & Effective Retention Strategies Michael-Joerg Ivan HR Policies, Processes & Projects, Africa & Asia Pacific Daimler AG

How to Build an Award-Winning Service Culture Ron Kaufman International Speaker & Customer Service Expert UP! Your Service

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Avril Henry International Speaker & Author

Making Learning Stick! Jeremy Kang, VP Head of Training Hong Leong Finance

Driving a Culture for Success Lydia Goh Executive Coach, HR & Management Expert Progressive Discipline - How to Motivate or Terminate the Difficult Employee Bernadette Vadurro International Speaker & Author

World Exclusive - Google MD & HR Joint Presentation: Aligning HR & Business Strategies to Manage the Competitive Workforce

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Identifying, Developing & Retaining High-Performance Employees Lawrence Lee Head of L&D, APAC Hilton Worldwide

Talent Management Diversification: How do People with Disabilities Fit Into the Equation? Nadine Vogel Author & Expert of Disability in the Workforce

Vision Critical: How to Redefine Your Future, Grow Your Business and Improve Your Bottom Line Donald Cooper Business Speaker & Coach

Value Match and Job Fit Dr Elizabeth Martin-Chua HR Expert & Author

Compensation & Benefits Strategy 2012 Jaclyn Lee Senior Director, Human Resources Singapore University of Technology and Design

The 8 Enemies Masterclass for HR Success in the New Marketplace Kevin Panozza International Speaker & Engagement Expert

Build Loyalty and a Sense of Mission Among Your Youngest Employees Amy Lynch Author & Generation Y Expert

Grooming & Developing Future Leaders Geraldine Fraser HR Director, Asia Pacific Diageo

Priceless Innovation Strategies: How to Thrive in Challenging Times Alexander Blass International Speaker & Expert in Innovation

High Performance Under Pressure Dr Janelle Barlow International Speaker, Author & Entrepreneur

Growing the Leaders of the Future Karen Schmidt International Speaker & Leadership Development Expert

Wiring the Change Elements through People in a Transitional Organisation Sujata Tyagi HR Director, ASEAN & India L’Oreal

The 7 Key Steps to Creating Outstanding Teams Charles Kovess International Speaker & Motivational Coach

Analyse Data, Not Paralysed by Data Dr Low Lee Yong CEO/ Founder MHC Asia Group

Leadership DNA Timothy Sebastian Group Director, Human Resources Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Leadership Development in Asia Tom Pedersen Head of Learning & Development DBS Bank

Unleash the Strength In Your Workforce Through Personal Mastery

Leading Innovation in Your Organisation Michael Stanleigh International Speaker, Innovation & Change Expert

Employee Engagement Across a Multi-Generational Workforce Pauline Chua General Manager, Human/ Organisation Resource & Development Fujixerox

Performance Management Nokia Siemens Networks Case Study Ciaron Murphy Head of Business HR Sales East & Head of HR APAC Nokia Siemens Networks

The Art of Our Craft Learning & Development with Heart; Techniques in Making it Meaningful Glenn Carter VP People Development, Deutsche Bank AG

Career Development in the Creative Industry Sue Olivier Regional Director, Talent Management, Asia Pacific Ogilvy & Mather

Games Trainers Play Ed Scannell International Speaker & Training Expert

Building a First-Class Talent Pipeline Pete Baker HR Director, Asia Pacific Maersk Line

HR & ROI - Myth or Reality? Dr David Cohen International Speaker, Author & Business Strategist

Leadership Matters Peter Baines International Speaker & Leadership Expert

Understanding Employee Emotions (E2) – The Key Challenge for HR Today! David Too Vice President Achieve Group

The Future of Equality Management Susan Bulkeley Butler International Speaker, Author & Women Leadership Expert

Health & Productivity The Next Generation Dr. Rajeshree (Gina) Parekh Director, Health & Wellness, Asia Pacific Towers Watson

Creativity - The Most Important Human Resource Fredrik Härén International Speaker, Author & Business Creativity Expert

Ramesh Muthusamy Head Of Corporate Training, Master Trainer and Senior Programme Developer Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group

Panel Discussion: Managing Talent in Challenging Times

Panel Discussion: Linking Performance & Rewards Caroline Buhagiar Regional Learning & Development Director and Campus Head AXA Asia

Hans Han Head, Compensation & Benefits, Asia Pacific Huntsman

Frances Chee Director, Compensation & Benefits, Asia Pacific InterContinental Hotels Group

Kathy Goh Director, Compensation, Benefits & Payroll, Talent Management DFS Venture

Hew Evans Director, Regional Human Resources Sony Electronics Asia Pacific

Anuradha Naik Director L&D Asia Pacific Emerson Process Management

Ann Ann Low Global Talent Acquisition, Mgt. & Dev. APAC, ME, Africa MasterCard Worldwide

Don Yeo Deputy Chief Executive Officer CPF Board

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feature

As businesses expand, they need their employees to work beyond borders. Developing leaders with a global mindset is critical for an organisation’s long-term success

Creating global talent By Priya de Langen

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feature

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s organisations expand beyond their shores, they need employees who will be able to work in international locations. However, overseas postings open up new challenges such as a foreign work culture and established business practices. Preparing employees for this shift becomes critical in ensuring a successful placement. Graduate programmes, development courses, and secondment assignments can help employees improve their transferrable skills, grooming them for leadership roles at a global level.

Laying the pipeline

Global employers say that it is critical for them to lay a talent pipeline in order to cater to the talent demand that they have. In order to do so, they make sure that they give ample opportunities for employees to develop and grow in their skills and roles. “Being an international bank, it is important for us to build a diverse pipeline of local and global talent,” says Caroline Bagshaw, Head of HR, Singapore and Southeast Asia, Standard Chartered Bank. The organisation has numerous offices around the globe and in Singapore, the bank has its operational and strategic hubs of the global Consumer Banking and Wholesale Banking businesses, including the global headquarters of Private Banking. As such, in Singapore alone, Standard Chartered employs over 7,000 people of 55 different nationalities. Bagshaw says that with the organisation’s diverse footprint, it gives the bank the advantage to train and develop different people for its global talent pool. Grooming talent within the company starts with developing young employees. Standard Chartered has an International Graduate Programme to help “build a sustainable pipeline of talent globally.” Annually, the bank hires 30 graduates into this programme in Singapore and it offers them the opportunity to take on different roles within a 12-18 month period with the option of an international move upon completion of the final year. “Our approach means that this junior talent pipeline develops a global perspective from their early career,” explains Bagshaw. Similarly, for international shipping organisation, Maersk, building talent is a priority and HR makes sure that its hires are a right fit

“In our company, in order to really move up, you need to have experience abroad. It broadens your perspective of how you see things and it is part of grooming leaders in a global company” Jan Holm, Managing Director, A.P. Moller Singapore from the start. “We start out setting high standards for the people we hire and we have a good idea of which people would fit into our organization. For that, we have stringent tests through personal profiling and logical indicators,” explains Jan Holm, Managing Director, A.P. Moller Singapore. The organisation offers various programmes to develop its employees so that it can retain its best talent. There is the two-year Maersk Line Graduate Programme (MLGP), which is targeted to post-graduates who have worked between two to five years. Employees under this programme are rotated among different functions and given international exposure and projects to develop and groom them for future management roles. Also, the Maersk International Technology & Science (MITAS) programme is targeted at young, talented engineers and geoscientists. This is a two-year international course and 30 candidates are hired annually for it. Employees in this programme will be offered positions in the energy and offshore fields in Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling or Maersk FPSO in several locations around the globe. Holm explains that the company has an annual people session strategy to map out critical positions, such as an operations manager, in the organisation and do an assessment to find out if there are right talent for the positions. “There is a structured process in place to make sure that we have the right movement of talent.”

Grooming the management team

Laying a talent pipeline also means that organisations need to choose and groom leaders who will be able to fit their roles and are able to work on a global scale if they are in large organisations, say experts. Cassandra Cheng, Head of Learning and Talent Development, OCBC Bank, says that “each year, a group of high-potential employees are identified for leadership development.” This group of employees issue 12.3

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feature

Managing priorities As much as leadership skills are necessary, experts are saying that leaders need to manage their priorities and time in order to be successful in their roles. Angeline Teo, MD and principal consultant of d’Oz International and PEPWorldwide Asia, says that leaders could benefit from additional skills such as how to manage themselves and be in control of situations. “As leaders move up the ladder and into a global role, they could feel like there isn’t sufficient time to accomplish their work. One area to look at is how they could stay in control of their workload and time, to be more efficient,” she advices. Teo says that d’Oz International and PEPWorldwide (Asia) helps coach leaders and one of the leadership programmes, the Personal Efficiency Programme (PEP) leaders how to do more in less time, stay in control of workload, manage their time effectively and be more productive at managing information and teams. She says that personal efficiency has to do with personal development. “If you have the ability to efficiently manage yourself, your time, your workload and your family, you will definitely be a happier person. This will also ‘rub off’ onto your team and this will help to create a culture within the organisation.”

will attend a two-week residential programme – OCBC Executive Development Programme (EDP), to better their leadership and strategic management skills. The course includes classroom learning and project work revolving around OCBC business strategy. In addition, they are sent for Advanced Management training course offered by overseas business schools. Employees also undergo mentorship programme with the senior managers. “We believe that the sharing of knowledge and experience will contribute positively to these employees’ personal and career growth within the bank,” says Cheng. Standard Chartered also keeps an eye on its leadership pipeline by identifying its high-potential pool. Bagshaw explains that “membership of senior high potential pools is confirmed through a calibration exercise, facilitated by HR, where business managers challenge each other on the talent pool proposals, while ensuring consistency and fairness.” Employers say that one of the ways of to groom potential leaders or leaders in their roles is to give them exposure is through secondment opportunities. Bagshaw says Standard Chartered gives opportunity for talent from Singapore take on leadership roles in the region and globally. She points out an example of an employee who took over the CEO position in China. Currently, the

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bank has around 200 Singaporean staff based overseas. “We find that it is a very effective way to develop leaders for the Bank, as people will grow significantly through these experiences,” she says. Similarly in OCBC Bank, Cheng notes that potential leaders are given secondment assignments in the organisation’s various offices around the region as well as to other group entities (GE, Bank of Singapore, Lion Global Investors, OCBC NISP and OCBC Securities) to gain regional exposure. Holm says that Maersk tries not to label employees as high potentials per se as there is a “danger” in that. He says that assessing employees on an annual basis would be the best to find if talented employees maintain their good performance. As such, Maersk has a process for leadership development and pipeline. He says that an employee starts out as an individual contributor and as the person moves on to lead others, he or she would have to take management courses to move into a leadership position. “We just throw people into challenges or jobs and see if they can swim. Of course, they get a lot of support in order to do that,” he adds candidly. Holm says that opportunities to work in global offices help prepare employees, especially leaders. “In our company, in order to really move up, you need to have experience abroad. It broadens your perspective of how you see things and it is part of grooming leaders in a global company.”

Working with a global perspective

Experts say that creating a global talent pipeline is critical for large organisations but also equally important, is the ability for employees to able to handle cross-cultural situations, especially if the person is a leader. The study Boundary Spanning Leadership: Mission Critical Perspectives from the Executive Suite, revealed that boundary spanning work capabilities are critical across all levels of leadership. When asked about the importance of working across boundaries at different levels of an organisation, 97% of leaders cited it as important at the senior executive level, 91% at the middle management level, and 43% at the entry level. This boundary spanning work capability is something that employers say that they want not only in their leaders but also in all employees.


feature

Cheng of OCBC says: “Today’s business landscape is a global one that demands for employees who are equipped with cross-cultural knowledge and skills in order to strategise, transact and win in the market place.” As a result, there is a need for managers to have a global perspective, she adds. Bagshaw explains that 70% of employees’ development comes from learning-on-the job and international assignment are great opportunities to dive deeper into the business, learn about a new market or take on a more stretching-role. “They also allow our employees to share best practice, gain different perspectives and experience working with, or managing, colleagues from different cultures,” she says. “We are a global company and have all types of nationalities. So, if you can’t act or work in a

global environment, it would be difficult for you,” says Holm. He recalls that when he was working in Copenhagen, he had to deal with 15 different nationalities in the office. However, employers say that sometimes management lack the skills to fit an overseas role and this is a big issue. Holm explains that leaders working in overseas positions could face crosscultural differences, especially if they are unable to communicate properly to their teams. Bagshaw says successful managers are those who are able to adapt in terms of how they communicate and engage with people. Also, managers who are responsible for teams in different locations and from different cultures “require an inclusive leadership style which is gained from understanding and respecting those cultures,” she concludes.

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in person

Cacia

Lim

Manager, HR Advisory and Operations, Invensys Operations Management Years in HR? 12 years Why HR? I am passionate about learning the art of people strategy and its intrinsic value to the organisation’s success. Why Invensys? Invensys went through a series of organisational changes and HR transformation globally. This offers a wide array of exciting career opportunities in both the global and local Invensys HR community and elevates our HR competencies to a new level that is highly business client centric. This leads to a greater focus on creating positive people impact.

Biggest achievement? My biggest achievement was making a successful career turn from an individual contributor to a people manager. I appreciated the opportunity to build a highly engaging team of HR young guns. I take great pride in the team being nominated as the Finalist for the 2012 HRM Awards Best HR Team category. Family? I would usually set aside some quality time for my family over the weekends – such as bringing my mother for her favourite dim sum breakfast. What happens after hours? Chill out with my friends over coffee sessions, movies, retail therapy, etc.

HRiQ Talent Management Solution

Call 6594 4151 Email sales.sg@iqDynamics.com

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advertorial SGP International Management Academy

Conquering Chinese with Confidence Safety Manager S. Ganesan reaps the benefits of the Business Chinese Programme offered by SGP International Management Academy

O

nce only able to speak simple Chinese phrases like ni hao (“hello” in Chinese), S. Ganesan never imagined himself being able to sing Chinese songs and even conduct meetings using the Chinese language. He stumbled upon the fun of learning and using this “foreign language” while embarking on a three-month Business Chinese Programme (BCP) at SGP International Management Academy (SIMA).

Taking the plunge

His interest in the Chinese language developed way back in 1996 when Mr S. Ganesan conducting an orientation briefing for his new Chinese colleagues he picked up bits and pieces of Chinese phrases while interacting with his Chinese colleagues. built up his confidence to “They were very happy speak the language and + WDA-accredited when I spoke simple Chinese successfully completed + Funding of up to 70% words with them,” says the BCP for beginners. + Experienced native speaking trainers “In my work, Ganesan who works as a Safety + Structured syllabus to meet adult learning needs Manager in the construction and Scaling new heights I conduct + Free trial lesson prior to course enrolment engineering industry. He is now equipped with meetings He discovered that language an additional language could bring people together and this heightened his skill and can communicate confidently with his in different interest to learn Chinese. However, he did not find the Chinese colleagues and even hopes to do business in languages like right time and opportunity to do so. China some day. In 2011, he was finally one step closer to “I thank SIMA for giving me this wonderful Tamil and learning Chinese when he responded to an learning opportunity and I would very much like to English. But advertisement by SIMA and enrolled for the BCP. continue to the next level of BCP.” best of all, I can Ganesan has shown that if one has the will to Learning from scratch learn, one can overcome challenges. Learning now also do so Breaking out of his comfort zone to learn a new Business Chinese is not insurmountable. Be like in Chinese” language was not an easy decision but he has never Ganesan and take up Business Chinese today! looked back since attending the first lesson. S. Ganesan + SGP International Management Academy “From then on, I was in class early and waited 106A Henderson Crescent Singapore 151106 for my classmates to arrive so I could speak Chinese + Tel: +65 6472 1165 with them,” he says. + Fax: +65 6773 8796 With support from experienced trainers and + Email: registrar@sima.edu.sg exposure to a structured syllabus at SIMA, Ganesan + Web: www.sima.edu.sg

Business Chinese Programme

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A PLACE FOR

BUSINESS & LEISURE At Orchid Country Club, the natural surroundings provide the ideal ambience for clear minds and fruitful agendas. So, whether you come for business or leisure, you can be assured of an unforgettable experience.

ORCHID MEET & STAY CORPORATE PACKAGE 2012 Price Per Person Per Room Package Includes

$208++ One night stay at Orchid Lodge with Breakfast Full day seminar with welcome coffee/tea, two coffee breaks and lunch Complimentary guestroom & function room internet access Additional Person Sharing Room $65++ (includes conference package) Minimum Attendance 10 Persons For bookings and enquiries, please contact our Sales & Marketing Team at 6750 2166 or email sales&marketing@orchidclub.com.

ORCHID STAY & PLAY PACKAGE Price Per Room Per Night Package Includes

$288++ (single) $428++ (twin) 2 Days / 1 Night Deluxe Room Stay Complimentary breakfast 18-holes golf game, including buggy fee (weekday mornings only) Complimentary use of gym, swimming pool & sauna Other terms & conditions apply.

For bookings and enquiries, please contact our Room Reservations at 6750 2100 or email roomsales@orchidclub.com *Prices are subjected to 10% service charge and prevailing GST.

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mice feature

Gateway to the world

Singapore is fast becoming the destination of choice for companies to hold their events and conferences in. With the country supporting countless options, HRM examines several MICE facilities to see what value they can offer companies By Vivien Shiao Shufen

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lthough lacking in land, Singapore is certainly not lacking in choice for events and conferences. The city-state is brimming with MICE facilities that are lauded for their ease of accessibility, world-class infrastructure and exceptional service. Acknowledged as the best business city in South-east Asia at the 2011 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Travel Awards, Singapore is a compelling choice for most businesses to host conferences and events. Additionally, it is also within close proximity to neighbouring islands such as Bintan and Batam, which also offer a host of MICE activities. issue 12.3

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mice feature

“The opening of MAX Atria will add another 8,000 square metres of space that is designed to be easily configured for conferences, meetings, product launches, banquets, cocktail receptions or small exhibitions,” says Aloysius Alando, CEO of Singex. This will complement the 123,000 square metres of primarily exhibition space in the EXPO. MAX Atria @ Singapore EXPO

Unique venues Business space

There is a plethora of options when it comes to venues for companies to hold their MICE activities. They range from large scale convention centres that are suitable for grand events hosting thousands of delegates, to settings that are smaller and better suited for meetings, workshops and seminars. Maxwell Chambers belongs to the latter but, despite its lack of grand size, Singapore was voted provides an intimate space that encourages discussion. It is strategically located in the heart of Singapore’s business district, in a refurbished conservation building of architectural and historical significance with a modern façade. It offers a range of 26 Source: 2011 Business Traveller elegantly customised rooms Asia-Pacific Travel Awards that ensure optimal privacy for corporate events. With its dedicated, acoustically-treated rooms fully outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities, Maxwell Chambers is ideal for business meetings, seminars and conferences, with the largest room accommodating up to 140 people. Another venue that has assimilated technology into its meetings delivery would be MAX Atria@Singapore EXPO, a new wing at the Singapore EXPO Exhibition and Convention Centre set to open in 2012. With high-performance wireless connectivity across the entire area, the complimentary service will add value to any conference or event held there.

BEST BUSINESS CITY IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA

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If you are looking for a venue that is more unusual, consider an art gallery or museum. Located in the centre of Singapore’s prime shopping area, the ION Art and ION Sky Observation Deck are two additions in Orchard Road that could be perfect for exclusive product launches and high-end events. The ION Art gallery is situated at level four of ION Orchard Shopping Mall and is the largest arts space housed in an integrated mall that can be used for corporate functions. With 520 square metres of space, the gallery showcases imaginative and contemporary multimedia art forms which would serve as a colourful backdrop for your company’s event. The space is linked to ION Sky Observation Deck, which will give visitors a whole new perspective of the city’s skyline from Orchard Road itself. The two-storey observation deck on the 55th and 56th levels takes up 557 square metres of floor space. It provides sweeping, 360-degree views of the surroundings. With state-of-the-art telescopes which would allow real-time viewing as far as Marina Bay and Sentosa, ION Sky is an event space that is certainly out of the ordinary. Another unique venue is the recently opened Maritime Experiential Museum and Aquarium (MEMA) at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). As Asia’s first multi-sensory museum, it offers ten uniquely themed areas and event spaces suited for different event experiences. The different venues have capacities ranging from 80 to 750 people. Set against a dramatic backdrop of Admiral Zheng He’s Treasure Ship, the MEMA offers a waterfront setting with harbour views which are popular for parties and events. The venue was first used by Ferrari, which hosted an exclusive party for 600 guests before the F1 Singapore Grand Prix.


mice feature

Conventionally large

Those looking to organise an event or conference for thousands of delegates can consider the convention space at RWS. Some of the larger convention venues at RWS include a column-free ballroom that seats 6,500 delegates, as well as 30 function rooms capable of holding 4,800 people. In addition, some 20 event venues can accommodate more than 25,000 delegates. With its ability to cater for 35,000 delegates at any one time, Resorts World Sentosa houses a gamut of attractions, accommodation options, entertainment and performances all under one destination. These include South-east Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park and the upcoming Marine Life Park, which will be the world’s largest oceanarium.

“This year, we have opened two more luxury hotels – Equarius Hotel and Beach Villas,” says Paul Stocker, VP of MICE Sales and Event Services, Resorts World Sentosa. “The hotels which recently opened in February will add an additional 1,700 square metres of event space with its seven meeting rooms, which can hold up to 1,400 guests. Our increased capacity will enable us to host even bigger events.”

Neighbouring retreat

If a getaway from the city is what you desire, Ria Bintan Golf Club may be the ideal location for your MICE activities. Just a skip away from Singapore, it is an excellent alternative for those seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan city-state.

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mice feature

With its lush surroundings and outstanding views of the South China Sea, it is hardly a surprise that Ria Bintan is attracting not just avid golfers, but companies looking for an alternative venue for their MICE activities as well. Opened in the last quarter of 2010, Ria Bintan has 31 modern rooms and two meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 60 people comfortably. “We can tailor make programmes according to a client’s objectives,” says Yeo. “From motivational speakers to outdoor adventure games, or a Gala dinner filled with music, entertainers and dancers, we can make it happen for you.” As a further value-add to companies, those who book all 31 rooms or a conference with 60 delegates will have the luxury of having the entire premises exclusively for their use. This leads to maximum flexibility in terms of both logistics and planning. “Our premium one-stop and no-fuss service includes ferry bookings, checking-in of golf bags, as

well as express immigration clearance upon arrival at Bintan,” says Yap. Companies can just sit back and relax and commence their conference or seminar without delay, and not worry about the minor details.

Up ahead

Situated in the heart of Asia, Singapore and its neighbouring islands have hosted plenty of large and high-profiled events over the years. As a gateway to the world, the number of MICE options in the region is only going to grow even bigger. As Stocker concludes: “With its stable government, progressive economic development and excellent infrastructure, Singapore is one of the most unique locations in the world.”

Awaken your senses. Ignite your creativity at MAX Atria. C

Ria Bintan

pace, om.sg vent s maxatria.c e r u o y @ k s g o le o .s il sa tria.com To b a e ema pleas www.max it is re. o or v m t ou to find

At Singapore’s freshest MICE facility, natural light and lush greenery fuse with versatile spaces to provide you with a palette to fuel your imagination and spark off new ideas.

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Discover MAX Atria in early 2012, where conventions are redefined.

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• Column-less rooms for conferences, meetings and banquets

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• Adjacent ground-level convention-exhibition halls available at EXPO

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Artist’s Impression

Managed by Singex Venues Pte Ltd, an ISO 9001:2008, Business Continuity Management SS540 and BS25999 certified company Artist’s Impression

Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Drive, #02-01, Singapore 486150 Tel: +65 6403 2160 Fax: +65 6822 2616

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advertorial Sarawak Convention Bureau

Sarawak’s

TOP 5 Incentive Ideas 1

Heart to Heart with Orangutans

What does it feel like to save Borneo’s most endangered species? The orangutan or ‘people of the forest’ is a much-loved international icon of the rainforest. Try out a day in the life of the unsung heroes who sacrifice time and effort to bring these gentle giants of Borneo’s forests back from the brink of extinction. Get involved and assist the orangutan keepers at Matang Wildlife Centre, and share a day of joy with these intelligent, soulful animals which were once found in abundance throughout Sarawak. Today, the only viable wild populations are found in Batang Ai National Park and LanjakEntimau Wildlife Sanctuary. At Matang, most of

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these apes were saved from a life of misery and death in illegal wildlife trade. Be part of the conservation effort. Have a heart to heart with an orangutan at Matang Wildlife Centre. Matang is a rehabilitation centre for wild animals that have either been surrendered or were confiscated from illegal wildlife markets. The Sarawak Government prioritises wildlife conservation in the wild and condemns all manner of wildlife trade.

2

Tee Off in the Clouds

Ever wondered how it feels like to tee off in the heavens? You can at the Borneo Highlands Resort. On a mountain plateau 1000m above sea level on the


advertorial Sarawak Convention Bureau

outskirts of Kuching, a 72-par, 6247-metre course awaits the delegate golfer. The cool mountain air and pleasant daytime temperatures are a golfer’s delight! Manicured meets rugged in this golf course set on the highlands and surrounded by Borneon jungle, challenging the avid golfers to lift their game. The experienced golfing staff at the Resort are on hand for all your golfing needs. They will organise competitions and special events to challenge your skills. Beyond golf, take a stroll along the jungle trails and enjoy the sounds and sights of the oldest rainforest in the world. Then, soak away the stress and tension of city life by pampering yourself with a full jungle spa whilst revelling in the majesty of the real jungle outside your window. True to their promise of nature and all things natural, only quality organic food is served at the Borneo Highlands Resort.

3

Kayaking in a Rainforest or Ocean Paradise

Beyond the jungles of Sarawak is a land of rivers and oceans; it is not enough for adventurers to trek around on land and foot. Journeys through this land cannot be complete without a sojourn through its waters. Paddle along rivers, through river mouths and out into the South China Sea, grazing ancient rock cliffs and gliding along waters so clear that you can count the number of pebbles at the bottom. You will get a chance to take a peek at wild proboscis monkeys perched on their treetop dwellings. Need more adrenaline? Then shoot some rapids with trained guides or push through breakwater to kayak with dolphins in the open seas. For the truly adventurous, take a paddle out to estuaries and see if you can spot crocodiles in their native habitat. Prefer something more relaxing? Stop by pebbly nooks or secluded beaches for a picnic before continuing your adventure. Or camp out and sleep under the stars for the night. Kayaking adventures can be as mild or as tough as you want them to be, and are perfect for groups of 8 to 40 people. For your safety, professional kayakers lead every expedition. Get an expedition tailor-made for your group after your conference or event!

4

Come Fly with Me, Angry Bird Style

Hooked on Angry Birds? Relive this popular game in this life-size version and take that chance to practise your aim. Inspired by the Angry Bird game, teams are divided into groups where they will be required to build a catapult from scratch using the

Angry Bird Teambuilding Catapult “Ready, aim, FIRE!

items provided. No tools or hardware, just simple ingenuity and lots of teamwork! The sense of urgency to be the first to hit the target creates an atmosphere of friendly competition between the groups. Now here’s the catch, each group is given three chances to hit the target, failing which; an elected group member is required to be a human catapult. An alley is created from a plastic sheet with water and soap, and the human catapult has to slide his or her body to reach the set target. The first group to hit the target wins! For a full day session, this game can be combined Sarawak Convention Bureau + Tel: +6082-242516 with other beach activities such as + Email: info@sarawakcb.com football or volleyball to encourage + Web: www.sarawakcb.com camaraderie and teamwork between colleagues.

5

Amazing Race: Kuih Gone Wild!

Set in the rustic surroundings of the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) - Sarawak’s living museum, delegates are divided into teams where each will be given a clue that will lead them to a set of tasks at hand. Just as the name suggests, teams will be required to visit four to five traditional houses within the Cultural Village to recreate the traditional biscuits and cakes, also known as kuih. The SCV staff will first show the teams how to make the kuih, and after that, will take over and proceed to try their hand at making these traditional delicacies to the staff’s approval. Once they’ve finished visiting the traditional houses, the teams will assemble in the general event hall to decorate their tray of kuih. Winners will be judged on their creativity, the taste and presentation of their kuih and the time it took them to complete the race. The race can be tailor-made to accommodate a range of different tasks within SCV to suit every event or group preference. A fun and unique activity, it guarantees everyone an amazing time! issue 12.3

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twenty-four seven managing and administering employee benefits as well as dealing with legal and visa matters.

Loretta Neo HR Co-ordinator, C-MAR Asia

6.00am A good morning to everyone! I have breakfast with the family and prepare to start my work day.

8.30am Go through all communications

Work through team working challenges with my Manager.

10.30am Have a meeting with the

from our local and international offices and our offshore and marine teams in the APAC region.

Operations Co-ordinator to identify the movements of field-based personnel, highlight and recognise any potential HR issues whilst in this meeting.

9.00am Sit with the HR Manager and

11am Work through my HR tasks for

work through the plans for the day, discussing any urgent issues as priority.

the day. I am regularly involved in talent acquisition. My other duties include

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1.00pm Lunchtime! Enjoy some time out at the nearby Oscars food-court to indulge in my favourite Bee Hoon Noodle Soup.

2.00pm Meeting with one of the many suppliers we utilise to continue the relationship we have with them and also managing any situations that arise.

3.30pm Follow up on tasks. Usually get involved in any staff development matters, liaising with the employees, managers and training providers.

4.30pm Our corporate office in the UK would have just opened due to the time difference. Liaise with the related people for any outstanding matters.

5.30pm Head home for personal time with the family.


resources

The Dark Clouds at Work

W

orkplace depression is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly widespread, but few books actually talk about managing depressed staff in the workplace. The Dark Clouds at Work is one such book that deals with the proverbial elephant in the office. Dr. Darryl Cross has spent thirty years as a psychologist dealing with mental health issues and has written the book to help managers ensure the health and wellbeing of staff. The book clearly provides a lot of valuable information to readers about depression: its causes, manifestation, how to identify it, possible treatments, but most importantly, it provides action plans to resolve the issue at hand. Dr. Cross makes a compelling case for the importance of managing depression at the workplace by laying out cost implications and alarming statistics showing how many people are affected by depression each year. In the US alone, 200 million workdays are lost each year due to depression.

RiaBintan-HRM(HalfPgPATH).indd 1

He goes on to explain how companies that invest in their staff create a culture in which employees want to work for the organisation. From there, productivity increases and the organisation benefits by reaping profits. Dr. Cross also shows how investing in healthy human capital pays large dividends in the long run as the companies that invest in their workforce today will emerge tomorrow as productivity leaders. Although thick, the book makes for easy reading as Dr. Cross had sectioned his book in a way that is simple to follow and no – you do not need to have a degree in psychology to read it. The Dark Clouds at Work is a timely and practical manual for managers to understand, recognise and manage workplace depression in order for employees to work at their optimum. It provides business leaders plenty of food for thought on how to manage an issue that is often swept under the carpet.

At a Glance The Dark Clouds at Work Authors: Dr. Darryl Cross Published by: Crossways Publishing Retail Price: US$27.95 from Amazon

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Situated in the heart of Singapore’s business district, Maxwell Chambers is a prestigious refurbished conservation building of architectural and historical significance with a modern facade, offering a range of 26 customized rooms that ensure optimal privacy for your corporate events. Fully outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities coupled with world class hospitality & service, Maxwell Chambers is the place to be. To arrange for a private viewing of our rooms, please contact our Sales Executives at 6595 9010 or email: sales@maxwell-chambers.com. Quote MCA_HRM1 for preferential rates extended to HRM readers only.

32 Maxwell Road Singapore 069115 www.maxwell-chambers.com


talent ladder Sonali Vaidya

Head HR, India, GroupM Media India

Bernard Cruz

VP, HR Asia, Pall Corporation

Yvonne Tan

Recruitment Specialist, Group Functions, BHP Billiton

Sonali Vaidya is the new HR Head, India of GroupM, a leading media planning and investment agency. Vaidya will be based in Mumbai and will report to Vikram Sakhuja, CEO South Asia of GroupM. Vaidya was previously Group HR Head of Alchemy Group, a financial services group. She has over 14 years of experience in HR across companies such as ABN AMRO Bank, GE Consumer Finance and ESPN Star Sports. She specialises in various areas of HR, including the use of recruitment tools and assessment, career development, planning and performance management and internal communications. Vaidya’s goal is to build an extremely intensive talent management programme to engage and grow GroupM’s talent internally. “I am indeed excited to be a part of India’s biggest and best media agency. Talent Management is new to this industry and is in its formative stages. There are huge opportunities for our businesses to realise the benefits of managing talent and hence I am looking forward to being a part of this journey!”

Bernard Cruz has been recently appointed as VP of HR, Asia at Pall Corporation. Prior to this, he was working at Prosafe Production as Senior VP of HR for more than three years. His last role was very fulfilling as he had helped reorganise the HR function to be in line with business needs, but left when the organisation was acquired. Cruz has a total of 25 years of experience in HR, out of which 15 years is in an Asia-Pacific role. Even though he is a HR generalist, he enjoys other aspects of the profession such as change management, talent management and succession planning. He believes that with the changes in dynamics of the business world, HR must be ready to support such developments. In his new role, Cruz hopes to get his adrenaline pumping again and align HR strategies with business needs – leading to a renewed HR organisation.

Yvonne Tan has taken up her new role as Group Functions Recruitment Specialist at BHP Billiton where she manages recruitment for their Group Functions Global teams based in Singapore. Tan has over nine years of recruitment experience across agency, executive search and corporate recruiting. She finds the greatest career satisfaction in corporate recruiting. Her first such role was Associate Director, Human Resources at UBS AG where she recruited Wealth Management Client Advisors from Associate Director to Executive Director levels. She then moved to Kelly Services as Associate Director, Asia-Pacific Talent Acquisition where she drove executive level corporate recruiting across the region. Tan is not only adept at effective senior stakeholder engagement, but wellversed in optimising bespoke recruitment channels. She also has a strong command of recruitment life cycle and recruitment management systems. In her new role, Tan is looking forward to partnering the business & HR leaders to identify top Global & Local Talent for BHP Billiton.

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talent feature

Dealing with toxic employees Toxic employees are a bane to the company - they are like a virus that spreads their counterproductive attitudes or actions to other employees. They can also do serious damage to your business.

Josh

at the workplace, top performers would feel compelled to move to a better work environment elsewhere.

goh

Detox

Assistant Director, Corporate Services, The GMP Group

I

n a survey by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath, authors of The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It, 53% of employees polled lost work time worrying about incidents and future interactions with the offending colleague. Forty-six percent had considered switching jobs to get away from the offender, and 37% reported a weakened sense of commitment to the organisation.

Toxic employees are not born, but made

More often than not, employees become toxic by external factors such as poor management or badly planned work. They turn into resentful troublemakers who are not above workplace games, politicking, and advocating negative alliances. Toxic employees are often smart and resourceful, but it is how they use – or do not use – their capabilities that becomes an issue. While there are several characteristics of a toxic employee, an archetypal one is

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rarely a team player. He often blames others for his mistakes and denies accountability. He might even demonstrate his discontent by either doing what is minimally necessary, or malinger at work. An especially ambitious one is prepared to do whatever it takes – the ends justify the means – to ascend to the top.

Effects of toxicity at the workplace

The cost of toxic employees should never be underestimated. Their harmful behaviour fractures team morale and camaraderie, impacting performance and productivity of other good employees. And when a team is understaffed or constantly under pressure, toxic employees become an added strain that burns everyone out quicker. Failing to take action against such offenders would also affect a manager’s credibility. The decision to keep a negative employee at the expense of other good employees would be under scrutiny. And with such unpleasantness

The damaging effects of toxic employees at the workplace eclipse whatever technical expertise they might have. Such disruptive behaviour is a menace and should be addressed as soon as it is recognised. Determine the cause. Uncovering the reason for such behaviour will help you find the appropriate solution. Intervene. Toxic employees should be informed that their behaviour is unacceptable – whether they are aware of it or not. Present clear information about the company’s expectations and consequences of continuing with such behaviour. Treat and rehabilitate. Toxic employees should be properly counseled and given sufficient time and opportunity to change their behaviour. Better results might be yielded by involving them in the problem-solving process. As leaders, managers should attempt every possible way to help and guide toxic employees to be professional and valuable assets to the team. However, in this case, the responsibility lies on such employees to correct their behaviour. If such behaviour persists even after all that effort, then perhaps it is best to let them go. + www.gmprecruit.com + info@gmprecruit.com


talent challenge

Fun workplaces

Is having a fun work culture important? How can HR make workplaces more fun?

It is important to have a fun work culture because when we create an environment, we encourage ideas to flourish and effective collaboration to take place. This Lawrence Lee ultimately leads to better job performance and productivity. This is especially true Head of Learning with Gen Y entering the workplace in increasing numbers. & Development – Asia Pacific, We have an open office concept and use low partitions to encourage better Hilton Worldwide interaction and open communication. There is also a large area set aside for employees to meet and hold discussions in an informal and comfortable setting. We also have different committees such Social, Sports and CSR committees that drive various activities. Examples of these include our regular celebratory events such as the annual Christmas gathering and charity auction and Lunar New Year celebrations. To encourage learning and collaboration, we have regular Lunch & Learn sessions where our senior leaders share information and ideas with the whole team in an informal setting. Special effort is also made to keep the tone of our notices on the bulletin board light hearted with a touch of humour where possible. All these measures amongst others have helped create a fun work culture in Hilton Worldwide. Resorts World Sentosa’s core business is to bring fun to our guests, and what better way to deliver that vision than by having a team that has fun at work? Hence, we work hard at delivering a memorable time to all our guests by ensuring that all team members have fun and enjoy their jobs. Only then, will they be effective in delivering fun to our guests. Senior VP, A fun work culture also means greater creativity, stronger camaraderie and a HR and Training, Resorts World higher morale for team members. Beyond recreational and social activities organised Sentosa by our Recreation Club, our team members also look toward to enjoying our resort services and facilities. Our ‘Team Members First’ practice, where team members get to experience new rides, shows, hotels and attractions has been a winner. Team members get the privilege to review these before our guests. In return, they are able to share their first-hand experiences with our guests. We also have an ‘XTRAS Programme’, which allows back-of-house Team Members to volunteer their services to aid frontline colleagues during our super peak periods. Besides promoting our corporate value of ‘Kampong Spirit’, this gives them the opportunity to experience a different job scope in a different setting.

Seah-Khoo Ee Boon

Daniel Cho

Having a fun work culture is important at Samsung as it encourages employees to be productive and motivated at work. Building on our company’s Great Work Place Regional HR (GWP) initiative, the management and HR are dedicated to making Samsung a great Director, SEA and Oceania, Samsung place to work. Our GWP slogan, ‘Joy@work’ and ‘Fun@samsung’, aptly Asia encapsulates what we want to achieve. We emphasise open communication in our concept of ‘One Vision; One Mission; One Team’ through quarterly Townhall meetings, where management shares short and long-term goals to ensure employees are aligned with the company’s objectives and plans. An informed workforce is better equipped to carry out their duties, making the workplace more enjoyable. To inject more fun, team-bonding activities such as our annual D&D, weekly in-house yoga and aerobics classes, to monthly Lunch & Learn programmes where employees get to develop their interests through activities such as designer chocolate making workshops and cooking demonstrations. Within departments, we organise activities such as Amazing Race, Paintball and Bowling Tournaments. issue 12.3

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viewpoint Hiring Boss

Do you have a passive candidate plan? Passive job candidates represent an untapped source of talent for the future. Fortunately, social media has made it possible for employers to directly reach out to such individuals. But how do you keep the conversation going and nail that star employee?

P

ut simply, a passive candidate is someone not actively looking for a job. They refer to people who are quite happy in their current company but could fit perfectly into your organisation. Why are they important? Like people at a singles bar, active job hunters are only a snapshot of the market and passive candidates can quite often be the best catch. People coming to you from job boards or guys approaching other singles at bars are great but it’s a drop in the ocean. We’re in an employment market where only 11% of all professionals are actively looking for work. A further 35% are not actively looking but are open to other opportunities, while 54% are happy where they are and not really interested in moving.

See the opportunity here?

Thirty-five percent of the total workforce are open to talking to other companies but are not actively looking. What are you doing to reach out to them? The good news is social media has made it easier for companies to reach passive candidates directly. Sites like Xing and LinkedIn give you access to literally hundreds of millions of professional candidates from all over the world. Their search functionality allows you to drill down on important information, such as educational qualifications, companies worked for and their current location. You can contact them directly, along with downloading a PDF version of their profile.

Matt

allanson Sales Director, Hiring Boss

This is where it gets interesting. You’ve got the profile of a five-star candidate and their contact details so what do you do next? You’d better be ready, remember this is your first pitch at getting that date. Technology can help. A system like HiringBoss can allow you to ‘inhale’ passive candidates to a candidate database while helping you form and execute a well-planned communication and process schedule. First impressions certainly count; you’re trying to impress these people, so a compelling and thoughtfully-worded approach is essential. Communicate with these passive candidates in a professional manner, directing them to a great careers page which explains exactly why they should be talking to you. All of a sudden, you may find that these candidates become less ‘passive’ and more and more ‘actively’ interested in working with your company. Once you’re talking to them, professional and timely follow up from hiring managers is critical. HiringBoss

almost forces internal decision makers to review candidates, meaning blockages and delays in getting feedback and setting up interviews are minimal. HiringBoss pushes the hiring process along, ensuring that no candidate gets left behind. There’s an overused Einstein saying that defines insanity as the repetition of the same act over and over again while expecting different results. We all know the hit rate of the standard recruitment strategies of putting a job online and driving the process through email and Excel. Why wouldn’t you look for a good applicant tracking system that can act as a central hub for your current process.. and a new way of doing things? This is the future of hiring better candidates, and it’s ready to use now. You have plenty of options, but have a look at our system on www.hiringboss.com. + Matt Allanson Sales Director, Hiring Boss + Email: matt@hiringboss.com issue 12.3

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executive appointments

frazerjones.com

HR Roles Frazer Jones exclusively focuses on the Global HR market and our specialist teams recruit across the full HR spectrum for local, regional and global positions, for all levels and industries. Established in 1996 in the UK, Frazer Jones is a market leader in almost all the geographic locations we operate in. With offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Dubai, Sydney and Melbourne, and a proven track record in Europe as well as demonstrable capability recruiting in the Americas, Frazer Jones assists clients and candidates across the globe. Head of Human Resources APAC Singapore Supporting our client, a world-class multinational corporation, full spectrum of businesses and functions, you will be tasked with building HR capability, develop and align the HR strategy to the business plan, and drive successful delivery of HR operational support and processes. Manage and provide strategic advice to the client groups, and oversee the regional HR team across APAC. Experience in a similar role, ideally within a world-class MNC, coupled with regional coverage will be critical. Ref: TH14112

Regional HR Business Partner Singapore A global leader in its field, our client, a European conglomerate, delivers innovative solutions to global challenges. Reporting to the Regional BU Head and Head of HR APAC, you will be the HR focal point and an integral part of the regional business unit team. You will bring in the HR perspective to the strategic and operations decisions of the business and play an advisory role to senior management on leadership, people and organisational issues. Ability to navigate a matrix structure essential. Ref: FN14113

To discuss HR roles across Asia, please contact Theresa Hall on +65 6420 0515 or Fiona Nesbitt on +65 6420 0520. Alternatively, email theresahall@frazerjones.com or fionanesbitt@frazerjones.com Visit frazerjones.com for all of our latest HR roles. EA licence number: 10C4100. THE SR GROUP . BREWER MORRIS . CARTER MURRAY . FRAZER JONES . PARKER WELLS . SR SEARCH . TAYLOR ROOT LONDON . DUBAI . HONG KONG . SINGAPORE . SYDNEY . MELBOURNE

Searching for HR professionals? Look no further than HRM Singapore

Number 1 Media for Reaching HR Audited at 14,531 copies per month - HRM Singapore’s HR job listings reach more HR professionals each month than any other media. And with our competitive pricing you can increase the number of quality responses - whilst saving money!

Please contact us on (65) 6423 4631 for full details

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executive appointments

www.achievegroup.asia Singapore | Malaysia | Hong Kong

Established in 1990, the Achieve Group is a multi award-winning organisation and HR outsourcing partner-of-choice for local conglomerates and multinational corporations within the Asia Pacific region. It specialises in Talent Acquisition comprising General Recruitment, Technology Recruitment, Foreign Recruitment and Executive Search Divisions, as well as HR Consulting. EA Licence No.: 05C3451

1. Human Resource and Admin Manager

2. Human Resource Manager

5 days Company transport provided US based MNC

Central 5 Days work week F&B Background

Our client is one of the leading MNCs in specialty chemicals with presence in more than 10 countries regionally.

A well-known and established company in Food & Beverage Industry is inviting suitably qualified candidates fill the position as a HR Manager.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities

Human Resource Management • Recruitment and Selection • Compensation and Benefits • Manage monthly payroll, prepare and maintain company salary structure, job documentation, and job evaluation systems; complete salary survey questionnaires • Performance Appraisal Management • Learning and Development • Conduct orientation program for new employees & conduct exit interviewing • Employee Benefits Programs, Relations and Welfare • HR practices, policies and procedures, review HR ISO standards to ensure compliance Office Administration • Full spectrum of office administration responsibility which includes facility management, leasehold improvements, security, office equipment and supply purchases and its inventory and any other related office admin duties as assigned ISO • Administer and manage ISO related activities pertaining to training and development which includes documentation of procedures and its implementation. Also involves in the company’s ISO program and acts as internal auditor

• Full spectrum of the HR functions covering - Recruitment & Orientation - Compensation & Benefits - Trainings & Developments - Employee relations & wellness activities • Formulate & implement HR policies, systems & procedures • Align HR strategies & initiatives in supporting overall F&B business objectives & goals • Handle monthly payroll • Administration of annual performance appraisals • Administration of salary benchmarking & annual bonus exercises • Ensure that current HR practices are in compliance with MOM regulations • Supervise a team of 2-3 pax

Requirements • Degree/Advance Diploma in Human Resource Management or its equivalent • Has at least 5 years of HR & office admin experience gained through increasing responsible positions in handling all aspects of HR & office admin functions in a managerial or supervisory role • Knowledge of EPE for payroll administration including tax related issues • Conversant with MOM, CPF and other statutory boards regulations and standards to ensure correct applications • Good interpersonal and organizational skills to be able to communicate effectively with all levels of people both internal and external parties • Experience with designing, developing and driving various policies and make recommendations for improvement • Minimum 2 years of experience in all aspects of office administration • Familiar with ISO standards and regulations preferred

Requirements • Degree in HRM/Business Administration • Min 3-5 years of HR generalist experience (preferably in food & beverage industry) • Familiar with employment act & regulations • Meticulous, tactful & ability to interact with different levels of people. • Effectively bilingual

Interested candidate please submit your updated resume in MS Word format to: Position 1: blessing11@achievegroup.asia Position 2: olympic6@achievegroup.asia We regret only shortlisted candidate will be notified. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

141 Market Street #13-00 International Factors Building Singapore 048944 T +65 6323 0050 F +65 6323 3006

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executive appointments

Global Network.

www.michaelpage.com.sg

Local Expertise.

With 161 offices in 33 countries, we have the resources and expertise to help you take the next step in your HR career. Employee Relations Manager Newly Created Regional Focused Role Highly Recognisable Brand Name

Market Leader in the Oil & Gas Industry Southeast Asia Coverage

Our client, a global leader in the electronics industry with plans to expand further into the region is looking to recruit an experienced ER professional. This role focuses on creating a cohesive, regional culture within the growing organisation. Your key responsibilities will be to identify the current gaps in communication and develop programs to address this. You will also be organising company-wide initiatives to create an integrated culture of excellence. The ideal candidate should possess a strong track record of success and have a strong regional footprint in a dynamic business. Please contact Peiwen Teo quoting ref: H1145870.

Our client is a leading global oil & gas provider. As they aim to maintain their market leadership, they are presently seeking a C&B specialist to deliver the agenda for Southeast Asia. Supporting the Regional Rewards Lead, you will assist and co-ordinate the performance management and annual salary review processes, as well as facilitate and administer the global and regional reward programs. The successful applicant will have a minimum of 5 years of relevant working experience in C&B. You will be proficient in SAP and demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills. Please contact Cherry Wu quoting ref: H1151010.

Regional Training Manager

Asia Pacific Diversity & Inclusion Manager

European MNC Globally Recognised Brand Name Our client is a market leader in the luxury retail industry. As they continue to grow in Asia, they are seeking a passionate Regional Training Manager to join their team. This newly-created role reports to the Country Managing Director. Responsibilities include training and engaging store managers on sales skills, developing materials and designing an effective training evaluation system. You will also develop mystery shopping initiatives and coaching on the importance of visual merchandising/brand stories to maximise sales performance. You should be Diploma/Degree qualified and have at least 5 years of experience as a trainer. A proven track record in training within the luxury retail industry is essential. Please contact Ling Quek quoting ref: H1152680. #12603

Compensation & Benefits Specialist

Highly Visible Role Blue Chip Organisation We represent a strong organisation that has leading technology in the energy field and established international operations across US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The Diversity and Inclusion Manager will work as part of the Group Organisation Effectiveness team and interface with senior business. You will also work with HR leaders to build diversity in the workplace through core people processes such as resourcing, talent management and employee relations. The ideal candidate should have demonstrated professional credibility, working in a global environment. You will be an excellent communicator, possess an influencing personality and be highly numerate with strong analytical skills. Please contact Audrey Neo quoting ref: H1158400.

To apply for any of the above positions, please go to www.michaelpage.com.sg/apply quoting the reference number, or contact the relevant consultant on +65 6533 2777 for further details.

Specialists in HR Recruitment

161 offices in 33 countries | www.michaelpage.com.sg

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executive appointments

Returning the Human to Resourcing

HR Director

Country Talent Manager

Head of HR – Malaysia

Global Portfolio

Premier Bank

Global Financial Institution

Highly Visible Role

High Growth Phase

High Growth Phase

Salary circa S$250k – S$300k + bonus

Excellent Career Prospects

Highly Challenging Role

Our client is a global leader with significant international operations. Due to exciting growth plans, there is a need for an energetic and dynamic HR professional to join them.

This premier bank promotes talent development and retention through proactive talent development and succession planning programs. It is now recruiting a senior Talent Manager for Singapore.

This premier financial institution serves its global network of clients with sophisticated services and operates in a dynamic, entrepreneurial and culturally diverse environment. It is recruiting a dynamic professional for the position of Head of HR – Malaysia.

Reporting to the Global Head of HR and President of the Business Unit, you will ensure that HR policies, practices and resources are in alignment with overall business and corporate objectives. You will lead and implement key LT/ST HR initiatives that impact overall compensation, succession planning and recruitment strategies. As there are several M&A activities in the pipeline, you will also be heavily involved in HR due diligence and integration.

Reporting to Singapore Head of Talent & Learning, you will play a critical role in supporting the Bank’s strategic people agenda and massively multiplying the Bank’s leadership capability. You will be responsible for talent strategy, planning, assessing talent development needs, developing and implementing customized talent programs to develop high-potentials and future leaders.

This is a highly critical hire in support of the company’s growing operations in Malaysia. As part of the senior management team and the key decision-maker for human capital, you will drive people agenda and contribute to the alignment of the business and employee objectives through utilizing appropriate HR interventions and change management tools.

Ideally you are degree qualified and have deep experience in HR, including team management. You possess strong working knowledge of HR practices as well as have a broad overview of certain specialist functions. You are excellent in managing client relationships at senior levels and have the ability to articulate and implement these initiatives on the ground. Prior experience in M&A is critical for this role.

Degree qualified, you will have significant years of talent management and development experience gained in a major bank or MNC. You possess strong relationship building, influencing and communication skills. You are driven, commercial, self-motivated, independent and also a strong team player.

Degree qualified, with significant years of HR experience gained in a major MNC or financial institution, you are highly credible, a self-starter, highly-tenacious and proactive in driving results and organizational change. You will thrive in a fast-paced environment and are able to operate at both strategic and tactical levels.

To apply, please submit your resume to Cecelia Koh at ck@kerryconsulting.com, quoting the job title and reference number CK3909\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.

To apply, please submit your resume to Adnan Atan at aa@kerryconsulting.com, quoting the job title and reference number AA3702\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.

To apply, please submit your resume to Adnan Atan at aa@kerryconsulting.com, quoting the job title and reference number AA3779\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.

banking | finance | human resources

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executive appointments HRM Awards 2009 Sponsor of the Best HR Manager of the Year Award Asiamoney Headhunters Poll 2009 Best Headhunting Firm - Middle/Back-Office category No. 2 in Asia

Staffing Manager

Learning Program Director

Organizational Development/ Talent Management Specialist

Established US Consulting Firm

Progressive Global Bank

Leading Global MNC

High Visibility Role

Program & Instructional Design Preferred

Exciting Initiatives

Salary circa S$150k + bonus

Consumer Banking

Salary circa S$150k-S$250k + variable bonus

Our client is a globally well respected multinational in the consulting space. They count a vast majority of the Fortune 500 companies in their stable of clients. Due to growing business needs, there is now an opportunity for a highly motivated individual to join them as a Staffing Manager, SEA.

Our client is a progressive global bank with diverse businesses and global network of clients. It is recruiting a dynamic and high caliber Learning Program Director.

Our client is an extremely established global MNC. There is now an opportunity for an OD/Talent Management specialist to join them in this newly created position.

Ideally you are degree qualified and have a minimum of 8 years work experience gained in progressive multinationals. You are professional and able to deal with highly confidential information. You possess sound judgment and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You are calm and discrete and empathic to both internal stakeholders and external requirements. To apply, please submit your resume to Cecelia Koh at ck@kerryconsulting.com, quoting the job title and reference number CK3912\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.

Degree qualified, you will have relevant years of experience in learning gained in a progressive bank or MNC. With strong learning consulting and business engagement skills to identify and analyse requirements, you will have advanced facilitation skills to deliver at Train-the-Trainer program level. Instructional design background would be highly desirable.

To apply, please submit your resume to Adnan Atan at aa@kerryconsulting.com, quoting the job title and reference number AA3437\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.

Reporting to the Global Head of OD, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of the Talent Management Framework and strategies to address key leadership and organizational development needs for the region as a whole. You will continually drive high performance to ensure the firm’s competitive advantage through the development of their leadership values/competencies, with an emphasis on assessment, development, deployment and retention of talent. Ideally, you are degree qualified preferably with specializations in OD/talent development/ employee engagement. You are highly collaborative and work well with global/regional/ in-country senior management (in and out of HR). You are hands on and structured in approach. Dynamic and committed, you work well in a highly diversified and global culture.

To apply, please submit your resume to Cecelia Koh at ck@kerryconsulting.com, quoting the job title and reference number CK3911\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.

Licence No: C690801Z

Reporting directly to the Managing Partner, this strategic role involves maximizing and delivering client value by ensuring the optimal allocation of consulting resources to their regional projects while optimizing individuals’ professional development and personal preferences. Key tasks involved can broadly be categorized as ‘staff allocations’, ‘management of capacity’ and ‘projects’.

Reporting to the Head of Learning for Consumer Banking, you will design and develop learning solutions to enable the Consumer Banking business to achieve its strategic intent, including defining business aligned learning agendas, curricula design and development, faculty identification, learning roadmaps and certification.

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Human resources professionals speak to tHe experts regional Hr manager Be part of a regional start up operation

talent Development manager shape and create the talent development culture

This global US organisation is looking to have their second headquarters in Singapore for the Asia business. They are seeking a Regional HR Business Partner or Manager to establish and provide HR support for the region. Reporting to the Regional HR Director, you will be the sole HR business partner in Asia and play a critical role in the overall success of the business. You will be participating in company-wide HR initiatives which will be rolled out across the region and therefore your influencing and relationship building skills are vital. Ideally you will have start up experience within a regional capacity from a multinational or have worked as an individual contributor and managed a business autonomously.

This newly created role will focus on leading and mapping out the talent development process from laying the foundation for the process to identification, reporting and analysis. You will be fully involved in driving a high performance organisation design with particular attention to the senior management team and be accountable for the process and techniques during performance management period to identify the HiPo community. At the same time you will set up and align the talent development strategy to implement a rigorous process whilst constructing a culture within this bank that thrives and motivates its employees to look at their long term careers. In return they offer excellent opportunities for career progression and growth.

regional Hr Business partner Help move the regional HQ to singapore

regional training & Development consultant provide a world-class sales training for the apac region

This well established and renowned multinational publishing company is looking for Singapore to become its main base in Asia. As the regional HR Business Partner, you will be expected to provide comprehensive human resource services to all levels of staff across Asia Pacific. This generalist role will look after the full spectrum of HR, providing advice to managers and staff, implementing compensation and benefit strategies, focusing on training and development and rolling out various other initiatives that will assist them to develop an effective culture that rewards high performance.

This large global financial services organisation has a strong presence in Singapore and the APAC region. They are looking for a Regional Training & Development Consultant to provide the sales and customer facing population with the sales skills and knowledge required to meet and exceed their business objectives. The successful candidate will facilitate the acceleration of sales management development and design training programs to unlock sales potential. The role calls for an individual with a strong background in sales skills training and sales management experience in the APAC region.

please contact ash russell, mamta shukla, thomas Girling or Vargin Yeke at hr.singapore@hays.com.sg or +65 6303 0721.

hays.com.sg

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Charterhouse HRM Feb12 v4_A 14/2/12 8:52 PM Page 1

executive appointments

Great people are at the heart of every successful business. It is this belief to invest in our team at Charterhouse that makes it possible for us to provide our clients with professional, specialised and tailored executive search services and the best possible talent for each company.

People are our business

Our client list spans across multi-national companies and global enterprises with a vested interest in people and talent development. These companies are currently searching for HR professionals to develop a rewarding professional career for and to value add to the following professional and executive roles.

Regional Learning & Development Manager - APAC

HR Manager

A prestigious global banking institution is looking for a Regional Learning & Development Manager to spearhead its regional L & D objectives and plans in its ultimate quest for human capital development.

A global leading company in diversified metal, this established MNC is looking for a Strategic HR Manager to lead its HR strategies and goals in line with the business long‐ term objectives.

Responsibilities:

• review learning systems and processes locally to deliver strategy and objectives regionally • identify learning needs to form the foundation of developing learning programs to meet the competency requirements • design and deliver programs to address learning gaps • evaluate learning effectiveness and recommend improvisations • be updated on developments within the learning & development domain and recommend continuous improvements for Learning & Development practices • engage in training and organisational development consultancy as required Requirements:

• degree qualified with 5 to 8 years’ experience in Learning & Development, preferably in the Banking/Finance industry • strong conceptual and strategic thinking skills with experience in program design and delivery • independent, self‐driven, resourceful and passionate for people development • experience in HR will be an advantage

Responsibilities:

• talent management, talent acquisition, development and retention strategies and plans • business partnering with senior managers/heads across departments through consulting, coaching and mentoring • ensure compensation and benefits are at a competitive level • deal with absences, complex disciplinary/grievances issues • measure employee satisfaction and identify areas that require improvements • ensure all company policies and procedures are in line with current employment law Requirements:

• bachelor’s degree qualified in relevant disciplines with a minimum 7 years’ HR Generalist experience with excellent business acumen and people development skills • knowledge of local laws and regulations applicable to HR • hands‐on, dynamic, collaborative with excellent business partnering as well as strategic planning and execution skills • strong persuasive, influential, negotiation, as well as communication and interpersonal skills at all levels are crucial

HR Director - Human Capital

Regional Compensation & Benefits Manager - APAC

An established MNC in the financial service industry, this global institution is looking for a Strategic HR Director to maximise its human capital development for its organisational missions and goals.

A global leader in technology innovation, this prestigious organisation is looking for a Regional Senior Compensation & Benefits Manager to spearhead the C&B initiatives in APAC for the strategic growth of the company.

Responsibilities:

• originate and lead the Human Resources practices and objectives to create an employee‐oriented, high performance culture • emphasise on quality, productivity, standards, goal attainment and on‐going development towards achieving a superior workforce • spearhead talent management which includes talent acquisition, development and retention as well as ER initiatives through coaching, mentoring and communicating Requirements:

• bachelor’s degree qualified in relevant disciplines • minimum 8 years’ in talent management and managing in the financial sector • experience in strategic planning and execution with hands‐on ability to interface and forge effective relationships across divisions at all levels • self‐starter, dynamic and innovative in spearheading new ideas with excellent interpersonal, communication, leadership and influencing skills

Responsibilities:

• formulate Compensation & Benefits strategies for APAC • provide recommendations on changes to the C&B programmes • provide inputs in the development and enhancement of the global rewards and compensation programmes in APAC • head the APAC C&B team to deliver administration support in a timely manner • negotiate contracts and manage local vendors when applicable • assist in identifying best survey sources to facilitate appropriate and consistent market benchmarking • vigilant of changes in C&B APAC legislation and provide recommendations to the top management to ensure compliance Requirements:

• minimum 6 years’ managing experience in large MNCs • experience in designing, implementing and managing C&B programs in EMEA is required • independent, initiative and a team player, with strong analytical, financial, communication, presentation and business partnering skills

To apply, please email your CV to hr@charterhouse.com.sg or call Perry Barrow or Shereen Foo at +65 6435 5610.

For more information on your career and recruitment needs, please visit www.charterhouse.com.sg.

Investment in People

www.charterhouse.com.sg Company Licence Number: 06C3997

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Investment in People

Asia • Middle East • Australasia


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