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hrm ISSUE 13.8

Engineering talent at National Instruments Internal succession planning Employee growth and retention at NTUC FairPrice



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ISSUE 13.8


HRM 13.8

Contents 31 The popularity of video and online gaming has increased Gamifying HR – Mixing work & play

exponentially in recent years. Companies keen to attract, engage, incentivise, and retain today’s generation of workers have begun to take games and gaming concepts very seriously indeed. HRM finds out how ‘gamification’ has now worked its way into key HR functions


“Mandatory trainings are something that can benefit tremendously from gamification. Trainings are often seen as important but not urgent, so companies need to find ways to motivate and incentivise employees”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY David Teng ( Frank Pinckers ( PRINTED BY Times Printers Pte Ltd PUBLISHED BY Key Media Pte Ltd 121 Telok Ayer Street #02-01 Singapore 068590 Tel: +65 6423 4631 Fax: +65 6423-4632 Email:


MICA (P) 137/07/2012 ISSUE 13.8

ISSN 0219-6883



HRM 13.8



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FEATURES 12 | Engineering talent

A workforce that is made up of more than 80% Generation Y staff certainly has its challenges, but engineering technology firm National Instruments has managed to be ranked among the world’s top 25 multinationals to work for. HRM speaks to Chandran Nair, Managing Director – Southeast Asia, to find out how the firm attracts and retains young talent

17 | Emerging from within

More organisations are making a strategic decision to grow talent from within instead of bringing in external candidates to fill senior roles. Amongst the many benefits, it ensures leadership continuity and reduces turnover.

22 | NTUC FairPrice: All in the “Fair-mily”

As a major employer in Singapore, and a cooperative and social enterprise, the HR philosophy at NTUC FairPrice has always been to hire locals first and enhance their long-term employability. Rebecca Teo Yock Lan, Director – HR, shares the company’s competitive human capital policies

26 | Dead people working

Staff can be physically present, but psychologically and emotionally checked out, say Drs Jackie and Kevin Freiberg

36 | Industry spotlight: Healthcare

According to the World Health Report, Singapore offers Asia’s best healthcare system, and its standard of medical practice ranks among the best in the world. This success and growth is supported by a dynamic workforce that sees going beyond the call of duty as part of a normal day at work.

40 | Banishing those “evil twins”

There can be a big difference between what a manager or supervisor does to build up performance in their team, and what they are perceived to be doing by often insecure staff. But Jill Geisler, author of Work Happy, What Great Bosses Know, says there are strategies that can permanently banish those shadowy alter-egos

44 | Going hard on soft skills

Employees who successfully combine their technical expertise with soft skills can create better synergies at the workplace, boost performance and improve the bottom line.

48 | The heat is on in Hong Kong

One of Asia’s most dynamic hubs is also a popular MICE destination, due to its excellent location and facilities. HRM explores Hong Kong to find out some exciting accommodation options and activities

26 REGULARS 3 | Analysis 4 | News 10 | Leaders on Leadership 53 | Talent Challenge 54 | In Person 55 | Twenty-four Seven 57 | Resources 59 | Viewpoint 60 | Talent Feature 61 | Talent Ladder 63 | 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: 2

ISSUE 13.8




Call for action:

More women on board Singapore currently has the most number of all-male corporate boards in this region. HRM asks what has contributed to this phenomenon, and what can be done to improve gender diversity at the highest levels? By Shalini Shukla-Pandey Singapore can, and should, do better in terms of female board representation, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam highlighted last month, noting that this could result in better overall corporate performance. According to research by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations, 60% of listed companies in Singapore had an all-male corporate board. Women represent only seven per cent of corporate board members in Singapore, lagging behind other strong Asian economies, such as Hong Kong at nine per cent, and China and Taiwan at eight per cent each. Despite faring slightly better than its neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia, Shanmugam said there is room for improvement. “Seven per cent is hardly anything to shout about and I think we have to do something about it,” Shanmugam told an event organised by advocacy group BoardAgender and consultancy Accenture. When placing senior leadership roles within Singapore (and the region), some restrictions and reservations Robert Walters has faced from female candidates include the fact that they are often unwilling or unable to travel extensively or be away from home for more than a week or two in a month. This is because women often place their family before their career when considering priorities. “We’ve observed women taking time off mid-career to be a stay-home mum, possibly due to family needs or to spend quality time with their children during their development years,” says Gwen Lim, Manager (HR), Robert Walters Singapore. “Others choose to adopt more flexible working arrangements, including contract assignments, flexi-hours, or a less demanding role, to ensure that they can still spend ample time with their family. The heavy job scope and long working hours that come with board duties is a less-thanideal situation for these women.” Still, Lim believes that Singaporean women do take a pragmatic approach and try to balance family needs with job expectations. “We’ve seen senior female professionals take

on the role as the main breadwinner of the family while their husbands focus on the family as they’ve been given better opportunities or remunerations by their companies,” she explains. “Some have also been offered, and have accepted, overseas assignments where they have the full support from their families when relocating.” The government is looking to make changes at the top quickly, announcing a survey to examine the state of gender diversity on boards and senior management in Singapore. Launched by the Singapore National Employers Federation, with the support of several bodies including the Diversity Task Force the survey will analyse the impact of gender diversity on corporate performance and governance. The survey report is expected in early 2014. Indeed, women can bring fresh and diverse skills sets, experiences and perspectives to male-dominated boardrooms, Mildred Tan, managing director of Ernst & Young Advisory and chair of the Diversity Task Force, pointed out. “We also need to ensure that decisions made in the boardrooms reflect the realities that we live in, including the rising incomes, purchasing power and decision-making power that women now have – it is about making more holistic and balanced decisions,” she adds.

Female representation in boardrooms in Asia Country Hong Kong China Singapore Malaysia India Japan


of listed boards in Singapore are all-male Source: National University of Singapore Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations

Proportion of women on boards 10.3% 8.5% 7.3% 7.3% 5.2% 1.1%

Source: NUS Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations

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Rights enhanced after building collapse Bangladesh has approved a new labour law to strengthen employee rights and improve safety in the country’s 4,500 garment factories. The move follows a factory building collapse that killed 1,129 people in April this year. Under the new law, millions of labourers, including those making clothes for Western retailers, no longer need approval from factory owners to form trade unions. Insurance for these workers is now also mandatory. The new law also states that structural changes to factories will be banned without permission from government inspectors, amid concerns that new floors are often added to buildings that cannot structurally support the extra weight. The legislation alluded to the nine-storey Rana Plaza building that collapsed on April 24 after cracks appeared one day

earlier. Three floors had been added over the years to the original structure. Padlocking factory exit gates – a common practice at plants – has also been banned under the law following recent fires that killed workers unable to flee. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment producer after China, and the industry is the mainstay of the national economy accounting for 80% of the country’s $25 billion annual exports.

Employees’ image is more important in bosses’ eyes


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think it is never acceptable to hug their boss Source: TipTopJob study


Bosses seem to place greater importance on the image of staff, as compared to the managers and people who report to them. According to a survey by the Singapore Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI Singapore), 75% of senior management, compared to half of lower management feel projecting a professional image is “very” or “fairly” important even for non-customer facing roles such as those in finance, operations, or HR. Also, nearly 80% of senior management say that image has a great impact on their decision to hire. This is significantly higher than the views of lower management, where just over half say so. Overall, senior management also give greater weight to image when assigning staff to meet clients or give


presentations. This also applies to staff giving internal-only presentations. Nearly half (47%) of senior management believe image affects their decisions when it comes to promoting a staff, compared to only three in 10 in lower management. Nearly all (95%) senior management executives are more likely to say image has “great” or “some” impact on salary increments and bonuses, compared to about eight in 10 of lower management executives. “What this means for middle managers and employees, is that looking and behaving professionally is essential at all levels, and needs to be cultivated early,”said Pang Li Kin, President of AICI Singapore. Being polite and courteous, looking fresh and clean, and being clear and confident in one’s speech are hallmarks of a positive image.

Proactively addressing critical career moments with outreach and manager support can reduce observed misconduct by as much as


Source: CEB misconduct research


of new partners in Ernst and Young in Asia-Pacific are women Source: Ernst & Young (EY)

Both permanent and contract recruitment activity is expected to increase


this year compared to 2012. Source: Resource Solutions Asia 20 Questions Survey

Local university scholarships are the most favoured, gathering

22.4 %

of votes from ‘A’ level, International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma graduates and Polytechnic final year students in Singapore Source: 2013 BrightSparks Scholarship & Career Survey

Employees optimistic about job market The 2013/14 Michael Page China Employee Intentions Report has revealed professionals are largely optimistic about the coming year. The survey found that 47% of respondents expected the job market to improve for the sector they worked in. Furthermore, 40% of all respondents said they were “very likely” to change jobs in the next 12 months. “While growth in the Chinese economy has slowed over the last 12 months, the volume of job opportunities in the professional sector remains steady and so too are the confidence levels of jobseekers,” said Richard King, managing director of Michael Page in North and Eastern China. “In light of this, both financial and non-financial incentives will need to be offered by employers looking to secure talented staff in the next 12 months.” A range of considerations were found to be important in the decision to accept a new role; opportunities for learning and development, as stated by 18% of respondents, and more seniority or a promotion (17%) were the top factors selected. With regards to remuneration, 51% were seeking an increase of 16% or above on their current salary level. In order to stay in their present role, 62% of surveyed employees planned to ask their current employer for a pay rise, with 36% of these respondents to ask for an increase of 10-12%. “Offering a range of benefits and work-life balance options is also key to encouraging professionals to accept a role with a business or to remain in a company,” added King. In terms of benefits that employees were not already being offered, over half of respondents (54%) would most like to receive a bonus entitlement. Furthermore, 76% say they would prefer to receive flexible working arrangements to achieve better work-life balance.

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Internal social media struggles Despite the explosion of social media in the personal lives of many people, just over half of employers are using social media tools to communicate and build communities with their employees. According to the 2013 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey, among those employers that have embraced social media technology, there is little consensus as to which channels are most effective. The Towers Watson research found that 56% of employers used various social media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives. However, when asked how they would rate the effectiveness of social media tools, only 30% to 40% of respondents rated most of the tools as “highly effective”. And only four in 10 rated the use of social media technology as cost effective. “We believe that social media can be a great tool for communicating with employees in the workplace,” said Jeffrey Tang, Hong Kong director of Talent and Rewards at Towers Watson. “By its nature, social media is designed to build community and can help engage employees on key topics such as performance, collaboration, culture and values. As the need for global collaboration increases, we expect more companies will join those already leveraging social media to creatively communicate those messages.” The Towers Watson survey also found that while four in 10 employers (41%) say they are effective at building a shared experience with their employees as a whole, the percentage drops by roughly half (to 23%) when it comes to building community with remote workers. “As today’s workforce evolves, we know from our research that the growing number of remote workers are looking for clear communication, to be treated with integrity, and want coaching and support from afar,” said Tang. For employers to effectively engage and retain remote workers, they will need to connect them with their leaders, managers and colleagues. We think social media tools can be a real help in making this connection.”

Table : Effectiveness of social media tools % that % that find use it effective Instant messaging



Streaming audio or video



HR or other function journal or blog



Enhanced online employee profiles



Social networks



Employee journals or blogs



SMS messaging



Leadership journal or blog



Collaboration sites



Video-sharing site



Apps or other mobile approaches



Creative salaries drop 66%

of Singaporebased HR leaders surveyed think that regular or ongoing air pollution will damage the global reputation of Singapore as a good place to conduct business Source: Chapman Consulting Group HR Air Pollution Survey

Stress management programmes are already offered by


of Asian employers Source: Towers Watson’s 2013 Asia Pacific Benefit Trends survey

In the Banking and Finance Services sector,


of companies plan to add new permanent financial services staff this quarter Source: Robert Half Financial Employment Report July 2013


of Southeast Asian organisations do not think they are adequately investing in mobile recruiting Source: 2013 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Report

Singapore has ramped up investment in the digital, marketing and creative sector, resulting in rapid job creation and a shortage of talent, according to findings from an on-going salary survey by font talent, a recruitment specialist for the digital, marketing and creative industries. At the same time however, median salaries have declined since the beginning of the year. Asia director of font, Karin Clarke, said that whilst there had been an influx in jobs, many had been entry-level positions. “Businesses and agencies, are taking on more work, running more social media and website campaigns as well as traditional above-the-line marketing campaigns,” said Clarke. “They need fewer people to oversee projects, and more people to do the work.” Additionally, recent restrictions on employment passes meant there were fewer expatriates earning large salaries. According to the survey, men continued to earn more than women in the industry. The most noticeable discrepancies were amongst marketing managers, where the median male salary was S$82, 500 a year, while the median salary for women was just S$60, 000.


Air travel booking activity up Despite an unprecedented number of disruptions over the last year, business air travel is showing encouraging signs of recovery, with travel to emerging markets leading the charge. According to data released by the Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), global air travel booking activity in the first quarter of 2013 was up 3.2% compared to the same period in 2012. India was among the destinations where HRG saw the strongest growth in corporate air travel. Year-on-year transaction volumes there were up by 11.1%. Corporate air travel to the rest of the world region, encompassing the emerging markets of Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa grew by 3.3%. China is now tipped to overtake the US as the world’s biggest business travel destination by 2015, but even the world’s second largest economy has not been spared some economic hardship over the past year. A slight slowdown in growth was reflected in the 2.3% decline in year on year air travel transactions reported there. Business class transactions showed an overall decrease of 14.8% with economy transactions recording an overall increase of 0.5%. Stewart Harvey, Group Commercial Director of HRG, said: “The general picture is of an industry in slow but steady recovery. However, despite the improved view there is still a focus on cost by our clients and an increase in the use of economy fares, particularly on short-haul destinations. We’re also seeing rail re-emerge as a genuine alternative to air travel.” ISSUE 13.8




International CANADA


More Canadians are pursuing higher education, as new data shows that job prospects improve the longer a person stays in school or college. According to the 2011 National Household Survey of Statistics Canada, there is a dramatic difference in employment rates between those who have post-secondary certificates and those who do not – the higher the education level, the higher the rate of employment. Younger Canadians were also more likely to have university degrees than people over the age of 55. However, even as the government tries to encourage citizens towards skilled trades, the country’s workforce remains strongly entrenched in the sales and service industry. The report found that there were more Canadians working in retail than any other sector, followed by healthcare and social assistance. Manufacturing came in third, then education and public administration. Moves to end the mandatory retirement age also appeared to be making an impact. Among those Canadians over the age of 55, the employment rate was now 34.9%, compared to the 32.2% that was recorded in the 2006 census.

Employers have to be prepared to deal with growing tension in the workplace between the different generations, researchers from KPMG have warned. According to a report, younger workers often believe that older colleagues are blocking their career development. The conflict resulting from the different generations could lead to diminishing workplace productivity. The study of 1,500 people from five generations revealed a phenomenon dubbed as “age warfare” is rife as employees from different age groups try to develop, or hold on to, their careers. The issue is all the more alarming as Baby Boomers and Generation X look set to retire later than younger workers may have expected. Survey results suggested younger workers don’t feel they need to learn from their more experienced colleagues, with only 20% of respondents recognising this as a value. Almost half of younger respondents (46%) felt that older members of staff needed to retire in order for them to have a chance of career progression. A similar proportion felt that a much older workforce would drain productivity. A generational divide is also emerging in terms of attitudes towards work. Fifty-eight percent of Generation Y respondents were more likely to be content earning “enough”, rather than constantly striving for higher salaries. This percentage fell to 48% among Baby Boomers. “An older workforce brings a wealth of experience and Baby Boomers can potentially adopt the invaluable role of coach or mentor to those entering the workplace. The companies who succeed will be those who take advantage of what older workers can bring to the table, in a way that is both innovative and inclusive. They will be the ones who can find a way for the Baby Boomers in their workforce to be enablers for the young rather than blockers,” said Robert Bolton, partner and co-lead of KPMG’s HR global centre of excellence.

Boosting job prospects with higher education


Social media still haunting job candidates A survey has revealed that more than two in five (43%) hiring managers who research candidates through social media have found information that resulted in rejection, up nine percent from last year. The study by Career Builder polled 2,100 hiring managers and HR professionals. Nearly two in five of them used social networking sites to research job candidates, a slight increase from 37% last year. Employers who took a candidate out of the running for a job after researching social media sites reported finding a variety of concerning content. Top mentions ranged from evidence of inappropriate behaviour to information that contradicted their listed qualifications. The top six career limiting social media blunders were: • Candidate posted inappropriate photos or information – 50% • Posted content about the candidate drinking or using drugs – 48% • Candidate bad-mouthed previous employer – 33% • Candidate had poor communication skills – 30% • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion – 28% • Candidate lied about qualifications – 24% 8

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‘Age warfare’: Tension between the generations

Armenia has raised the minimum monthly wage by


The 45,000 dram (US$108) minimum brings the floor wage above the poverty line EU rules restricting bankers’ bonus payments to


of an individual’s basic salary will apply from January 1, 2014 Iceland has legislated that a public company’s board be composed of no less than


of either gender.




A survey has found that working shorter hours or earning a higher salary does not necessarily make people happier with their work-life balance. Only 59% of the British employees surveyed in the Randstad study were content with their work-life balance, with the average working 37 hours 40 minutes leisure industry (80%). Not surprisingly, a week and earning £505.90 (US$772). accountants came in at the bottom of Yet, 61% of Londoners reported being the list (42%), closely followed by staff satisfied with their work-life balance, working in financial services (47%). despite working the longest week in the “This research proves that the key to country – 38 hours and 24 minutes. better balance is not simply to work The survey of 2,000 employees also shorter hours or earn more cash. A revealed the professions that were most more holistic approach is needed to find likely to be satisfied with work-life rewarding work that interests and balance. People working in utilities engages us. It’s not simply about putting were happiest (94%), followed by up with anything in return for more employees in the insurance sector money or time,” said Mark Bull, (80%), property business (88%), and managing of Randstad UK. HRM half page_FA.pdf 1 27/6/13 11:05director AM

The Australian Government has begun its two-year trial of six weeks paid leave for live organ donors. The trial is a response to intensive lobbying from Kidney Health Australia (KHA) and other groups, with the hope that paid leave will encourage more Australians to consider live organ donation to friends and family. Dr Robert Herkes, state medical director of NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service, has said the leave will be based on the minimum wage and paid for by the federal Government. It is reported employers will be able to claim a benefit from the government to support their staff during their absence. “Each year in NSW there are about 88 kidney donors – people who donate their kidneys to a close relative or friend,” Herkes said. “People who are kidney donors are off work for five to 12 weeks and while they are off work they are not being paid. Sometimes employers will give them sick leave, but often that will run out.” Herkes feels that the removal of the financial burden may help to improve live organ donation rates in Australia.

Work-life balance not about hours

Organ donors to get paid leave









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Talent Management

Empowering employees How can leaders empower their people, and when should they do so?

Prakash Mallya

Country Manager, Sales & Marketing, Intel Singapore & Malaysia

Unstoppable forces are shaping the composition of our workforce today. According to an Intel survey conducted in 2012, one in two strongly felt that a wide variety of technology tools makes employees more valuable to the company. Correspondingly, 40% of IT managers strongly agreed that BYOD increases worker productivity. However, although the benefits of BYOD are undisputable and companies should implement their BYOD programmes as soon as possible, business leaders should not rush head along into it before ensuring the security of their data, as BYOD can open up another threat dimension for enterprises. It is imperative for companies to set down protocols for protecting data and managing lost or stolen devices, and ensure that compliance regulations can be met before initiating their BYOD programmes. Business leaders should also seek greater collaboration with security vendors and relevant stakeholders to create a tighter security ecosystem that addresses security threats. In order to empower their employees effectively, business leaders today need to embrace BYOD while ensuring the supporting processes are in place. The portability and connectivity of today’s mobile devices as well as the processing power and ease-of-use of convertible laptops can enhance the productivity of employees by equipping them with the tools to handle tasks faster and smarter at any time, any place.


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Shafaat Hussain

Partner and Senior Vice President, FleishmanHillard

In today’s fast paced corporate environment, people are often the differentiator that separates a great company from a good company. Managing and leading individuals and teams so that they have a sense of ownership and belonging, is very important as it allows you to collectively punch above your weight and win as a team. To empower their people, leaders must have a vision. To fuel performance, leaders then need to communicate their vision to the whole organisation ensuring that everyone has clarity on what their role is and how success is measured. Leaders must also be believers – they need to recognise that teams take time to form, norm and perform, and in this period they must walk the talk and stay true to the behavioural and cultural traits they are trying to establish within the organisation. I also believe that we are in an era of contextual leadership where leaders have to be flexible and open to work in a manner that allows them to get the most out of their staff. In such an environment, empowerment and trust become critical and leadership positions move from being linear responsibilities to a collaborative position where a strong leader recognises the role of the individual and orchestrates team performance for collective good.

Lee Sa Hean

Company Manager, Givaudan Asia Pacific

Empowerment is given by providing both vision and strategic direction to enable our people to successfully drive the organisation into the future. It’s about building an organisational culture that encourages change at the individual level, independent of hierarchy. The bespoke nature of our industry places particular demands upon us. Speed to market and the critical need for innovation and creativity requires us to empower our people to make decisions based upon their experience and training as much as on collaborative intelligence and teamwork. The underlying elements of our company culture are the core behaviours of Passion, Performance, Innovation and Openness. We strive to incorporate these behaviours in all that we do. Shared objectives empower employees to take ownership of projects and act confidently, as well as ensuring that the organisation is aligned in its direction. We encourage our people to challenge existing systems and work methodologies. This results in a more experienced team that is better equipped to manage and make decisions at all levels, not just from the top-down. This approach has enabled us to retain and grow our market and segment leadership, and ensure that we are a great place to work.


Realised. We know that when talent shines, business grows. That’s why Korn/Ferry helps our clients design, build and attract the talent they need to achieve their business goals.

Copyright Š 2013 Korn/Ferry International. All Rights Reserved.


National Instruments

Engineering talent A workforce that is made up of more than 80% Generation Y staff certainly has its challenges, but engineering technology firm National Instruments has managed to be ranked among the world’s top 25 multinationals to work for. HRM speaks to Chandran Nair, Managing Director – Southeast Asia, to find out how the firm attracts and retains young talent By Vivien Shiao Shufen

Lesser known by the general public but highly regarded by engineers and scientists, National Instruments is one of the rare, under-rated multinational firms that has been given the thumbs up by their employees. For the second consecutive year, it has been included in the prestigious “World’s Best Multinational Workplaces” survey by the Great Place to Work Institute. Chandran Nair, Managing Director – Southeast Asia of National Instruments says it is the company’s vision-driven culture that is responsible for the achievement. “Our shared vision of fostering innovation and improvement creates a strong work culture that is open and empowers people,” he says. Such an open environment, where people are empowered to do what is best for the company, can only work effectively if it is based on a framework of general guidelines, rather than hard rules. “We give 12

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them freedom to excel as individuals, based on four key principles: integrity with iron will, lack of bureaucracy, opportunity, and inspiration without intimidation,” he says.

Managing Gen Y Despite being an employer of choice, Nair explains that one of National Instruments’ biggest people challenges is still finding, developing and retaining talent, something that is especially difficult in Asia. With more than three quarters of its hires fresh out of university, most non-Gen Y bosses may be quaking in their boots at the prospective challenge ahead of them. But Nair is not fazed. “I would not categorise Gen Y as difficult and I have a different viewpoint of them,” he explains. “They are more vocal about what they want, and it’s important to understand what drives them. In Singapore, they are likely to want challenging

BIOGRAPHY Chandran Nair is the Managing Director for National Instruments – Southeast Asia and is based in Singapore. Under his directives, National Instruments has successfully expanded its operations regionally, setting up branch offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Nair joined National Instruments in 1997 as an applications engineer. He then managed the Product Marketing group, where he was responsible for leading a team. Nair has a Master’s degree from Arizona State University in Mathematics, and a Bachelor’s in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from Christ College, Bangalore.

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National Instruments careers where they can make a difference, and that’s a good thing.” He adds that for employers in Singapore, there is a need to make sure that the work to be done is of a high value, to justify the aspirations of each staff member. “With such a large percentage of fresh graduates, one advantage we have is the ability to mould their work ethic. We give them a lot of trust, as opposed to telling them what to do,” says Nair. It seems the biggest reason why National Instruments is taking on so many Gen Y workers has to do with the evolution of jobs. “Although our job titles are traditional, our job functions are not,” Nair says. “We do not want people who just do one thing. We are looking for people who are looking to continuously learn and willing to be challenged.” Managing a multi-generational workforce is not an easy task, so employee engagement that caters to employees at different stages of their lives is something that requires continuous thought, he adds.

• I love: My family • I dislike: Dishonesty, being angry • What I would like to see in five years: I would like to see the team grow professionally, whereby many of the things we do are run by locals in the local entities. We don’t believe in having expats as there is beautiful talent everywhere. I would like 100% of our top level positions at country level to be managed locally. Currently it’s 95% • My inspiration is: My dad

Recruiting talent To obtain young talent, National Instruments works closely with every major university and polytechnic in Singapore. “We have strong relationships with professors because they use our (engineering) tools, so we have access to some of the top students,” he says. The company has an attractive and wellstructured internship programme, through which students get the opportunity to work hard on real-life projects. “They are not there to do photocopying, which is the case with many other companies where interns do the work no one else wants to do,” he says. “Over here, we take internships very seriously. If students are interested in a career at National Instruments the internship is the best mechanism for us to get to know them over a three- to six-month period, and also gives them a chance to interview us as well.” When it comes to the attributes sought in new recruits, Nair says that honesty, integrity and passion are the most basic requirements, together with technical excellence in the field. “The next level is foresight and vision, so we want people with some sense of vision,” he says. “This is something we look for very strongly as we are not in the business of micro-managing people.” At the highest level, he says National Instruments requires people who want to understand the business, in addition to being excellent in their domain. For fresh graduates, National Instruments looks for people who have done extra projects aside from academic work. “For example, we have hired students from the National University of Singapore’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineering programme which is a formula sports car racing project that competes in Detroit each year,” he explains. “We want people who are very hands on and understand the real problems of engineering. We are not interested in people who are only good at academics and have not done anything real.”

Sphere of influence Training and development are crucial for any good company to retain its talent. “One thing we are working on getting better is concentrated education and training programmes on how to impart our culture,” Nair says. “We have grown very rapidly in this region, and we have needed to hire almost 10 times the number of people compared to when I joined the Southeast Asian office more than 10 years ago.” To cope with that exponential growth, National Instruments is now making sure that people who are hired understand what they want to get out of


ISSUE 13.8



their role. “We now spend quite a bit of time and money on people growth,” he says. National Instruments provides the Engineering Leadership Programme which gives young engineers the opportunity to work with the firm in other areas, such as marketing or research and development. After a year to 18 months, they are able to apply for those jobs, as well as vacancies in their original department. These engineers get a taste of the different functions and are exposed to different areas of the business, Nair says. At the management level, there are initiatives such as supervisory development courses. “As people develop in their careers, they can either be on the management track or the individual contributor track,” he says. “Your best engineers are not necessarily your best managers, so we identify that and we try to help those people and give them development training,” says Nair. “We want to make sure we don’t lose our best employees by trying to make them managers. We want them to grow their income and sphere of influence.” The sphere of influence is a particularly important concept within National Instruments, and affects promotions and salary raises. “When we decide on raises, it’s not about the people they manage. It’s based on the sphere of influence – the ability to influence people in a team and elsewhere on matters related to work,” Nair explains.

HR Management Solutions A comprehensive suite of full web-based solutions Your best engineers are

not necessarily your best managers

designed to manage and automate employment lifecycle processes more efficiently.

The payroll, leave and expense claims modules can each be

Key developments

adopted as a stand-alone system

“When I first came (slightly more than 10 years ago), the company was skewed towards a lot of work and very little life,” he says. “I like to think it has now come to a much better balance.” In the past, employees accumulated their vacation leave to get compensated in return, but Nair says that vacation leave is now enforced. At that time, working until nine pm was the norm, he says. “When I first came here, weekends here were like weekdays. Now, only people who need to come in on weekends come,” he adds. “We also believe that a vacation is something that one must take.” Aside from contributing favourably to work-life balance, other key changes that Nair has made since joining the Southeast Asia office includes relating each job function to overall business needs. He believes that a leader needs to be engaged with their employees to let them know what their job is about and how it ties in to the overall team mission. “As society changes and people’s aspirations change, finding ways to relate the individual’s personal mission to the company mission is one of our biggest challenges,” he notes.

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Succession Planning


from within

More organisations are making a strategic decision to grow talent from within instead of bringing in external candidates to fill senior roles. Amongst the many benefits, it ensures leadership continuity and reduces turnover By Shalini Shukla-Pandey

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Succession Planning CASESTUDY

Diageo It is important to grow an employee’s leadership skills right from day one, shaping their leadership behaviours towards ‘Diageo Leadership Standards’, says Lilly Liang, HR Director – Greater China, Diageo. This year, the multinational alcoholic beverages company partnered with a nongovernmental organisation and will launch a leadership programme with a leading university in Shanghai. Diageo China sponsored this programme and will offer speakers for some of the sessions. Through this programme, top students at their senior years in universities are targeted and selected. “We will then focus on helping them understand what leadership is,” says Liang. The programme is also interactive, instead of consisting of just lectures. This will help the company to evaluate and assess participants’ leadership potential. “Through such a programme, we are able to access young talent at the campus, identify future leaders, and attract them to join Diageo,” says Liang.


of Singapore HR professionals have a framework in place to identify and develop talent Source: Korn/Ferry poll

One of the key challenges that HR teams are facing today is the ability to attract talented professionals with the right skills set and attitude for the role and company. Similarly, talent retention is also an issue that continues to face the HR sector in Singapore, says Diana Low, Director, Michael Page International in Singapore. This raging war for talent is becoming ever more ferocious and it is precisely in this landscape that organisations cannot afford to leave succession planning to luck and chance. “Now more than ever, organisations need to start succession planning earlier,” says Pushp Deep Gupta, Managing Principal, Korn/Ferry International, Leadership and Talent Consulting. “They need to dig deeper in the organisation hierarchy to build their leadership pipeline.” The benefit of growing talent internally is that a professional’s longevity with a company allows them to have a strong knowledge of the business, which then promotes business continuity. This also allows retention of the best talent within the organisation and can ensure that the company’s future leaders are truly passionate and committed to the brand. This is also a benefit to the employee as it provides them with the opportunity to develop their career. Grooming and developing talent internally not only helps train talent and reduce turnover, it also helps to attract talent as the organisation is able to offer a career instead of just a regular job, says Lilly Liang, HR Director – Greater China, Diageo. “Internal succession planning reduces the length of vacancies in senior positions and provides stability to the team,” says Liang. “On top of that, internal promotion reduces recruitment and induction costs, whilst also minimising the risk of culture misfit.”

Identifying future leaders To successfully carry out an internal succession planning exercise, HR professionals first need to identify and develop key talent for leadership based on the value they can potentially deliver tomorrow. Research by Korn/Ferry has shown that only 29% of high performers are high potentials while 93% of high potentials are high performers. “HR must work closely with the business, be involved in regular communications with employees on performance and career goals, as well as identify the key attributes and skill sets required to be a company leader,” says Low. “It is also important to ensure HR has a talent development programme that can train people to meet these criteria to take a senior position with the business.” At Diageo, future leaders are identified through calibration, succession planning and spotlighting. “We identify future leaders from both function competencies and leadership,” says Liang. 18

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Grooming internal talent Internal talent can be developed through training and development programmes, including internal and external leadership coaching programmes. “Companies should definitely tailor these programmes around different stages of a professional’s career to address their various developmental needs,” says Low. Potential leaders navigate through several career transitions through the span of their career including from an individual contributor (e.g. sales person) to a team leader (e.g. sales manager), from a team leader (e.g. sales manager) to a leader of leaders (e.g. sales director) and from a leader of leaders (e.g. sales director) to an enterprise leader (e.g. CEO). “Each of these transitions presents different and unique challenges,” says David Wee, Director – Research and Curriculum, The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre. “For instance, the toughest career transition a new team manager has to make is giving up what have made him/her successful in the past (e.g. hard work, diligence, excellent personal performance) and embracing a new set of values and skills (managing success through others, coaching, planning).” Diageo groups its talent into ‘Early’, ‘Middle’ and ‘Late Career’ stages. “We focus on the ‘Early Career’ group to identify and develop future leaders,” says Liang. “HR engages business leaders to secure resources, design and deliver talent development programmes, and manage calibration and the succession planning process. We focus on developing future leaders for general management, and the Commercial, Marketing, Finance, HR and Supply (functions).” Leaders themselves are teachers and role-models and have a key role to play in internal succession planning at any organisation. “Leaders should ‘walk the talk’ and ensure that they acknowledge the importance of leadership development programmes,” says Low. They should also invest time and support in identifying the future leaders of the business and provide clear communications and direction on what they would like to see in future company leaders, she adds, noting that this will help people in the business to understand the importance of succession planning and its benefits. Some managers actually withhold knowledge from their people because they fear their people will overtake and replace them, says Wee. “Hence, they will teach their people enough to do their job competently but not any more than that. They are what I call ‘Talent Crushers’.” “Their people tend to offer average performance only. They do not have clear successors because they work hard to keep the potential of their people down and the best people avoid these ‘Talent Crushers’ like the plague,” he adds. Still, Wee believes there are many leaders who are ‘Talent Makers’ who care deeply for the success and growth of their people. ‘Talent Makers’ lead highperforming teams; they have a strong bench of potential

successors and the best performers flock to their side. Notably, ‘Talent Makers’ are very successful leaders too. They are surrounded by the best people who collectively push everyone including the ‘Talent Maker’ to the next level of performance. “Talent Makers create a pipeline of leadership talent for the organisation’s succession planning process. Perhaps even more importantly, their people emulate the behaviours of the Talent Makers thus becoming the next generation of Talent Makers in the organisation,” Wee explains. In Diageo, leaders are asked to identify and develop their own successors, with HR support on managing the process. “Developing succession is often one of a leader’s performance objectives,” says Liang.

Empowering talent from within Employees should be encouraged to ‘own’ their career development in the company, leading to a leadership role in the future. “HR can encourage a robust appraisal process where their colleagues can present their career goals to their managers,” says Low. “You should also create an open environment where constant communication between employees, their managers and the HR team can take place.” Diageo uses its ‘Partner for Growth (P4G)’ programme as a platform for performance and career conversations. From day one, when an employee joins the company, their line manager and HR introduce this tool and encourage them to have regular career conversations. “P4G is conducted twice a year, whereby career and performance conversations are documented and submitted for second lever endorsement,” says Liang. “HR conducts P4G training for line managers and checks the quality of P4G to ensure consistency.”

Assessing future leaders Many organisations use competency models as a means of identifying future leaders. “However, in an operating environment that is fluid and marked by constant change, the expiry date of the competency model is getting shorter and shorter,” says David Wee, Director – Research and Curriculum, The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre. A better way is to assess future leaders based on: • Key skills that help a person learn, adapt and evolve. People with these abilities are more likely be humble and curious, hence, learn faster, are willing to change and be more successful in changing environment. • Commitment to the organisation. Understanding how committed a candidate is to the organisation is absolutely necessary. A response of “Yes” to the following questions indicates a high level of commitment: - Is the candidate passionate about his/her work? - Does the candidate enjoy the people he/she works with? - Is the candidate learning and growing on the job? - Does the candidate see a future for himself/herself in the next three years? • Aspiration. Organisations often assume everyone wants to be a future leader. Some candidates may say no and their reasons could range from lifestyle choices and having to meet personal commitments, to the fact that they are simply not interested in being considered as a future leader!

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Paid to perform Performance-based remuneration is gathering momentum across the globe with the highest incidence of performance-linked pay in the fast-growing economies of the APAC region, while developed nations such as Denmark and Sweden have the lowest percentage. Interestingly, almost half of all workers worldwide agree they would perform better if their pay was linked to their performance and productivity, however less than half are rewarded this way.

Variable pay, dependent upon performance targets (By country) SWEDEN 24% NORWAY 32% NETHERLANDS 48% IRELAND 26% UK 30% FRANCE 36% SWITZERLAND 40%


CANADA 40% US 32%




Source: Kelly Global Workforce Index


Performance based pay includes any arrangement where an element of the total remuneration package is tied to meeting performance targets and may include profit sharing, performance bonuses and sales commissions.

Do you think you are paid enough? (By Skillset) 43%















Yes 41%

Finance / Acc






Do you think you are paid enough? (By Region) Yes 45%






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NTUC FairPrice AT A GLANCE • Total number of employees at NTUC: 8,500 • Size of the HR Team: 42 • Key HR Focus Areas: - Providing jobs for locals - Recruiting on the basis of merit only, and regardless of race, age, gender or religion - To value and retain current employees


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All in the

“Fair-mily” As a major employer in Singapore, and a cooperative and social enterprise, the HR philosophy at NTUC FairPrice has always been to hire locals first and enhance their long-term employability. Rebecca Teo Yock Lan, Director – HR, shares the company’s competitive human capital policies By Shalini Shukla-Pandey NTUC FairPrice, as a co-operative, was set up in 1973 with the social mission to moderate the cost of living in Singapore. This, coupled with a commitment to give back to society to help build a better life for the community, is something that its 8,000 employees hold dear to themselves – knowing that the more they do well, the more good they can do, says Rebecca Teo Yock Lan, Director – HR. “Without the hard work and dedication of its employees, NTUC FairPrice could not achieve the successes it has today and as such, we believe in building a ‘Wonderful Workplace’ for our staff, by valuing and investing in them,” Teo explains. “The aim is to not only ensure our staff have competitive remuneration but also a safe and caring environment, a culture of continuous learning, and a roadmap for career development, so that every employee

Rewarding service from the heart While NTUC FairPrice has various internal awards to recognise, encourage and celebrate individuals and stores that have excelled in customer service, one of the most important is based on the company’s motto of “Service from the HEART”. This urges all staff to be helpful, empathetic, attentive, and reliable – in order to earn the trust of customers. “We have equipped staff who are of managerial level and above with a box of ‘HEART’ cards which they can give out on the spot to any internal staff who has displayed any of the attributes,” says Rebecca Teo Yock Lan, Director – HR, NTUC FairPrice. “This form of staff recognition is immediate and hopes to further motivate staff to do their best.”

has the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.” These efforts have paid off, with the average employment tenure of employees being five to 10 years. Some 250 staff members have been with the cooperative for more than 30 years.

Expanding the “Fair-mily” As one of the largest retailers in Singapore, it has always been a challenge hiring people for frontline positions. In light of this, FairPrice has stepped up its on-going recruitment process. Regular job fairs are held at community centres and clubs and weekly walk-in interview sessions are arranged at various FairPrice outlets around the island. “At such job fairs, job-seekers can also speak to our current employees to better understand our stores’ work environment and job requirements,” says Teo. “Currently, we have various vacancies such as for retail assistants, cashiers, store keepers and skilled cutters, to fill across our branches island-wide.” With regards to the recruitment of foreign workers, the tightening of the requirements by the national Government means that FairPrice imposes more stringent selection criteria to assess potential candidates. “Nevertheless, as part of the labour movement, our priority is to provide jobs primarily for locals,” Teo assures. At FairPrice, 90% of employees are Singaporeans or permanent residents. ISSUE 13.8



NTUC FairPrice Putting the “fair” in FairPrice As a signatory to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, NTUC FairPrice adheres strictly to the principles of equality and good employment practices, employing staff on the basis of merit and not discriminating against race, religion, gender or age. “We provide employment opportunities to a diversified group of job seekers, including matured workers (about 40% of our staff are aged 50 and above), women seeking to re-enter the workforce, those who want to work flexible hours, the disabled, and beneficiaries of the yellow ribbon project,” says Rebecca Teo Yock Lan, Director – HR, NTUC FairPrice. In addition, since 2008 FairPrice has been providing work experience and on-the-job training and industrial attachments to the students of Northlight School. FairPrice also provides education grants to those students who need financial assistance.

Average employment tenures at NTUC FairPrice are between

5 and 10 years

Paying a Fair Price With a tighter labour market, most employers are now placing a greater emphasis on talent acquisition, development and retention. Many are and even looking to increase contract hiring and offering more flexible work arrangements, says Teo. Aligned with this is the rise of basic wages in order to attract more locals to work in jobs and industries that were previously dominated by foreign workers. For the past year, recommendations have been made by the National Wage Council (NWC) to increase the wages for low-wage workers. Last year, FairPrice was one of the first to embrace the recommendation – staff whose monthly basic pay was below $1,000 per month saw the biggest built-in wage jump of about $140, higher than NWC’s recommended wage increment of $50 in 2012. FairPrice has continued to embrace the NWC recommendation for 2013 and granted a similar wage adjustment to those earning $1,000 or more.

To ensure that salaries offered are competitive and in tandem with economic and market conditions in Singapore, FairPrice also conducts annual reviews of its remuneration. “We have structured policies on staff remuneration and rewards, including salary structure, job-related allowances, variable payments, incentives, corporate, and performance bonuses,” says Teo.

Growing with FairPrice As a major employer in Singapore, the HR philosophy at NTUC FairPrice is to enhance the long-term employability of its staff. To achieve this, FairPrice invests in the improvement of the well-being and health of staff so that they know their hard work and dedication are appreciated and they see a long-term journey of growth within the organisation. For instance, full-time staff are provided with comprehensive outpatient and inpatient medical benefits. Free or heavily-subsidised annual health screenings are also in place for all full and part-time staff. In 2012, FairPrice was presented with the Singapore Health Award for its efforts in promoting and executing health and wellness-related policies, benefits and activities for its staff. On the training and capability development front, FairPrice’s programmes include the WSQ Retail Competency Framework and “Go-the-Extra-Mile-forService” training. “We have also developed in-house training for all frontline staff that focuses on service coaching, winning customers, and service standards,” says Teo. Besides basic training, staff are also sent for courses in food safety and merchandising, and professional retail related courses. For example, through a partnership with NTUC Learning Hub, staff are groomed into service professionals via the Customer Service Professional boot camp. This targeted training cultivates a strong service mind-set using experiential learning. Besides classroom training, executives are also given opportunities to attend overseas training and study trips. “We also subsidise or sponsor deserving staff who wish to upgrade themselves by pursuing programmes ranging from diplomas to masters’ degrees,” Teo adds. In addition to training, FairPrice provides the flexibility for


Rebecca Teo Yock Lan Director – HR, NTUC FairPrice


ISSUE 13.8


Sheryl Choo Chia Yi

Assistant Director – HR, NTUC FairPrice

Tesse Tan Beng Lay

Senior Manager – HR, NTUC FairPrice

Felicia Foo Yat Ley Manager – HR, NTUC FairPrice

Sherlyn Chua Xiayan Manager – HR, NTUC FairPrice


staff to be rotated or transferred to another department. Conscious efforts are also made to promote staff within the organisation.

Keeping staff engaged In any family or organisation, communication is key to building trust and keeping members engaged. This is also crucial to the success of FairPrice as a business, says Teo. “We have in place various platforms for discussion and feedback with staff, and to review corporate strategies and HR policies, with some being at the department or store level while others are at the corporate level including town hall meetings and staff hotlines,” she describes. Information is also shared with staff through online and physical channels such as the company’s internal intranet, email circulars, and its in-house newsletter “FairMily News”. Also, to build rapport amongst employees, teambuilding programmes are organised for staff, especially before new store openings. Another way FairPrice ensures its employees’ needs are taken care of is through the provision of benefits including staff discounts on purchases at FairPrice stores, comprehensive medical benefits, and study grants for employees’ children. “Staff working in stores are provided with pantries and lockers, and at the headquarters, various amenities are available, including a staff canteen and a well-equipped lactation room,” says Teo. Various sports and health and wellness activities are also organised by the co-operative’s Social Recreational Committee, which is made up of volunteers from management and staff. Activities include netball, soccer and bowling, as well as health talks on topics such as healthy eating, stress management, and work ergonomics. Furthermore, in support of work-life balance, staff get two to three days of Family Charity Leave per year, to celebrate auspicious occasions with their family or do charity work outside of FairPrice. “With a dynamic team of more than 8,000 staff covering a wide spectrum of duties, we continue to constantly look at new ways to improve staff initiatives and benefits,” says Teo.

NTUC FairPrice won the

Best Workplace Award at the International Singapore Compact CSR Summit in 2012

Keeping lines of communication open Some of the more common requests Rebecca Teo Yock Lan, Director of HR for NTUC FairPrice, receives from staff are for transfers to other stores closer to their homes. “We also see request transfers due to differences in working styles between the employee and fellow colleagues or supervisors as well as requests not to work shift hours,” says Teo. An open-door policy allows employees to approach HR for matters ranging from how to go about claiming for medical expenses and leave entitlements to finding out why they may have been passed over for a promotion.

ISSUE 13.8



Workplace innovation

Dead people working Staff can be physically present, but psychologically and emotionally checked out, say Drs Jackie and Kevin Freiberg There’s an epidemic sweeping businesses today – from the largest Fortune 500 firms – to the small deli down the street. This epidemic kills the creativity and ingenuity that is essential for innovation, which of course, is central to the growth of every business. This is an epidemic that threatens not only the success and prosperity of businesses themselves, but nothing less than the long-term economic standing of every nation in the world. The epidemic? Dead People Working. You know them because you work with them. They are all around you, in the next cubicle, down the hall, in your department, on the front line and yes, even in the executive suite. They are physically present, but they are psychologically, emotionally, and intellectually checked-out. When we ask audiences all over the world, “how many of you know dead people working” the response is overwhelming. Following the sound of embarrassed chuckles, hands always go up. The all-too-familiar research from firms such as Gallup, Walker Information, Hudson Institute, and Towers Watson, shows that 75% of the workforce is either not engaged or actively disengaged in their work, and are not loyal to their companies. But let’s be clear, this force that threatens the very innovation each business desperately needs to survive isn’t something that just happens. Boredom, apathy, despair, and indifference – all symptoms of dead people working – are the result of the choices leaders make. 26

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Workplace innovation What sucks the life out of people at work? Billions of people go to work every day, but way too many of them show up almost dead on arrival. If your goal is to create a culture of innovation you first have to understand why this happens. There’s no magic formula or silver bullet, but we are convinced that if you eliminate these 16 “ailments,” you have a good shot at transforming the dead people working syndrome into a place where impassioned people show up to work every day fully awake, fully engaged, and firing on all cylinders – a place where innovation has a real opportunity to flourish. Employees and customers who are objectified and dehumanised. Whether leaders refer to them as “expenses,” “intellectual capital,” “most important assets,” or “market segments,” the language is symbolic of the industrial or mechanistic paradigm. People become “things” we use and manipulate on spreadsheets versus “sacred thous” who bring something incredibly special to the game. By the way, people are not your most important asset – great ideas are your most important asset, and they only come from people who are alive at work. Meaningless work. How many people in your company right now are working on things, that five years from today, nobody will care about? To know that our work counts for something is to know that we count. Innovation is about solving problems that matter, problems that make people’s lives and the world better. If you want your employees to change – to show more initiative, take more risks and be more creative – give them something worth changing for. Failure to stretch, grow, and develop people. Leaders view coaching, mentoring and training as an expense, rather than an investment. If we spent as much time and energy truly identifying, drawing out and developing the gifts and talents of people as we do investing in technology, real estate, and equipment, more people would come to work “alive”. Employees are not commodities that can be used up and swapped out. Tribalism. When one part of the organisation thinks it’s extra special or more valuable than another part of the organisation, the result is turf battles, finger pointing and an “it’s not my job” mentality. People in “tribalistic” companies forget who the real opponent is. Is the real opponent in here or out there? Competition between departments, business units and various lines of business derails innovation. The most innovative companies in the world trade tribalism for radical collaboration. Leaders who are out of touch. It’s impossible to anticipate and meet the needs of your employees if you don’t truly understand them. You can’t truly understand them unless you make the time to get to know them. What motivates your people? Where are they uniquely gifted? What are they passionate about at work? The best leaders we know are both interesting and interested.


Billions of people go to work every day, but way too many of them show up almost

dead on arrival

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Not enough bandwidth. While email, cell phones, laptops and other forms of technology were supposed to make us more efficient, the fact is we are never switched “off”. In a world where we are expected to do more with less we respond to email on Sunday afternoons, before we go to bed or right when we wake up, rather than spend time with the family and rejuvenate. The result? We don’t sleep well and we’re fatigued. We go home at the end of the day emotionally-drained versus emotionally charged. We run around pursuing the urgent versus the important with little or no time to reflect and dream about the future of the business. Innovation requires “slack” or down time” to think and ask, “what if.” It needs mental space to nourish new ideas. And, it needs time to explore and experiment. Failure to find the FIT. “Fit” comes from asking three critical questions: What are my gifts and talents? What am I absolutely passionate about? What needs to be done and where can I make a contribution? When an employee’s gifts and talents are aligned with their passion in a job that makes a valuable contribution, they are happy, alive and having fun at work. Most companies are not very rigorous about matching employee talents with the needs of the company. They’re not rigorous about finding the “fit”. We talk a lot about wellness, but people who are doing work they are not gifted at and not passionate about are not well; they’re mentally and emotionally ill. This contributes to decay and deadness in the organisation. Too much emphasis on titles, rather than results. Lip service is given to engagement and empowerment, but the real deal is command and control. Employees are inadvertently taught the importance of hierarchy in getting things done. The result is a culture of fear where everyone plays to titles instead of doing what they know is right for the business. The internet just might be the greatest democracy on the face of the earth. If you have a great idea, people follow you. If your content isn’t compelling, they don’t. Creating a culture of innovation is a lot like the internet – the best ideas, not tenure, titles or hierarchy, win. Lack of courage to test new ideas. People’s spirits are deadened when the waters of creativity are stagnant. Zero defect cultures foster the kind of cautious inactivity that slows the organisation down and makes it sluggish. We can never know our true capacity unless we are encouraged and willing to push the limits and test the boundaries of what we are capable of. Innovation is the result of experimentation, and experimentation is the result of risking more and failing faster. This is why leaders who create an environment that inspires creativity and ingenuity aren’t afraid to reward intelligent failure. Employees who have no voice. People who have no voice don’t feel trusted or valued. So, they check out. The true experts in most organisations are those closest to the point of action doing the work. They know where the opportunities lie; they know what market trends






are emerging; and they know where waste and redundancies exist. Leaders who fail to put the true experts in control of their work create a paternal culture where creative discovery, freedom and responsibility are traded for a reactive, victim-like mentality. Innovation is radical because it not only changes the rules of the game; it’s about changing the rule makers. Lack of diversity. We’re not just talking about cultural or ethnic diversity; we’re talking about diversity of thought and ideas. If you only hang out with people who look and think and act like you do, this doesn’t unleash your creativity, it sharpens your prejudice. It takes guts to surround yourself with diverse others. They are often eccentric, weird and difficult to manage. But they are the ones who will draw you out of the comfort zone and take you on an adventure where you can find the next big thing. They will keep it interesting and lively. Innovation feeds on multiple points of view. Employees who embrace a victim mentality. People want freedom, but they seek safety. Far too many people we have met fail to assume responsibility for their own happiness and wellbeing at work. They assume it is the organisation’s job to make them happy and content. They assume it’s the organisation’s job to train and equip them to become more marketable. When the organisation fails, people jump into the blame frame and start pointing fingers. As this cancer spreads it deadens the spirit of the enterprise. Failure to acknowledge the whole person. Whether it’s sick kids, ageing parents, planning a vacation, visiting a doctor, or dropping off the dry cleaning, life happens when life happens, not just before 8am and after 6pm. Organisations that fail to acknowledge the person behind the software developer or customer service agent fail to acknowledge the distractions that keep these individuals from doing great work. Innovative companies figure out how to eliminate these distractions and make people feel valued. The result is an incredibly unique culture that has a distinct competitive advantage in attracting the best and brightest talent who, in turn, create world-class products and services. Lack of optimism and resilience. No one gets it right in business all the time, but successful companies and leaders have the ability to bounce back from failure. Unsuccessful companies let it take them down. The assumption is that optimism and resilience is something you are born with: you either have it or you don’t. The research suggests otherwise. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that optimism can be learned and bred into a culture intentionally. Innovation is messy. It doesn’t follow a neat, linear path. It offers no guarantees. And, it tests the validity of an idea through trial and error. This is why the “bounce back” factor is so critical. People keep moving forward, trying new things that keep them invigorated.


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Inability to celebrate and have fun. There is a “deadness” in organisations that don’t see the value in, or don’t know how to celebrate. It’s amazing how many really cool things can be going on in a company that most people don’t have a clue about. Celebration fuels people’s fire to do the next great thing. Without it heroic contributions are missed and the emotional bonds that wed people’s affection and enthusiasm to the company are weakened. No cause to fight for. When the work is defined in terms of a cause, what follows is a movement. A healthy level of fanaticism and missionary zeal characterises the movement. People want to belong to something larger than themselves – something that gives their lives meaning and significance. People who have a direct line of sight between their individual contributions and the cause are more engaged. They see innovation as a necessity, as a way to further the cause.


If you have a great idea, people follow you. If your content isn’t compelling, they don’t

Drs Jackie and Kevin Freiberg are the founders of the San Diego Consulting Group,an international leadership, innovation and future trends consultancy. They are the best-selling authors of “NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success” and “Nanovation: How a Little Car Can Teach the World to Think Big and Act Bold”. See more at

ISSUE 13.8


We Wear Many Hats To Do One Job In today’s workplace, it’s not uncommon for employees to wear many hats. They can be a team lead, project manager, problem solver, coach, mentor, collaborator and more. To excel in these roles, it is crucial that they are able to manage themselves and harness the potential of their co-workers. Take the step to develop your organisation’s capabilities through Leadership and People Management (LPM) Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training programmes. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are eligible for course fee funding of up to 70%.

For more information, please contact our Programme Partners: CAPELLE ACADEMY 6325 4982


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HR Tech


MIXING WORK & PLAY The popularity of video and online gaming has increased exponentially in recent years. Companies keen to attract, engage, incentivise, and retain today’s generation of workers have begun to take games and gaming concepts very seriously indeed. HRM finds out how ‘gamification’ has now worked its way into key HR functions By Shalini Shukla-Pandey ISSUE 13.8




Maersk Group and its ‘Quest for Oil’ Maersk recently launched a new computer game, called ‘Quest for Oil’. It is a free, highly sophisticated computer game that allows players to experience first-hand the stresses and strains of successfully managing an oil company. Playing against a computer opponent, the game tests players’ strategic and practical skills and the ability to understand the key challenges of the oil industry: how to “read” earth layers, how to detect where to find oil reservoirs, how to drill, and how to successfully bring oil to market. “Most people take for granted that we have oil and natural gas, and not many people understand what it takes to find and produce it,” says Jakob Thomasen, CEO of Maersk Oil. “The world’s need for oil and gas is leading exploration into ever deeper waters demanding precision and cutting edge technology. It’s a sophisticated, fascinating industry and ‘Quest for Oil’ offers everybody a glimpse of what oil and gas exploration is all about today,”. To master the challenge, players need to test analytical skills looking for oil on a seismic map. What does the underground look like? Which layers of earth does it consist of? And where is the oil locked? Players are tested on how precisely they position their high-tech drilling equipment, always keeping an eye on temperature and pressure, before they can start extracting and producing the oil found. Players have to constantly make the right analysis and decisions. “New times calls for new measures, and we want to use the computer game to tell the story of an extremely innovative business, which the entire world depends on, in a new and engaging way,” explains Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling. “We wish to engage in dialogue about our oil and energy business through gamification, and at the same time give all interested the best opportunity to experience the underground.”


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is the use of game mechanics and/ or game design principles in contexts other than games Source: Accenture report: “Changing the Human Resources Game: How Serious Games and Gamification are Disrupting HR”

Over the last few years, a new generation has entered the workforce – the first who grew up living and breathing modern computer games. “For many of these workers, such games – including, for instance, massive multiplayer, online role-playing games – are still more than just an occasional pastime,” an Accenture report notes. “They are a major part of the culture that forms the backdrop of the workers’ lives.” Much of their socialising takes place through or around computer games, and the vocabulary of gaming (terms like “levelling up” and “epic win”) has become common in conversations—even those that have nothing to do with games. Gaming concepts and terminology are now a significant part of how many think about life. It’s no surprise then that companies who are keen to attract, engage and retain this generation of workers have been taking games seriously too. According to an Accenture report, “gaming concepts have begun working their way into key HR functions”. Gamification uses game design and game mechanics in non-entertainment contexts to engage employees, encourage collaborative behaviours, drive the adoption of tools, and instill a sense of responsibility among employees. According to IT research firm Gartner, more than 70% of Forbes’ major companies will have at least one “gamified” application by 2014. As it’s easy and affordable, an increasing number of organisations are grafting game mechanics onto existing systems and processes. “This includes elements like points, leaderboards, progress meters and rewards through virtual badges or tangible rewards that allow employees to turn in points for prizes,” the Accenture report says.


Integrating games into everyday work The idea that gaming elements can be useful in the workplace is not new. According to Accenture, sales groups have long used leaderboards and other gamification mechanisms to foster friendly competition, while organisations such as the military have used war games and their civilian equivalents to develop high-impact skills. “What is new, though, is the increasingly game-friendly demographics of the workforce, and the availability of commercial platforms that have industrialised the development of games and gamification,” says Accenture. “These factors have made it much more affordable to create and incorporate serious games and gamification into business processes.” Although gamification in HR is still at an early stage of development, it is clear it has already begun to alter the way both HR professionals and employees experience various workplace functions, including: • Recruitment • Training • Sourcing • Performance management When designed well, applied in the right context and with the right levers, gamification can be a powerful way of engaging employees, and more importantly, motivating desired behaviours, says Marc Ha, Vice President and Managing Consultant of Text100 Singapore. “Mandatory trainings are something that can benefit tremendously from gamification,” he adds. “Trainings are often seen as important but not urgent, so companies need to find ways to motivate and incentivise employees.”

5 top HR tips when gamifying your team • Make participation either opt-in or opt-out – give players control over their participation and don’t make it mandatory • Prioritise non-financial incentives – don’t give away iPads or offer cash bonuses • Focus on new, positive behaviours. Train people in something new to help them with their work or an organisational citizenship behaviour • Maintain trust by being upfront about data. Share with staff what data you’re collecting, how you are using it and what their rights are regarding it. Transparency is key. • Form a gamification committee – stewardship of the program should be controlled by a group representing management, players, and a disinterested third party. Source: Toby Beresford, CEO,



Game-based training In 2011, Text100 launched an innovative Digital Certification process intended to ensure all staff could make better use of digital channels and social networks. Text100 created a programme that focused not only on training but also on thought leadership, community skills development, and consulting as part of its company-wide change management programme. “We made our Digital Certification process compulsory for very good reasons and we stand by that,” says Text100’s Global Talent Development Director Gabrielle Tourelle. “However, research frequently validates the human tendency towards deeper engagement with opt-in activities and our culture is generally one that prefers to trust, rather than over-control a situation.”

“We learned the importance of being compulsory yet flexible at the same time. The two can co-exist,” she explains. By making it compulsory, Text 100 got people to the training, but what happened next related to how motivated they were. “The ‘what’s in it for me’ question from both a personal and professional perspective for the individual was a key driver in the organisation’s success,” says Tourelle. “We had a lot of motivated staff with a staggering 92% of staff applying for certification.” By having four tiers of certification (“adventurer”, “explorer”, “navigator” and “trailblazer”), Text 100 built in more flexibility within the compulsory model. An employee could still participate even if they were a beginner– experience was no barrier.

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HR Tech Gamifying Japan’s elections Even Japanese politicians have ventured into the cyber world, using social media and games to woo voters before the Upper House elections last month. To target tech-savvy youngters, who also tend to be apathetic about politics and traditional elections campaigns, a new game app featuring a cartoon version of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, hopping and somersaulting his way through the sky, was launched. According to Reuters, in “Abe Hops”, a business suitclad avatar of the Prime Minister bounds high into the clouds via floating platforms. Missing a platform causes him to plunge to his “death”. As he soars higher, players rack up points, gaining access to facts about Abe and information about his Liberal Democratic Party. High scores also allow the avatar to change clothes, whisking Abe from his grey suit and into jeans or gym wear. The ultimate prize is a bouncing Abe in a superhero cape. The app is a rare venture for a world leader. “Tech-savvy US President Barack Obama featured in a superhero game in 2009, but it wasn’t officially endorsed,” the Reuters report said.

As the public relations (PR) industry evolves, social and digital media have become an integral part of communications and audience engagement. Since its founding in 1981, Text100 has been at the frontier of technology-enabled PR and recognised early that it was critical for practitioners in the marketing and PR sector to acquire these skills in order to deliver effective solutions to its clients. “To create a sense of urgency for our employees to get trained, and to encourage them to gain practical experience, we designed a robust assessment scorecard that rewarded points for attending a training session and personally experimenting with social channels such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn,” says Ha. Taking a leaf from the popularity of social games, employees were then rewarded with fun badges with titles such as Adventurer, Explorer, Navigator and Trailblazer (see boxout) through Text100’s Digital Certification Programme. “Eighty-three per cent of Text100 employees globally are certified ‘Adventurers’, 40% are certified ‘Explorers’ and higher,” says Ha. “The outcome is: happy clients, great campaigns and a bunch of global, regional and local industry awards that validate we’ve been on the right path.”

When to gamify? Deciding when to put game mechanics into an HR strategy boils down to two key things, says Ha. Firstly, 34

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More than


of major companies will have at least one “gamified” application by 2014 Source: IT research firm Gartner

content. “Gamification is used to shape desired actions or behaviours, so when applied inappropriately, you might actually be achieving the opposite effect – rewarding employees for the wrong reasons, and consequently shaping the wrong behaviour. “As a simplified example, incentivising an employee with points to redeem a free coffee because he flushes the toilet after use is to reward an employee for what is already a basic social etiquette expected of any individual in society,” he says. Secondly, gamification works only if it’s relevant. “Gamification generally works with the younger demographic – the millennials and Gen Ys – for the obvious reason that they have grown up in a gamified environment,” says Ha. “So companies need to assess their employee demographics before rolling out such programmes.” For instance, the oil industry is presently experiencing a recruitment crisis in certain regions. A recent survey on the North Sea oil industry found that 70% of employers were “struggling” to recruit quality candidates and the recruitment crisis was “set to get worse.” A large percentage of experienced employees in the industry are also scheduled to retire in the coming years, without enough qualified people available to fill their positions. As part of Maersk Drilling’s growth strategy, the target is to double the fleet and hire 3,000 new colleagues by 2018. While the company is seeing a growing interest, especially in its drilling trainee programmes, it has looked towards gamification to inspire young people to take up a career in the oil industry. A newly-launched computer game, ‘Quest for Oil’ (see boxout on page 32), gives players (potential talent) the chance to experience the exciting world of oil exploration in a fun and engaging manner, says Jesper B. Madsen, VP – HR, Maersk Drilling. “Quest for Oil is a ‘real time’ strategy game with integrated mini games and the first of its kind to our knowledge,” says Madsen. “It’s about investing, analysing, drilling and developing an oil company in a battle against time and a computer-based opponent.” The game can also be used for training courses or introduction courses where Maersk wants to give new employees a broad understanding of the business model of the industry and how it’s all connected, he adds.

Gamification for tomorrow Going to work may never be as exciting as a great video game, but Accenture expects high-performing enterprises to push the boundaries and see how close they can get. “We are still only beginning to understand what gamingrelated transformations will be most beneficial and the factors that will determine whether or not workforces ultimately embrace these approaches,” it says. “The trend toward enterprise-focused serious games and gamification will become increasingly important, as gaming technologies and their impact on businesses continue to improve.”


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Case study

Industry spotlight

HEALTHCARE According to the World Health Report, Singapore offers Asia’s top healthcare system, and its standard of medical practice ranks among the best in the world. This success and growth is supported by a dynamic workforce that sees going beyond the call of duty as part of a normal day at work. HRM finds out more about the ins and outs of HR in this essential industry By Shalini Shukla-Pandey

With a burgeoning population and a rapidly ageing population, there is significant strain being placed on Singapore’s healthcare resources and manpower in meeting these specific healthcare needs. “The worldwide shortage of skilled healthcare professionals and also competition for such talent within Singapore as more hospitals and medical centres (both public and private) are being built, have led to the war for talent and increasing cost of attracting and retaining healthcare professionals today,” says Esther Tan, Director – HR, Singapore General Hospital. “On the other hand, we still need to ensure that healthcare is made affordable, available and accessible to all Singaporeans.” Anna Fok, Chief HR Officer, JurongHealth, says that HR in healthcare has become even more exciting as the industry learns to create innovative solutions to address manpower challenges. “While we learn to recruit quality people, we must also learn to engage and retain all performing staff,” Fok explains. “The definition of talent will have to become more inclusive as everyone is valued and a part of the bigger team to deliver integrated and holistic care to patients.”

Winning the talent war In tandem with a growing and ageing population, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) says the country will have to build up both capacity and capability. “We

will need to expand our healthcare professionals workforce (comprising doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals) by about 32,000 staff, as well as more than double the number of support care staff by 2030,” an MOH spokesperson says. To expand Singapore’s healthcare manpower supply, MOH and Ministry of Education (MOE) have worked closely to increase the annual intake of healthcare training programmes. For example, the local medical intake will increase to 400, with the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore’s third medical school, admitting its first cohort of around 50 students in August this year. The nursing intake will also be gradually increased to 2,700. Apart from students, MOH and public healthcare institutions also work closely with the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) to encourage mid-career professionals to join the healthcare Medical sector, by undergoing specialised training to resident work become nurses and allied health hours are limited to professionals. 80 hours “Besides paying for their full course fees, we weekly also provide training allowances while the Source: trainees are undergoing the training Accreditation programmes,” says MOH. “We will also Council for promote back-to-practice schemes for trained Graduate Medical healthcare professionals and support retiring Education staff who are keen to continue working for as (ACGME) long as they can.” ISSUE 13.8



Case study

Are nurses low-skilled workers? In the government’s recent Population White Paper, nurses were labelled as low-skilled workers, much to the ire of Singaporeans and the healthcare industry. The government quickly apologised for the mistake, acknowledging that nurses are far from lowskilled and in fact are a highly-skilled and indispensable part of healthcare sector. Nurses are highly-skilled and many are specially trained in the various subspecialty areas, working in difficult, complex and highly stressed situations whilst still remaining professional in the face of challenges and difficulties, stressed Tan. “They are compassionate, caring and put the interests of the patients before their own,” she adds. “Hospitals would not be able to function without nurses.” As staff work very hard and also long hours due to the heavy patient load, SGH helps its healthcare workers, including nurses, to de-stress, recuperate and re-charge through a myriad of work-life activities. “We find every opportunity to celebrate and have fun, leveraging on multiple platforms of engagement to make our staff feel cared for,” says Tan. “During the hospital’s annual Staff Appreciation month for instance, senior management lead by example to appreciate staff and encourage staff to appreciate each other.” Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth, summed up the importance of every healthcare worker: “No matter where you are in SingHealth or what you do, each one of us plays different but equally important roles.”

In view of the limited and fierce competitive for healthcare manpower, SGH aims to be very creative in its staffing strategy. “This includes retaining older and experienced healthcare professionals beyond their compulsory retirement age to continue to provide that special touch to our patients and to mentor/train the next generation of healthcare professionals,” says Tan. “We also emphasise on training and upgrading of our healthcare workforce to ensure our healthcare professionals remain relevant to the ever-changing medical field,” she added. “SGH also looks towards getting healthcare professionals who have left healthcare to return to their profession through refresher training.” At SGH, the Alice Lee Institute of Nursing, PostGraduate Allied Health Institute, Post-graduate Medical Institute provide relevant training and upgrading for its healthcare staff, while the Return-to-Nursing training programme caters to ex-nurses. “Besides the various recruitment strategies to attract healthcare talents, SGH also invests in building its talent pipeline through awarding healthcare sponsorships,” says Tan. While MOH will continue to explore ways to expand the healthcare manpower workforce, and also boost the sector’s 38

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productivity through technology and innovation, it will continue to supplement the resident training pipeline with foreign recruitment, particularly support care staff who assist nurses in looking after the daily needs of patients such as dressing, feeding and toileting. “At the core of it all, we have to ensure that we hire the right talent regardless of nationality,” says Tan.

Money matters The compensation and benefits in public healthcare is governed by MOH to ensure parity. To ensure that salaries in the healthcare sector remain competitive, the Government raised the salaries of all staff in the public healthcare sector last year and similarly provided additional funding to the intermediate and long-term care sector to raise salaries. “Healthcare professionals in Singapore are also given opportunities for career and professional development,” says an MOH spokesperson. “Besides clinical work, they can take on roles in education, research or administration.” At SGH, the total reward experience is more than compensation and benefits as it encompasses other reward elements such as recognition programmes and intrinsic rewards that enable the hospital to respond nimbly to the needs of a diverse and multi-generational workforce. SGH also has clearly defined career paths and training development programmes for its staff. Fok says that while it is important to ensure fair pay for staff for the roles they perform, JurongHealth also leverages intrinsic rewards to enable staff to self-actualise at work, at home and socially. “We hope to give staff a sense of purpose in JurongHealth to enable them to journey through life with meaning and conviction with what they do every day,” she explains.

From health care to health sciences Medical doctors not only work in hospitals or open their own private practices but also join corporate organisations such as Allergan, a multi-specialty healthcare company that’s also behind over-the-counter consumer products including BOTOX® and the REFRESH® Brand of artificial tears. “We hire medical doctors from a range of fields including ophthalmology, dermatology, aesthetic medicine, oncology and neurology, to engage in clinical facilitations with our customers (aesthetics clinics, etc…) on how to use our products safely and effectively” says Stephanie Nash, VP – HR (APAC), Allergan Singapore. Some reasons why medical doctors move into health sciences include: • Hospitals becoming more commercial, with gains going into the pockets of the hospitals rather than the doctors • The ability for them to come into an organisation where they can influence reform, quality of training, patient experience, and impact of medical products on patients • The ability to contribute more to a broader audience


than when being in private practice • Moving to an alternative environment, away from being in hospitals with daily routine to having interactions with diverse types of individuals in a variety of forums. At companies such as Allergan, these doctors continue to be valued as a medical professional, engaging and being part of the medical professional community and having an impact by increasing the awareness and building skills of fellow doctors in using the right products in the right way for the best outcomes for the patient, Nash explains. After Allergan trains resident medical doctors to become absolute specialists in aesthetic procedures, they become well-known by key opinion leaders and by consumers in the market that they operate in. The company then faces the challenge of retaining this talent. “They are very highly-skilled in their area and are able to go out on their own (particularly on the aesthetic side), start a private practice or clinic, and eventually in some cases, chain clinics, because they’ve got this great training,” says Nash. “Still, if they choose to leave to do their own thing, we try to ensure they move to having a different type of relationship with us, from employees to customers,” she adds.

A future healthcare professional speaks… Healthcare employees work long hours and are expected to pull in shifts during public holidays and weekends, all this while getting salaries that may not match those of professions such as doctor and lawyers. A National University of Singapore (NUS) medical student, speaking on condition of anonymity, says, “I believe that medicine is a calling and not a job. To me, it is truly a privilege to be able to help patients with their problems and make a significant impact on their lives.” “The satisfaction that I derive from such meaningful work more than makes up for the relatively lower salary, which is nonetheless still enough to lead a comfortable life,” he adds. When asked about the recent emphasis on hiring Singaporeans first, the student says it is a positive sign as this affirms the fact that Singapore does produce quality graduates who can form the pillar of the country’s healthcare system. “The influx of foreign healthcare professionals has also helped to boost our ranks and thus lighten our workload,” he says. “It also reduces competitiveness among doctors for things like specialist training opportunities.” While medical students in Singapore have the privilege of being taught by some of the finest doctors in the country, the NUS student is concerned that many good public sector doctors are leaving for the private sectors and this might hamper the training and development of future healthcare professionals like himself. “I hope top foreign consultants will still be brought in so that students like me will be able to learn from them,” he says.

CASESTUDY KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital –

An Enabling Employer

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is one of the pioneering organisations to collaborate with Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) to offer training internship for their trainees. The partnership between KKH and SPD began in 2008, when the first trainee, Lim Lin Li, was shortlisted. Lim is weakened by a tumour in her spinal cord and has been using a wheelchair since age 13. While she did not have any prior front office experience, KKH was impressed by Lim’s enthusiasm and positive attitude and thus decided to pilot a three-month internship programme with her. This provided her the opportunity to assess her own comfort level of working in a front office role as well as a chance for KKH to train and build up her confidence levels. It proved to be a win-win situation, as not only did Lim complete and pass her internship well, she also went on to join the department as a full-time staff. She has since excelled in her work and was presented a Silver Award at the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards 2012 in recognition of her efforts and excellent service levels. Lim also received an Exemplary Employee Award from President Tony Tan, at the Enabling Employers Awards 2012. Before hiring a Person with Disabilities (PWD), some preparation and structural changes are made to the work environment at KKH to make it more conducive and welcoming for a PWD colleague. Best practices were shared with members of the department to sensitise them to the support that may be needed from them. At present, KKH has six PWDs under its employment, all performing well in their roles at various departments such as Admissions, Concierge, Appointments Centre, Reception and Service Quality.

Changi General Hospital –

Happy staff = Happy patients Winner of the national Worklife Excellence Award, Changi General Hospital (CGH) has been a long-time advocate of work-life balance. Besides rolling out family-friendly initiatives such as having a lactation room and an on-site childcare centre, CGH has also put in place enhanced work-week and flexible work arrangements for staff. The hospital’s work-life strategy is aligned with its business strategy and has helped to attain high employee satisfaction and lower attrition rate. To create a happy workplace, CGH organises a variety of recreational activities such as Family Day, cooking classes and Pilates classes. The hospital also encourages interest groups such as running, bowling, drama, cheer-leading and sailing. Most recently, in March 2013, CGH’s sailing team came in first in a local sailing competition. As a healthcare organisation, CGH also encourages its staff to lead a healthy lifestyle. Healthy living is promoted to all staff through health-screenings, fitness tests, health talks, weight management and smoking cessation programmes, and a healthy eating programme in the canteen. Taking care of staff’s emotional needs, CGH has set up a P.E.E.R network and a staff counselling service. Staff affected by stressful incidents (e.g. violence, sudden death of patients) can receive psychological support. CGH the first hospital to launch this programme ten years ago and hundreds of staff have benefitted from this programme since. Our philosophy is simple: happy staff = happy patients.

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Banishing those

evil twins


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Performance management

There can be a big difference between what a manager or supervisor does to build up performance in their team, and what they are perceived to be doing by often insecure staff. But Jill Geisler, author of Work Happy, What Great Bosses Know, says there are strategies that can permanently banish those shadowy alter-egos

Consider this a fair warning to managers everywhere. Lurking nearby, ready to make an uninvited workplace visit, is your “Evil Twin.” That substandard sibling is the person your staff sees when they misinterpret your behaviour, and he or she is usually getting in the way of your effectiveness. I’ve met countless Evil Twins while reviewing the 360-degree feedback of managers I’ve taught and coached. I’m not talking about truly bad bosses. These are skilled supervisors, trying to do something positive, but their actions are regularly misread by those they manage. I see it so often that I’ve made the eradication of Evil Twins an essential part of my management teaching and writing. I highlighted the problem in my book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know and it’s one of the concepts I’ve been asked about most during interviews. Here’s how I explain it to leaders: Imagine that you’ve always believed that good bosses shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty, so you roll up your sleeves and do front-line work from time to time to prove it. You envision yourself as “the boss who pitches in.” Unfortunately, your staff sees your Evil Twin, “the micromanager”. Or perhaps you want to emulate the best boss you ever worked for, a person with extremely high standards. So, when employees perform really well, you automatically tell them what they must do to raise their game to the next level. In your mind, you’re “the boss who builds great performers.”

This column was adapted for HRM Asia from one that first appeared on It is published with permission of The Poynter Institute. Jill Geisler is the author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know” (Center Street/Hachette).

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Performance management Unbeknownst to you however, those employees see your buzz-killing Evil Twin, “Captain impossibleto-please.” Evil Twins are the result of good ideas poorly executed and positive intentions inadequately expressed. Under these circumstances, forthrightness can come across as tactlessness, consensus building as indecisiveness, and positive feedback as puffery. Fortunately, there are ways to discover and disown Evil Twins before they damage your reputation or career. Here are five tips: • Talk about values — early and often. Some managers are more comfortable discussing the fine points of business and budgets than the values and virtues they care deeply about. But when you let people know what you sincerely stand for, it makes it less likely they’ll perceive Evil Twin scenarios. • Don’t assume people understand your motives. Actions may speak louder than words, but the right words keep a manager’s actions from being misunderstood. According to what psychologists call “attribution theory,” we humans are constantly assessing the motives of people with whom we interact. The problem is we’re very likely to guess wrong. Further, those guesses are often influenced by our worst fears. Think about the times a boss has asked you, “what’s the status of that report?” and you hear it as, “why isn’t it done yet?” The question came from “curious boss” but you presumed it was the Evil Twin, “critical boss.”

BIO BRIEF Jill Geisler is the head of The Poynter Institute’s Leadership and Management programmes. She guides managers – from the novice to the veteran – toward success. In Poynter-based seminars, offsite workshops and within organisations, she brings humor and humanity to her teaching and coaching. Geisler has conducted specialised training and coaching programmes for numerous organisations in the U.S. and abroad and is in demand as a speaker on leadership issues, ethics, change management and the status of women in leadership.


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• Don’t be above explaining yourself. You may think managers shouldn’t have to include the “why” behind directives or initiatives. You might believe people should simply assume the best and respond unquestioningly. But explaining yourself doesn’t mean you’re negotiating or insecure about your position. It means you’re providing context and reducing confusion, so why not? • Dare to invite feedback. Employees are often hesitant to initiate conversations with their bosses, especially when the organisational culture is top-down. But you, as a manager, can build your own team culture, one that says managers are willing to listen as well as lecture. When people feel they can approach you with a concern (or a compliment), you’ve got a built-in early warning system about misperceptions.

Evil Twins are the result of good ideas poorly executed and positive intentions inadequately expressed


• Understand the impact of good intentions. People appreciate more deeply and forgive more readily when they believe the other person means well. That’s not just feel-good folklore; there’s science to back it up. In the USA, a psychology professor at the University of Maryland, Kurt Gray, recently conducted eye-opening experiments that suggest that the perception of good intentions affects not only our emotional reactions, but can even have a physical impact. In his study, “The Power of Good Intentions,” subjects were given identical candy, massages, and electric shocks. Those three items were administered in a variety of scenarios. In some, the delivery was very matter-of-fact, and in others, it came from an apparently benevolent person. The result: Subjects declared the candy to be sweeter, the massages more pleasurable and the shocks less painful when they believed they were given by someone with good intentions. (If you’re wondering about the shocks, subjects were told the

“shocker” was trying to help them win money). Gray and his team noted the real-life implications of their findings, for everything from medicine to interpersonal relationships — and of course, to the workplace. It helps explain why, when I ask people to identify great bosses they’ve worked for, they rarely identify saints. In fact, they often talk about managers who were highly demanding or impatient or tight with a dollar. But every one of those perfectly imperfect bosses also made it a point to communicate another unmistakable message through their words and actions: “I do what I do because I believe in you and I’m committed to your success”. When employees get that message, the boss’s praise is sweeter, the boss’s criticism is less apt to sting – and both will achieve their desired effect on performance. The bottom line: good intentions and good execution can build great bosses – and banish Evil Twins.

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Going hard soft skills on


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Corporate learning

Employees who successfully combine their technical expertise with soft skills can create better synergies at the workplace, boost performance and improve the bottom line. HRM finds looks at some training programmes that can help bring out the “softer side” of staff skills By Sumathi V Selvaretnam

Soft skills, such as strategic thinking, written and communications skills, as well as leadership capabilities, can help boost a technically brilliant employee to the next level. Increasingly, employees equipped with such skills are favoured by employers. A survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) found that 67% of HR managers would hire an applicant with soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking. In contrast, only nine percent would hire someone with strong technical expertise but weak interpersonal skills. Another survey by the Manpower Group last year found that soft skills deficiencies were most prevalent in Japan (70%) and Taiwan (67%). The most commonly identified soft skills employers found lacking were interpersonal skills and enthusiasm or motivation. In today’s work environment, good teamwork and effective communication skills are critical to get tasks done successfully, says Jason Law, Senior Manager, Management Development and Consultancy, MDIS. “For this reason, soft skills are increasingly sought after by employers in addition to standard requirements, such as academic qualifications and relevant work experience.” Having the right emotional intelligence (EQ) is especially important for frontline employees, says Law. “Those organisations who deal with customers face-toface are generally more successful if they are able to train their staff to use these skills effectively,” he explains. Jeremy Blain, Regional Managing Director of Cegos Asia Pacific, offers another perspective. “I hate the term ‘soft skills’,” he says. “These are the hard skills of business and in some ways a lost art due to the pullback of training budgets over the years. “How we manage, how we have tough discussions, how we sell and negotiate effectively, and how we present are

all critical to the future leader suite of capabilities as well as the business,” he says. According to Blain, soft skills are about growth. They clearly impact on positive behaviours and ultimately the bottom line. “More learners now want this type of training than ever before,” he adds.

Technology and effective communication Advancements in technology have spawned new and networked online opportunities that often bypass the need for face-to-face interaction in business. Yet it is still important not to forget the value of “high touch” - the role of human interaction and understanding of human complexity, says Law. “To be effective, high technology must go hand-in-hand with ‘high touch’. Soft skills are still very important as there is always a need to communicate effectively with customers, colleagues and the larger community,” he says. Social media has also taken off in a big way and employees today have increasingly public personas. This requires them to communicate their views with clarity and maturity. “In our current Facebook and Instagram generation, the art of communicating sensitively and aptly, and projecting the right image is crucial to one’s social and employment prospects,” Law says. As such, the ability to read, write, and speak clearly and effectively will never go out of style — especially in today’s competitive business environment, says Law. “IT or technology can bring about innovative products and solutions but these will remain merely impressive concepts and ideas unless they are properly communicated or marketed.”


of HR managers would hire an applicant with soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking

Driving innovation Boosting creativity and innovation at work is top on the ISSUE 13.8



Corporate learning “In our current Facebook and Instagram generation, the art of communicating sensitively and aptly, and projecting the right image is crucial to one’s social and employment prospects” – JASON LAW, SENIOR MANAGER, MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT AND CONSULTANCY, MDIS

Key soft skills in demand • Innovative thinking • Managing performance • Cross cultural communication and co-working • Conflict resolution and negotiation • Strategic thinking


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agenda for many organisations seeking to edge out the competition. Building soft skills in this area is critical to achieving breakthrough success, says Anthony Ho Lian Yi, General Manager, Organizational Development Concepts (ODC). “Many employers would like their staff to be equipped with leadership and people management skills, as well as the capacity to innovate,” he says. This is where skills in innovation management can make a difference, says Ho. “Innovation management can be described as an active change force which creates change,” Ho explains. ODC has launched a Management of Innovation programme specifically to assist organisations and leaders innovational skills, enabling them to make proactive transformational changes in the organisation. Creative thinking is another essential component of innovation as it creates value, says Law. “Value creation represents the various innovative ways that products take advantage of new materials, technologies and processes. Without innovation, companies and governments will face significant decline in an increasingly competitive world,” he says. MDIS offers a number of courses in this area, including programmes in “Analytical and Creative Problem Solving”, “Innovative Techniques of Problem Solving”, and “Decision Making in the Workplace”. “With creative thinking, one generates as many alternative approaches as one can,” Law says. “Creative thinking is inclusive thinking. You consider the least obvious as well as the most likely approaches, and you look for different ways to look at the problem.”

Change management skills Change is a constant in today’s dynamic business environment. This calls for leaders who are able to rally their troops, explain decisions, create a unified agenda and drive things forward. Factors such as globalisation, mobilisation, new technology, the shift of economic growth to the East and new ways of doing business create additional pressures, says Blain from Cegos. “Many new leaders are poorly equipped to bring their teams through it as they are not prepared themselves,” he warns. As a result of this, more companies are seeing the value in equipping their leaders with specific change management skills. One leadership courses offered by Cegos focuses on leading change in an organisation. Here, participants learn how to identify their own leadership styles, engage team members, and maintain a collective drive while not losing sight of the performance objectives. Changes occur frequently and sometimes brutally, hence change management strategies are critical, reiterates Ho. “They equip the employees and leaders within the organisation with the ability to adapt and adjust before advancing into a new business environment,” he concludes.



Asian Managerial Intelligence Growing needs in the area of competency development has been driving demand for higher levels of Asian Managerial Intelligence (AMQ) among upcoming managers and leaders across the region in an increasingly globalised, connected and competitive environment. Cegos Asia Pacific has developed a unique two-day conference to address this subject. With supporting diagnostics to gain insights into your personality as a manager, expert speakers and elective eLearning modules to supplement the learning, this inaugural conference will be of high value and high impact for those wishing to fine tune their managerial skills or step change their development as they make the transition into management and leadership positions across the Asia Pacific region. The conference is targeted at aspiring, new and existing middle managers, both local and expatriates, who envision Asia as their launch pad for modern managerial excellence.

Covering ten sessions over two days, each session is presented by an expert in that core area. This interactive and value adding conference will connect you with like-minded managers and leaders enabling a Peer Group network during and after the event itself. This is a highly practical programme for New Managers in Asia.

Conference Details

For enquiries please email or Maler Vilee at

Ten core areas of Asian Managerial Intelligence have been identified by Cegos, categorised as external and internal intelligence.

Special features of this course




2 Environments of Asian Managerial Intelligence



10 Dimensions of Asian Managerial Intelligence External environment • Business and Management Analytics • Company Financial Intelligence • Customer Intelligence • Networking and Community Intelligence

Internal environment • Intelligent management of others • Cross Cultural Intelligence • Generational Intelligence • Emotional Intelligence • Personal Branding – Your managerial Leadership Intelligence

Supported by self-assessment to understand your personal style

The Asian Managerial Conference

takes place on 1 - 2 October 2013, National Library Building, 100 Victoria St., Singapore 188064 (Level 5, Imagination Room) Register your interest for this event today. Book early to take advantage of the special early bird rate.

Scan here for more information about the programme.

CEGOS With a 15-year presence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Cegos regional head office in Singapore enables us to provide innovative and flexible learning across borders, cultures and languages. Our mantra “Think Global, Learn Local” ensures that we constantly adapt our approach, creating solutions that suit the diversity of APAC-specific locales while staying aligned with global organisational frameworks. Jeremy Blain is Managing Director of Cegos Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, the Asian HQ of Cegos. Blain’s primary role is in leading all of Cegos’ operations and activities across Asia Pacific. Blain has a passion for working in Asia Pacific, having had many years of experience driving commercial and operational activities in many countries including India, Singapore, Thailand, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. In Jeremy Blain addition to extensive managerial experience in Managing Director Asia, Blain has operated in most major markets in the world leading Cegos strategy and activities including US, Brazil, Mexico, GCC countries, South Africa and more, and before that across Europe as the Managing Director of Cegos UK. An L&D entrepreneur, Blain has a unique sensitivity to the needs of the increasingly globalised workplace and cross cultural implications.

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Destination Guide

The heat is on in

Hong Kong One of Asia’s most dynamic hubs is also a popular MICE destination, due to its excellent location and facilities. HRM explores Hong Kong to find out some exciting accommodation options and activities By Vivien Shiao Shufen


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Strategically located close to the booming economies of mainland China and the rest of Asia, vibrant Hong Kong is fast becoming recognised as one of the world’s top MICE destinations. Many of the world’s biggest firms have headquarters in the city, with over 50% of the world’s population within five hours of flying time. That makes it a perfect location for holding regional events in particular. To raise the city’s profile as an ideal MICE destination, the local government set up a dedicated office, Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK), in 2008. According to its latest report, there were some 760,000 overnight MICE visitor stays in Hong Kong last year, an increase of 4.8% over the same period in 2011. With its world-class infrastructure, accessibility and vast array of venues to pick from, it is not hard to see why Hong Kong is becoming more popular for MICE activities.

What’s new In Hong Kong where the tide of change is unceasing, new hotels and attractions are constantly appearing to add a greater depth to the city’s claim as a prestige MICE destination.

One red-hot new hotel is The Mira Hong Kong, which has been named one of the top 10 MICE hotels at the 7th China Hotel Starlight Awards. Centrally located in Tsim Sha Tsui – the heart of Hong Kong’s commercial and entertainment district – the smoke-free, design hotel has a total of 492 guest rooms, including a collection of 56 suites and specialty suites. With its vast array of facilities and venues, the hotel is capable of hosting everything from small, intimate meetings to large-scale conventions and events. The state-of-the-art 15,000 square feet ballroom is pillarless, and accommodates up to 800 guests in an L-shaped setting with a stunning feature wall. The ballroom offers an exciting space with 18 handcrafted crystal chandeliers, LED lighting, and a futuristic audio-visual system. For those preferring an outdoor location, there is also an outdoor lounge venue that provides a chic setting with a stunning view of the city. It’s perfect for sophisticated product launches. Another new hotel that opened just last year is the Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong. Located on picturesque Lantau Island, it is worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong’s central business district, yet it is only half an hour away by ferry.

There were some

760,000 overnight MICE visitor stays in Hong Kong last year

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Destination Guide

Hong Kong is also well-known for its cuisine and one activity that will excite any visitor is a

food tour of the city

Comprising of 325 rooms and suites, guests are surrounded by ocean views and lush greenery, making this hotel a unique oasis for holding MICE activities. With over 13,000 square metres of event space and function venues, companies have plenty of options to customise the experience they want. Aside from the pillarless Grand Azure Ballroom, that can hold up to 700 guests standing, there are seven other multi-purpose function rooms to choose from. Occupying the first floor and spanning 288 square metres, the versatile Marine room can welcome up to 350 guests for a cocktail function, or 240 in a banquet setting. With ample natural light, the Marine boasts postcard-worthy sea views that will delight every delegate. The Marine can also be easily transformed into four individual venues, each one measuring a comfortable 72 square metres. For outdoor events or al fresco dining, the Marine Terrace allows delegates to dine under the night sky while overlooking the sea, providing space for up to 80 dinner guests. Another unique event space that Auberge Discovery Bay offers is on board The Bounty, Hong Kong’s only Europeanstyle tall ship. The ship can be used to host a cocktail cruise or conduct team-building exercises, whether it is under Hong Kong’s sunny skies or under the twinkling stars. With such a smorgasbord of options available, companies are spoilt for choice.

Activities galore There is no end to the number of exciting possibilities Hong Kong has to offer visitors. Companies keen on integrating staff wellness with culture can consider organising a taichi (a gentle Chinese martial art) session on The Peak, the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island. It is said that this martial art form

GETTING TO HONG KONG Hong Kong maintains a separate and independent immigration system from that of mainland China. This means that, unlike mainland China, most visitors do not need to obtain visas in advance. However, it also means that a visa is still required to enter mainland China from Hong Kong. Check with your local embassy if a visa is required. As a regional transportation hub, both budget airlines and full-service airlines fly daily to Hong Kong, taking just three and a half hours from Singapore.


Summer (June to September) is humid and hot with temperatures often exceeding 32°C and with night time temperatures that rarely drop below 25°C. Typhoons usually occur between June and September and can bring a halt to local business activities for up to a day. Winters are generally very mild, with daytime temperatures of between 18 and 22°C but with nights dipping into 10°C and below, particularly in the countryside. Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November/ December) have average temperatures of between 21 and 24°C.


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improves both flexibility and strength, in addition to relieving stress and bringing about a state of mental clarity. Delegates can practise taichi with a professional teacher speaking both English and Mandarin, adding a very different dimension to their tour. The lesson is a particularly good add-on for busy executives who are often under immense pressure at work. After their lesson, staff can head to the Sky Terrace at The Peak Tower to gain a 360-degree bird’s eye view of Hong Kong. They can also enjoy an outdoor breakfast while enjoying the lovely scenery. Another exciting location to host team building activities is Disneyland Hong Kong. It turns out that Disneyland is not just for kids – it offers a wide variety of venues and numerous challenging ways to inspire a team. Back in 2008, Hong Kong Disneyland launched the “It’s time to team” campaign, with the purpose of helping companies motivate their employees and enhance team spirit by fusing business activities with entertainment. The team activities take place at Disneyland’s unique vacation area, or anywhere throughout the theme park, including its famous Adventure Land and Fantasy Land. Professional MICE staff can also help organise team events according to the preferences of their clients. The fairytale setting creates an ideal venue for employees to recharge and let out their inner child. For a more rigorous activity that is bound to give your staff a good workout, consider organising a group hike along the famous Dragon’s Back trail, declared the Best Urban Hike in Asia by Time Magazine back in 2004. Easily accessible, the path goes through shady groves of bamboo and woodland, followed by hillsides covered with flowers. Reaching the scenic Shek O Country Park, employees follow the rugged spinal ridge of the “Dragon’s Back” where they are rewarded with spectacular views of Hong Kong’s outlying islands and the sea. At the foot of the Dragon’s Back is the Shek O village which has sandy beaches and alfresco restaurants. This full-day activity is an excellent team building activity, offering visitors a glimpse of the peaceful Hong Kong countryside that most never get to see. The contrast to the business district will add a different dimension to any MICE trip to the area. Hong Kong is also well-known for its cuisine and one activity that will excite any visitor is a food tour of the city. Group tours can be planned to cover some of the city’s beloved cafes and restaurants ranging from the traditional cha chan tengs (tea houses) to Michelin-starred food haunts. These food joints off the beaten track will offer delegates an insider’s look to Hong Kong and a taste of the best delicacies that the city has to offer. With so much going on in Hong Kong, it is impossible to get bored in a city that never sleeps. Whether it is to hold a meeting, an incentive trip or a teambuilding activity, this dynamic city has it all.



Reference checks

How important are candidate references in the recruitment process, particularly for mid-career roles? Grace Burton

HR Director – Asia Pacific, Africa and Central America, SapuraKencana Drilling

References can be a double-edged sword and some companies are no longer willing to provide any meaningful references except to verify employment data such as dates of service. There is a fear of repercussions, especially if the reference is negative and there’s a possibility of facing legal action. Candidates tend to provide referees whom they know will provide a positive summary but a better plan of action could be to target former managers. They are the ones who have worked with the candidates before and would have better insights to their performance and working style. If a recruiter or employer is able get a previous employer to talk about the candidate, then a lot depends upon the skill of the interviewer and the questions asked. The one often quoted as an insightful question is ‘Would you re-employ this person?’ However, this can only be helpful if the company does not have policies not to rehire former employees in the first place. Despite having stated a somewhat negative view; if you are able to get a reference that is candid and reliable, it can be an invaluable source of information when deciding to select a candidate.

Susan Lim

Director of Human Resources, Swissôtel Merchant Court

Reference checking is one of the most critical tools in the recruitment and selection process. A comprehensive reference check is the ‘due diligence’ for getting the right talent. Furthermore, the best indicator of future performance is past behavioural performance. When hiring for a mid-level position, it is of utmost importance to find out the candidate’s previous accomplishments at work, quality of performance, leadership skills and collaboration with co-workers. A reference check does not simply help you verify information provided by the candidate, it also provides greater insight into the candidate’s skills, knowledge and abilities from someone who has worked with the candidate and knows their performance capabilities. Having said that, references need not be limited to former supervisors; especially for a managerial role, it is good to ask the candidate to include someone that he or she has managed. Conducting reference checks may be challenging as many companies have policies that prohibit managers from providing references beyond basic information such as employment date and title. Some managers may over-emphasise the candidate’s strengths and downplay the weaknesses, resulting in an excessively positive reference. However, these challenges do not diminish the importance of reference checks.

Marda R Saturno Director, Human Resources, Asia-Oceania, HeidelbergCement

When hiring for mid-career roles, the experience, track record and accomplishment of the candidate is important. Candidate references are very important because they may confirm or clarify the candidate’s CV in terms of past roles, responsibilities, achievements and contributions at the previous company. References can also give testimonies about the applicant’s work and management style. Companies with a matrix structure should especially rely on reference checks to know the applicant’s skills on collaboration, influencing and communication. These three skills are not apparent in CVs and even during the interviews, unless the hiring manager is very skilled on competency-based and behavioural-based interviews. Furthermore, most of the mid-level candidates change jobs frequently so reference checks are a must at that level. The stability of thought and also the maturity level can easily be misinterpreted. As an HR Director who often recruits for top and senior manager roles, I give much emphasis on the reference’s way of replying to the question: ‘Given a chance to hire this person again in your organisation, would you do so and why?’ After all things said about the candidate, the way this question is answered often tells me whether all the comments given earlier were reliable or not.

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HR talent Rajeswari Ramanan

How many years of HR experience? 22.

Regional Human Resources Director, Asia Pacific and Middle East, Black & Veatch

Why HR? I think HR is a very “special” function in an organisation under the larger scheme of things. It is uniquely positioned to help support the dreams and vision of the business into reality and most importantly it deals with the “people” aspect of the equation. Why Black & Veatch? Black and Veatch has been around almost for a 100 years. The company had several transition points and significant mile stones achieved throughout its existence. But right now for the next few years at least, the organisation is in a very important phase in its globalisation. For a global HR professional like myself who has operated in two-thirds of the world, it is a great opportunity to transfer my experience and also learn in the process. Biggest achievement? So far the biggest achievement I would say is the

I use innovation to create a productive organisation. It’s my choice.

global talent project I completed for my previous employer. It was one of its kind, especially in the manufacturing sector where global talent deployment is in its early stages. Biggest challenge? While globalisation is the talk of the day, moving talent globally is the biggest challenge. This is complicated by cultural, immigration and standardisation challenges. After hours? I truly don’t have a lot of after hours on a day- today basis. I spend whatever quality time that is available on my hobbies as well as cooking and catching up with my friends from literally all over the world. Family? I am what I am because of my family and I owe them for all the support they have given me over the years. I try to spend every available minute with my spouse, children and my extended family.

Innovation and Productivity at the Workplace Innovation is a key part of raising workplace productivity. Productive workplaces have structures and processes that enable them to adapt to economic changes. A wellorganised workplace is able to perform and overcome any challenges to stay ahead! At Kaplan Professional we have the training solutions to help you work more effectively and make your workplace more productive.

Why Innovation and Productivity is key at the Workplace? • Promotes labour productivity growth • Efficiency • Investing in people skills • Create diverse opportunities by networking & collaborating • Develop better teamwork

Let your passion empower your skills development and inspire others. At Kaplan Professional, part of Kaplan Learning Institute, we find ways for you to reinvent yourself to remain relevant and prepared to face the challenges ahead of you.

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For more information, visit ^

Source: 2012/2013 JobsCentral Learning Rankings and Survey


HR at work

Kelly Chua

Human Resource Manager, Yokogawa Electric International

8:00am Like any working parent, it is always an adrenaline rush in the morning making my way to the office after dropping my kids off at school.

1:30pm It is important that I keep myself abreast of industry news, updates and trends through some of the HR and government websites.

8:30am I typically start my day by going through the list of meeting schedules and agendas for the day. This may include discussing with my team members some of the outstanding HR and system related matters that may require my attention or potential discussion issues for the upcoming meetings.

2:00pm My second meeting for the day may be a video conference session with my corporate HQ colleagues or other global offices on global HR projects and initiatives such as our Global Leadership Development programme.

9:00am With a great cup of coffee as companion, I like to read and clear all my emails in my mailbox.

3:30pm Charge-up time with my second cuppa at the pantry.

10:00am My first meeting of the day usually starts around this time. This may be a face to face meeting with a department manager on employee development matters such as our global learning management system

4:00pm It is ‘follow-up time’ with all the outstanding matters from my day’s meetings or discussions, and strategising on some of the global HR projects with my team members and putting all things into action.

12:00pm Lunch depends on what my taste buds really feel like for the day. I usually like to head out with my colleagues to neighboring eateries in the east for a good mid-day perk-up meal.

6:00pm Either a run at East Coast Park or a great Zumba workout with my friends and colleagues really ends my day with a bang, before I head home for a great family bonding time!

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Such recognition and publicity further improves employee and team morale, as well as raising an organisations profile as a preferred employer and industry leader.




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Book reviews

Coaching for Breakthrough Success Every leader who wants to lead a team effectively must first of all be a great coach. At the heart of a great coach is a firm belief that each player is a uniquely valuable individual with distinct gifts and a potential for greatness, say co-authors Jack Canfield and Dr Peter Chee. In their book “Coaching for Breakthrough Success”, they combine principles of exemplary coaches with the latest disruptive techniques used by the world’s top performing leaders. The two co-authors should be one of the top reasons to reach for this book as Canfield is better known as the co-author of the bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and Chee is well-established as a global leadership development guru and CEO of ITD World. Their collaboration is one that integrates their expertise to come up with a step-by-step playbook that shows readers how to nurture – in both themselves and others – the three essential requirements of coaching excellence: • Heart: The Coaching Principles unveils the secret to impactful values, beliefs and philosophies that permeate all aspects of great coaching

• Mind: The Situational Coaching Model unleashes the genius of a coach to apply the right combination of crucial paradigms in any given coaching challenge • Energy: The Achievers Coaching Techniques equips readers with proven methods that will enable them to deliver breakthrough results in coaching The book is packed with inspiring real-life case studies, compelling personal stories, important coaching conversations and practical tools to help readers achieve professional mastery in coaching. It is highly recommended for anyone seeking to be an effective coach as it provides strategies and techniques to achieve breakthrough performance.

Title: Coaching for Breakthrough Success: Proven Techniques for Making Impossible Dreams Possible Author: Jack Canfield and Dr Peter Chee Publisher: McGraw-Hill Price: S$33.71

On the ground, in the know With more than 200 locations, Crown has the local presence and experience to support your teams, where and when you need it. Crown service offerings include: • On Assignment Support • International & Domestic Shipment • Post-Arrival Orientations • Home Search • Partner Support • Intercultural Services

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60% CASH BACK on all HRM Congresses

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The Productivity Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme offers Singapore registered companies 60% cash back on all HRM Congresses.

CONGRESS SERIES Each HRM Congress provides a platform for HR and business professionals to share their expertise and address pressing challenges with practical, real-world solutions. Our upcoming events include:

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Expert insights on how to optimize and align your workforce effectively

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Build and improve your talent bench strength as we address pressing issues in talent management


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1 Select, register and pay for your HRM event(s). 3 Provide your accounts department: Your HRM Event receipt (provided upon payment). Record of attendance (provided at the event itself). And the completed PIC form for your accounts department to then provide to PIC. Terms and conditions apply. For more information visit picredit.aspx.

+65 6423 4631 |

VIEW POINT Christos Malliaros Managing Consultant, SHL Singapore Email:

SHL Singapore

A new set of HR analytics can help answer the

big talent questions More sophisticated analytics now enables companies to obtain benchmarking information that provides a better view of their top talent and how they fare against the competition, says Christos Malliaros, Managing Consultant, SHL Singapore Using HR metrics to drive organisational decision making is not a new concept. In fact, over the past few decades technological advances, especially in the field of sophisticated HRIS systems have enabled HR Departments to produce indicators of HR efficiency. Cost per hire, time to hire and turnover have become standard metrics in many organisations and provide indicators of how well an HR function is performing. Unfortunately, these commonly used metrics have little to say about the effectiveness of HR efforts in recruiting the right talent and even less on how the current talent stacks up against the competition. With HR increasingly acting as a strategic partner, talent questions are inevitably also becoming more strategic. Having laid out the business strategy and in many cases having aligned an HR strategy behind it, the question becomes: “Do we have the right talent to make our strategy a reality?” “Do our managers and employees have the capacity to accelerate change?” or “How do our managers stack-up against the competition?”. The last question is particularly pertinent. Few organisations will argue against the fact their people are their most valuable asset and that people are key to their competitive advantage. But how do you drive competitive advantage without knowing how your attraction strategy is performing against the competition, or how your current talent stacks up against the competition? Answering any of the above questions requires processes, tools and HRIS systems that can seamlessly and consistently capture objective data of employees’ competencies and potential. SHL’s annual Global Assessment Trends Report 2013 shows that unfortunately today’s HR practices, systems and tools are not quite there yet. Less than half of respondents in the survey said their organisations use objective data on employees’ competencies and skills to make workforce decisions. In addition, most organisations do not have a clear picture of their workforce’s potential and are dissatisfied with how their systems and automation help them manage talent data. The need for more sophisticated analytics that can answer the “big questions” has led companies like SHL to consolidate its global talent data (consisting of over 80

million data points) and offer benchmarking information to clients in order to enable a clearer view of their top talent and how it compares to others in the market. In an example of its Talent Analytics, senior managers in a retail research organisation were benchmarked against other senior managers in the retail sector. The organisation was anticipating significant change over the next 12 months as a result of a large acquisition. SHL’s Talent Analytics report showed that the senior management team had clear strength in “Enterprising” (making commercial decisions and setting challenging organisational targets) and in “Organising and Executing” (putting plans and structure in place that create operational efficiency). However, the organisation needed to address underlying talent gaps in “Adapting and Coping” (ability to cope with the pressures of change and adapt to the new environment) and “Supporting and Co-operating” (showing sympathy and support towards others and understanding their concerns whist going through change). This result posed a serious question mark on whether the senior managers would be able to bring their people through this time of change. In addition, the group’s strength in creating operational efficiency (“Organising and Executing”) was offset by their weakness in “Analysing & Interpreting” (ability to interpret complex problems and effectively problem solve). The benchmark report had a powerful impact on the senior management talent strategy. As a result, recruitment and development interventions were put in place to reinforce senior managers’ behaviours relating to driving and managing organisational change. A follow up benchmark nine months later showed good improvements in these areas. Benchmarking analytics seems to complement the more traditional (operational) HR metrics as they provide answers to a different, more strategic set of questions. This promising new capability of producing talent insights through big data can provide HR with vital information on the bench strength of the organisation’s talents against key organisational requirements. In addition, it offers an objective snapshot of current talent which can enable practitioners to intelligently drive competitive advantage. ISSUE 13.8

Web: Tel: +65 6645 4200




Financial incentives essential to lock in staff over the coming year As the cost of living rises in Singapore, offering monetary incentives and salary rises to professionals could be the difference between securing the best talent – and losing it, says Jerome Bouin, Managing Director of PageGroup in Singapore

Jerome Bouin Managing Director, PageGroup, Singapore

Singapore’s business environment is kept alive due to its continued growth as a hub for international organisations to establish their Asia operations, and this is creating a strong demand for talent across a variety of sectors. Many employees are willing to move companies for the right role and are expected to take advantage of the growing number of job opportunities on offer in the coming year. According to the findings of the 2013/14 Michael Page Singapore Employee Intentions survey, 36% of respondents believe the current domestic job market is good, and 37% describe it as average. Furthermore, a considerable number of surveyed employees (39%) say the job market will remain stable in the next 12 months, and 38% believe it will improve. As the volume of job opportunities is expected to increase, some 44% of respondents indicate they are very likely to look for another role in the next 12 months. Employers should have strong talent management strategies in place that actively encourage professionals to work with their company. The best way to attract and retain in-demand talent over 60

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2013/14, according to survey findings, is to offer financial incentives. With regards to attracting new talent, employers that offer competitive remuneration can successfully secure the best professionals. According to 22% of surveyed respondents, an increase in salary is the most important consideration when deciding to accept a new role. Some 31% will seek to improve their salary by a wage raise of 10-12%. Similarly, employers will need to reward top performers with monetary incentives to retain existing staff within a business. Some 25% of surveyed employees indicate that financial reward based on performance is the main motivating factor for remaining in their current role. Just over half of all respondents (57%) are likely to ask their employer for a salary increase in the coming year. For most surveyed employees (34%), a raise of 10-12% is desired. Offering employees additional financial benefits is also key to both attracting and retaining the best talent in the market. Almost one third (32%) of respondents selected transport allowance as the most desired benefit they are not currently being offered at work. A bonus was ranked as the second most preferred benefit by 31% of respondents.

For more on the findings of the 2013/14 Michael Page Singapore Employee Intentions survey, please visit the Michael Page Singapore News & Research Centre at


New appointments Calvin Lyngdoh

Director of Human Resources, Kimberly-Clark Lever India Calvin Lyngdoh is the new Director of Human Resources in KimberlyClark Lever India. He will be reporting to Managing Director, Prakash Iyer. Lyngdoh was previously working with Nokia India for eight years, and his last role was Head of HR for the Markets business in India. He says that while the scale of business at Nokia was wider, the scope of accountability at Kimberly-Clark is much wider than in his previous role. This is because his

current role is an enterprise-wide position which encompasses the three businesses in Kimberly-Clark: consumer, professional and healthcare. Lyngdoh’s passion is in helping people realise their full leadership potential through coaching, talent management and leadership development. He has been actively involved in the design and development of leadership programmes for Asia talent as well as

for leaders in Africa and the Middle East. “My priority right now is to bring about a culture change in the organisation – making it a much more accountable and performance driven organisation where people are focused towards a single goal and are driven to achieve and execute it while living the values of the organisation. Soon I will be involved in a project on Talent Management.”

programmes and policies to the company and region’s business strategies and goals taking into consideration the local business environment and organisational culture. Lim comes with over 15 years of experience as a HR Professional in the region. Over the years, she has moved from managing Regional Staffing, Compensation and Benefits, HRIS to being a Strategic HR Business Partner in high-tech, online consumer business and hospitality industries. “Total Reward integrates all the

levers to attract, motivate, engage and retain talent that produces desired business results. For example, Invensys has been particularly successful in using work-life and career enhancement programmes to engage our talents in this part of the world. I am truly excited about this opportunity as this role offers me the unique opportunity to fully leverage on both my specialist experiences in Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits/HRIS as well as Strategic HR Business Partner experience.”

Wentworth and was a key member of the pre-opening team at Pullman Sydney Olympic Park, the first of its label in Australia. She held positions at the InterContinental Hotels Group before she joined Accor as the Quality and Attitude Manager in 2008. This was followed by her appointment as Human Resources Manager in 2009, where by focusing on increasing employee engagement and fostering a learning and development culture, she reduced

turnover by over 60% in a span of three years. Her current role includes creating HR strategies, guidelines and standard operating procedures for the very unique design hotel, as well as recruiting a vibrant team of specialised ambassadors. Choy will be setting the standards for non-traditional recruitment strategies in Singapore and hopes to create a wave of new generation hoteliers.

Linda Lim

Director, Total Reward, Asia Pacific, Invensys Linda Lim is appointed as Director, Total Reward, Asia Pacific at Invensys where she is responsible for managing the Asia Pacific Total Reward function. Lim will be providing expert advice and counsel to the HR Directors and Business Leaders in key areas such as executive compensation, competitive pay programmes as well as compensation & benefit trends. She will also partner the Asia Pacific Leadership Team to ensure the alignment of Total Reward

Gabrielle Choy

Director of HR, Sofitel So Hotel Gabrielle Choy joins Sofitel So Singapore as Director of HR with over 14 years of experience in the hospitality industry. She will take the lead in sourcing talent at the hotel, ensuring that the dynamic team espouses values that make them So Ambassadors and true representatives of the trendy, designer vision of Sofitel Luxury Hotels. Prior to joining the pre-opening team in Singapore, Choy was HR Manager of Sofitel Sydney

ISSUE 13.8


GOES DIGITAL! It’s Free. Download the new HRM Magazine App for your iPad, just search “hrm asia” in iTunes® Store

Exclusive iPad-only content & videos The latest hrm news & HR jobs delivered instantly Interactive data that you can sort the way you want

Jenae Grieveson Consultant Singapore @FrazerJonesHR

HR Roles Regional HR Business Partner Pharmaceuticals A Regional Head of HR position has arisen for one of the world’s largest multinational pharmaceuticals companies who are looking to enhance its HR offering. Reporting to the Head of HR APAC, this role will be based in Singapore and supporting SEA. A full spectrum HRBP role working closely with business leaders, you will be instrumental in driving the HR strategy. A minimum 10 years’ experience as an HR Generalist with a high level of business acumen and exposure to a regional portfolio. Ref: FN/18974. SG$180,000

Head of HR, APAC Financial Services Charged with supporting our client’s full spectrum of businesses and functions, your core responsibilities will be to build HR capability, develop and align the HR strategy to the business plan and drive successful delivery of HR operational support and processes. Manage and provide strategic advice to the client groups and oversee the regional HR team across Asia Pacific. You will have demonstrated expertise in a similar role, ideally within a worldclass banking or financial services organisation coupled with previous working knowledge of the Asia region. Ref: TH/14112a. SG$290,000+

To discuss HR roles across Asia, please contact Fiona Nesbitt on +65 6420 0515 or Theresa Hall on +65 6420 0516. Alternatively, email or | EA Licence No: 12C6222. THE SR GROUP: BREWER MORRIS . CARTER MURRAY . FRAZER JONES . SR SEARCH . TAYLOR ROOT LONDON . DUBAI . HONG KONG . SINGAPORE . SYDNEY . MELBOURNE


Talent & Development Director

Head of Human Resources

Compensation & Benefits Manager

› Asia Pacific focused role

› Growing organisation

› Newly created role

› Fortune 500 multinational

› Making a difference in the Healthcare industry

› Attractive benefits package

Our client has interests in more than 40 countries and are looking to hire for their newly created role of Talent & Development Director. The purpose of this role is to partner with the business, play an advisory role on human capital development matters and focus on talent management. You will also spearhead designing development programs and competency framework for key management within the Asia Pacific region. Key to your success will be your ability to engage the senior leaders on a strategic level. The successful applicant will have a tertiary degree in HRM with at least 12 years of relevant experience.

This is an exciting newly created role with a fast growing organisation. They are seeking a seasoned HR Leader to enhance the people strategy of the organisation. Reporting directly to the CEO, you will have full responsibility to partner with the business. You will play an advisory role on all human capital matters and will be in charge of executing HR projects. The ideal candidate should have at least 10 years of HR experience and be passionate about imparting HR expertise to bring positive changes to the industry.

Headquartered in Singapore, our client is a market leader in the sector they operate in. Reporting to the Head of HR, you will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the compensation and benefits for the organisation. You will spearhead the development of rewards strategies and design compensation programs that align with local legal requirements. Ideally you should be degree qualified and have a minimum of 8 years of experience in compensation and benefits.

Please contact Sean Tong quoting ref: H1821350 or visit our website.

Please contact Lucia Deng quoting ref: H1805780 or visit our website.

Please contact Nupur Agarwal quoting ref: H1816040 or visit our website.

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

Human Resources

Specialists in human resources recruitment

ISSUE 13.8

#14185 Licence No.: 98C5473 Business Registration No: 199804751N



Your career in HR starts here. Assistant HR Manager As a HR Business Partner to the business units, you will establish recruitment methods to identify appropriate candidates for current and future openings in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Responsible for screening and shortlisting of suitable candidates, you are competent in assessment of candidates through behavioural interviewing techniques and ensure a fair compensation package for selected candidates via internal and external benchmarks. You will also be actively involved in manpower planning as well as compensation and benefits programs and reviews. You should possess a recognised degree in HR / Business with at least 5 years of recruitment and HR experience. Industry exposure within the healthcare sector will be preferred. Contact us at +65 6603 8010 / for a confidential discussion.

Senior Manager, Talent Management Reporting to the Talent Director, you will be responsible for the talent cycle within the organization and serve as a strategic HR business partner to the senior management to develop talent management policies and frameworks to be integrated across the business. You will implement progressive talent management, development and engagement programs with the objective of attracting, developing and retaining the best employees for succession planning. Armed with a good degree in HRM, you have about 8 years of experience as an HR generalist handling talent management. You are comfortable handling data and possess strong skills in proposals and presentations, especially to senior level management. To be considered for this role, you should demonstrate solid people skills; candidates with coaching experience will have an advantage. Contact us at +65 6603 8010 / for a confidential discussion.

HR Manager (Recruitment / L&D) This dual-portfolio role will see the incumbent leading the recruitment and learning units within the organization, to achieve successes in the delivery of regional initiatives and programs including employer branding, onboarding experience, employee surveys, talent development and management partnership programs, training and performance analysis toolkits, etc. You will actively work with regional and global partners to ensure initiatives are streamlined and structured with a clear governance process in place. As such, we are seeking senior candidates with a strong talent acquisition and learning and development background, which should be garnered from about 5-7 years of experience in large global organizations, with ownership of various regional HR implementations. Candidates must possess strong analytical skills, be able to diagnose needs and share well-aligned recommendations for improvements. Contact us at +65 6603 8025 / for a confidential discussion.

Professional. Personalised. Passionate. THE HALLMARK OF OUR TALENT SOLUTIONS


ISSUE 13.8



EA Licence No. 08C2893 An ISO 9001:2008 certified company

MAKE A QUANTUM LEAP Towards unparalleled career advancement with Kelly Professional and Technical division

C&B Manager Financial Services sector

Excellent growth opportunity

Our client, a market leader in their industry, is currently seeking a dynamic C&B Manager to join the team. The successful candidate will look after the full spectrum of compensation and benefits across the organization, implementing the processes and procedures necessary to harmonize all areas. Your role will create reward strategies, compensation surveys, analysis of competitive salary and market trend data, and establishing salary and bonus review guidelines. Working closely with HR Business Partners, you will coordinate an annual compensation review process and review and develop compensation strategies in line with organizational and business objectives. Management experience would be beneficial as the client is looking for someone to contribute to staff development and strategic development of the business for long term strategic objectives and direction of the organization. You will be a graduate in HRM with more than 8 years strong C&B knowledge and experience. You will possess exceptional skills in establishing operational guidelines, systems and processes for assessing program performance. Ideally, you should come from the financial services industry. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to or contact Li Li Kang at (65) 6227 2251 for a confidential discussion. EA Personnel License No. R1108467

HR Manager Fortune 500 company

Single contributor role

Our client is a part of a large group and is a global leader in providing services to the Oil & Gas industry. They are now looking to hire a HR Manager for their Singapore operations. The successful candidate will work closely with business leaders in driving strategic business objectives into HR deliverables and ensuring HR processes are aligned with Group initiatives. As an individual contributor, you will be supporting one of the subsidiaries of about 120 headcount in Singapore. Key focus areas include employee engagement, and talent management and development. This role requires the incumbent to be hands on with the operational aspects of HR work and at the same time be able to deliver strategic value to the business. You will be degree qualified and an experienced HR professional ideally with 8+ years HR experience. Ideally you will have come from a similar environment and have at least 3 years solid HR experience working as a HR Manager or Business Partner. You will also have the ability to establish effective relationships with HR partners to ensure business needs are being met. With a good understanding of local labor law and legislation, you will have good knowledge of HR issues and best practices. Experience working in a manufacturing or industrial environment will be essential. To submit your application, please email your resume in word format to or contact Li Li Kang at (65) 6227 2251 for a confidential discussion. EA Personnel License No. R1108467

Kelly Services, Inc. is a leader in providing workforce solutions. For more than 34 illustrious years, Kelly has been partnering Singapore’s leading companies to deliver the best talent in the market. Today, Kelly Singapore operates from over 10 strategic locations island-wide. Complementing our Technology and Science, as well as functional specialities for Finance, HR, Sales & Marketing, Procurement and Banking.

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

ISSUE 13.8


Recruitment Specialist (Global MNC)

HR Services Manager (Global Bank)

HR Business Partner

Industry Leader

HR Advisory

Premier Global Bank

Regional Role

Good Career Prospect

Singapore Coverage

Business Partnering

Salary Circa S$100K – S$150K

Private & Investment Banking Segments

A global MNC is looking for a high caliber recruitment specialist to join its highly dynamic team.

Our client is a major 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 join the HR team.

This premier bank offers a broad range of banking products and services to a global network of clients. It is seeking a dynamic HR Business Partner.

You will lead the compensation & benefits activities including annual review process, market salary survey, salary proposal, management reports, and provide back up support. You will also lead international assignment activities for Asia team, oversee and check monthly payroll for Singapore and Malaysia. You will manage new payroll provider for Singapore and transition away from current provider. You will provide input on policy review or change discussions with Asia HR team and ensure consistency across the board. You coordinate and manage MAS and internal/external audit requests, and support internal finance and other internal reporting requests as needed.

Reporting to the Head of HR, you will support a portfolio of businesses and functional units (including Investment Banking Operations and Private Banking Division). You work closely with senior business leaders in aligning business and people strategies through appropriate advice and intervention. You will influence and coordinate the development of a performance culture through effective implementation of integrated people management strategies and plans.

You will deliver a full lifecycle talent recruiting services and play a critical role in hiring the best possible talents for the company, partnering up with the business and function leaders. You will also seek, assess, and deliver highly engaged and quality candidates within the communicated timeframe and costs. You will also drive recruitment process improvement. You proactively conduct research and investigate new methods of sourcing and talent mapping. Ideally you are degree qualified with a demonstrated track record of direct to market recruitment with MNCs or search firms. You have maturity and are able to engage senior leaders. You are self-motivated, resilient, have strong communication skills and can influence at all levels. A good team player as well as one, who is able to work with minimum supervision, will succeed in this role. To apply, please submit your resume to Yolanda Yu at, quoting the job title and reference number YY5661\HRM, or call (65) 63338530 for more details.

You have 8 years of HR experience, preferably within financial sector. You demonstrate excellent numerical and analytical skills. You have proven experience in managing stakeholders and in-depth understanding of the business. Good understanding of local employment law is a must.

Degree qualified, you have about 8 – 10 years of relevant experience working in a global bank or MNC. You have a proven experience in dealing with senior management and possess strong ability in influencing and implementing change. You are commercial, driven and will thrive in a fast paced environment.

To apply, please submit your resume to Yolanda Yu at, quoting the job title and reference number YY5682\HRM, or call (65) 63338530 for more details.

To apply, please submit your resume to Adnan Atan at, quoting the job title and reference number AA5685\HRM, or call (65) 63338530 for more details.

Financial Services I Commerce I Human Resources I Technology I Legal I Sales & Marketing 66

ISSUE 13.8


Business Registration No: 200307397W I Licence No: 03C4828

Returning the Human to Resourcing

HR Business Partner – Private Banking

AVP, HR BP, Singapore (Financial Services)

HR Generalist (FMCG)

Premier Bank

Global Bank

Business Partnering

Senior Manager

Singapore Portfolio

Excellent Career Opportunity

Excellent Career Progression

Salary Circa S$80K-S$100K

Salary Circa S$60K

This premier bank has a strong global franchise and has recorded impressive business growth in the region. It is recruiting a highly-qualified and commercially-driven HR Business Partner at Senior Manager level.

Our client is a global bank and is a market leader in the field that it is operating in. It is now seeking to recruit a dynamic and high caliber HR Business Partner to support some of its business groups.

Our client is a leading global FMCG company employing more than 50,000 people worldwide. An opportunity now exists for an HR Generalist to join them in supporting Singapore operations.

You will provide HR advice and services to Private Banking segment for Singapore. Working closely with the global HR team and HR product specialists, you will engage the business leaders and functional managers in delivering HR agenda. You will provide support on diverse matters including performance management, reward and talent management so as to achieve people objectives with business strategies. You will also participate in strategic HR projects.

Reporting to senior HR Business Partner, you will provide HR advice and support to the a few business entities, to ensure the team leaders are aligned with the people plan. You will work with line managers to undertake appropriate reward, recruiting, performance management, organization effectiveness, compliance and disciplinary matters. You play a critical team role in delivering a cohesive HR agenda maximizing the effectiveness of talent in key roles.

Degree qualified, you will have at least 10 years experience gained in a major MNC or bank ideally with few years of experience covering Front Office/Private Banking Functions. You are proactive, mature, credible and tenacious. You are able to influence priorities and build relationship at all levels.

You will have experience working in a complex organization structure, with strong track record of HR generalist delivery in a business partner role. You demonstrate ability to understand the needs of the business and identify solutions. You are able to manage projects whilst delivering day-to-day support to the client group. You take a proactive approach to performance management and employee engagement issues. Strong verbal and written communication skills are required.

To apply, please submit your resume to Adnan Atan at, quoting the job title and reference number AA4027\HRM, or call (65) 63338530 for more details.

To apply, please submit your resume to Yolanda Yu at, quoting the job title and reference number YY5687\HRM, or call (65) 63338530 for more details.

Reporting to the Human Resource Manager, Singapore, you will provide local HR support for the Singapore office and participate in local and regional HR projects and initiatives that align with and support organizational strategies and business needs. You will be involved in the timely execution and continual management of core HR processes like recruitment, compensation and benefits, performance management, learning & development, employee engagement, manpower planning and employee relations, which will contribute to the success of the business in achieving high levels of organizational performance and employee engagement. Ideally you are degree qualified in business or related field, with a strong understanding of local labour laws. You have a minimum of 5 years HR experience. You are able to quickly gain credibility with stakeholders including senior management. You are able to thrive in a fast-paced, high-pressure and dynamic environment. To apply, please submit your resume to Yolanda Yu at, quoting the job title and reference number YY5653\HRM, or call (65) 63338530 for more details.

Business Registration No: 200307397W I Licence No: 03C4828

6 Best Headhunting awards in Asiamoney Headhunters Poll for Asia since 2009 Multi-award winning recruitment firm with specialist practices in: Banking, Finance - Commerce, Human Resources, Legal, Sales & Marketing and Technology ISSUE 13.8



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ISSUE 13.8


Human resources professionals speak to tHe experts asean talent acquisition manager manage staffing requirements for the region

regional Hr manager european oil & gas company

An exciting opportunity exists within a global and well known IT consultancy for a Regional Talent Acquisition Manager to join their HR team. Reporting into the APAC Talent Acquisition Director, you will support the ASEAN region with a large headcount of circa 2,000. With direct reports in different countries, you will manage the hiring process from requisition to on boarding. You will take the lead in driving the company’s talent agenda, working across seven countries including South Korea and Hong Kong, making sure all initiatives are being rolled out.

Providing full oversight of all HR activities, this role interfaces with leaders to deliver HR activities including talent management, training and development, and managing staff retention programs. Managing the complexities and diversities of the region will be necessary for each office and how HR is governed including intervention and culture. With plans for growth in Asia, this is a successful business and you must be a focused HR leader with an ability to play a strategic HR Business Partner role.

Hr manager - financial services partner with a global brand in singapore This fast growing multinational financial organisation has a new and exciting role for a HR Manager to partner with the businesses in Singapore. You will support the Country Head of Business and Regional Head of HR to achieve business goals in Singapore. You must have at least eight years of HR Generalist experience, ideally gained in the financial services sector. A degree holder with an ability to demonstrate strong communication, stake holder and influencing skills will excel in this role.

regional Hr Business partner roll out Hr projects across the region This global US organisation and well known brand is looking for a Regional HR Business Partner to run a sub region of 1000+ employees across four countries. You will be rolling out global HR programs and initiatives across the region and harmonising all countries to provide employees with consistent processes and procedures. In this critical role, your people management skills will be key to successfully implementing and driving the projects, and you will have a proven track record of building strong relationships and influencing country managers across multiple cultures.

please contact Vargin Yeke, ash russell, mamta shukla or Brylee neyland at or +65 6303 0721.


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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 Learning & Development Manager

A leading global manufacturer of technological products and services listed on SGX, this established MNC is looking for a HR Manager to deliver ef�icient international mobility strategies in SEA.

Our client is a reputable MNC and award-winning logistics service provider in APAC. There is now an opportunity for a Regional Learning and Development Manager to lead and manage the operations training in the region.


• manage all mobility costs, employee taxation matters and work permits for SEA • ensure accuracy of salary calculations, cost projections, remuneration packages and contracts for overseas assignments • coordinate core mobility and HR processes for assignees as well as day-to-day delivery of mobility services throughout assignment life cycle


• minimum degree in HRM or equivalent with strong experience in international mobility and talent acquisition • independent, analytical with strong business partnering, interpersonal and communication skills To apply, please send your CV to or call Shereen Foo at +65 64355610.


• lead design and facilitation of programs covering all core functional areas in operations • partner with business stakeholders and collaborate internally/externally to identify capability needs • identify best practices, platform, tools and solutions to meet business needs • lead new developments and re-design of frameworks to meet changing business demands


• minimum degree of HRM or equivalent with strong L&D experience in logistics operations • independent, in�luential with a passion for learning and sharing • strong project management skills • good interpersonal and communication skills To apply, please send your CV to or call Shereen Foo at +65 64355610.

Regional HR Director

Human Resource Business Partner

One of the world’s largest healthcare companies in the industry, this reputable MNC is looking for a Regional HR Director to lead strategic plans and strategies in the APAC region.

A pioneering business in the FMCG industry, this global MNC is looking for a HR Business Partner to spearhead strategic initiatives in the region.




• partner with business leaders for business strategies to build capabilities, structures and processes • develop and deliver HR strategic plans to support business objectives and changing needs • maintain knowledge of progressive HR practices and key trends • lead organisational development, leadership development and talent management for organisational growth


• drive development and delivery of people strategies and plans for short and long-term business needs • perform workforce planning and ensure an open, fair and empowering work culture and environment • act as catalyst of change and proactively challenge established organisational structure for superior performance • drive talent management practices and strategies to meet business requirements

To apply, please send your CV to or call Shereen Foo at +65 64355610.

To apply, please send your CV to or call Shereen Foo at +65 64355610.

• minimum degree in HRM or equivalent with 8 to 10 years of progressive HR experience in any industry • independent, proactive and in�luential • strong business partnering , great leadership and problem-solving skills • great interpersonal and communication skills

• minimum degree in HRM or equivalent with at least 7 years of experience in designing and delivering business and people strategies • independent, proactive and sharp with strong business partnering and acumen • able to in�luence and network • great interpersonal and communication skills

For more information on your career and recruitment needs, please visit 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 EA Licence Number: 06C3997


ISSUE 13.8


Together we open the hearts and minds of your employees Power2Motivate速 is the most comprehensive program for recognising and rewarding employee achievements. Our proven online solutions incorporate innovative features including; real time reporting, measurable ROI and a unique social media platform, designed to build a culture of recognition and inspiration.

Power2Motivate速 is an online, turn key solution for inspiring your employees by recognising and awarding achievements. Contact us for a consultation. | +65 6550 9884

HRM 13.08  

Gamifying HR – Mixing work & play

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