hrm ISSUE 13.2
When cupid strikes at work Training and development at Hong Kong MTR Talent attraction at Hilton Worldwide
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Contents EDITOR Sumathi V Selvaretnam
JOURNALIST Shalini Shukla-Pandey ASSISTANT JOURNALIST Vivien Shiao Shufen EDITORIAL INTERN: Grace Koh TRAFFIC MANAGER Azimah Jasman SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Amos Lee GRAPHIC DESIGNER John Paul Lozano REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Evelyn Lim SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Yogesh Chandiramani
Global Talent Management – Building an international talent pipeline Employers are caught in the midst of a global talent squeeze, forcing HR to leverage on creative talent sourcing practices and global talent competencies. HRM looks into what it takes to build a truly international talent pipeline
ACCOUNT MANAGERS Natasha Vincent Charlene Lim Rebecca Ng GENERAL MANAGER Kaveri Ayahsamy REGIONAL MANAGING EDITOR George Walmsley MANAGING DIRECTOR Richard Curzon
IN THIS COVER STORY
“A successful approach is when mobile expats are entrusted to develop and groom talent wherever they go, and inculcate the company values and culture, which make it easier for local talents to adapt faster and contribute more effectively” – ACHAL AGARWAL, PRESIDENT, ASIA-PACIFIC, KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION
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MICA (P) 137/07/2012 ISSUE 13.2
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FEATURES 12 | The heart of Hilton
As the travel industry in the Asia-Pacific region continues to expand astronomically, Hilton Worldwide is positioning itself to ride on the growth. Martin Rinck, President – Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide explains some of the key HR challenges facing the group
16 | Romance at work
Whoever said love knows no boundaries obviously has never been in HR. When Cupid strikes in the office, the problem goes beyond excess chocolates and looks of longing. HRM looks at the challenges that HR faces in the name of love, and how they handle delicate situations
20 | MTR Corporation – Training the train people
The generational shift of the workforce and sustained rebound in the employment market has created a strong need to retain and transfer knowledge to the next generation for business success. Morris Cheung, HR Director, MTR Corporation, describes the Hong Kong rapid transit railway system’s unique emphasis on training
30 | Cultural agility in a globalised workplace
As the world continues to globalise, more executives than ever are taking up international assignments. While there are the usual cost concerns and tax issues, employers also need to address the challenge of cultural adaptability. How can companies better prepare employees and promote swift integration in a different office?
35 | Talent management in emerging markets
Emerging economies are ripe with opportunities, but navigating through their
unique talent landscapes can pose some unexpected challenges for HR. In this HRM exclusive, three HR experts share their experiences on managing diverse pools of talent in China, India and Indonesia
38 | Legal matters for HR
For any organisation with businesses operating across Asian borders, it is vital to have a basic understanding of the way each market operates, particularly when it comes to employment. HRM looks at employment legalities across the region
42 | Accommodating mobile talent in Asia
With international assignments set to increase within the region, greater collaboration between serviced apartments providers and HR departments will ensure that employees have a smooth transition. HRM discusses what accommodation options are available in Asia for mobile talent
46 | Big changes ahead
Representing a new generation of Europeanbased management thinkers, guest contributor and HR Summit plenary speaker Anja Foerster believes that this new generation will also have a profound impact on workplaces throughout the world. Here, she describes a new way of creating leadership and incentive that is already succeeding at the business level
52 | The future of L&D
Technology is changing the way employees learn and process new knowledge and information. HRM looks at some of the innovative ways companies are delivering their learning and development initiatives to engage and enlighten their workforces
46 REGULARS 3 | Analysis 4 | News 11 | Leaders on Leadership 56 | MICE 60 | Resources 61 | Viewpoint 62 | Talent Ladder 63 | In Person 64 | Talent Challenge 65 | Viewpoint 67 | Restaurant Review 68 | Talent Feature 69 | Twenty-four Seven 70 | 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: email@example.com 2
Empowering women Why aren’t there more women leaders in Asia? By Shalini Shukla-Pandey Madam Halimah Yacob is Singapore’s first female Speaker of Parliament. She fills the position vacated by former People’s Action Party Member of Parliament, Michael Palmer, who stepped down after revelations of an extramarital affair. Parliamentarian Denise Phua, who called Madam Halimah “a national asset”, told Today newspaper that her election as the first female Speaker of Parliament puts to rest the barrier of a glass ceiling for capable women in the country. “With the recent additions of eminent female colleagues such as Indranee Rajah and Josephine Teo in the Cabinet, women are now much better represented in our country’s senior leadership,” said Phua. However, there’s still room for improvement in the corporate sector, where women have perennially been less visible in leadership positions.
The underrepresentated gender In most multinationals in Asia, women begin to lose representation at the middle management levels, dropping steadily at more at senior levels. According to a white paper by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), women in mid-career and senior positions tend to occupy more “staff” roles, either by default (through organisational talent planning) or by design (women choosing a balanced life), relative to men. Senior-level men are more likely to stay in line or general management roles – the traditional stepping stones to a CEO position. “This subtler gender gap – one that is difficult to detect when companies only count the total number of men and women at each grade level – is a reason there are still so few women in the C-suite,” says Will Thomas, Director and Executive Advisor, CEB.
Women are ready to lead Women in the workforce are just as capable of high performance as men. According to the CEB, 23% of men are rated as high performers (exceeding or far exceeding expectations in their performance reviews), compared to 21% of women. Mid-level female managers are also as likely as men to be identified as high-potential employees: 14% in both cases.
“In addition, despite the notion that women in Asia are less ambitious and more likely to eventually leave the workforce for a homemaker role, a significantly greater percentage of women in India (85%) and China (65%) describe themselves as professionally ambitious compared to women in the US (36%),” Thomas.
Creative talent solutions Another good source of female talent is in the economically inactive talent pool. In Singapore, according to The Labour Survey, women form 80% of the 418,000 economically inactive residents aged 25 to 64. Recently in Parliament, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said this group of people had responsibilities such as family and care-giving duties that kept them out of the official workforce. With 90,000 of all economically inactive residents aged 25 to 64 intending to seek employment within the next two years, businesses have a wealth of talent to tap on and develop for increased productivity. Walmart Japan is a case in point. Seventy per cent of women in the country continue to leave the workforce after their first child, and only 65% of college-educated women are employed. “Walmart Japan has focused on giving its female employees a better work-life balance and leadership development opportunities through internal seminars and programmes,” says Scott Price, President and CEO, Walmart Asia. Through such initiatives, Walmart Japan provided career assessment and consultation to more than 2,000 potential female leaders in 2010 alone. In the Asian region in general, Walmart seeks to create opportunities for its female employees through training and education. Walmart’s Women Leadership Councils have created a pipeline of female talent since 2008, helping women to progress internally while giving them tools to cope externally. “While Asian cultures and societal norms can play a significant role in shaping gender expectations and women’s career decisions, HR practices addressing systemic issues of leadership perceptions, family support, and career progression can have as great an impact on women’s advancement,” says Thomas.
Companies with the highest female representation in top management positions achieved returns on equity
higher than those with the lowest female representation Source: McKinsey study
Standards of living rising Standards of living continue to improve in key parts of the AsiaPacific region. According to Mercer’s 2012 Quality of Living Survey – Asia Pacific, Singapore has become an increasingly attractive destination for expatriates, with its stable political environment, public service provisions, and recreational facilities. New Zealand and Australia also offer high standards of living. Seoul, South Korea, is another Asian city that is becoming increasingly attractive for expatriates. Its quality of living improved in 2012 (moving the city up five slots in ranking) due to ongoing investment in infrastructure, public services and technology. Conversely, political turmoil and economic instability continue to plague cities in Central and South Asia, such as Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Since the end of the decades-long conflict in Sri Lanka, safety levels in Colombo have somewhat improved. Although major security problems remain, the quality of living has crept upward thanks to greater stability, moving the city up four positions in ranking. Other cities in the Asia-Pacific region that witnessed positive developments in their political environments during 2012 are Bangkok, Thailand, and Yangon, Myanmar. But both of them – and Yangon in particular – continue to present significant security risks for locals and expatriates.
Top 5 cities Quality of living
Top 5 cities Infrastructure
Auckland (3rd in 2011 ranking) Sydney (10th) Wellington (13th) Melbourne (17th) Perth (21st)
Singapore (1st in 2011 ranking) Hong Kong (tied 6th) Sydney (8th) Yokohama (11th) Perth (25th)
Military intimidation of workers With Singapore established as the healthcare capital industry of Asia, advertising for roles in medical services increased by
in the third quarter of last year Source: Robert Walters Asia Job Index Q3 2012
A Nike contractor in Indonesia has allegedly hired highranking military officers to force workers into accepting pay that’s lower than the country’s recently raised minimum wage. According to a report from the US non-profit Educating for Justice, the military officers intimidated workers into signing a petition that would waive the contractor from having to pay the new minimum wage. Labour activists claim the use of force at the Sukabumi factory was not an isolated incident, and that multiple Nike factories in Indonesia systematically pressured workers to give up their right to the new minimum wage, according to the Jakarta Globe. Nike has defended itself against the charges, saying the company was investigating claims. In an email statement to The Huffington Post, Greg Rossiter, a Nike spokesman, said: “The Nike Code of Conduct is very clear: Nike expects contract factory workers to be ‘paid at least the minimum wage required by country law and provided legally mandated benefits, including holidays and leaves, and statutory severance when employment ends’.” With 171,000 Nike-affiliated workers, Indonesia is the third-largest producer of goods for the company.
of companies intend to freeze hiring in the first half of 2013 Source: Achieve Group Hiring Trends Report 1H 2013
of employees in Asia believe withdrawing after signing a contract is acceptable if a better salary or opportunity is offered elsewhere Source: Hudson Salary & Employment Insights 2013
Being a chef is the top career choice Being a chef is the top career choice for the next generation of workers in Singapore, followed closely by becoming a doctor, teacher, nurse and pilot. The 7th annual ‘Adecco Children’s Career Survey’ has revealed that becoming a chef is the new top career choice amongst 7-14 year olds in Singapore. In the same survey from twelve months ago, becoming a teacher was the top career choice. About seven per cent of the children surveyed stated that they want to become a chef when they grow up. This could be fuelled by the popularity of cooking-related reality shows like Junior Masterchef as well as growing interest in the local restaurant scene. Many said that it was fun that aspiring chefs get to cook at amusement parks and famous landmarks. Those surveyed had monthly salary expectations ranging from S$100 to S$10,000,000. Becoming a doctor has always featured prominently in the annual survey, and has been a top career choice in previous editions. It was again popular, with four per cent of those surveyed wanting to pursue a career in medicine.
The results of this survey revealed interesting career choices. A pair of 12-year-old twin sisters aspired to be royal wedding planners, revealing themselves to be ardent fans of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, whilst a nine-year old boy wanted to be the future ‘President of the World’. One salary aspiration was to earn ‘ten billion dollars’ by being a top chef, whilst one of the seven-year olds was happy to earn ‘S$20 and free Kinder Buenos’ as Superman.
Top five ‘What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up” jobs • Chef • Doctor (joint 2nd) • Teacher (joint 2nd) • Nurse • Pilot The findings also revealed that 82% of the children surveyed believe that it is more important to ‘spend time with family’ than making ‘lots of money’.
Heightened security for female employees Working women in India have started leaving their offices earlier in the wake of heinous gang rape case in Delhi. According to a survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), nearly 82% of women working in the IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in several Indian cities said that they started leaving the office earlier, as they are reluctant to travel after sunset. Over the last fortnight, one in three women working in the IT sector in Delhi either reduced working hours after sunset, or quit their jobs, says Assocham. The study estimates that, in the aftermath of the attack, the productivity of women employed in the IT sector in the Delhi area has dropped by as much as 40%. There are about 2,200 IT and outsourcing companies in the Delhi area, employing over 250,000 women. The Delhi gangrape case has also forced the business process outsourcing and hospitality sectors, which each have a sizeable proportion of women working for them, to revise their security measures. In particular, the security of female employees at the workplace and during transport at odd hours has become very critical. Most IT companies in India
arrange for transport to drop female workers home. According to The Times of India (TOI), Ruchir Gupta, of Vkalp BPO services in JLN Road, has installed mobile video surveillance to monitor the images captured by CCTV cameras in the office complex on his mobile phone. “The situation is not so comfortable for many BPOs including us to put women employees in the night shift. We don’t allow female staff to work after 7.30pm as a precautionary measure,” Gupta told TOI. He also suggested that areas around BPO offices should have proper lights in the evening hours, the times when these women employees lined-up to board city buses. Varun Sahani, General Manager, The Lalit, a luxury five-star hotel in Jaipur, said the hotel does not have female staff on its night shift, with all women completing work by 9pm each day. In the wake of the recent incident, the company has extended shift timings of the morning shift by an hour from January 1.
Staff turnover to create skills shortage within businesses in 2013 Employers across Singapore’s professional sectors expect their business to face a skills shortage this year due to staff turnover. According to findings in the 2012/13 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast, over half of employers surveyed (56%) expect staff to change roles and companies in the next 12 months. This turnover is likely to lead to a limited supply of available talent in the white collar job market, with 42% of surveyed employers expecting a skills shortage. “Many employers are expecting that some of their staff will change companies and roles in the coming year as more job opportunities become available,” says Andrew Norton, Regional MD of PageGroup in Southeast Asia. “This is most likely to be seen in the procurement, supply chain, sales, marketing and insurance areas as organisations continue to establish headquarters in Singapore.” “With top talent expected to seek new job opportunities in 2013, a shortage of skilled professionals is also anticipated in companies,” he adds. 6
of organisations across Asia Pacific have a defined \ leadership development strategy in place Source: Mercer’s 2012 Asia Pacific Leadership Development Practices Study
Finance and accounting employees in Singapore are the world’s most chronic job hoppers, serving just
in a job – far below the global average of 5.2 years Source: survey by Robert Half
Fresh polytechnic graduates in fulltime permanent employment now earn
in median gross monthly salary, compared with S$1,850 in 2011 Source: Graduate Employment Survey 2012 – a joint survey conducted by the five local polytechnics
of Hong Kong employers expect candidates to pull out at some stage of the recruitment process Source: Hudson Salary & Employment Insights 2013
Firms to hire more staff in Q1 2013 More than one-third of employers in Hong Kong (37%) plan to hire more staff in the first quarter of this year. According to the latest Hudson report, Employment Trends Q1 2013, the majority of firms (51.3%) there intend to keep staffing levels steady. However, Hudson’s general manager in Hong Kong, Tony Pownall, says the local labour market has a shortage of highly-skilled workers. “Many Chinese companies see (Hong Kong) as a fertile talent ground, seeking to relocate people to offset their local talent shortages. Employment is rising in order to meet higher business demands and tightening job market capacity is continuing to push staffing costs upwards,” Pownall said. “New business demand from mainland China recently reached a 15-month high while the key underpinnings of Hong Kong’s domestic demand resilience remain firmly in place, which is positive for hiring. Many internationally-focused businesses remain understandably cautious due to external factors, while local and regional businesses seem to have a greater appetite to grow headcount,” he added. The information technology sector is driving the increase in positive hiring intentions, up 11.3 percentage points to 62.5%, and is the most positive industry overall. This is followed by consumer goods (down 7.7 percentage points to 41.7%), the manufacturing and industrial sector (down 10.8 percentage points to 37.9%) and banking and financial services (down 0.5 percentage points to 27.3%).
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Women need sponsors to make it to the C-Suite A strong work ethic and outstanding performance are still not enough for women to climb the corporate ladder. According to new research from Catalyst, women need highly-positioned sponsors – allies willing to fight for their career advancement – in order to make it out of middle management and into the C-Suite. Women are less likely than men to have an effective sponsor rooting for them. Heather Foust-Cummings, one of the authors and a senior director at Catalyst, told The Huffington Post that sponsorship was something that, “quite frankly, men have taken for granted and women haven’t been as aware of. We wanted to bring sponsorship out from underneath the curtain.” She explained that sponsorship was a more intensive and high stakes form of mentorship. “A mentor advises and supports you, but sponsors are ambitious for you. They make sure that you get the visibility that you need. They really have their skin in the game and are willing to ride their reputation with yours,” she explained. Sponsorships benefit all three parties, namely the protégés, sponsors and also the company. According to a 2011 study from the Center for Worklife Policy, sponsorship can result in as much as a 30% increase in promotions, pay raises and stretch assignments for a protégé. Sponsors, meanwhile, become recognised for fostering talent and improving their own leadership skills. The organisation is also strengthened as talent that may have been overlooked or underdeveloped gets nurtured and utilised.
Public and private sector divided on performance pay
There is a
pay difference between male and female HR Executive Officers at Fortune 1,000 companies in the US Source: Equilar
One in four
Australian employees admit to applying for a job with no intention of taking the role Source: SHL
Immigration policies bearing fruit Countries which have made attracting highly-skilled migrants a key target of their immigration policy have seen sharp increases in the proportion of universitygraduates among recent immigrants. According to a new OECD report, countries such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK have successfully attracted highly skilled labour as a result of immigration policies that actively encourage such people to enter. Australia has streamlined its student-visa assessments and included post-study work rights for graduates to keep hold of the talent it nurtures. Canada and Denmark have also done well in this respect. Over 50% of immigrants to Canada and 47% of those to Britain have completed tertiary education, the highest levels among rich countries. Higher education levels have helped
boost employment among all categories of immigrants. Employment rates have risen in nearly every country over the past decade to reach an average of around 65%, just 2.6 percentage points lower than the rate for native-born locals. In Germany, employment rates for immigrants rose from 57% in 2000 to 64% in 2010, and from 62% in the UK to just over 66% in 2010. Only countries hard hit by the global financial crisis had declining job rates among immigrants – falling from 70% to 67% in the US, and 62% to 57% in Spain.
of chief executives and senior leaders in Western Europe feel their HR Director is “not of the same caliber as other C-level executives” Source: Oracle/ IBM’s C-suite perspectives of HR
Only one in three workers in the public sector thinks that salaries should be linked to individual performance, according to a new survey by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). According to the Employee Attitudes to Pay Survey 2012, a distinct contrast in attitudes towards pay has been revealed between the private and public sector. While just 36% of public sector workers thought their salary should reflect their personal performance, more than half of private sector employees (54%) were in support of performance-related pay. When asked about their counterparts, over half of private sector workers said those in the public sector should be paid according to individual performance. Charles Cotton, reward advisor at the CIPD, said: “Establishing a closer link between pay and performance in the public sector is a key element to improving service delivery and value for taxpayers. What’s more, unless the public sector starts linking pay to performance or better engages with those in the private sector about why their taxes should reward public sector workers differently, public sector employers could find it hard to legitimise pay decisions in the eyes of the private sector.” However, he warned that there could be a “mismatch” between how employees define ‘performance’ and what their employer means by it. The survey also revealed that since 2008, there has been an overall fall in the number of employees enjoying pay rises, particularly in the public sector. While 56% of workers in the private sector received a pay rise in 2012, only 20% of public sector workers got a raise. Private sector and voluntary sector workers were also much more likely than their public sector counterparts to view their pay level as ‘fair’, with six in 10 employees in the private and voluntary sectors taking this view, compared to four in 10 in the public sector. ISSUE 13.2
Graduate recruitment trends
Who? Wants to do what? Where? • German students want to work for consulting firms – and Red Bull!
• In India, • Brazil is the only country whose Top 10 list exclusively features domestic companies. • While students in the US are more likely to follow
DID YOU KNOW?
students focused on companies headquartered in the US – along with IT and tech companies.
Releasing accurate data about universities and their graduates’ employment outlook remains a high stakes business. In August 2011 a New York City law firm filed actions against two American law schools, alleging that information relating to job outcomes of their graduates was so inaccurate it constituted fraud.
entertainment, media and social brands, students in the UK are most interested in fashion and retail.
Top employers among students and recent grads
HOW THEY WORK*
ONE of every three college students and young employees believes the internet is as important as air, water, food, and shelter.
TWO of five said they would accept a lowerpaying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
SEVEN of 10 employees admitted to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis, highlighting security-related issues in the workplace, and three of five believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices.
THREE out of five employees globally thought offices were unnecessary for being productive.
Retention: Onetest has asked thousands of How they are job hunting: A recent survey** revealed
that more than 35% of students plan to use LinkedIn as a primary source for their job search. LinkedIn’s own stats back this up: students and recent graduates are the fastest growing demographic on Linkedin. According to employer branding company Universum, the three channels used for employer brand promotion are the corporate website (92%), on-campus activities (82%) and social media (80%). 10
Ernst & Young
graduates over the past few years to indicate what they want in their ‘ideal job’. Graduates, the bulk of whom were Gen Y. The following factors came out on top: • Ability utilisation – being able to apply relevant skills and abilities on the job • Achievement – gaining a sense of accomplishment from work • Advancement – having opportunities for career progression
Sources: ~LinkedIn *The Cisco Connected World Technology Report – a survey of 3,000 college students and young professionals globally **Class of 2012: Understanding the Needs of your Future Workforce; conducted by Achievers, Inc. & Experience, Inc.
LEADERS ON LEADERSHIP
Looking ahead What are some of the top traits that you expect to see in leaders of tomorrow?
General Manager, Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island
The ability to lead in our industry will require an innate drive to evolve, diversify and communicate a brand in a global and technological landscape that is never stagnant. The leaders of tomorrow will need to be highly adaptable to the ever evolving challenges and developments in our business, with a tremendous passion for our industry. To ensure their vision for leadership is equating to real results, the age old adage will always stand true â€“ you cannot manage what you do not measure. Our future leaders need to have the ability to use the technology available to them, and the information it provides, to tailor their vision for the future of the businesses they lead. At the same time, despite the role technology plays in our success across multiple platforms, the leaders of the future must never forget that we are in a business of people. The ability to lead and inspire are essential qualities in the leaders of the past, present and the future. A leader must have the ability to identify the right opportunities for the right individuals within their organisations. Technology will never replace this. Our success is reliant on our ability to listen, learn and to relate and communicate who we are with our guests, industry colleagues and partners. Human relationships drive our business.
Managing Director, ASEAN, National Instruments
Companies are looking for leaders who possess the basic qualities of honesty, integrity and passion. But these are just the basic needs of leaders â€“ past and future. As we move forward, we are looking for leaders with foresight, vision, and a sense of purpose who can earn respect of their team members. Empathy and openness are also important attributes. Leaders of tomorrow need to convey the message across that they hold the interests of their employees at the same level as those of their investors in order to build the trust of their employees and balance the success of all stakeholders (i.e. employees, customers and investors). Leaders have to stay genuine and consistent in order to cultivate a culture of open communication in their teams, and encourage an unadulterated two-way feedback channel that is anchored in trust and openness. Companies that have consistently done well in different industries are led by great leaders who can motivate their teams to excel in different areas. For example, South West Airlines has consistently been rated as a good employer and been successful as a business even in bad times because their leadership has been able to inspire their employees based on trust and purpose.
President, South & Southeast Asia, TBWA\ Asia Pacific
I believe that leaders of tomorrow will need a great many qualities that are perhaps a break from those necessary in the past. Accessibility is one. CEOs and managers will no longer be able to live in ivory towers protected by corporate hierarchy. Todayâ€™s employees want to see their leaders in the flesh, identify with them and feel that they are working for a person with an affinity for their people. The days when the so-called rank and file blindly following the corporate vision are long gone. The second would be agility. The business world is multi-channel, multicultural and multi-platform. So leaders need to be open minded, in every sense, to be able to stay ahead and stay relevant. As the world opens up, and technology continues to shape our work environment, leadership teams will no longer be dominated by singular cultures, or singular skilled people. Therefore cultural and technological agility will be key traits. Finally and paradoxically, focus will be an important trait. Being able to stay on track in a highly diverse and rapidly evolving market place will be a key quality. A leader who can single-mindedly balance the need to be open, accessible and transparent while also navigating through a rapidly changing market place will have genuine qualities for success.
LEADERS TALK HR
HEART of HILTON As the travel industry in the Asia-Pacific region continues to expand astronomically, Hilton Worldwide is positioning itself to ride on the growth. Martin Rinck, President – Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide explains some of the key HR challenges facing the group By Vivien Shiao Shufen “We are aggressively expanding in Asia,” says Martin Rinck, President – Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide. “In fact, ‘aggressive’ is an understatement.” With more than 160 properties in construction at this moment, and further plans to add more than 200 hotels over the next five years, Rinck is a busy man. Responsible for the operations of hotels managed by Hilton Worldwide under its various brands in 18 countries, he is looking to more than double the brand’s presence in Asia-Pacific by the end of 2015. Hilton Worldwide currently has 97 trading assets in the region as of January this year, and six brands under its umbrella. “In five years, we are looking at 300 trading assets in Asia-Pacific alone,” he says.
Key HR challenges With such an ambitious pipeline of hotel openings ahead, it is little wonder that staffing challenges are one of Hilton’s biggest concerns at this point in time. 12
“The key HR challenge we face now has to do with the significant and explosive growth we are facing,” he explains. “That is to secure and recruit, train and retain the right talent.” The group’s growth in Asia is connected with the recent history of Hilton Worldwide itself. Five years ago, there were two separate companies operating hotels under the Hilton name. The company in the US was called the Hilton Corporation, while the Hilton hotels outside the US were known as Hilton International hotels. After they were bought over by a private equity company in 2007, they merged to become known as Hilton Worldwide. “Only at that point in the international arena did we have access to the six different brands under Hilton Worldwide’s umbrella in the APAC region, such as Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton and so on,” says Rinck. “We are now opening 15 to 20 hotels a year. The biggest challenge is to get general managers, department heads and team members for these properties.”
LEADERS TALK HR
Biography Martin Rinck was appointed President – Asia-Pacific, Hilton Worldwide in November 2008. He is responsible for the operations of 97 trading hotels managed by Hilton Worldwide under its various brands in 18 countries across Asia-Pacific, spanning India to French Polynesia, and employing more than 25,500 team members. Charged with overseeing Hilton Worldwide’s aggressive growth plans to more than double its presence in Asia-Pacific in the next three years, Rinck leads Hilton Worldwide’s strategies to bolster its market share in the premium luxury and upscale segments, while penetrating into the mid-market segment and new markets. During his tenure at Hilton Worldwide, the organisation has successfully launched and introduced several brands into AsiaPacific, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Hilton Garden Inn. The business continues to also grow the footprints of existing brands such as Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Rinck joined Hilton Worldwide from Carlson Hotels where he was President and Managing Director – Asia-Pacific from 2007, based in Singapore. Prior to this, Martin was the Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for The Rezidor Hotel Group, where he drove significant growth for its hotel portfolio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before joining The Rezidor Hotel Group, Martin was the Chief Executive Officer of Movenpick Gastronomy International based in Switzerland, responsible for 150 restaurants worldwide. His hotel industry experience also includes 10 years with the InterContinental Hotels Group in Europe and the US, and four years with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Indonesia. Born in Hamburg, Martin holds an MBA from Brunel University. He is married with two daughters.
LEADERS TALK HR
Hilton Worldwide He explained that in the past, when Hilton opened one hotel at a time, it was able to groom talent organically. However, once the pipeline doubled, the organic growth was not enough to satisfy the new supply of properties. “Balancing between grooming talent internally and recruiting the best people from the outside, training and retaining them, is another HR challenge,” adds Rinck.
Getting talent Rinck says that the mantra of the organisation is to look first for people with the right talent and attitude, and then train for skills. “Those who are passionate about the hotel industry, those who love people and to work in teams – these
Aside from China, there are also graduate development programmes across Asia-Pacific. “We have a partnership with Taylor’s University in Malaysia. In the last two years, we have entered into seven strategic partnerships with universities,” he says. “We get involved in the curriculum, we get involved in guest lecturing in schools, we commit to take a certain number of graduates at the end of the year and provide them traineeships, and then full-time employment.” He explains that Hilton Worldwide aims to expand the partnerships from the current seven to 15 next year. “This is to groom the pipeline of the talent we require to open more than 160 hotels being built right now and to run the 300 hotels in five years’ time.”
Me-myself-I • I love: My job and my family; working in Asia-Pacific; and travelling • I dislike: People who always say ‘no’ • My inspiration is: Nelson Mandela • My strength is: Persistence and perseverance • My weakness is: Chocolate cake • What I’ll be doing five years from now: Exactly the same job
hungry go-getters qualify,” says Rinck. “Not someone who has done it for 20 years and acts like he knows everything.” In this way, previous experience in the hospitality industry is not required for most jobs in Hilton Worldwide. “It’s not about specific industry experience, but about the attitude, the mindsets and approach to learning, as well as the desire to grow,” he explains. To get the best talent, Rinck says that Hilton Worldwide tries to portray itself as an employer of choice. “The best example we have is the management programme in China where talent is recruited from universities to Hilton Worldwide,” he says. “We provide them a career path and groom them within the organisation. Not just in China, but across Asia-Pacific – more than 75% of our general managers are promoted from within.” He says that graduate development programmes have been very successful in drawing talent into Hilton Worldwide. “For example, in China, we have been voted as the best employer of choice in the hotel and restaurant industry for the second time in a row by over 50,000 university students.” 14
Growing people Rinck believes that to retain good talent, organisations must provide avenues to learn and grow. When it comes to training and development, Hilton Worldwide seems to have got this well covered. The organisation has an internal university, called the Hilton Worldwide University. It offers online courses that number up to 2500, with over 250 leadership courses for staff to choose from. Over 300,000 members have signed up and completed 1.5 million courses so far. The courses come in over 25 different languages to address the needs of the different countries. Hilton Worldwide also offers many other training opportunities. One of them is “Pro-Active Leadership” (PAL) – a practical and interactive programme in which participants learn about their behaviour in their role as a manager and how to motivate people, facilitate team work, manage task achievement, and use a range of strategies to maximise individual and team performance. Another one is “SHINE”, which is a structured development programme designed to support the development of talented individuals within the organisation. Each year, hotel general managers, in
LEADERS TALK HR
collaboration with other senior management, will identify a number of talented individuals to participate in SHINE. For those ready to take the next step to become a director, there is the “SHINE 4D” programme, and following that, the “SHINE GM” programme to prepare those ready to become a general manager. “It’s the recipe of success. If you know today what your career path looks like and where you will end up, it is very likely that you will stay around,” explains Rinck. “If you stand there and have no idea where the road is going to lead you, that is why you change companies. Having a specific career programme from when you start in the industry to become a department head and then general manager – that is key to grooming our future leaders.” Employees get to decide on their career path together with their department head and HR director. “Every individual is different and their needs are different, so the one size fits all approach does not work,” says Rinck. “You need to look at the skill set and the experience someone brings into the organisation and where they want to end up. Based on experience, academic qualifications, and aspirations of the individual, they map out where they want to be.”
the end of the day, it’s the team that makes the difference. You can be the brainiest person alive, but if you don’t have a team to work with you, you won’t be able to drive anything.”
Looking ahead “I always say that everyone can build nice hotels, but not everyone can run nice hotels,” recalls Rinck. “What keeps me up at night is how to get the tens of thousands of people required to operate the hotels that are coming up, train them to the appropriate standard, and to retain them within the organisation and develop their careers,” he explains. Rinck measures his success by the number of successful GMs he has helped to create. He says that his biggest satisfaction is seeing people who start as management trainees and then rise up the ranks to become successful GMs. “If we get this one right, the rest just fall into place,” he says. “I’m very fortunate and blessed to be in an industry I really enjoy,” says Rinck. “The hospitality industry is an absolutely wonderful industry. Once you catch the bug you have it for life. You see many people try to leave the industry, but they always end up coming back.”
Engaging staff According to Rinck, employee engagement is another significant aspect of Hilton Worldwide’s culture. “Four years ago, it was a small team, and everyone did everything. The larger you grow, the more you get functional specialists to do certain parts,” says Rinck. “(But) you have to make sure everyone still grows and stay engaged.” In the Singapore office of Hilton Worldwide, monthly team member meetings are held on Friday afternoons. Called Beer & Go, the company gets together to share breaking news on the organisation, developmental highlights, and socialise with the team. “It’s an hour of information sharing from different geographical areas, new openings and financial numbers for everyone to know where they stand,” says Rinck. Employees don’t just hear the good stuff. “Bad news is also shared too,” he explains. That way, staff are kept in the loop with what is happening in the company and the direction it is taking. There are also regular lunch sessions where department heads get in front of the team and talk about their work, what they are doing and what roles they play. These are informative for team members to find out more about their leaders and what their jobs entail. As for Rinck, personally engaging with staff is also a top priority. “Yes, you can propagate an open door policy, but you can open the door and no one comes in there,” he says. “It’s about interacting with the team, relating with team members and supporting the team as much as you can. At
“I always say that everyone can build nice hotels, but not everyone can run nice hotels”
Romance at work Whoever said love knows no boundaries obviously has never been in HR. When Cupid strikes in the office, the problem goes beyond excess chocolates and looks of longing. HRM looks at the challenges that HR faces in the name of love, and how they handle delicate situations By Vivien Shiao Shufen
The story is a familiar one. Leanne from Marketing and James from Business Strategy got to know each other one day at their office canteen, and it soon blossomed into a full-f ledged romance. Although James was a manager and Leanne was a junior staff member, they were in separate departments and felt that there was no need to let superiors know. They didn’t hide their relationship, but they also did not bother to announce it either. However, it was only a matter of time before colleagues found out, and word eventually gets around to senior management. Both staff members are called in for a discussion, together with the HR director, a well-meaning staffer from the babyboomer generation. She objects to such “relations” in the workplace, while management was more generally baff led on how to handle the situation. The discussion goes nowhere, and both James and Leanne become upset at how badly the issue, one they consider trivial at best, is being handled. They feel they are being talked down to and told what to do in their own private lives. In the end, with no support from their colleagues, management or HR, both talented high-potentials decide to take their skills elsewhere. The question behind the story is: who loses?
Love and loss In the above anecdote, so common in large workplaces throughout Asia, it’s everyone. The couple felt rebuffed by their company that they had worked hard for; and the firm lost two of its brightest stars. The event also did no favours for the company’s employer brand, as it potentially added to the perception that it may be stuffy or old-fashioned. Lastly, other great employees in the company may also feel that the company does not value talent and may decide to leave for a more liberal and open-minded firm. Such a situation can be avoided if HR has a better grasp on the situation, and shows some empathy to the couple involved, instead of simply saying ‘no’ to all relationships. It’s an issue that is only going to come up more often as the workforce enters generational change. According to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted last year, 84% of Generation Y
“There is only one decisive factor, and that is whether a conflict of interest exists or not, and that should be clearly defined” – ALESSANDRO PAPARELLI, REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES & ORGANISATION, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO respondents say they would see no problem in engaging in a romance with a co-worker. Older workers also should not be written off, as 36% of Generation X workers and 29% of Baby Boomers said they were also open to office romances. About half of respondents (47%) reported that they had already observed romantic relationships in the workplace. With such statistics, it may be a good idea for HR to plan ahead for any possible eventuality. After all, employees spend one third (or more) of their time at work – it seems only natural that Cupid may strike there. “Given the number of working hours most of us spend at our workplace, it is no surprise that more people are engaging in (office romances). It’s unavoidable as businesses these days are demanding longer working hours, resulting in less personal time for staff to mingle and socialise out of the office,” explains James Foo, Director of HR, Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa. So what are some of the problems with office romances? Aside from some awkwardness, there are important legal issues for HR to think about. If one party is in a position of authority or management, being romantically linked can be
According to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted last year,
84% of Generation Y respondents say they would see no problem in engaging in a romance with a co-worker
Talent management How love flourishes at AirAsiaExpedia Divya Ramaswamy, head of Search Engine Management, Asia-Pacific for AirAsiaExpedia (AAE), explains how she and her husband, business analyst Ram Balasubramanian, work together with the airline and online travel agent. How did you and your husband decide to join AirAsiaExpedia as a couple? I was referred for this Search Engine management role in AAE by a former manager of mine from Google. The manager, being a common acquaintance, also referred my husband for a Business Analytics role there. Fortunately for us, both roles worked, and here we are! Were there any challenges or problems faced when the two of you decided to come onboard? Having worked and studied together for about four years, we are very comfortable with each other’s working styles and our individual temperaments are such that they complement each other. Moreover, while we’ve reported to the same people in the past, that didn’t pose any particular problems. If anything, working together has helped us understand each other better as people. And as far as work goes, there is always so much to learn from each other particularly since we’ve branched out into completely different fields. The HR and management team responsible for hiring us in AAE were aware that we were married and didn’t have any reservations with that. What did HR say to you both when you first joined? I don’t think anyone has really given thought to us as being a couple working in the same office. Both of us are strong believers of workplace etiquette and being professional at all times, and the company environment is such that everyone’s friendly with one another, so, us being a couple is a non-issue. I doubt there will ever be a need to have “formal” guidelines or sit-downs to discuss ‘todos’ and ‘no-nos’ if other couples join or if current team members start dating each other (unless obviously there are reporting conflicts).
perceived as sexual harassment or favouritism. The worst case scenario could be that if the relationship goes sour, the subordinate may file for sexual harassment. Or, a colleague could accuse the couple of corruption.
The role of HR It is important that HR becomes the driver of the entire situation, and not simply take a backseat. The team should at least have some form of protocol or an advanced plan that it can refer to, instead of scrambling to come up with a solution when it actually happens. For Alessandro Paparelli, Regional Executive Director, Human Resources & Organisation at Salvatore Ferragamo, the position of the company should be clear. “There is only one decisive factor, and that is whether a conf lict of interest exists or not, and that should be clearly defined,” he says. “To simplify, what represents a conf lict of interest to me in similar situations is either a hierarchical relationship between the two, or the exposure to confidential information by at least one of those involved.” He adds that if a conf lict of interest exists, it is imperative that HR acts. “HR should intervene to resolve the problem and find a possible solution by discussing with those involved, even taking the initiative when the existence of the relationship is indirectly reported, with reasonable certainty,” advises Paparelli. This view on not having a conf lict of interest is echoed by several other HR practitioners. “We need to stress that romance between supervisors and subordinates is strictly a no-no, and that is the most worrisome of office romances,” says Foo. “As long as the parties involved are not in a reporting line relationship and there’s no conf lict of interest, I have no issues with it,” says Eugene Lam, Global HR Vice President, Applied Materials. According to Linda Lim, Head of People & Culture, AirAsiaExpedia, trust should be the guiding principle. “We do not have any issue with office romance as we trust our people to manage it professionally,” she said. “After all, we focus a lot on hiring extremely bright people with the right values so we have confidence in them to be capable of handling any situation intelligently,” she explains. Lim says that it is made clear to all new employees that couples in a romantic relationship and family members should not be reporting to each other. She says that she trusts that employees will keep the wider organisation informed if such
a conf lict of interest ever takes place. “We treat each other with the utmost respect and that includes respecting the right to find love anywhere. After all, you can’t control matters of the heart,” says Lim. “We also have a relatively young workforce and most of them are singles so it just doesn’t make sense for us to be rigid or it will mean losing our talents in such a competitive talent market.”
From the mouth of a HR Practitioner “I have encountered this situation a number of times, in various ways. There have been cases in which ‘informants’ gossiped to me about it, but the romance was never disclosed. As it didn’t pose any organisational complications, I simply pretended I didn’t know. Privacy should be disturbed only if there’s a very good reason. Another time, one of the two lovers actually came to me to ‘come clean’ and ask for advice. I explained the policy, reassured that there was no conflict of interest in that case, and left the decision to them whether to make it known or not. They decided to keep it private, and so did I. However, I told them that I was taking the responsibility of ‘sanctioning’ that there was no conflict posed by the relationship, and that they could always refer back to our conversation and to my position, should they take any action about it in the future. There was an audible sigh of relief in the room after I said this.”
Alessandro Paparelli, Regional Executive Director, Human Resources & Organisation, Salvatore Ferragamo
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Visit www.gv.com.sg to book your movie tickets. ISSUE 13.2
Training the train people The generational shift of the workforce and sustained rebound in the employment market has created a strong need to retain and transfer knowledge to the next generation for business success. Morris Cheung, HR Director, MTR Corporation, describes the Hong Kong rapid transit railway system’s unique emphasis on training By Shalini Shukla-Pandey
Escalating service expectations and demands from customers and the general public mean that HR needs to understand the core of the business – the customer, says Morris Cheung, HR Director, MTR Corporation. “Customers continuously ask for more new and high quality services,” says Cheung. “It’s not surprising then that one of the top strategies for leading companies is fostering a culture of innovation.” Workforce planning has also become an important task in HR across industries, including transportation. Leading organisations are looking to identify gaps between the supply and demand of workforce in order to meet ISSUE 13.2
MTR Grand Awards for Outstanding Contribution are the corporation’s highest form of recognition for staff
MTR Corporation specific business requirements. The ability to identify these gaps gives HR at MTR Corporation the insight needed to prepare for current and future business needs. “The company’s strategic manpower planning and resourcing mechanism helps maximise resource utilisation and meet new manpower requirements in a structured manner, ensuring timely project delivery,” says Cheung. “Also, developing training programmes helps to enhance staff competencies.” In today’s highly mobile and globally competitive corporate culture, and with baby boomers ageing out of the workforce, MTR Corporation and other big employers are accelerating efforts to develop future leaders.
Holistic training & development support The training function at MTR forms a direct partnership with line management, and the ultimate ownership of the training intervention rests with staff and line management. “Training interventions are customised and outcomefocused, leveraging technolog y to enhance learning effectiveness,” says Cheung. MTR engages its employees through building a ‘Learning Organisation’ (LO) culture. The
Overview of Training & Development Support All Staff • • • •
Healthy Living Programme Series to build staff wellness Work Improvement Team Programme to foster a staff engagement culture Learning Organisation initiatives to unleash staff’s innovative potential E-learning portal (e-induction, e-personal skills programme, ebook club; e-seminar & language express)
Senior Management • Executive Continuous Learning Programme for learning contemporary business practices • Executive Excellence Consortium for sharing companies’ best practices • Executive Learning Digest as Quarterly Learning Resources Guide
Managerial / Supervisory Level • Integrated Staff Development Programme for supervisors and managerial staff for manpower needs • Leadership capability enhancement programme for newly promoted supervisors and managers • Managerial and Supervisory Curriculum equip managers and supervisors with required competencies
Frontline Staff • Customer Service Refresher, Mindset & Skills Workshop to enhance staffs service professionalism • Non-Supervisory Curriculum to equip staff with required competencies • Continuous Selflearning initiatives / Best Practice Guidebook to set clear service standard.
Corporation provides comprehensive training curriculums, programmes, and self-learning packages to accelerate the growth and utilise the potential of different levels of employees. This brings organisational success through cultivation of talents, says Cheung. The LO journey requires continuous effort to foster the learning, sharing and innovative culture through LO Champions’ support. “To help LO Champions take up their role as change agent in the Corporation, a customised Learning Organisation Champion Certification Programme has been organised,” says Cheung. “This programme focuses on enhancement of knowledge management, innovation skills and facilitation skills acquisition.” Different business divisions have their own manpower needs. Therefore, division-specific development programmes are developed to suit their needs. The Integrated Staff Development Programme (ISDP) programme targets staff from general grade to senior supervisory level in the Operations Division. It aims to nurture a potential pool of talent by equipping staff with supervisory skills and knowledge to help enhance their competencies and readiness to take up greater job accountability at the next level, meeting long-term manpower needs in supporting business growth. To continuously develop staff to meet long-term manpower needs, as well as enhance management skills, a variety of functional and function-specific career development and certification programmes have been organised for supervisors and managers in various divisions. The programmes have been developed in partnership with local, mainland China and leading international tertiary institutions including, the University of Wollongong in Australia, Tongji University in Shanghai and Beijing Jiaotong University. The changing competitive environment requires even senior leaders to continue to learn and develop, says Cheung. “The Executive Continuous Learning Programme (ECLP) is designed to provide leaders with a platform for learning the latest best practices in business, refine their skills, and understand political opinions and community concerns,” he explains. The programme features contemporary training methods, including innovative net-based learning and traditional seminars, workshops, and business classes delivered by leading universities and institutions.
WHO’S WHO IN HR
Self learning support To foster a continuous learning culture and accelerate the learning and development of staff to support business growth, MTR attempts to integrate latest mobile technology into the learning and development strategy to provide self-learning resources for staff to enhance their skills and knowledge, for example the customer service mobile application, “ESpedia”. Moreover, the e-Learning Centre allows staff to enjoy one-stop access to a variety of online learning resources on management and language for learning and development anytime, anywhere. Also, a number of computer-based self-learning packages and learning videos are available in the Learning Resource Centre. Subjects include general management, supervisory skills, customer service and leadership. Online databases, such as ProQuest, are subscribed for staff. To encourage innovative thinking, further resources in various formats (e.g. video, pamphlet, etc…) are developed for staff regularly. A learning package – ‘4 Clicks to Teamnovation’ – consists of a creativity assessment, mobile learning portal, practical learning kit and innovative video drama for MTR on innovation tools, making a comprehensive learning package to staff on innovative thinking skills. “All in all, as our HR vision, we engage and collaborate with staff to make MTR a leading multinational company,” Cheung concludes.
Work improvement culture MTR has a strong work improvement culture, formalised in its Work Improvement Team (WIT) “You have a Say” programme. “The company benefits from the cost saving initiatives and the streamlining of work processes that result from WIT projects,” says Morris Cheung, HR Director and WIT Council Chairman, MTR Corporation. “At the same time, the WIT culture encourages staff members to improve themselves personally and professionally, helping the company to meet business challenges.” In 2012, there were 823 Work Improvement Team (WIT) projects, contributing to the total project realised savings of HK$30.9 million (US$3.99 million) through enhancing equipment reliability and safety, improving customer service, streamlining work processes, and saving energy.
At a glance • Total number of staff: Hong Kong: 14,000 Worldwide: 21,000 • Size of HR team: 273 • Key HR focus areas: - Partner with internal customers to realise strategic goals, - Promote staff wellness, foster harmony and instil both corporate and civic pride, - Develop and inspire staff to strengthen our core Hong Kong business and embrace global opportunities for growth, - Cultivate a global corporate culture of continuous improvement, collaborative innovation and customer centricity, - Promote and share best practices to cultivate robust international management frameworks.
Morris Cheung HR Director, MTR Corporation
General Manager – HR, MTR Corporation
General Manager – HR (China/International & Development), MTR Corporation
• Building an international talent pipeline
• Talent management in emerging markets
• Cultural agility in a globalised workplace
• Employment laws in Asia ISSUE 13.2
Global Talent Management Building an international talent pipeline Employers are caught in the midst of a global talent squeeze, forcing HR to leverage on creative talent sourcing practices and global talent competencies. HRM looks into what it takes to build a truly international talent pipeline By Shalini Shukla-Pandey Employers are increasingly looking beyond borders to recruit the best talents and spur their organisations forward. It is no wonder therefore that more and more companies are becoming global in their HR practices. According to PricewaterhouseCopper’s Annual Global CEO Survey, one of the top strategies CEOs are using to meet talent challenges is deploying more staff on international assignments (59% of executives surveyed cited this strategy). Boeing is certainly one of these, says Timothy Lynch, Regional HR Director – Asia Pacific, The Boeing Company. “Globally, our supply chain is robust; more than one-third of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft structures are built in Asia,” he points out. “So we look to hire top talent from the region first to create a greater local presence.” While Asia will continue to have a huge demand for talent, there is a scarcity of good ones and the challenge is to attract, retain and engage, says Achal Agarwal, President, Asia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. “We ideally want both quick and effective development of talent. However, the reality is that this tends to be difficult to achieve in practice,” he says. Successful companies typically have their talent management strategies deeply anchored with business reality, where talent management is focused strategically on value-creation and not only transactional in nature. 26
Succession planning CASESTUDY:
Logitech Moninder N. Jain, Senior Director – Marketing (Asia Pacific & Japan), Logitech started his career with Logitech in India and progressed through a variety of roles before he moved to Singapore. Having joined Logitech as a country manager for India in August 2004, Jain moved on to progressively handle Southeast Asia and then the North Asia market. “These two assignments were for countries I did not know but for a company I knew well as the years went by,” said Jain. “I finally started to handle all aspects of Marketing for Asia Pacific and Japan as I had gained adequate knowledge and understanding of multiple markets through my moves within the company.” “Being willing to move enables the company to think about investing in your career development – provided performance is good of course,” Jain added. “For some people, getting ‘thrown into the unknown’ maybe a high risk strategy but then that is the only way you can prove that you can be successful in different environments.” In each country he worked in, Jain was on a local compensation and benefits package in each country you worked at. “Being ‘local’ forced me to fully adapt quicker than if I were on a full expat package,” he said. “You learn more about how the locals live, how and where they shop, the tax and investment climate, etc... The less insulated you are, the better your chances of understanding the local market landscape and hence the better your chances of success,” he added. Logitech’s stance on internal development of staff through mobility helps it build an international talent pipeline. “At any point of time, instead of looking ‘outwards’, it is more motivating for the entire workforce for the company to promote internally,” said Jain.
“They skew towards creating opportunities with relevant experiences for their talent to accelerate their development,” says Agarwal. “Moreover, while talent development and management will be driven at all levels, there is likely to be increased focus on expedited and holistic leadership development at the lower and middle management levels, especially as baby boomers prepare to retire.”
Grooming leaders from within While there is an increasing demand to recruit skilled and experienced management level employees, one of Boeing’s key philosophies where international talent management is concerned is grooming its own leaders from within. The Boeing Leadership Centre brings together employees from across the world to learn best practices, network, and gain skills that they can then bring back and implement in their home countries. “Boeing has been investing tremendous resources in the Boeing Leadership Centre in St Louis in the US, where we have leaders teach other leaders,” says Lynch. “At the Leadership Centre, senior Boeing executives teach at least two classes so that class attendees and future leaders model the behaviour expected of leaders.” Kimberly-Clark also emphasises the importance of real-life experience and on-the-job learning. “We have a leadership development programme anchored around providing experience, exposure, and education with a 70:20:10 ratio respectively,” says Agarwal. “Our 28
development programme mainly focuses on giving people the opportunity to work on stretch assignments.” These assignments are actually real-live business situations outside employees’ normal operating environment. These talented individuals also get to interact with leaders who are not necessarily from their country, business unit or function. “We believe that such diverse exposure amplifies their learning and expands their perspective,” says Agarwal. “In addition, it also provides our leaders an opportunity to work closely with key talent from across the organisation and become mentors.”
Creating a sustainable talent pipeline If HR directors are to create robust global pipelines in new markets, they need to have strategies that are far more sustainable than merely mobilising new expats. One key method is through internal employee development. Boeing fosters employee development by providing many avenues for employees to learn and develop. “We have also implemented an employee high potential programme to identify future leaders,” says Lynch. “Employees can take advantage of the Learning Together Programme, mentoring, on-the-job training, rotational assignments and technical excellence programmes.” Boeing’s Learning Together Programme is an industryleading tuition assistance programme for employees interested in pursuing learning opportunities and critical skills development. Participants are encouraged to choose education programmes and courses that enhance job performance, career growth and skills improvement. Agarwal says that while mobility helps in meeting short-term demands and specific needs, for sustainable long-term solutions, the organisation requires a more local focus on talent supply. “A successful approach is when mobile expats are entrusted to develop and groom talent wherever they go, and inculcate the company values and culture, which make it easier for local talents to adapt faster and contribute more effectively,” he says. Kimberly-Clark boasts a healthy mix of expats and local talent and judiciously leverages people with tenured experience with the company. “In addition, we have had our high potentials work in different markets to lead the local teams while grooming their in-country successors,” says Agarwal. The company also works to be more strategic in its choice of expats, assignments, and locations. Staff expectations, including questions of ‘what next’ and ‘what would the focus be after this assignment?’ are duly managed, as frustrations tend to arise from mismatched expectations. “This happens when we have expats just to fill vacancies and then struggle to create opportunities for their career.
Also, by focussing on key capabilities that are critical for success and having ways to measure and recognise them, potential pipeline-building becomes much easier and the supply constraint is lifted, Agarwal adds. Kimberly-Clark has a regional leadership development program that looks for high potentials from all the countries in the region and gives them cross-border development opportunities such as talent swaps. “We groom them for roles located anywhere in the region,” says Agarwal. “Needless to say, this also translates to developing them for global roles.” For example, some marketers have recently been swapped between India and Peru and Chinese sales leaders have been sent to the US and UK. The most important thing in attracting, retaining and engaging talent is to have a winning culture. “Our employees have already seen our strategies working and our employer brand is getting stronger as word spreads about our wins,” Agarwal explains.
Challenges of a mobile workforce
With a more mobile labour market comes a whole host of different challenges. Like many other multinational companies, one of the HR challenges that Boeing faces is the growing scarcity of skilled talent. “The aerospace sector, like many other technologybased industries, faces a skills shortage here but we try and overcome this challenge through workforce planning,” says Lynch. “Boeing has a robust workforce planning process that allows us to understand business requirements and forecast near- and long-term skill needs.” By doing so, the multinational aerospace and defence corporation develops employees in the right areas and also maintains focus on hiring and retaining diverse talent that matches its innovation and growth strategies. For Agarwal, the definitions of ‘global’ and ‘local’ are getting much more intertwined in today’s flat world. Kimberly-Clark is faced with Asian talent moving to the West to be educated and then wanting to come home because of the dynamic economies here, and also local talent aspiring to go to more developed businesses to develop skills which can help them achieve their full potential. He adds that how companies leverage these aspirations and the flexibility they show will determine their overall success. “At Kimberly-Clark, we are getting not only expat talent from the West but also from markets in Latin America. In turn, we are exporting Asian talent to the US and other markets,” says Agarwal. “This introduces diversity of thought and also provides a developmental experience which is sought by our high potential talent.” ISSUE 13.2
For Agarwal, the definitions of
are getting much more intertwined in today’s flat world.
CULTURAL AGILITY in a globalised workplace
As the world continues to globalise, more executives than ever are taking up international assignments. While there are the usual cost concerns and tax issues, employers also need to address the challenge of cultural adaptability. How can companies better prepare employees and promote swift integration in a different office? By Vivien Shiao Shufen
In today’s globalised world, companies that want to succeed need employees who are able to adapt to foreign environments and work well with the local workforces. In simple terms, what today’s firms need is a pipeline of culturally-savvy employees. However, relatively few employers concern themselves with cultural differences when they send staff for international assignments. In a recent survey by Towers Watson, cultural adaptability was found to have often been overlooked by employers – only 19% cited it as a challenge on selecting candidates for duties abroad. For Brent Tignor, Regional HR Manager, Stepan Asia, the results are not surprising due to two main reasons. “First, it is common for the people initiating these cross-border movements to have not worked in another country themselves, naturally leading to a lack of understanding of the importance of cultural adaptability,” he explains. “The second reason is that the impact of cultural adaptability is difficult to quantify in terms of dollars and cents, relegating the issue to an afterthought.” With the increase in cross-border movements worldwide, it has never been more important to deal with the cultural aspect of global talent mobility.
It’s common sense… isn’t it? The biggest myth that employers tend to perpetuate is that cultural adaptability is a matter of common sense. But contrary to this popular belief, being culturally savvy is much deeper than this. Cultural differences exist because there are different cultures – workplace norms in one culture may not be acceptable in another. A case in point centres around the giving of employee feedback in China. A recent survey by Career Innovations found that what is perceived as positive and effective feedback in the US in inappropriate to Chinese employees. In the US, feedback is usually given to each individual in a direct way. However, Chinese employees are accustomed to receiving feedback as a group. Companies noticed a higher turnover rate among employees for no apparent reason, until they were able to bridge that communication gap.
More organisations are becoming aware of the high costs of
So, is it a case of simply giving employees a manual of business etiquette to read before they leave for a new place? Or better yet – just tell them to follow what their new colleagues do, and don’t do what they won’t? Author of Cultural Agility: Building a Pipeline of Successful Global Professionals and Professor of human resource management at Rutger University in the US Paula Caligiuri argues that cultural agility is more than just cultural awareness, or cultural adaptability. “While there are times when cultural adaptation is needed for success, there are times when cultural adaptability is inappropriate, such as the best approach to maintain the organisation’s standard,” she explains. “There are also times when taking the time to create a new form – one which represents neither culture completely – is the best approach for international assignees.” She says that the most effective expats toggle across these approaches – knowing when to adapt, when to persuasively override, and when to integrate culturally diverse norms, practices, or perspectives. “They leverage on each of these three, when needed and when appropriate,” she adds.
The right fit More organisations are becoming aware of the high costs of ‘failed’ international assignments, particularly due to employees failing to deliver or work effectively in new cultural environments. “International assignments have a lot at stake, as the company makes a heavy investment in the individual to
Cultural boo-boos If it’s any consolation, even high-profile personalities make cultural boo-boos, proving the point that cultural agility is more than just knowledge or common sense. In a reception with Queen Elizabeth II, US First Lady Michelle Obama briefly put her hand on the Queen’s back – an act that is a big no-no according to standard protocol. Touching the Queen of England goes against strict rules about royalty that are set in stone. This came after a 1992 incident in which then Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating put his arm around the Queen to direct her through a crowd. The most infamous of them all is former US president George Bush, who can most probably fill an encyclopedia with his bloopers. His top gaffes include winking at Queen Elizabeth II, giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel a backrub, and talking with his mouth full at the 2006 G8 Summit.
enhance business results,” says Virendra Shelar, Head of Recruitment and Talent Development – Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Sony Electronics Asia-Pacific. “If they can’t fit the culture of the new country, it can create a lot of issues for them personally and professionally.” At Sony, before employees get posted overseas for an extended period, they are educated by HR and encouraged to speak to employees already posted in the country of assignment. Staff even get the opportunity to visit the country and work in the location for a month or two to see if they fit the culture. “This may sound like an additional cost, but I feel this is worth it,” Shelar notes. For IBM, choosing the right candidates for international assignments is done using a mix of objective and subjective assignments. “In my view, emotional intelligence (EQ) is a good indicator of cultural agility,” says Sharon Koster, Southeast Asia Organisation and People Leader, Strategy and Transformation Consulting, IBM Global Business Services. She explains that HR needs to be able to assess leaders based on four main factors: personal awareness of their own culture, an assessment of attitude towards cultural differences, knowledge of different culture and practices, and the ability to understand, communicate and work effectively with people across cultures. For Tignor, not every employee has what it takes to work abroad. “I would say this is one of those abilities where a person either has it or they don’t,” he explains. “Cultural agility is about openness – having an open mind (and)
“In today’s world, a company without culturally adaptable leaders is a company that is destined to fail. No company will ever reach their full potential without a culture of cultural adaptability” – BRENT TIGNOR, REGIONAL HR MANAGER, STEPAN ASIA being open to learn new things and experiences. Not everyone has that mindset or sees value in it.”
Developing competencies It is not only enough to pick the right people for international assignments, HR also has the responsibility of preparing and equipping those workers. “What HR can do is implement cross-cultural exposures, even if it is just a short-term project that lasts only a few days,” advises Tignor. “Some people may not even realise that working in a different cultural environment is something they actually enjoy but it’s up to us in HR to provide these learning and opportunities and encourage a company environment where people feel comfortable in trying new things.” At IBM, a programme has been initiated to ensure cultural competence. This usually includes onboarding, training and establishing cultural mentors from the new host company. “Creating cultural dexterity whilst staff are still junior in their careers can also be beneficial for grooming future leaders,” says Koster. “This is usually done by inclusion in global project teams and international programmes that are greatly encouraged by IBM.” For Virendra, HR needs to prepare staff to make sure the transition is smooth and the assignee adapts and adds value as soon as possible.
“Classroom training is important, but so is actually being in the assigned country with the employee to show him the ropes, making sure he or she is aware and well-briefed on the country, culture, working environment, introducing him or her to the work teams and other day-to-day things,” he advises. Caligiuri believes that while cultural knowledge is needed, it may not be sufficient to ensure there is a sufficient level of cultural agility among expatriates. “Rather than any single HR practice, we need to remember that cultural agility is built over time through a series of progressive, high-quality developmental opportunities,” she says. “Enhanced international business trips, global project teams, and international volunteerism opportunities can be highly developmental experiences for building cultural agility.” She also suggests encouraging peer-level collaborations with colleagues from different cultures and opportunities to receive specific feedback on performances in a cross-cultural context. “In today’s world, a company without culturally adaptable leaders is a company that is destined to fail,” concludes Tignor. “The challenge for HR is to start by staffing the company with individuals who are not just strong technically, but also exhibit the competencies that allow someone to be culturally adaptable. No company will ever reach its full potential without a culture of cultural adaptability.” ISSUE 13.2
Talent management in
Emerging economies are ripe with opportunities, but navigating through their unique talent landscapes can pose some unexpected challenges for HR. In this HRM exclusive, three HR experts share their experiences on managing diverse pools of talent in China, India and Indonesia By Sumathi V Selvaretnam
CHINA China’s talent conundrum Home to 1.3 billion people, China has an immense pool of talent. Yet, there is also a significant skills shortage, says William Chin, Staffing Director, Qualcomm Asia Pacific. Demand is clearly outstripping supply in labour markets. Global companies with a strong presence in China are expanding from first-tier cities into second and third-tier cities. “Their continued expansion creates an even greater demand for human resources,” says Chin who is based in Beijing, China. Chinese firms are beginning to build strong global brands with an entrenched foothold in China and now are expanding globally, says Chin. “They are now competing against international recognised corporations for global market share. This too has created more demand for human resources to fill critical skills.” Despite growing demand, Chinese universities and technical colleges have not kept up with academic and industrial training to meet the needs of industries. “Schools have been slow and inadequate in modernising their curriculum and developing their graduates to meet the demands of society,” Chin says. Internships or other forms of co-curricular education are also not the norm. This leaves many Chinese graduates ill-equipped for entry-level work in the workplace and companies are required to provide in-depth and extended in-house training for basic entry level competencies, Chin says. “Developing talent and leaders in China is a marathon, not a sprint.” Chin advises HR directors in China to take a long view on employee and leadership development. “New graduates know that their university
education is not up to the rigour of what is expected in the workplace. Firms who invest in strong training programmes are more likely to attract stronger talent.” China’s Generation Y are also a privileged class who come from a generation of “Little Emperors.” They have high expectations of their employers and managers, and are eager to climb up the corporate ladder. “They don’t realise that beyond the surface level, racking up a few projects does not equate to depth of experience. Generation Ys will look for other employers for career growth if it is not offered by their current employer,“ Chin says. This contributes towards the high turnover rate in China. According to Chin, the average tenure for top talent in China is two to three years, especially amidst stiff competition and poaching of talent among competitors. “Rather than focusing on a single top performer HR directors need to work with business unit heads to identity several replacement players in case the incumbent employee resigns.”
William Chin Staffing Director, Qualcomm Asia Pacific
INDONESIA Engaging Generation Y in Indonesia
With a population of 245 million people, Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world. Despite its vast talent pool, recruiting the right candidates is a challenge, says Ven Raman, Managing Director - Southeast Asia, Carl Zeiss Group. Even interview scheduling at times is not taken seriously, he shares. “They are very casual about it.” Generation Y job seekers are an ambitious lot and tend to be focused on their title or position. For example, they would preferred to be called an “Account Executive” instead of a “Sales Executive.” They also like to have visibility of future steps, says Raman.
While Generation Y job-seekers crave a challenging job scope on paper, the reality is very different, says Raman. “When we empower them to take the challenge, there tends to be some resistance. Challenges need to be given in gradual steps and communicated clearly.” Young employees also appreciate a modern working environment with extras like good coffee or a wellstocked pantry, says Raman. Employers cannot afford to be too rigid. Generation Y employees are wired to their gadgets and expect employers to let them access Facebook or chat once in a while, he says.
INDIA Spiralling wage costs in India One of the main talent challenges in India is the high level of attrition, says Subeer Bakshi, Director, Talent and Rewards, Towers Watson. Recent HR studies by Towers Watson indicate attrition to be at 17% across the Indian economy. The root cause for this is spiraling wage costs and the consequent inequity, says Bakshi, who is based in Bangalore. “People who change jobs improve their financial position faster than those who stay. In such an environment, loyalty does not pay.” Bakshi offers some solutions to alleviate this problem. One sure way is to expand the supply of talent. However, this a long term solution and not enough is being done currently, he says. “In the medium term, companies will have to shift the emphasis away from direct rewards to total rewards. Employees need to choose employers beyond monetary reasons and that will happen only when companies make systemic changes to how they approach HR.” According to Towers Watson, companies need to understand their employees and themselves better, and then come up with compelling employee value propositions. “Our research from the recent Total Management and Rewards study indicates that companies that have a view of HR that is integrated and aligned perform significantly better than the rest. The days of running HR by gut feel are over.”
When it comes to Generation Y, there is an even larger focus on individualism, and instant gratification in India, says Bakshi. The means that employers have to offer a lot of choice to Generation Y to allow them to customise their work and have a say in their role. They also appreciate virtual working and flexible work arrangements as well as enterprise applications on personal devices. More Indian women are entering the workforce than in the past. In terms of entry, the numbers are healthy for services sector but not so much for the manufacturing sector, though that seems to be changing, says Bakshi. However, a lot of women drop out of the workforce when they start a family, says Bakshi. “Consequently, too few women are reaching the ranks of middle and senior management and are practically nonexistent at the board level. While this is changing for the better, the pace of change seems glacial.”
Compensation management is another concern. According to Raman, there is a huge disparity of remuneration among different industries. “People are not very interested in performance-based salaries even though the potential to earn more could be higher. They tend to prefer fixed monthly income.” Confronting the local legal landscape can be daunting for new entrants into the marketplace. Labour laws and regulations are written in the Indonesian language and not officially available in English, apart from unofficial translations, says Raman. “Laws are also very favourable to employees. Terminating an employee due
to performance issues is a challenge.” This makes it even more critical to hire the right person for the job. “Companies would need to invest more effort in the recruitment process,” Raman concludes.
Subeer Bakshi Director, Talent and Rewards, Towers Watson
Ven Raman Managing Director – Southeast Asia, Carl Zeiss Group
Legal matters FOR HR
For any organisation with businesses operating across Asian borders, it is vital to have a basic understanding of the way each market operates, particularly when it comes to employment. HRM looks at employment legalities across the region By Shalini Shukla-Pandey
There is great diversity in the laws and employment practices across Asia, reflecting the nuances of various societies and their histories, languages, and cultures. “For example, Singapore is geographically close to Indonesia, yet their respective employment law regimes could hardly be more different,” says George Cooper, partner at Ashurst Singapore and head of the firm’s Asian regional employment practice. Singapore has a common law system and there is a relatively low level of statutory prescription to compliment the common law principles pertaining to employment contracts, particularly for senior employees. Indonesia, on the other hand, is a civil law jurisdiction with a prescriptive and highly protective Manpower Law, he points out.
Recent laws passed in Asia There was quite a bit of activity in the employment law space across Asia in 2012. Singapore’s new retirement and re-employment scheme commenced on 1 January last year, requiring employers to offer ‘re-employment’ to workers upon reaching the prescribed retirement age of 62 years. The re-employment obligation continues to apply up to 65 years of age. The Singapore Employment Act is currently under review. Phase one of the review is expected to be completed this year, while the second phase will likely commence in the last quarter of 2013. Malaysia has introduced a minimum wage (following Hong Kong in 2011), extended maternity leave entitlements to all female employees, and expanded regulations against sexual harassment in the workplace. “It also set the minimum retirement age at 60 years,” says Cooper. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the New Labour Code was passed on 18 June 2012. It will repeal and replace the current Labour Code when it takes effect on 1 May this year. “The New Labour Code broadens the rights of employees in Vietnam, particularly in relation to maternity leave, overtime and minimum wage requirements during probation,” says Cooper. “It also introduces stricter requirements around the employment of foreign labour in Vietnam and regulates the use of labour hire and outsourcing arrangements.”
Notable (legal) notes One of the strangest workplace laws in China is the Trade Union Law. While there are locally different enactments of labour laws in China, the same law enacted by the national government can be differently implemented in different areas. “People across China can only join one trade union,” says Judy Ng, Asia Marketing Communications Manager, DLA Piper. “This is not the right of association (结社权) universally applied.” Furthermore, enterprises contribute a trade union fee, based on two per cent of the total amount of wages, rather than the number of employees who are members of the trade union. Even without a trade union, two per cent of trade union preparation fees should be contributed. The different types of statutory leave in different jurisdictions are also interesting. While annual leave, sick leave and maternity leave are all fairly standard across Asia, there are other types of statutory leave in some countries, says Cooper. For example,
• ‘casual’ leave in India, • menstrual leave in Indonesia, Japan and Korea, • single parent and victims of violence leave in the Philippines, and • sterilisation leave in Thailand. The Japanese government passed legislation in 2008 requiring all citizens between the ages of 40 to 74 to undergo a medical examination each year. “As part of these examinations, citizens must have their waists measured and compared against government ‘maximum waist size’ guidelines,” says Cooper. “Employees who exceed the maximum size are given counselling and support to lose weight,” he explains. “Employers and local governments who do not succeed in reducing the number of employees over the maximum measurement face higher payments into the national insurance programme.”
In China, wedding leave entitlement is
for employees aged over 25 years (men) and 23 years (women) Source: George Cooper, partner at Ashurst Singapore and head of the firm’s Asian regional employment practice
Flexibility and mobility in law International employment mobility is an increasingly important area in the current age of globalisation. Multinational companies need to give careful thought to the transfer model and documentation to be adopted whenever they move employees from one jurisdiction to another, says Cooper. “Basic questions such as ‘where will the employee have an employment contract relationship’ and ‘with which entity’ are often overlooked, to the company’s peril,” he adds. The most appropriate model and documentation will differ depending on the source country and destination country, so a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will not work. However, having extremely localised policies may be detrimental to the business as well.
TOP TIP First and foremost, HR professionals must recognise the diversity from country to country, says George Cooper, partner at Ashurst Singapore and head of the firm’s Asian regional employment practice. “Also beware of making assumptions, as popularly held views may not always be correct,” says Cooper. He explains that in Singapore, for example, employee coverage under the Employment Act as a whole (including unjust dismissal provisions), being distinct from more limited coverage under the part of the Act that deals with hours of work, overtime and annual leave, is often misunderstood.
Employment Law “There has been a massive increase in instances where employees leave the organisation with confidential and sensitive information” – MICHAEL MICHALANDOS, PARTNER, BAKER & MCKENZIE SYDNEY “A common mistake employers make is to try and have policies that are absolutely tailored and localised to every single jurisdiction,” says Paul G. Brown, Head of Employment, Baker & McKenzie Asia-Pacific. “It is more effective to find a jurisdiction where the bar is higher and use that as a benchmark to formulate policies.” With greater mobility in jobs within Asia also comes the challenge of protecting confidential information. “There has been a massive increase in instances where employees leave the organisation with confidential and sensitive information,” says Michael Michalandos, Partner, Baker & McKenzie Sydney. “There has been a lot of litigation in this area.”
Singapore’s first labour strike in 26 years In November, 171 SMRT bus drivers from China went on strike to protest the disparity in pay they received compared to their Malaysian counterparts. It was the first strike in 26 years in Singapore. Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin said strikes were illegal for ‘essential services’ unless those involved gave the employer 14 days of notice of the intent to go on strike. To prevent such an episode from happening again, employers have been urged to review their grievance-handling procedures.
Singapore has moved to protect intellectual property through specific data protection legislation which came into force at the start of 2013. To give organisations time to adjust, there will be a “sunrise period” of 18 months before the data protection rules are enforced. “The Singapore Personal Data Protection Act regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal data,” Cooper explains. “There are certain exceptions applying to employment-related data but employers still need to be mindful of the new scheme and implement policies and practices to ensure compliance.”
Looking ahead Baker & McKenzie believes that ultimately, there will be a lot more consistency in the region and globally. This is because larger companies will want to ensure that their entire supply chain does not have any labour practices in it which are undesirable or focused upon by consumers. “If the rubber comes from Malaysia, the computer components come from China, and some of the stuff was done in Taiwan, and your call centre was in Manila, while your financial centre was in Australia, we could tell you whether the labour practices in those countries met International Labour Organisation benchmarks,” says Brown. He says labour laws in the region will migrate to a higher world standard when it becomes apparent that large organisations are only going to be interested in supply chains that are compliant with such levels, he adds, alluding to the Foxconn scandal. While the development of employment law across Asia is fascinating because it is closely linked with the economic aspirations and development of the different countries, there is no clear trend towards higher or lower levels of regulation across the region, says Cooper. “This is because governments have to strike a balance between attracting capital investment and facilitating growth, and seeking to spread the economic benefits of growth equitably across the population.” In Indonesia, for example, many argue for further reform to encourage business investment, including de-regulation of labour. However, this can be met by fierce resistance, as can be seen from various demonstrations in the country recently. Large-scale protests continue in Indonesia over outsourcing practices and wage claims, says Cooper. “It will be interesting to see where the debate takes us in the future.”
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The HRM Congress Series provides a platform for HR and business professionals to share their expertise and address pressing challenges with practical, real-world solutions.
2nd Annual Talent Mobility Congress 15 & 16 May 2013 Managing talent across borders for maximum productivity, retention and results Sponsored by:
6th Annual Employment Law Congress 26 & 27 June 2013 In-depth discussions and practical solutions focused on the changing dynamics of labour laws throughout Asia
+65 6423 4631 | www.hrmcongress.com
MOBILE TALENT in Asia With international assignments set to increase within the region, greater collaboration between serviced apartments providers and HR departments will ensure that employees have a smooth transition. HRM discusses what accommodation options are available in Asia for mobile talent By Shalini Shukla-Pandey
Many companies are now expanding in Asia to tap on the region’s significant growth opportunities. In fact, according to a study by Towers Watson and Worldwide ERC, 43% of companies across the region project an increase in cross-border expatriate assignments between now and 2014. The 2011 Talent Mobility Study also found that 85% of these organisations are likely to send their staff on international assignments within Asia. This increased talent mobility creates strong demand for quality accommodation, including serviced apartments in Asia. Serviced apartments bridge the gap between hotels which cater mainly to short stays, and the traditional rental market. “While serviced residences provide the comfort of a hotel, a serviced residence is an appealing choice to help HR departments ease the relocation process for mobile talent for several reasons,” says Raphael Saw, Far East Hospitality’s Chief Operating Officer. These include activities to help employees acclimatise to the local environment and culture, and facilities such as kitchens that add to the feel of a “home away from home”. ISSUE 13.2
Serviced Apartments “In some cases, guests who are so comfortable with the service and convenience provided at serviced residences opt to stay on throughout their contracts,” adds Saw.
Singapore remains Asia’s leading city For the second year in a row, Singapore is Asia’s leading city as reported in the Fifth Edition of PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC’s) Cities of Opportunity study. Singapore climbed two places to 7th position out of the 27 cities surveyed worldwide, ranking first in both ‘ease of doing business’, and ‘transportation and infrastructure’. Singapore also ranked highly in areas of economic clout and technology readiness, and was the only Asian city to break into the top 10 in ‘health, safety and security’. The city is also among the top 10 ‘City Gateways’, a new indicator category that measures a city’s global connectedness and attraction to the outside world. Overall Singapore placed in the top 10 in the city gateway category – a new category which measures a city’s global connections and attraction beyond its local borders. This was partly due to its high ranking in the number of international association meetings and international tourists. Singapore’s transportation and infrastructure ranking stemmed from the quality and availability of housing, and efficiency, reliability, and safety of its public transport system. Gautam Banerjee, Executive Chairman of PwC Singapore, said, “Singapore continues to be a key financial hub in Asia, and its high ranking reflects the city’s attraction as an economically competitive and easy place to do business.” “Apart from its strong trade network, infrastructure and skilled workforce, Singapore is also able to stay nimble to seize opportunities, which is a characteristic that helps it cope with economic uncertainty,” he added.
Home away from home
Ascott has grown to be the
world’s largest international serviced residence owneroperator with more than 30,000 apartment units in over 70 cities across more than 20 countries
Besides the services and facilities available in hotels, guests at serviced residences can expect more space, comfort and privacy. For instance, with a fully-equipped kitchen where guests can easily whip up a meal, separate living, dining and sleeping areas, as well as modern amenities such as home entertainment systems, broadband and wireless Internet connectivity, guests staying at Ascott certainly enjoy that feeling of a home away from home. “For residents who are new to the city, staff can also help them navigate the environment through residents’ programmes such as city tours,” says Alfred Ong, Managing Director, Southeast Asia and Australia, The Ascott Limited. “For the busy professionals, our staff can arrange for services including courier, secretarial services, and even grocery shopping.” Furthermore, instead of incurring higher costs through booking multiple rooms in a hotel, companies are able to save on accommodation expenses by housing executives in a single larger serviced apartment where each executive can still enjoy the privacy of individual bedrooms. Companies can also accommodate their staff in serviced apartments for an extended period, without having to commit to long rental leases.
Serving Asia Having a regional presence helps a serviced residence’s working relationship with corporations and relocation companies. “As we look towards extending our presence within the region in the near future, we believe that we will be able to collaborate more closely with our corporate accounts and relocation companies regionally, as well as within each country,” says Saw. “For example, we can easily assist current guests in customising their properties of choice for the next country where they will be relocated to,” he adds. Ascott’s extensive network of properties enables it to also be the preferred choice for companies wherever their executives travel to. In the region, Ascott’s serviced residences are strategically located in key cities including Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Bangalore and Chennai. These properties offer convenient access to major business districts, financial centres and hubs of commerce. With three brands of serviced residences – Ascott, Citadines and Somerset, the serviced residence provider is able to cater to the different lifestyle needs of
expatriates and business travellers. The premier Ascott-branded properties offer top business executives efficient business support services in an exclusive and luxurious environment. Citadines, on the other hand, provides independent travellers the flexibility to choose the services they require. For business executives with families, the Somersetbranded properties are ideal, as they come with facilities such as playgrounds, indoor playrooms and children’s swimming pools. “We work closely with corporate travel bookers and relocation companies to deliver tailor-made accommodation solutions that suit the needs of expatriates and business travellers,” says Ong. In the next few years, Ascott expects to open more than 40 serviced residences worldwide. These include new properties in cities such as Macau, Foshan and Hangzhou in China, Danang and Hai Phong in Vietnam, and Ahmedabad and Hyderabad in India. “We will continue to expand our presence and target to achieve 40,000 apartment units globally by 2015,” says Ong.
The Ascott advantage When it comes to value for money, and that important homely environment, more and more companies are choosing Ascott-branded serviced residences for their executive relocation requirements. “To reward our valued corporate bookers, Ascott has a specially-designed programme called ‘The Link Club’, which enables us to show our appreciation for their loyalty through rewards and exciting lifestyle offerings,” says Alfred Ong, Managing Director, Southeast Asia and Australia, The Ascott Limited. The serviced residences provider has a dedicated team of hosts to contact long-stay guests before their arrivals, setting up their apartments the way they prefer. “This can mean changing the soft furnishings such as cushions, pictures, paintings and ornaments and buying our guests’ favourite flowers to put in their apartments,” says Ong. “Our Ascott Hosts will continue to be the main contact for guests throughout their stay, assisting with services such as business services, grocery shopping and even babysitting,” he adds. Even after guests have returned to their home countries, Ascott continues to keep in touch through a simple email every now and then to find out how they are and how they have settled in after moving home. This warm hospitality appeals to guests, Ong says. Ascott is also the only serviced residence company to have set up a global training and innovation centre, the Ascott Centre for Excellence, in Singapore to continuously improve its capabilities.
HR Summit speaker profile
BIG CHANGES AHEAD
Representing a new generation of European-based management thinkers, guest contributor and HR Summit plenary speaker Anja Foerster believes that this new generation will also have a profound impact on workplaces throughout the world. Here, she describes a new way of creating leadership and incentive that is already succeeding at the business level
In 1492, half a century after German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented mechanical movable type printing which allowed the mass production of printed books, Johannes Trithemius, the Abbot of Sponheim, wrote a tract called ‘In Defence of Scribes’. The Abbot was railing against the fact that printed books were destroying the culture and skills of the highly-trained scribes of the monastic tradition. The problem: Who needed scribes when a book could be typeset and printed with ease? In order to voice his concerns to a large audience, the Abbot ironically relied on the very technique against which he was fighting. His treatise was not copied by scribes but set in movable type, in order to distribute it quickly and cheaply. Trithemius was clinging to an idea that had well surpassed its raison d’etre. But regardless of his concerns, he couldn’t stop progress from happening. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press not only made the skills of the scribes obsolete, but also facilitated the Protestant Reformation. Today, the internet has brought us to another revolution that has and continues to profoundly change the world and every facet of our lives. Furthermore, it serves as a catalyst for a workplace revolution. New web-based collaboration tools, and the expectations that Generation Y brings to work are disrupting traditional management models.
BIO BRIEF Anja Foerster is a bestselling author and management consultant working with leading business enterprises both in Europe and around the world. As one of the most influential voices in the European speaking circuit today, her mission is to help organisations identify growth opportunities and game-changing strategies. Itâ€™s all about innovation, energy and change. Her book Anything But Ordinary won the Business Book of the Year Award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007. ISSUE 13.2
HR Summit speaker profile The consequences are far-reaching: One is, for instance, that the effectiveness of positional power is diminishing. Generation Y is now entering the workforce and is making its mark. This generation is very different from past generations because Gen Y-ers have grown up with new possibilities and are expecting the social context of the web to ref lect the social context of their workplace. The web does not know any hierarchical authority structures, top-down leadership appointments and orderfollowing employees. Hence, Gen Y-ers will use the realities of the Internet as yardsticks to determine whether a company is attractive to work for or not. Companies wanting to recruit young talents need to adjust to these realities, and leaders who still want to be followed need to be aware of the base of their authority. The test of leadership is simple: Are others willing to follow you? Can you mobilize others without formal authority? Tomorrow’s management systems must encourage the development of natural hierarchies, where power f lows up from the bottom rather than down from the top, and where leaders emerge instead of being appointed. How is it possible to lead a company this way? W. L. Gore & Associates, mostly known for its GoreTex range of high performance fabrics, gives an interesting answer. People at Gore are able to decide on their own who they want to work with and on which project. This means that tasks are not assigned but rather chosen voluntarily. Furthermore, there are no titles, no bosses, and no formal hierarchy. Sounds too good to be true? Maybe even naïve? Doesn’t it propel the risk of free-spirited employees letting the company sink into anarchy? And what about discipline? One of the most powerful things that creates discipline at Gore is that everyone in the organisation knows their performance will be ranked by their peers, and that their compensation will depend on this ranking. There is one powerful lesson to be learned: peer pressure is much more powerful than top-down pressure. This system leaves no room for sloppiness. And vice-versa, it doesn’t leave room for bosses that control and command either. Some of the skeptics might say that Gore certainly is an interesting experiment, but not applicable to their organisation. Managing the old and trusted way still is the best method of getting things done. The decision is yours, of course. But when we take a look at the core elements of the Gore model, it becomes quite obvious that they are
The test of leadership is simple: Are others willing to follow you? Can you mobilize others without formal authority?
becoming more and more competitive and cannot be written off as either naively optimistic or hopelessly delusional. The core characteristics of the Gore model - an organisation where leaders are not appointed but emerge from below; where information is freely shared; and where people work as a collaborative network – are imperative in order to get the best brains together. An organisation without these elements won’t be able to attract the necessary talent – and certainly won’t be able to retain it. In the 21st century, companies face a daunting array of new challenges For example, how to create truly inspiring work environments; how to get innovation from everyone; and how to change as fast as change itself. These challenges can only be addressed with fundamental changes in the way we manage and lead people. The companies that win in the future will be those that evolve their management models faster than their competitors.
er Catch Anja Foerst ‘live’ at the HR Summit 2013 TOPIC:
The Ultimate Competitive Advantage An inspiring and provocative session on management and innovation. Foerster represents a new generation of Europe‘s management thinkers.
24-25 April 2013 Marina Bay Sands Singapore
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Helping women look & feel beautiful Triumph has constantly been at the forefront of innovation, not only for its products but also its service. An example of this is the “Shapewear Cocoon” project born out of a threeday training session on service innovation under the Service Excellence WSQ Framework. Staff who attended the session generated the novel shaping service idea, which is based on the five different body shapes (YSIOA) and aims to provide a shape-makeover for customers, ultimately helping them achieve an hourglass figure. Also, through the virtual avatar iPad app – Shape Sensation Virtual Avatar – a customer can visualise and see instantly the benefits that shapewear can offer. The project has transformed customer experience, resulting in increased productivity, enlarged market share and heightened brand awareness. Training staff has indeed enabled Triumph to bring science to the art of retailing.
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24 - 25 April 2013
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Join us at Asiaâ€™s biggest and most popular HR event of the year HR and Senior Management: A Strategic Partnership Ven Raman Managing Director, Carl Zeiss and Carl Zeiss Vision, Southeast Asia
Aligning HR Strategies with Business Goals Daisy Dai VP HR, Walmart eCommerce China (yihaodian.com)
Transformation, Leadership and Change Management Harjit Gill CEO, ASEAN & Pacific and Chairman, Philips Electronics Singapore
Succession Planning at GE Michael S G Boey Executive & Talent Development Leader (Asia Pacific), GE Healthcare
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Lynn Leahy International Speaker & Business Coach
Lead With 2020 Vision- Building the Workplace of the Future Today Cheryl Cran Entrepreneur, International Speaker & Author
Successful Implementation of Your HR and OD Strategies John Murphy VP HR & OD, PANDORA Productions
In Pursuit of Great Performance: Astra on Grooming Leaders F.X. Sri Martono Vice President & Chief Corporate Human Capital Development , PT Astra International Tbk
CapitaLandâ€™s DNA - Building a Strong Company Culture Tan Seng Chai Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand
Hiring and Inspiring the Right Talent for Success - The Coca Cola Way Gaurav Sharma OD / Learning & Talent Acquisition Lead, Coca Cola Singapore Beverages
From HR Executive to Leader: What Makes the Top 2% Successful Linda Talley International Speaker & Leadership Development Coach
Bridging the Disconnect Between Asian and Western Managers Stephen Krempl International Speaker, Author & Coach
Boosting Productivity at 3M: Business Execution Process to Align Resources and Drive Change Joy Roman Head of HR, Southeast Asia Region, 3M
Unleashing the Power of the R Factors!- How Organisations are achieving Greater Performance, Productivity & Profitability Jonathan Low Trainer, Coach & International Speaker
Managing & Engaging Gen Y, Millennials and Linksters Ragi Singh Vice President HR, Southeast Asia, Viacom International Media Networks
Boost Your Social Hiring & Employer Branding Appeal Aadil Bandukwala Talent Acquisition Advisor, Social Media & Community Professional, DELL India
Case Study Ajit Nambiar Head of Compensation, APAC & EMEA, Google Asia Pacific
Managing Change in a Non-Profit Organisation Liza Thomas Regional Chief of Human Resources, East Asia Pacific Region, UNICEF
Personal and Organisational Transformation to Drive Innovation and Positive Outcomes Laura Goodrich Global Workforce Innovator & Author
Tan Ai Sim Human Resources Director, Lenovo ASEAN
Productivity Panel - Doing More with Less Engage existing manpower and use internal systems more strategically to uphold an efficient and productive workplace Tommy Ng General Manager, Group HR GuocoLand
Goh Ban Ping Head of Regional HR Sennheiser Electronics Asia
Gaurav Hirey Regional HR Director GroupM Asia Pacific
Ang Gey Wee Head of HR Maersk Singapore
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The future of
Technology is changing the way employees learn and process new knowledge and information. HRM looks at some of the innovative ways companies are delivering their learning and development initiatives to engage and enlighten their workforces By Sumathi V Selvaretnam New technologies have brought about a sea of change in the way companies deliver their learning and development programmes. As the usage of devices like smartphones and tablet computers becomes more pervasive, learning is no longer limited to on-the-job training or classroom sessions. “Workers (particularly Generation Y) expect to be able to use technolog y now as part of their learning programme, in the same way as they use it in their personal lives,” says Stephen Jenner, Director, Professional
Development Centre, British Council Singapore. According to the Cegos AsiaPacific Survey on Major Learning Trends in the Region, technology-led learning is “leap-frogging” more traditional distance learning methods. It is enabled by a strong engagement in social media and very high usage of mobile smartphones, tablets and minitablets, the survey found. “For example, almost 25% of the Indian learning population surveyed use these technologies to learn, says Jeremy Blain, Managing Director, Cegos Asia-Pacific. ISSUE 13.2
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Corporate learning Modes of learning leading the way include e-learning, mobile learning, dedicated education sites, and the growth of ‘open source’ learning provisions, the survey found. While the Asia-Pacific region as a whole appears to be leading the uptake of new mobile tools and technologies to enable learning and development, the Cegos survey found that Singapore appears to be lagging behind. Few Singapore employees embrace blended learning, training by smart phones and tablets is limited, and online learning is not fully embraced, says Blain. According to Carsten Rosenkranz, director of business development at e-learning service provider Knowledge Platform, “only about 20% of the 500-plus companies registered on the Singapore Stock Exchange are using e-learning in an effective or advanced way.”
Going mobile The key benefit of mobile learning is that it can be accessed from anywhere, often at the precise moment when the learning is required. Learning on the go allows the student to return to course materials and discussions once the formal training is over, says Jenner. “Training may happen in the classroom, but real learning happens outside, when learners put into practice the concepts and learning they’ve been exposed to, and reflect on that in a continuous cycle,” says Jenner. The social nature of mobile devices also opens up opportunities for better conversations and discussions that can further facilitate learning. For example, mentors can quickly respond to queries or contribute their views to an online discussion. Mobile learning is also great for quick refreshers of material. Some companies post short training videos to reinforce the learning that took place in the classroom. Users can access these easily before embarking on a new project or activity. With the use of mobile functionalities like GPS and QR codes, mobile learning programmes can also be further customised to be applicable in different contexts and situations.
Gamification Playing games at work is no longer taboo if a new learning trend is anything to go by. A number of organisations have introduced “gamification” into their training mix to engage their staff. Here, elements of video games are introduced at the workplace to inspire learning. For example, employees are given points or badges after they complete certain activities. Scores are kept
on leader boards to promote friendly competition and evaluate progress. Employees are rewarded based on their progress. Serious games or immersive simulations seem to be most prevalent in Korea and Japan, indicating that the more mature markets who have previously successfully taken up technology- enabled learning reach this stage earlier than most, says Blain. “But my predication is that the emerging economies will rapidly take this up, as they are already embracing mobile learning, having ‘leapfrogged’ traditional e-learning.”
Blended is the best While technology is taking learning to new heights, the human touch is as important as ever, say experts. This is where blended learning offers a more balanced approach, combining classroom sessions with computer-mediated activities. The British Council in Singapore is preparing its first run of blended learning versions of its most popular programmes. “We asked HR and Training Managers about their expectations on price. Not surprisingly, they expect investment in training which involves e-learning to be more cost effective. I think this is because when employees leave their desk to attend a face to face training programme, the cost to the employer is much more tangible. Whereas when employees complete e-learning programmes at their desks or even at home, the cost is somehow hidden,” says Jenner. Providers of blended and e-learning need to understand this and take it into account when designing programmes, adds Jenner. “There is also a challenge for providers in convincing those who pay for and take e-learning courses that this form of training is just as valid and requires the same level of commitment as face-to-face training.”
Gamification at Lush Cosmetics Lush Cosmetics has launched a game-based, interactive, digital employee training programme for its European operations. Called “Lush Quests” the game introduces employees to the company’s brands and products through interactive stories, challenges and rewards. In one challenge, employees are required to sort products into different categories. Upon completion of a quest, employees have to take a 10-minute quiz that tests their understanding of the new knowledge. The game, which is hosted by cloud service provider Memset, can be accessed through in-store laptops as well as employees’ mobile phones.
hidden gems Just when you thought that you had seen it all in Asia, here are a few undiscovered jewels that may make you change your mind. From Bhutan to Vietnam, HRM explores those lesser-known countries that may just become the next MICE hotspots By Vivien Shiao Shufen
Asia is a region full of hidden gems that have yet to be fully discovered as MICE destinations. For companies tired of going to the same few locations all the time for overseas trips, destinations like Bhutan, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka may offer an exciting new opportunity. While these locations may not be as well-known as their counterparts in Bali and Phuket, they shine in their own right. Located in different parts of Asia, these exotic places have tremendous potential for corporate travel that has yet to be tapped on. It may be a good idea to visit these destinations soon – with their reasonable costs, exciting activities and incredible scenery; they won’t remain under the radar for long.
Charming Vietnam Vietnam has emerged as an attractive economic hub in Asia and represents one of the world’s most fascinating and culturally diverse regions. Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is often called, is the modern, cosmopolitan capital located in the south of the country. Ho Chi Minh City has much to offer in terms of its diverse local cuisines, the vibrant and rich culture of the local people, and its colourful history and heritage. For companies keen on Ho Chi Minh City as a MICE destination, consider holding an event at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza. Opened in 1999, Sofitel Saigon Plaza embodies the French elegance and culture in Vietnam’s largest metropolis. In late 2008, the hotel underwent a major renovation, resulting in a classic yet contemporary ambience for leisure and business travellers while in Saigon. The hotel has 286 rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that look out to breath-taking views of the city or the Saigon River.
Sofitel Plaza Saigon
Sofitel Plaza Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City has much to offer in terms of its diverse local cuisines, the vibrant and rich culture of the local people, and its
colourful history and heritage
It is ideally located on the serene and historical tree-lined Boulevard of Le Duan, a few steps from major international companies and walking distance from deluxe shopping malls, and tourist attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace. Sofitel Saigon Plaza allows clients to embrace their own creative vision of their meetings. This is combined with the know-how of the hotel’s dedicated team of meeting planners and concierges, who are on hand throughout the event. From the initial idea to the final stages, Sofitel’s planners will be there each step of the way, while the concierges will carry out the execution and work alongside with the organiser to ensure a smooth, successful event. Sofitel Saigon Plaza offers state-of-the-art multifunction rooms with advanced technology catering to a wide range of event styles. The pillarless Diamond Hall can accommodate up to 400 guests, offering a large convention space for tailor-made conferences and events.
Tranquility in Bhutan For companies that want to avoid the hustle and bustle of a city, Bhutan is just the perfect place. Situated in the Himalayas between Tibet and India, this peaceful kingdom boasts a stunning natural landscape and is known as the happiest country in the world. With its pristine and peaceful environment, Bhutan is a fitting destination for stressed-out and overworked
employees to recharge and rejuvenate. Uma by COMO, Paro is the largest luxury accommodation in the area that also caters for the MICE market. Covering 38 acres, the hotel provides a peaceful atmosphere without distraction, allowing for the focus and clarity needed for high-level strategy meetings and brain storming. The incredible natural and cultural surrounds are also an adventurous backdrop for teambuilding activities and experiences. Uma Paro has several spaces suitable for MICE activities. Its meeting room is in a beautiful environment that can hold up to 12 people and is fitted with all the equipment necessary for meetings including Wi-Fi and projectors. There are also outdoor areas suitable for breakout sessions for delegates. The central courtyard, poolside terrace and the archery field can all be used for other group activities, break-out sessions, or for entertaining. Staff at Uma Paro can help to organise a range of team building activities for employees to build camaraderie in their teams. Situated in the beautiful valley of Paro, companies can choose to embark on day walks for employees to keep fit and appreciate the stunning scenery. Visitors will get to hike up to monasteries, ancient temples and nunneries, in a place full of culture and tradition. For a more rigorous activity, consider the camping trek. Trained guides lead guests on multiple-night camping treks to inspiring destinations like Jimilang Tsho Lake, along the scenic Druk Path. The challenging terrain can develop critical thinking, concentration, strength and flexibility for a different and fun workout and experience. Luxury accommodations await at the hand-picked campgrounds, giving employees something to look forward to each night. Norman Luxemburg, General Manager, Uma Paro says: “Bhutan offers a peaceful escape from the hectic nature of our modern world, and as such is the perfect MICE destination for high-level executive sessions. Uma Paro’s luxurious accommodation and high-end service in a place of such outstanding natural beauty answers a growing need amongst senior executives for peaceful destinations. Focusing on strategic decisions away from daily life can result in good progress and unparalleled ideas.”
Life’s a beach in Sri Lanka
Uma Paro entrance 58
If the beach is a must for your MICE event, the ancient Dutch outpost of Galle, on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka, may just be what you are looking for. Known for the iconic Galle Fort, Galle also has stunning beaches with crashing waves and unbelievable sunsets that make it the chosen honeymoon destination for many couples. It is also getting increasingly popular as a MICE destination. One hotel to consider is Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle, which embraces a rugged outcrop along the coastline just before the city centre. It was designed by a well-known Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa.
Jetwing Lighthouse has 60 deluxe rooms with traditional Dutch style teak furniture that match its polished teak floors, exuding old world charm. They are all equipped with everything a guest could possible need, from individually controlled air conditioning and a ceiling fan, IDD-enabled telephone, large LED television with cable channels, and large private balconies to relax and soak in the views. For a sumptuous treat, consider putting up select staff in one of the hotel’s three themed suites. There is the ‘Fa-Hsien Suite’ that harks back to ancient China with traditional prints and delicate vases, soft lanterns and lamps. The heady charms of the ‘Ibn Battuta’ Suite is reminiscent of vibrant Morocco, with its colours, rich textures and heavy decor. And the ‘Speilbergen Suite’ is reminiscent of the Dutch colonial era with characteristic furniture and distinctive colour combinations. These suites each have a Jacuzzi, separate lounge, and a personal butler service. For companies that intend to organise a big event or dinner at Jetwing Lighthouse, the Eddystone Hall can comfortably accommodate up to 250 people. Located at the top of the rotunda with a separate entrance, it gives
maximum privacy if needed for special functions. The hotel will take care of every need from the table set up to food and beverage. Its team can also recommend reputed suppliers such as florists, decorators, dancers, DJs, singers, musicians, photographers, or anything else that may be required. The smaller of the two conference rooms, the Galle Room, is large enough to hold 100 people comfortably and is popular for business meetings, seminars and various small gatherings. Amenities such as registration tables, media systems, projector, stationery, chair covers, lighting, table and hall set ups are all provided. With such amazing facilities and accommodation, delegates can leave their worries about logistics behind, and enjoy everything Galle has to offer.
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Linking passion and productivity Caught up in the grind of daily life at the office, with seemingly little time for our own lives and loved ones, managers and office employees alike often find themselves singing along to the tune of The Beatles; “Eight days a week / Is not enough to show I care”. However, Michael A. Podolinksky, author of Productivity: Winning in Life proposes practical solutions on how to make the most out of the 24 hours given each day – integrating work, personal commitments, and relationships into an approach for maximising the personal value derived from each of them. Firstly, Podolinksky sets our definition on productivity right – Productivity is about value-adding our lives through doing what is of the greatest value for the individual, and not the business approach of efficient cost cutting or doing more in less time. With that, the book sets out by explaining the links between passion and productivity, followed by the pitfalls of some “productive” behaviours and how to divert away from them. The reader is then given practical tips and guides based on how to plan
and prioritise productivity. These are all based on Podolinksky’s ABCDE Priority System, where he encourages prioritisation of activities according to how important it is to complete them, and his ACTS-IM Goal Attainment model, which suggests changing the perspective of “goal setting” into “goal achieving”. The book cuts to the chase, offering a practical application rather than waxing lyrical about countless organisational theories. This makes it a suitable read for the everyday professional at the workplace, caught up with a pile of to-dos and scheduled meetings. Picking up this book would be the first step to adding value in life for the important things – and hence, being productive, as Podolinksky would gladly concur.
Title: Productivity: Winning In Life Author: Michael A. Podolinsky Publisher: McGraw-Hill Cost: $25.15
Guiding reluctant managers Everyone wants to do a job they love. However, when people rise to a managerial position, they sometimes discover that management is not exactly their cup of tea. Will this then, eventually lead to a loathing for one’s job? By building upon individual strengths, author Devora Zack shows that a job one loves and a managerial position are not necessarily on opposing spectrums – a personal and natural style of management can be developed by understanding one’s personality. At the start of the book, a short self-assessment categorise readers into one of “thinker” or “feeler” personality categories. Thinkers tend toward making impartial and logical decisions, giving direct feedback to everyone, and find difficulty interacting with inconsistent and illogical people. On the flipside, feelers rely on empathy in decision making, but their tactfulness can sometimes hinder communication. The book goes on to address managerial issues using both personalities. Firstly, it eases one into accepting the managerial position as a new part of their job. Secondly, readers are prepared to 60
deal with employee-related workplace issues: being flexible, coping with relationship changes, instilling accountability, and dealing with emotions. Lastly, the book addresses self-awareness in personal preferences for introversion or extroversion, and developing a personal brand of charisma. The book has no rules of management set in stone – only tips and guidance on how to manage through understanding personalities. Written in a style atypical of the usual solemn tone of a management-related text, this book will appeal to any manager (accidental or not) looking to gain management skills which are flexible, simple, and effective. Moreover, the book gives managers the sense of assurance that the job is … well, still the job they love – just with a slight addition to the equation.
Title: Managing for People Who Hate Managing Author: Devora Zack Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc Cost: $28.36
Ho Chee Tiong Sales & Operations Director
Getting a bird’s eye view on human resources Business intelligence tools provide organisations with a useful overview of their workforce, allowing them to identify trends and react quickly to issues before they escalate, says Ho Chee Tiong, Sales & Operations Director, Prosoft HRMS Imagine as you are on the flight to your next destination, the captain announces over the PA system that he has absolutely no idea how far and how high the plane now is, and whether the fuel will be enough to last the entire trip. Sounds absurd? Well this could be happening in your own organisation. Does your management know that production is not able to catch up with sales? Do they know all things being constant, that 20% of your current workforce will be retiring in two years’ time? Your management may not have the information to alert them on such events that may cripple the business. Many organisations in the Western countries are deploying Business Intelligence (BI) tools to help them make day-to-day and strategic decisions. BI tools typically provide ‘Dashboard’ user interface that unifies various sources of data into information through a simple, organised and up-to-date user interface (charts, scales etc.). In the areas of HR, the high availability of a consolidated view of vital metrics such as staff attrition, training costs, work hours, places and overtime allows decision makers access to information that will otherwise take ages to be collated and shared with other personnel. Some advantages are simply too many to ignore: • Information that is easy to read and understand – data presented in charts are definitely easier to read than rows and rows of data. Besides being able to gaze at critical information through constant data flows, the ability to further drill down into the details without over cluttering the summary information is an ideal way to share information
to various parties who have different needs in terms of data details. • Customisation of data to various organisation levels – data can also be filtered according to the sensitivity level or on a need-to-know basis. For example, you can configure top management to access all data, middle management to see within their own division, and the operation level to see just certain details that they need to get their job done. • Identify trends – this allows the organisation to identify trends and make fast reactions to issues before they become problems. For example, if employees who join the company through an graduate programme stay on four times longer than employees recruited from other sources, HR should look into reasons on why that is the case and exploit those factors to have a better staff retention rate. • Proactive approach – similar to a natural disaster warning system, the system can send automatic pop-up alerts and triggers based on user defined pre-configurations of thresholds. For example, the HR Director can receive an automated email once staff attritions exceeds X% in any given month. Timely and accurate information enables decision makers and even operational employees to make informed decisions. The high configurability of the dashboards enables easy sharing (user permissions) and alignment of information across the organisation, saving precious time and resources, while making the organisation more efficient and effective in responding to issues and opportunities.
• Tel: 6333 6133 • Email: email@example.com • Web: www.myprosoft.com www.unit4apac.com
New appointments Mark Lim
HR & Operations Support Manager, C-Mar Asia Mark Lim is the new HR and Operations Support Manager of C-Mar Asia. Before joining his current organisation, he was working for Frigstad Offshore. Due to changes in the business model and job scope, Lim decided to leave his previous company to pursue a more challenging work environment. He has over 15 years of HR experience in different
industries. He spent 10 of these in the oil & gas industry. Starting out in a generalist role, Lim gradually moved into a recruitment specialisation role. In his current role, Lim oversees both business HR and the commercial handling of business growth. In time to come, he hopes to provide more transparent leadership and guidance to the team and the
company in the region. “The market outlook for the next few months seems to be moving at a gradual pace. However, investors are optimistic and positive of the continued growth in the oil and gas sectors, and will emphasise on efforts in developing new technology as well as the upgrading of facilities and services to meet more adverse challenges.”
Regional HR Director, South Asia, Ingersroll-Rand Eddy Neo has recently joined IngersollRand South East Asia as Regional HR Director, South Asia, overseeing the HR function for its Industrial Technologies business in the South Asian region. As the HR Director, he will lead the HR team to support the business’ growth and strategies in the region. Eddy has around 15 years of HR experience across various industries such as shipbuilding, IT, education and chemicals. Prior to Ingersoll-
Rand, he spent seven years with WR Grace, a premier specialty chemicals and materials company, where he was working as HR Director, South Asia. In 2013, his major focus will be to implement new career roadmaps for service technicians and engineers, roll out leadership programmes for new people managers and high potential employees as well as work with business leaders to implement employee engagement initiatives.
In his new role, he aims to ensure that the HR team remains adaptable and responsive, and is able to support the business both on a strategic level and day-to-day tactical activities. “I am excited to join IngersrollRand, especially at this juncture where there is a lot of focus on achieving dramatic growth in emerging markets within region. I am looking forward to contributing to the success of the organisation.”
Senior HR Business Partner, Global Products & Solutions, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Asia Pacific Jasmine Teo has recently joined MasterCard Worldwide as the Senior HR Business Partner, Global Products Solutions (GPS) for APMEA. In this role, she will be driving the people agenda as part of the leadership team for GPS, one of the fastest growing business units in MasterCard. Teo joins MasterCard from pharmaceutical firm Bayer where she was the Regional HR Business
Partner for Asia, based in Singapore, covering 15 countries and 1,500 employees. Prior to Bayer, Jasmine was with British American Tobacco (BAT) for approximately seven years in a variety of HR Specialist roles covering Talent Management, Compensation and Benefits, and Organisational Development and Change Management. During her stint with BAT, Jasmine also spent a
few years in Vietnam, leading the talent development & culture change strategy. “I am excited to be part of this business where we use our technology and expertise to make payments safe, simple and smart in our vision to create a world beyond cash. I hope to make a difference to employees and the growth of the organisation in the Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa region.”
HR talent Mandy Lai
Senior Regional Manager, HR Asia, Vishay Intertechnology Asia
Years in HR? 16 years
Biggest achievement? I was delighted and proud to receive the Singapore HR award on Talent Management, Succession Planning and Retention. This award helps in employer branding and also gives us recognition about our programmes and efforts.
Why HR? I graduated from NUS in 1996 with a general degree and no clue as to what job I wanted. The opportunity came when I was offered a job as a recruitment consultant. This marked the foundation for my HR career. I love the human interaction, the projects and the challenges of the job.
Biggest challenge? Handling employees’ expectations. Sometimes we feel that we have done a job in HR but if the employees feel otherwise then you are not 100% successful as a HR professional. Balancing what we need to do and at the same time managing expectations is the hardest thing to do.
Why Vishay? In Vishay, every day is a learning day. I am inspired by my boss’s (VP, HR Asia) vision of HR. His vision and ideas are translated into projects for me and these keep me occupied and challenged. The employee value proposition covers four areas – Family, Health, Growth and Environment. We take care of our employees well by being profamily, maintaining work life balance, being actively involved in workplace health promotion and giving back to the community through charity and addressing employee’s developmental needs.
Family? Spending time with loved ones is the most important thing for me. Despite the workload, I always find time to go on vacation with my husband and spend time with my parents. What happens after hours? Spa time to relax and rejuvenate.
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Open workplaces Aside from the traditional feedback form, how can HR create a culture that encourages open sharing of ideas and opinions in the workplace?
Head of Graduate Development – APAC, HR, Barclays
HR can help to create this culture but it cannot do it alone. The buy-in from every member of the organisation to achieve this is necessary and starts at the top with the leadership strategy. Leaders of the organisation must define the culture, and then communicate its importance which must be lived and breathed to ensure that the message is clear. To create and maintain a culture, the most important thing is the people and this is where HR has its greatest responsibility. By recruiting people with the right mindset and who fit the values of the organisation, the first step has been achieved. At Barclays, two of the CORE behaviours embedded into our values are openness and sharing. HR helps to create this culture by equipping our managers with the capability to facilitate dialogue between employees and managers. Barclays concentrates on the development of individuals and teams by holding workshops and communication sessions which aid the development of this culture. It is important for HR not to do this in isolation but remember that we are also employees of the organisation. We are strategic partners in facilitating the culture by working through and with employees. This above all means that HR and Leadership must work together to set the right example and encourage the right culture.
VP HR, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific
A culture that encourages open sharing of ideas and opinions requires a winning of the hearts and minds of the management and employees. It has to be demonstrated, faithfully followed through as part of a living culture within the organisation at all levels. At Discovery, employees are constantly challenged on the job front. They have open access to job exchange programmes, job shadowing, and a formal mentoring programme – which offer them opportunities to experience work outside of their own silos, and provide them with additional exposure within the organisation. By walking in another person’s shoes, our employees receive a 360 perspective on the business and how different roles contribute to the success of the company. This encourages feedback and open sharing. Management must constantly engage with their staff. In addition to focus group sessions, regular learning lunches and small group coffee discussions with the President and Managing Director of the company, are great opportunities for employees to provide feedback in informal settings. Discovery has a very open communication culture. We are non-hierarchical and our senior management team is very open and approachable. We offer a welcoming environment that makes employees feel safe and comfortable going to their managers with ideas and opinions.
Foo Chek Wee
HR Business Partner, Visa Worldwide
Managers serve as the critical channel in ensuring that the workplace is open and interactive. They support the cultural change and are the ones who set the tone and define how work should be done. To support managers in creating an open culture, there are several tools that are typically available to them. An open physical workplace – instead of offices – facilitates open discussions and increased interaction. Technology has a key role too, with a common platform for sharing documents or having online discussion threads. HR is in a unique position to observe how business is run and provide managers with feedback on how their behaviour has an impact on the work culture. In situations where the feedback may be negative, HR has an opportunity to coach managers appropriately. HR also has a role to play in promoting an open culture by encouraging managers to reward and recognise employees that demonstrate collaborative behaviour. HR can facilitate small group meetings or focus groups that encourage employees to bring forth areas of improvement or innovative ideas. The best ideas do not necessarily come from the most senior employees, so providing a platform for people to submit innovative ideas can not only reap business benefits but also reinforce an open work culture. When these ideas are submitted, HR should ensure that they are evaluated and feasible ideas are implemented.
Jeremy Blain Managing Director, Cegos Asia Pacific Email: Jeremy.email@example.com
Effectively managing the transition
within your leadership pipeline Every year, thousands of managers will make the transition into new leadership roles – often managing managers for the first time. The actions these new leaders take, or fail to take, during their first 90 days will have a major impact on success for the individual as well as the wider organisational performance and morale. How can we enable success for the new leader & for the organisation? Jeremy Blain, Managing Director, Cegos Asia Pacific, tells us more It has been said that in any given year, half of an organisation’s workforce feels the direct effects of leaders undergoing transition and this figure is only going to be greater given the current economic climate. Let’s look at the different stages of transition within an organisation, from managing oneself to becoming an enterprise manager or CEO. Business writer and guru, Ram Charan, defines six transition passages in what he calls ‘The Leadership Pipeline’ model as illustrated in Figure 1. Every passage, or promotion, to a new leadership role brings a period of transition, the need for new skills and a set of new expectations, challenges and opportunities – from both a personal and a professional perspective. It is a time to leave the past behind and concentrate on the new job in hand. Transitions are times when organisations can be reshaped and recharged. But, they are also a time when a new leader is most vulnerable, often because key knowledge about the new role is lacking and new working relationships have yet to be established. What has been a proven model for success in the past for the transitioning a leader may not be a guarantee of success in a new role. So, how can the HR and talent management function help a new leader to make a successful transition? First, it’s important to recognise that different transition stages require very different skill sets. HR and the leader’s direct manager can both help to up-skill the individual and ensure the most appropriate learning and development tools are readily available. Second, of fundamental importance, is ensuring that the new leader has a clearly defined 90-day plan, as detailed by Michael D Watkins in his bestseller, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels.
Developing a 90-day plan The 90-day plan must address all of the key challenges the new leader faces. Typically the plan will include goals,
The Leadership Pipeline, a leader’s transitional journey. Ram Charan Managing Self
priorities and checkpoints, and will probably include a timescale for learning, establishing credibility, forming good working relationships quickly and securing some early wins. It is too easy to fall into old patterns of working, patterns which made the new leader successful in their previous role but not necessarily in the new one. The 90-day plan should guard against this activity and keep the individual on a path of development. This is where HR and talent management professionals can provide significant support. Diagnostic tools, such as self-awareness questionnaires, can play a key role in helping the individual understand where they currently are in terms of skills and competencies. Finally, unsurprisingly, the challenges newly promoted leaders face today are going to be tougher as a result of the current uncertain economic climate, even in more buoyant regions like the Asia Pacific. Business is changing, along with stakeholders and measurements of success. This is having an impact not just on new leaders, but on managers who have perhaps been in the same role for a number of years. Essentially these people, too, are in a period of transition, and my advice to every manager is to stand back and think about your role in the new landscape and reconsider it with fresh eyes: if you were new to your role now what would you be doing differently? There is no doubt that HR and the talent management function has a fundamental role to play in supporting talent transition in these changeable times.
Web: www.cegos.com.sg Linkedin: sg.linkedin.com/in/jeremyblain/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/cegosapac Twitter: @learntheplanet Tel: +65 6809 3097
Salt grill & Sky bar
The sky’s the limit Perched on the 55th floor of ION Orchard with stunning panoramic views of Singapore’s city skyline, Salt grill & Sky bar is literally heads above its competition. Opened by Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan two years ago, it features modern Australian cuisine that emphasises on fresh, seasonal produce and clean flavours. The restaurant has not ceased to fine-tune its offerings and scale greater culinary heights. Its refreshed menus offer something for everyone. These include a brunch menu, the fuss-free one course Express lunch, a twocourse Executive lunch, a Prixe Fixe menu, as well as Happy Hour and tapas offerings at the Sky bar. For breakfast meetings, consider having brunch at Salt grill & Sky bar. Some scrumptious dishes include the Wild mushroom on toasted brioche, preserved lemon and crème fraiche, the Salmon gravlax with scrambled eggs with truffle oil and semi dried tomatoes, as well as the char grilled chorizo sausage, corn fritters and tomato relish.
The executive lunch menu would be perfect for that client meeting, with impressive dishes like the Maori Lakes beef tenderloin with fragrant pumpkin puree, asparagus, dates and pickled salad and the snapper, char siu mushrooms and bok choy. For those in a hurry, the Express lunch has fast offerings that don’t compromise on flavour such as its char grilled tuna nicoise salad with white anchovies, and pumpkin risotto with goat’s feta and curry dressing. Both the restaurant and the Sky bar have the flexibility to be split, or combined as a single hosting venue. Canapés or set menus are available for corporate events. The restaurant has a seating capacity of 100, while the Sky bar can seat 25. Both spaces can fit 250 people standing.
For more information: Sky grill & Sky bar ION Orchard 2 Orchard Turn Singapore 238801 55th floor Tel: 65925118 Dress code: Smart casual
ONE-STOP HEALTH SCREENING in The Heart of Orchard Road At AsiaMedic, patients always come first. Come experience our warm and friendly service. + Customised Health Screening Packages + Friendly and Dedicated Account Managers + Hassle-free Booking for Appointments + Cosy Environment and State-of-the-Art Facilities + One-stop Health Screening and Radiology Centre
For more information, contact us at:
AsiaMedic Limited 350 Orchard Road, #08-00 Shaw House Singapore 238868 Tel: (65) 6235 8505 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.asiamedic.com.sg
‘The opportunistic expat’ Singapore’s rising reputation as a top city for both work and play is prompting a growing number of foreign professionals to move here without promise of a job or expat package, writes Mark Hall, Vice President and Country General Manager Singapore, Kelly Services
Vice President and Country General Manager Singapore, Kelly Services
An attractive expat package has long been viewed as an effective way for companies to encourage their employees to take on international assignments. Multinationals frequently rely on this tactic as a means to transfer specialist knowledge and corporate culture to their overseas offices. Singapore, as host to corporations from wide-ranging industries and geographies, is no stranger to such mobility strategies. However, as firms around the world grappled to cut costs during the 2008 financial crisis, many set about cutting back expat packages and transferring foreign employees onto local contracts. HR managers in Singapore also adopted this approach and a number of expat employees seemed prepared to give up certain perks to stay on in Singapore. Recently Singapore’s reputation abroad has begun to drive a new trend, the Opportunistic Expat. A number of professionals now see the opportunities on offer in Singapore as so attractive that they are willing to move here without even the security or promise of work, let alone an expat package. Even executives from the U.S. who have been traditionally put off by the disadvantages of dual taxation are starting to explore privately funded relocation to Asia. So, what’s leading these Opportunistic Expats to make such a seemingly bold move? With English as the primary language of business, state-of-the-art infrastructure, a vibrant culinary scene, favourable taxation, excellent tourism prospects and worldrenowned security, people want to be in Singapore. They 68
are also coming to recognise that, in a competitive job market, being on the ground will demonstrate their commitment. At the same time, some hiring managers are becoming increasingly reluctant to consider candidates who are based outside of Singapore when a diverse and qualified talent pool already exists here. With the prospect of continued budget pressures, it’s likely that more companies will come to see the Opportunistic Expat as a way of recruiting international experience and niche skill sets without the traditional costs. However, for the individual, the Opportunistic Expat model can have its drawbacks. Depending upon skills, experience, time of year and sector, the average time to secure employment for a senior manager can take from three to six months. Furthermore, once an individual does secure a role, there is no guarantee that their work permit will be approved. There are also the additional challenges of engaging with an unfamiliar recruitment process and integrating into a different employment culture. Research and workforce surveys by Kelly Services have noted a number of clear changes in employment trends in recent years, with freedom and flexibility increasingly outweighing older notions of certainty and security. However, despite a number of Opportunistic Expats successfully securing roles in Singapore, arriving without a job offer remains an unconventional approach, and is unlikely to become the norm in the near future.
About Kelly Services® Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than 550,000 employees annually. Visit www.kellyservices.com.sg and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter.
HR at work 7.45am I unlock the HR office and have my cup of Cafe21 with breakfast. I turn on the laptop and start to read and reply emails while having my breakfast. 8.30am Any one of my HR Business Partners will walk into my office, and either update me on what’s happening in her Business Unit or seek advice on any challenging issues she has encountered. I like the interaction and I always welcome that!
Senior Manager HR, Continental AG
9.30am Work processes start flowing in for my signature or approval either through the systems or hard copies. I will be off for the usual morning meetings with other Business Heads or have my one-on-one session with my staff to follow up on their development or progress in work assignments. 11.00am I prepare for other meetings in the week by getting information and presentation materials ready. 12.00pm As usual, I have lunch with my whole HR team at a nearby eating place.
1.00pm Back from lunch and I prepare for the next meeting. This could be with my superior, a followup with other colleagues on pending issues or queries, or a fortnightly Strategic Meeting with different teams. 2.30pm I make it a point to walk to the desk and speak with my HR team members individually on any HR related discussions. We always keep our “meeting” informal, updating each other on Business Unit related topics or clarifying any doubts. 4.00pm Good time to talk or communicate via email with colleagues from Germany on any HR matters, be it performance management process, our corporate development programme or even alignment of corporate initiatives with local programmes. 5.30pm End of the day. Run through the calendar for the next day and all set to go home and bring my dog for an evening walk.
Fiona Nesbitt Singapore
HR Roles Head of L&OD Hi Tech A fantastic opportunity has arisen with our client as APAC Head of L&OD. This is an excellent brand within the HiTec space, boasting a diverse global presence with offices in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia-Pacific. It is looking for a Head of Learning and Development and Organisation Development (L&OD) who will drive the organistions learning agenda with a key focus on change management and OD. This role will involve working closely with a highly intelligent and motivated stakeholder group to deliver on the overall effectiveness of the organisation, with a key focus on employee engagement, leadership & talent development, and change management. Ref: FN 189311. SG $250,000
HR Business Partner FMCG Our client has an extremely successful business within the FMCG sector, with over 60 locations across the globe. It is seeking a strong HR Manager/Business Partner to work closely in supporting the business on all areas of human resources. Reporting to the Regional HR Director, this role will require an HR Business Partner to work across all levels of the organisation utilising the dedicated HR admin, C&B, L&D and recruitment teams based in Singapore. This role will be looking after two sites in Singapore, with the opportunity to extend this to a regional role in the near future, covering various locations across Asia. Ref: FN 189251. SG $130,000
To discuss HR roles across Asia, please contact Theresa Hall on +65 6420 0516 or Fiona Nesbitt on +65 6420 0515. Alternatively, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org | EA Licence No: 12C6222. THE SR GROUP . BREWER MORRIS . CARTER MURRAY . FRAZER JONES . SR SEARCH . TAYLOR ROOT LONDON . DUBAI . HONG KONG . SINGAPORE . SYDNEY . MELBOURNE
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a leading economic development agency in tourism, one of Singapore’s key service sectors. Known for partnership, innovation and excellence, the Board champions tourism and builds it into a key economic driver for Singapore. STB aims to differentiatae and market Singapore as a must-visit destination offering enriching experiences through the “YourSingapore” brand. We are seeking dynamic and talented individuals with passion for the tourism and service sector to be part of our team.
Assistant Manager / Manager, Human Resource Development
Assistant Manager / Manager, Human Resource Management
Senior Officer, Human Resource Development
As part of the Human Resource Development team, you will contribute to the design and development of a competency development framework for STB; and will also support the development, design, conduct as well as evaluation of interventions to build organisational and individual capabilities within STB to drive sustainable growth of Singapore’s tourism sector. The projects and assignments which you will undertake will include and not limited to learning, organisation development, change management, culture development and employee engagement. You will also facilitate team discussion and training sessions.
You will be responsible for ensuring that the Board is able to secure the best talents via green harvesting. This entails the entire spectrum of attracting, selecting and managing scholars, interns and fresh graduates. In the course of doing so, you will also review the effectiveness of the recruitment channels (outreach, social media, partnerships, etc) in reaching out to this target audience. To ensure synergy in work done, you will work alongside the Recruitment team to ensure that all recruitment and manpower needs of the Board are met.
As part of the team that is responsible for developing an effective organisation through a progressive Learning & Development Framework, you will be involved in supporting the Board’s training programmes such as the administration and communication of training programmes, budget management, organisation of key initiatives and development and implementation of a Learning Management System.
Requirements You should possess a degree from a recognised university with at least 3 years of relevant work experience in learning and development and / or organisation development. Experience in andragogy, learning design, facilitation and knowledge of the latest L&D or OD practices are essential. Apart from having strong communication, interpersonal and analytical skills, you should be able to conduct learning needs analysis and have familiarity of competency development framework design and development. You should also be self-driven, proactive and a good team player.
Requirements You should have a degree from a recognised university with at least 1year of working experience preferably in recruitment. You should possess strong communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills, be able to think strategically and work well in a team. An ideal candidate would be one who is driven and adept at engaging staff across levels and cultures.
Requirements You should have a local polytechnic diploma in Human Resource Management or Business Administration with at least 2 years of human resource administration experience. You should be meticulous, able to multi-task, and have good follow-ups, organisation and interpersonal skills. Having a passion for learning and a good command of written and spoken English are also essential for the role.
To apply, send your resume to email@example.com, attn: Winnie Chng 70
Global Network. Local Expertise.
With 164 offices in 34 countries, we have the resources and expertise to help you take the next step in your HR career. Compensation & Benefits Specialist Reputable German Listed Company High profile role Our client is an established German Multinational with diverse business portfolios. In view of continued business needs, we are now looking for a mid level C&B Specialist to join the Singapore HR team, spearheading the total rewards execution for the organisation. Ideally, you must be degree qualified with a minimum of 6 years of experience specialising in Compensation and Benefits operations. In this role, you will have the opportunity to be exposed to regional Compensation and Benefits work. Please contact Peiwen Teo quoting ref: H1469330
APAC Payroll Manager Team lead responsibility Project integration experience essential Our client is a global market leader in the FMCG Industry, owning some of the world’s most renowned brands with increasing sales & revenues. As the Asia Pacific Payroll Manager, your primary task is to drive the team towards providing accurate and timely payroll services in the region and ensure local legal and regulatory compliance. Ideally, you must have at least 6 years of progressive payroll experience, including 3 years’ in managing regional payroll operations in a multinational, shared service or service provider environment. Please contact Cherry Wu quoting ref: H1561710
Learning & Development Specialist
Please contact Lucia Deng quoting ref: H1583520
Human Resources Manager, South East Asia Blue Chip MNC
Top 100 Best Companies to work for High visibility and exposure to the business Our client is a Fortune 500 and a prominent global leader in its field. Their continued interest and rapid growth in Asia Pacific has resulted in the need for a strategic HR professional. You will be responsible for partnering business leaders at strategic level in recruitment of talent needs for the Asia Pacific headquarters. You will work closely with line managers to develop succession plans for their business. Key to your success will be your ability to engage with the senior leaders on a strategic level. The successful applicant must have a tertiary degree in HRM with at least 12 years of relevant regional experience. Please contact Sean Tong quoting reference: H1587650
Consistent growth momentum Our client is one of the world’s most reputable and successful global corporations with interests in more than 50 countries. The responsibility of this role is to lead a team of 6, partnering the manufacturing arm and playing an advisory role on all human capital matters. You will be designing HR strategies and provide practical medium term solutions to meet business goals. The successful applicant must have a tertiary degree in HRM with at least 8 years of relevant experience.
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.
Licence No: 98C5473 Business Registration No: 199804751N
Regional Opportunity Our client is a reputable MNC in the Property and Real Estate industry. This is a newly created position for high calibre HR individuals with strong business acumen and ambition to gain regional exposure. You will be responsible for developing best practices in organisational development to produce measurable performance indicators. To succeed in this role, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a reputable local university and 4 years of experience in L&D.
Regional Talent Acquisition & Development Director
Business Partnering Role
Please contact Nupur Agarwal quoting ref: H1582150
Specialists in human resources recruitment Human Resources
13712-AC_SG_HRM Mag Feb 2013.v2.indd 1
9/1/2013 4:15:40 PM
(Foreign MNC) HR Director
HR Director, APAC
Head of Recruitment (SEA)
Leading European FMCG Company
Leading European MNC
Strategic Business Partner
Newly Created Position
Salary Circa S$150k
Salary Circa S$250k-S$350k + Bonus
Base Salary Circa S$180k + Bonus
Our client is an established company in energy efficiency with a strong global footprint. An opportunity now exists for a seasoned HR to join them in this director role.
A leading FMCG organisation, our client is well respected for its business, its people, its offerings and its efforts in corporate social responsibility. There is now an opportunity for a high calibre regional HR professional to join them in this business partnering role.
Our client is a global leader in energy management and efficiencies. With an innovative mindset and a constant reinvention and renewal of its service offerings and solutions, there is now an opportunity for a Head of Recruitment to join them during this exciting growth phase.
Working with a team of professional and energetic colleagues, you will report to the VP HR for East Asia and be responsible for effective and efficient delivery of the entire country HR functions in Singapore. This includes providing strategic and tactical advice to business leaders in the areas of learning and development, general C&B and talent management. You will partner closely with business to create a better workplace, competitive workforce and high performance culture. You will also support business in change management. You will collaborate with SEA HR business partners to provide end-to-end HR programs and services and support critical business needs.
Leading the APAC region, you will partner the Regional President, and develop and manage the HR strategy including talent management and organizational development. This business partnering role will also have you working with all country HR leaders, particularly in the areas of effective employee engagement, whilst enabling the achievement of overall business objectives. As the organization is embarking on aggressive growth, you can also be expected to work on a significant number of OD initiatives in bringing the organization to the next level.
Reporting to the Head of Talent Acquisition & Operations, you will manage the overall direction of recruitment and selection, ensure a positive recruitment experience for both internal and external stakeholders, develop overall strategies to ensure positive employer branding and work towards having a continuous pipeline of suitable and high calibre candidates.
You are HR qualified and have worked a minimum of 12 years in a progressive multinational. You have great organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize and anticipate the needs of multiple clients groups. You are hands on, have strong knowledge around local employment practices and are overall, an excellent team player.
You are a senior HR professional with a track record gained in progressive multinationals. Generalist experience or those with specialist OD expertise will be preferred. Ideally, you have been in national and regional roles, preferably within the services industry. International candidates with deep Asia experience are welcome to apply.
Ideally you are degree qualified and have a minimum of 10 years in relevant recruitment experience. You have strong technical knowledge in recruitment practices, including industry best practices, have proven leadership experience, especially in managing a virtual team within the region and have the maturity, credibility and flair to effectively interact with the senior management team and business partners.
To apply, please submit your resume to Yolanda Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the job title and reference number YY4862\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.
To apply, please submit your resume to Cecelia Koh at email@example.com, quoting the job title and reference number CK4982\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.
To apply, please submit your resume to Cecelia Koh at firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the job title and reference number CK4983\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.
Financial Services I Commerce I Human Resources I Technology I Legal I Sales & Marketing 72
Business Registration No: 200307397W I Licence No: 03C4828
Returning the Human to Resourcing
6 Best Headhunting awards in Asiamoney Headhunters Poll for Asia since 2009
Specialist, Payroll & HR Shared Services
Shared Services Manager
Major Regional Bank
Major Regional Bank
Excellent Career Progression
Newly Created Position
Newly Created Position
Salary Circa S$120K-S$140K + Variable Bonus
Salary Circa S$120K-S$140K + Variable Bonus
Our client is an established multinational with a strong global footprint. An opportunity now exists for a payroll & HR shared services specialist to join them.
Our client is a major regional bank with global network over 40 countries and is continuing to expand into new markets. Due to strategic expansion in Singapore, there is a newly created position to head the recruitment team.
Our client is a major regional bank with an established presence in Asia Pacific and is continuing to expand into new markets. Due to continued growth and migration of key global support functions into Singapore, there is now an exciting opportunity to head the shared services team.
You will support and manage all phases of the Singapore payroll processing and payroll related activities. You will coordinate and work with third party payroll service provider in ensuring the quality, timely delivery and smooth execution of monthly payroll. You will perform monthly payroll accounts reconciliation and preparation of payroll journals for timely posting to the general ledger. You will respond to queries on payroll related issues from employees and regulatory bodies. You will maintain accurate and up-to-date employment data in HR information system. You will perform other duties as assigned or required. Ideally you should be a degree qualified with at least 2-3 yearsâ€™ relevant experience in regional Payroll services in multinational companies. You are meticulous and good with number. You possess good analytical skills with an eye for details. You are mature and able to handle confidential/sensitive information with good communication skills. You are able to work independently in a dynamic & fast pace environment. To apply, please submit your resume to Yolanda Yu at email@example.com, quoting the job title and reference number YY4947\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.
As a successful candidate, you will partner with the HRBPs in fulfilling the business' talent requirements and oversee end-to-end recruitment process. You will be developing innovative sourcing and selection strategies that meet business needs and create a pipeline of talent for the organization. You will manage the offer process, including salary recommendations, offer letter generation and on boarding. Playing an active role in developing and maintain Bankâ€™s preferred vendor listing. This also includes driving graduate recruitment, talent management initiatives and responsible for short/long term internal secondments and permanent transfers. You will have at least 8 years of progressive recruitment experience within financial services, preferably with at least 2-3 years in a supervisory role. You come with excellent understanding of the Singapore recruitment market with a track record of successful recruiting at all levels. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with high level of initiative and a positive, "can do" attitude are required. To apply, please submit your resume to Priscilla Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the job title and reference number PC4940\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.
Reporting to the Head of HR, you will develop and monitor activities of HR Shared Services to ensure compliance, efficiency and accuracy of information and HR systems reporting. You will ensure timely and accurate delivery of key HR processes, including workflows and procedures. You will play a strategic role in improving quality, efficiency of policies and processes to ensure HR effectiveness and compliance. You will also prepare and ensure compliance for Sarbanes Oxley and related audits. You will have team management responsibility including training, coaching staff, and delivering performance reviews. You will have at least 8 years of progressive HR experience, preferably within a shared service model. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suites with emphasis in Excel and Access. You have excellent written and verbal communication skills. A solid understanding of regulatory compliance requirements is a must. To apply, please submit your resume to Priscilla Chen at email@example.com, quoting the job title and reference number PC4985\HRM, or call (65) 6333 8530 for more details.
Business Registration No: 200307397W I Licence No: 03C4828
Multi-award winning recruitment firm with specialist practices in: Banking, Finance - Commerce, Human Resources, Legal, Sales & Marketing and Technology
www.kerryconsulting.com ISSUE 13.2
Regional HR Manager, Asia Pacific Covering Asia Pacific
Vibrant and dynamic organization
Our client, a leading global player in the media industry, is looking for a Regional HR Manager, Asia Pacific to join the organization in Singapore. Working closely with the head of HR, you will be managing all functions of HR across Asia Pacific, including recruitment, performance management, training and development, employee engagement, and ad-hoc regional projects. You will partner with the business to improve employee engagement through communication, employee recognition, awareness of business goals, etc. You will also participate or lead various projects and initiatives. In your daily activities, you will liaise and build effective working relations with regional and global HR teams. You will be a Degree holder with a solid track record in HR Management, especially in recruitment and HR business partnering. You are experienced in developing HR initiatives to support business goals. You are able to question status quo (when relevant), and come up with new ideas. You possess a positive attitude, excellent communication skills, and are able to build strong relations with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. Previous experience in the media industry is desired. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Yenny Chan at (65) 6227 2251 for a confidential discussion.
HR Manager New set up in Singapore
Our client, who is located in the north, is an established leader in providing repair and overhaul services. They are currently looking to recruit a HR Manager to manage their new operations in Singapore. The successful candidate will report to the General Manager and support the set up of the new operations in Singapore. You will provide full spectrum HR support to the business focusing on starting up the project in areas such as HR policy review, manpower planning and recruitment, C&B and employee welfare. As this is a new start-up, you are expected to multi-task and drive corporate initiatives to promote the sharing of HR best practices. You will lead in the design, planning and implementation of various programs as well as set up metrics for evaluation and tracking purposes. You will be degree qualified and is an experienced HR professional ideally with 8+ years of HR experience and minimum 3 years in a managerial role. You possess an extremely operational, hands-on and tactical approach as well as the ability to think strategically when dealing with senior business leaders. Candidates should have strong work ethnics and possess the ability to understand issues and develop creative solutions. Prior experience in aerospace MRO facilities will be preferred. Previous work experience in MNCs leading new projects or start-ups would be a plus. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to email@example.com or contact Li Li Kang at (65) 6227 2251 for a confidential discussion.
HR Director US MNC
Active interaction with business
Our client is a leader in its market and a trusted name as a bio and pharmaceutical services provider. Due to an expansion of their operations in the Asia Pacific region, they are looking to recruit a HR business partner to join the team. The successful candidate will provide HR advisory and functional services to business units located in South East Asia. In this exciting and challenging role, you will partner with senior management and HR Specialist/COE to lead the overall HR strategy and execution on site, serving as a HR business partner, change facilitator, and trusted advisor to the business. You will also be required to undertake regional ad hoc projects. You will possess a degree and have at least 10 years of HR with direct line management experience. To be considered for this role you must have had a stable career with MNCâ€™s with fantastic communications and presenting abilities. Good energy levels with strong proactive attitude will put you in good stead for the role. You should have an excellent track record in building and maintaining relationships at all levels within a business. Only candidates currently based in Singapore should apply for this position. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Li Li Kang at (65) 6227 2251 for a confidential discussion.
HR Business Partner (Vice President) Global Asian Bank
HR advisor to business leaders
Our client, a global Asian bank, is expanding and looking to recruit a dynamic HR Business Partner to join their HR team. In this exciting and challenging role, you will provide HR advisory and functional services to business units. You will partner and engage with Senior Management in providing consultancy in areas of talent acquisition, talent management, training & development, performance management, compensation & benefits, and employee relations. You will also be involved in ad hoc HR projects. The successful candidate will be a graduate in HR management with at least 6 to 8 years of HR generalist experience. You are analytical, meticulous and service-oriented with the ability to meet tight deadlines. Prior experience in HR business partnering, and learning & development functions in the banking industry is highly preferred. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to email@example.com or contact Yenny Chan at (65) 6227 2251 for a confidential discussion.
Human resources professionals speak to tHe experts Director of rewards Develop & implement group-wide reward programs
regional talent acquisition manager Join a developing apac life science business
A leading financial services organisation is looking for a Director of Rewards to provide effective business specific advice on compensation and reward related issues as well as driving the implementation of reward solutions. As a Program Manager, you will lead the development and implementation of robust group-wide and corporate regional reward programs. Having developed and implemented one or more major reward plans/programs in a medium to large organisation, you must also possess excellent knowledge of management principles, compensation and benefits principles and methodology, legislative regulations and compliance.
A leading clinical research organisation with a strong focus and commitment to Asia Pacific has created a new role for a Senior Recruiter. You will be responsible for end to end recruitment across APAC using best practices for attracting, sourcing and screening applicants. Your accountability will include leading the development of ongoing creative and cost effective sourcing strategies for assigned open positions, as well as advising and consulting with managers throughout the hiring process, providing detailed assessments for all candidates sourced. The role will also include managing the presentation, selection, offer, negotiation, closing and administrative components involved in the hiring process.
Hr Generalist provide full spectrum support This global logistics company, renown for delivering the best service, is growing their human resources team. Due to this expansion they are seeking a HR Generalist to join them on a contract basis. As an accomplished HR Generalist, you are confident handling the full spectrum of HR whilst building and managing relationships with key stakeholders. You will partner with the business to identify solutions to organisational issues covering people, structure, process and culture to support the business effectively.
Hr Business partner - oil & Gas Be a strategic Hr leader Reporting to the Regional HR Manager you will support 200 staff and provide both strategic and operational day-to-day human resource leadership for the functions within the supply chain plant. You will partner with the plant manager and function leaders to facilitate key HR processes including all aspects of professional relations, hourly relations, employee benefits, compensation, employee involvement, training, organisational change and development. You will be required to work closely with the global and Asia HR team to implement strategies and drive HR initiatives.
please contact ash russell, thomas Girling, Vargin Yeke or Brylee neyland at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 6303 0721.
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.
HR Manager (Regional)
Our client is a recognised brand and employer of choice with exciting growth plans. They are looking for a HR Director whose responsibility is to front the HR Department and oversee all people-based internal activities.
Our client, listed on Fortune 500 is looking for an experienced HR Manager to provide professional advice on developing and recommend HR policies and procedures to compliment both on a localised and regional approach.
• responsible for senior level decision-making for both daily management and strategic direction of the organisation • provide advice to line managers on all HR issues: management of staff, remuneration, etc • review all staff salaries and make recommendations for any increments and promotions • maintain a succession plan for all departments
• must be comfortable working in a standalone environment • able to quickly establish credibility and respect and build strong working relationships • able to solve problems through a pragmatic approach • understand all employment-related legal implications and able to resource plans accordingly To apply, please email your CV to email@example.com.
• implement all HR initiatives within the Singapore of�ice through directing and executing all HR matters related to the Asia of�ice • achieve the organisation’s objectives and targets through the management of human resource and development activities • ensure franchise markets adhere to the organisation’s HR standards through partnership with HR Team, achieving key HR KPI’s • be an employee advocate and a sounding board to senior director, HR and functional heads
• minimum 5 years of experience in a similar capacity • strong in personnel management, salary, bene�its policy development and job evaluation methodology • strong communication skills to work with personnel across all levels • display high level of maturity with sound decision-making skills To apply, please email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
HR Manager (Recruitment)
Our client is a key player in the manufacturing space, having global presence in Asia and Europe. With plans for expansion, they are looking for an experience HR Manager to spearhead their recruitment and talent management needs.
Our client is a European MNC listed on Fortune 100. They are looking for an OD/L&D Manager to design and deliver OD interventions to address the root causes of issues to improve organisational effectiveness.
• develop and implement recruitment and selection strategies for positions in APAC • implement and support HR strategies to attract, develop and retain talents through talent management, succession planning and employee engagement initiatives • resolve grievances, disputes and provide guidance to line managers on employee relations • develop and manage relocation policy and programs • ensure all employment matters are in compliance with the region’s regulations
• minimum 3 to 5 years of relevant working experience in similar capacity on a regional level • self-motivated and ability to drive a team to reach the given targets • strong analytical and strategic thinking ability • possess good communications and interpersonal skills
To apply, please email your CV to email@example.com.
• act as internal OD subject matter expert and in�luence stakeholders in taking ownership of recommended solutions to drive culture transformation • deliver leadership development programs through coaching and mentorship • partner with business functions to deliver value added service to re�lect business objectives • full spectrum of HR including spearheading HR initiatives in line with corporate objectives • act as employee champion and change agent to provide advisory support
Requirements: • • • • •
a good degree specialising in HRM/Business Management at least 6 years' of relevant working experience in OD function professionalism in maintaining employee con�idential information mature and able to manage people-related issues with professionalism ability to provide good leadership, change management and facilitation skills
To apply, please email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on your career and recruitment needs, please visit www.charterhouse.com.sg Charterhouse believes in investing in people. If you want to join a company that provides more than a job but a rewarding career call Gary Lai at +65 6435 5601 or email email@example.com. EA Licence Number: 06C3997
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