HRM 14 09 Coaching for success

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Featuring: Singapore Sports Hub CEO Philippe Collin Delavaud

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HRM 14.9

Contents EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Sumathi V Selvaretnam


ASSISTANT EDITOR Shalini Shukla-Pandey

Coaching for success


American football player and coach, and business executive Vince Lombardi once said: “The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders.” Singapore Sports Hub CEO, Philippe Collin Delavaud, embraces this as his leadership style, striving to pursue and overcome new challenges every day


“First, you have to accept that without your team, you are nothing. It’s all about the team you are managing. You can mould them by giving all the training you can but when the team has to deliver, they have to do so without you at their back, alone. You have to trust your team”

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Check out HRM online:



FEATURES 16 | A fair chance Ex-offenders are making a positive impact on a growing number of workplaces in Singapore. HRM looks at how the Yellow Ribbon project is engaging business in this small, but important section of the workforce

22 | The power of branding Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, says that a brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. HRM shares what leading organisations are doing to boost their employer brand and with it, overall business success

26 | Building careers Established in 1983, interior furnishings firm Goodrich Global is a homegrown Singapore brand that has expanded prolifically over the past 30 years. HRM finds out how the company has been overcoming common SME challenges and soaring to greater heights

30 | You’re Fired! Employee dismissals are a necessary part of working culture. However, companies should still strive to handle them delicately and impartially. HRM investigates

34 | MBAs and Executive Education MBA and executive education trends reveal that soft skills are becoming increasingly important, alongside technical skills, as employees advance to senior positions. The post-recessionary climate is also placing greater emphasis on ethics, financial risks and corporate responsibility.

39 | A fresh way to look at accountability Accountability drives performance. But as leadership consultant Greg Bustin says, this important cultural factor is not just about employees

42 | Steps to a successful company D&D Whether you’re a small business owner or managing staff in a large multinational company, hosting a dinner and dance party is an ideal way to gather colleagues and maybe even clients. We show how you can plan a memorable dinner and dance party filled with food, drinks, conversation and entertainment

42 REGULARS 3 | Analysis 4 | News 9 | Leaders on Leadership 49 | In Person 49 | Resources 51 | Talent Ladder 52 | Talent Challenge 53 | Twenty-four Seven

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

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Enhancing productivity through

Travel Smart

Commuting to work just got more flexible, thanks to the Travel Smart Network initiative by the Singapore Land Transport Authority. HRM explores how this new travelling plan will affect workers By Sham Majid The scope of flexible travel arrangements for employees was recently expanded after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) launched its new Travel Smart Network scheme. The plan aims to see more firms fostering supportive environments for flexible travel among their workforces, including the chance to commute during off-peak periods and to adopt sustainable methods of travel such as cycling and walking. In this way, demand for peak-hour travel will be reduced. Initially, LTA will partner with medium to large companies (more than 200 employees) based near MRT stations. The Travel Smart Network will encompass several initiatives. From August 1, employees of Travel Smart Network companies can participate in the Corporate-Tier Travel Smart Rewards (TSR) programme. This has superceded the previous Incentives for Singapore’s Commuters programme, which was launched in January 2012 to incentivise morning peak-hour rail commuters to take trains during off-peak hours. Rewards under the TSR are now much more enticing, with a new monthly top lucky draw prize of $1,500. In addition, from November 1, firms that join the Travel Smart Network will be granted a Travel Smart Consultancy Voucher of up to $30,000. This can be used to engage approved consultants to conduct employee travel pattern analysis and develop travel demand management action plans tailored to the needs of the company and its employees. “These will help companies gain an insight into their employees’ travel patterns and understand the motivating factors, as well as determine potential Travel Smart measures,” said an LTA spokesperson. “Participating organisations can benefit from expert advice on understanding employees’ concerns, and opportunities with regard to more flexible travel and

work arrangements for employees, thereby reducing unnecessary work-commuting.” Companies may also be eligible for a Travel Smart Grant of up to $160,000 annually for three years to co-fund the cost of initiatives that encourage the adoption of flex-travel practices. The Travel Smart Network comes after the Travel Smart pilot programme was launched in October 2012. Twelve companies participated in the pilot, implementing initiatives such as telecommuting and allowing staff to work from home before travelling to the office after the morning peak period. An LTA survey of approximately 3,800 employees from the particpating companies between October 2013 and January 2014 found close to 12% of respondents had shifted their daily commute out of the morning peak period (8.30am to 9.00am). Nevertheless, the spokesperson said that LTA’s experience from the Travel Smart Pilot had deduced that firms do not sign up due to monetary incentives alone. “Many participated because they saw benefits not only in terms their respective companies but also for their employees in terms of improved work-life flexibility and staff morale,” he said. According to the LTA spokesperson, employees can also experience tangible benefits, such as improvements to their work-life balance and commuting experiences. Stephen Tjoa, Partner for People, Performance and Culture at KPMG in Singapore, said that KPMG, which signed up for the previous pilot programme, believes that supporting staff in their professional and personal growth is important to the company’s talent attraction and retention efforts. “Promoting a work culture that is agile, innovative and collaborative is at the heart of supporting our people’s aspirations and our clients’ needs,” he said.

For more information, log onto

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Local Plus packages gain popularity Employers across Asia are offering “Local Plus” packages as they aim to balance cost pressures against attracting and retaining talent. According to Mercer’s Alternative International Assignments Policies and Practices Survey report, the “pluses” most commonly added to an expatriate worker’s pay and benefits package are tax assistance, host housing, relocation services, dependent education, medical benefit, and home leave. The survey found that 67% of organisations in Asia-Pacific have international employees on a Local Plus package. Over the next two years, 63% of employers foresee further growth in their Local Plus populations. Tips on making Local Plus work: • Think strategically. Local Plus packages do not make sense in all circumstances, and while cost is an important consideration, it should not be the only factor considered. • Ensure that you have the right data to assess and support your Local Plus population. • Monitor the length of the “Plus” elements and consider at what point to phase these elements out.

Singapore is the most innovative country in Asia

Source: Global Innovation Index 2014


of employers say their hiring managers are not strong interviewers Source: 2014 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey

Professional job opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region rose

five per cent

year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014 Source: Q2 2014 Asia Pacific Employment Monitor

Depression is taking a toll on the workforce About 70% of Chinese employees diagnosed with depression have taken time off from work because of the illness, and more than half have reported impaired work performance, a new survey has found. The Impact of Depression at Work survey, conducted by Ipsos Healthcare UK, also showed that 53% of employers want stronger legislation and government policies to help employees with depression. “Depression seriously impairs productivity. In fact, more than half of the social and economic burden caused by depression is related to sick leave and poor efficiency,” Wang Gang, professor of psychiatry and mental health of the Capital Medical University, told China Daily. In 2007, a joint study by the University of California, Berkeley, and the Shanghai Mental Health Centre showed annual economic losses related to depression in China stood at RMB 51.37 billion (US$8.35 billion), including RMB 5.62 billion yuan (US$914 million) in treatment costs. When asked about countermeasures among employers polled, 55% referred to counselling services and 53% called for making regulations to better protect employees with depression, or at least introducing government policies. Wang, also the vice-president of the China Association for Mental Health, said employees in medicine and the civil service were at the greatest risk of developing depression. “Some severe patients might commit suicide without timely intervention,” he warned. Six government officials at the local level reportedly committed suicide in July. Two of them suffered from severe depression, reports have said. China has an estimated 90 million people suffering from depression, which translates to nearly seven per cent of the total Mainland population.


Female bank staff to get transfers of choice Female employees of public sector banks (PSBs) in India will soon be entitled to transfers of their choice. All PSBs have been directed by the Finance Ministry to formulate women-friendly transfer policies so that they can get be transferred to branches near where their husbands are working or parents are living. “It has been decided to accommodate as far as possible transfers of married employees, on her request, at a place where her husband is stationed or as near as possible to that place or vice versa,” the Department told banks recently. The circular to all banks said that female employees, both married and unmarried, “when placed away from their husband or 4

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parents... to distant locations face a genuine hardship or develop a feeling of insecurity.” PSBs have been “advised to frame a policy on the subject with the approval of their boards and take immediate action for implementation and compliance”. “Pending requests may be considered under these guidelines,” the circular said.




Multiple winners of “Best Internship”

Civil servants encouraged to take siestas Malaysia aims to more than double its skilled and competent workforce to


South Korean workers put in an average of 2,163 work hours in 2013, and the national Government is concerned about the large numbers of workaholics in the country. It is now encouraging its employees to take an afternoon nap in a bid to raise overall productivity. From August, city officials in Seoul will be able to take a short afternoon nap of up to an hour, provided they work overtime and inform their superiors of their intentions early in the day. Lounges, empty conference rooms and other places will be at their disposal to rest. The city plans to create more nap rooms. “Some people snooze at their desk after lunch. But that’s not a good scene and it is not good for work efficiency either,” Kim Ki-bong, a personnel officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, told the Financial Times. “A brief nap could be good for easing their fatigue and maintaining their health.” Still, while a quick nap may help staff perform better instead of dragging themselves through the afternoon, sceptics believe Korea’s strict business culture will prevent many from seeking the required permission from their bosses. They also doubt the phenomenon will spread to the private sector. “It won’t be easy to take a rest for an hour while others are working,” Kim told the Financial Times.

by 2020, in line with the country’s developed status Source: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala

A video competition by start-up accommodation provider has drawn over 100 entries and, unexpectedly, multiple winners. Applicants had to create a video explaining why they were best for the internship – which would see them travel across Asia documenting properties and their hosts. The two week entry period drew videos from as far as Finland and the US. The first place winners were Lucas Thomas Jahn and Anna Riedel, communications students at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany. “Their application stood out because of their language skills - they are fluent in English, German and Russian – their good video editing skills and their existing popularity on social media,” said founders James Chua and Lester Kang. Still, other entries were also worthy of reward. Several entrants received $300 booking vouchers for accommodation, while all remaining entrants received a $35 voucher. The founders plan to make the #BestInternship competition an annual event, with potential for “intern” winners to make trips every quarter. The one-year-old, Singapore-based startup has over 5,000 holiday homes currently on its books. It is incubated and mentored by the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) at Singapore Management University (SMU).


of Singaporean jobseekers update both their CV and professional social media profiles, equal to those in Malaysia and slightly ahead of Hong Kong (25%) but behind China (38%) Source: Hays

There are

1.32 million foreign workers

in Singapore; the bulk of them work in the construction and marine sectors. Source: Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin


Oil & gas seeks experienced home-grown talent Oil and Gas companies in Malaysia are continuing to seek experienced local candidates for roles in exploration and production, says recruiting experts Hays. “Employers’ focusing on ‘Malaysianisation’ will not only continue but gather momentum this year,” said Lisa Stanhope, regionaldirector of Hays in Malaysia. “This is having a significant impact on the talent available, both in terms of volume and availability, particularly at the senior level.” According to the latest Hays Quarterly Report, there has been high demand for local Metering Engineers. “Although there is a significant number of Instrumentation and Control Engineers, only a few specialise in metering. This shortage is the result of a number of large on-going projects that require these skills,” said Stanhope. “High demand also exists for Quality, Health, Safety and Environment candidates with an Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) background. Candidates who have all

the necessary experience are mostly from overseas, although those who are Malaysian citizens are often willing to come back to Malaysia when offered the right salary package.” “We’re also seeing demand for operations talent in the OCTG industry,” Stanhope added. Local talent is sought to interact with machine shop people.” The recruiter said that some engineering consultancies are planning to use their Malaysia office to support regional and global projects. “As a result of these plans, local Lead Process Engineers are being targeted since they will be able to both manage and support these projects,” said Stanhope. As demand is outweighing supply in many key areas, Stanhope said that remuneration packages will need to be flexible in order to secure the appropriate talent. “Salaries will increase in areas where there are skills shortages and also lead to an increased emphasis on staff retention strategies.” ISSUE 14.9




Talent Retention

Where’s the tipping point for employees? Money is not the chief reason why workers quit their jobs. Instead, a lack of career progression and a healthy work-life balance are deemed to be the real deal breakers.




Work/Life Balance

Your boss doesn’t trust you

Money Management



of 18-29 year old employees are unhappy about low salary

Boss blames you for mistakes

of 18-29 year old employees find it “considerably annoying” when management “passes the buck.” of 30-44 year old employees find it considerably annoying or a deal breaker when the boss doesn’t trust or empower them.


Employees over stop caring as much about money. Only eight percent would quit because of unfair salary.

Source: • Bamboo HR HRMASIA.COM




Who’s fired more often?




Working during off hours



Non-flexible work environment



Coworkers are promoted faster


The higher the degree level, the more employees seek additional assignments that challenge them to grow.


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Work isn’t flexible


Beginning at age , employees find it substantially more acceptable to be expected to do work on weekends, vacations and after hours.


Work expectations during off-time

Difficult co-workers


52% 61%




Not being empowered by your boss is more annoying for college-educated employees


Graduate Degree


Bachelor’s Degree


High School Diploma

Women have fewer jobs over their careers and, as a result, stay at jobs longer, but more men are managers. Women are less likely to tolerate working on weekends, vacations or after hours and are not willing to budge on inflexible workplaces.


International UK


A “mid-life pay crisis” is engulfing female managers in the UK, with women there earning more than one-third less than men once they reach their mid-40s. Women would have to slog past the age of 79 to be paid as much as men over an otherwise identical career. The finding was calculated from XpertHR and the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) analysis of the annual National Management Salary Survey. Statistics from the National Management Salary Survey revealed the present pay gap between men and women was £9,069 (US$15,000) per year, implying that on average, women accumulate approximately three-quarters of what men do in comparable professions. The pay gap is broadest for those who have spent over 20 years in the working world. For women between the ages of 45 and 60, and over 60, the gaps amounts to 34% and 35% respectively. The data also reveaed that women take up the majority of entry-level positions, but the road into senior management is less rosy. They comprise just 30% of directors, according to XpertHR and the CMI. There is also a deficit at senior management level. While the yearly percentage rise in wages for men and women across all levels was 2.3% last financial year, male directors’ wages rose by 2.7%, as opposed to 1.9% for women. When bonus payments are considered, the range variance between men and women at director level was nearly £40,000 (US$66,300). The National Management Salary Survey featured the thoughts and data of over 68,000 professional UK workers.

How hard would it be to just ask for help if you are unsure of something? Clearly for US senior managers, it’s a tougher ask than you might expect. According to a new survey by OfficeTeam, four in 10 (42%) senior managers interviewed claimed that not requesting help from others was the top networking error. Failing to keep in contact with associates ranked second (28%). The survey also cited online networking (47%) as the most valuable method to connect with professional contacts, followed by meetings for lunch or coffee (24%). Senior managers were asked, “In your opinion, which one of the following is the biggest mistake people make when networking with professional contacts?” Their responses were:

Older women still earning less

Staying silent: The biggest networking boo-boo


of UK employees usually bring their work devices with them when on holiday Source: Cisco “Beach to Breach” study


of US jobseekers would be willing to settle for a small office or desk space in order to secure a new job opportunity Source: Monster’s US Workforce Talent Survey


of HR professionals said their hiring managers were not strong interviewers Source: 2014 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey

Not asking for help when they need it


Not keeping in touch with contacts


Not thanking people for their help


Not providing help when others need it


Burning bridges with past employers

6% 100%

Senior managers also were quizzed on “Which of the following do you find is the most effective way to network with professional contacts?” Their answers were ranked as: Networking online


Meeting in person over lunch or coffee


Attending a local networking event


Participating in a professional association


Participating in personal interest activities (e.g., sports, hobbies, etc.)



3% 100%

“People may not ask those in their networks for help because they’re embarrassed or think they can succeed on their own,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “But whether you’re looking to land a new job or build your visibility, every connection counts.” Hosking also added that the value of face-to-face activities such as lunch meetings or attending industry events “couldn’t be overlooked”. The survey was based on telephone interviews with more than 300 senior managers in the US. ISSUE 14.9




International EUROPE


British employees are the most prone to disregard workplace restraints on social media, a Europe-wide study by Samsung Electronics has revealed. Two in five have confessed to using Facebook at the office, even when they knew it was forbidden. Of British workers whose Facebook usage was limited, 41% admitted to going to the site while at the workplace. Also not quite towing the line were German workers, with 34% disobeying bans, followed by Spanish (33%), Italians (32%), and Belgians and Dutch employees (31%). Interestingly, the country most compliant to company internet regulations was France, with only one in five (20%) French employees knowingly using social media and disregarding the orders of their firm. In addition, 40% of British employees have confessed to illegally using Twitter, 41% to utilising video streaming services, 39% to using messaging and telephony apps and 40% to utilising cloud storage applications. Workers aged between 18 to 34 were the most likely to ignore corporate limitations on surfing of websites and apps. They were twice as prone to disregard orders as the average across all age groups. These employees either defied workplace bans, or utilised their own technology to get around work-imposed limitations. Samsung claimed the research hints that corporate boundaries on internet usage are driven by a lack of trust. In fact, only half of all employees in the survey claimed their firms provided them with the freedom to utilise technology as they wanted, while close to a fifth added that their employees assumed that they possessed very little technological skills . The study by Samsung Electronics comprised of 4,500 office workers.

Technology appears to have become a bane for US employees. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), one in five US businesses (21%) has replaced workers with technology. Among firms comprising of more than 500 workers, the figure stands at 30%. While removing positions, the majority (68%) of organisations claimed their implementation of new technology saw new posts being added. A sizeable 35% of firms that deskilled employees added that they generated more jobs in their companies than they had before the automation. In a different study, CareerBuilder and EMSI pored over historical acceleration and deceleration of the 786 occupations currently acknowledged by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2002, 257 occupations saw a drop in employment, approximately one third of all US jobs. Concurrently, 483 occupations (61%) grew by one per cent or more. The pervasive utilisation of the internet negatively affected employment in several fields. For example, travel agents lost 38,000 jobs between 2002 and 2014, due to the rise of automated travel web sites. During the same period, the number of Software Developers and Web Developers in the US rose by 195,000. “Technological advancements have not only increased productivity, but historically have led to an expansion of employment,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “While automation may eliminate some jobs, it also creates other jobs that are higher paying, and lifts the standard of living for the economy as a whole.” Nevertheless, while automation has generated more efficiency and end products, 35% of companies that deskilled employees said they recruited people back because the technology did not succeed. The survey was conducted online within the US among 2,188 hiring managers and HR professionals.

Brits break the rules


Work before family?


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Getting techie = Shedding workers

British bosses feel the most productive employees place their job before their family, at least according to a third of workers surveyed in a new poll. According to the research by counselling firm Relate, over a fifth of workers believe their employers would prefer them to be available 24 hours daily. The survey also deduced that the juggling act between work and family life continues to be a worry for a noticeable amount of employees. Over two-thirds (70%) rated their relationships with


colleagues as “good” or “very good”, while 59% described their relationship with their boss as “good” or “very good”. “It’s great to see that almost 60% of us have good relationships with our bosses, as we spend a significant portion of our life working,” said Professor Sir Cary Cooper, president of Relate. “However, it’s very concerning that so many people believe that work has to come before family to be well regarded by our bosses. “This is not the message employers should be sending out, and it could lead to strain on family relationships, especially at a time when money worries are still a reality for many people.”


Talent Management

Company collaboration How can leaders foster a more collaborative workforce?

Daniel Soh Managing Partner, Leadership Advisory

The leader’s role today is multi-faceted. As a change agent, a business strategist, a visionary and a motivator all rolled into one, the leader must be flexible enough to see the underlying drivers of a situation and foster a collaborative workforce in the organisation. The leader must hold the organisation together and in this case, a shared vision, core values and accountability become all the more important. Firstly, setting a vision is important. This vision steers the company in a consistent direction, determines the strategies, and influences corporate and individual attitudes and behaviours on a longer-term basis. It may even be necessary to define it in local terms by clearly spelling out leadership aspirations in key markets and segments. Secondly, leaders must reconcile their long-term vision against what it takes just to get through the coming few months. As business cycles are getting shorter, there is a tendency and bias towards short-term goals and results. It’s not an easy task to strike a balance. But if the management team, the rank and file staff, and other key stakeholders understand and support the long-term vision, more than half the battle is won. Lastly, while the principles of good leadership transcend time, the global business environment has changed over the years. A leader needs to have sensitivity to differences in different countries and regions, and to be adaptable to changing conditions.

Andre Roy CEO, Wearnes Automotive

As employees become more specialised in their respective fields, it is an everincreasing challenge to make sure each and every staff member has a macro-view of the business. Technology, however, has changed the way that we work, and has become instrumental in integrating business functions. We are now able to share more and work more openly with colleagues, which has naturally made it easier for teams to collaborate and work towards the same end goal. Two key changes that can help to foster a collaborative workforce are creating a transparent environment and investing in technology that will help your staff to do their jobs better. When performance is shared and employees are rated as a team, it encourages everyone to take accountability for the good of the group. At Wearnes Automotive, we aim to be the leaders in customer satisfaction. We want all staff to share this ambition and so we introduced the Wearnes Customer Online Response and Engagement (Wearnes CORE) program. Customers grade their experience at Wearnes whilst they are still on-site. All service teams and senior management are alerted instantly when any negative rankings are made, allowing employees to act as a team and address any issues straight away. After piloting this new system, we have now implemented it across all of our service centres in Southeast Asia, and we can track our service levels across the region.

Samir Neji

Managing Director, Anaplan Asia

A collaborative workforce means all colleagues within an organisation are executing their responsibilities and encouraging one other to do their best work. This creates synergy among colleagues, customers, and partners alike where all parties value and recognise the importance of each other. To foster the encouragement and synergy that leads to a collaborative workforce, an organisation needs to build and maintain an open, positive and constructive environment, built on core values. At Anaplan, we are on a path of hyper-growth, which means we face the challenge of maintaining a strong, consistent company culture, as we scale up across the globe.The key is to make sure those values are a true reflection of your organisation. We live by the values of: disruption, speed, accountability, and integrity. Based on these values, we set clear KPIs, reward innovation, and maintain a flat management structure. We believe in hard work, having fun and bringing excellence to everything we do. Anaplan has reinvented the foundation of businesses planning and execution so companies can move faster and continuously align to market opportunities. Technology is also a factor. We embrace the disruption of cloud, social and mobile technologies, leveraging these to enable organisations to collaborate, plan and act in real time on any device. ISSUE 14.9



Work in progress...



Singapore Sports Hub

Coaching for success American football player and coach, and business executive Vince Lombardi once said: “The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders.” Singapore Sports Hub CEO, Philippe Collin Delavaud, embraces this as his leadership style, striving to pursue and overcome new challenges every day By Shalini Shukla-Pandey


Describe your rise to the top.

I have been in management for more than 25 years. I have always dedicated my professional time to overcoming challenges. I’m more of a developer. I like to keep moving from challenge to challenge, adventure to adventure. Because of this, I have been travelling extensively throughout my career, taking me through a variety of industries including contracting, real estate, sports goods, sports venue management, and telecommunications. I believe that so long as one is open-minded, and understands customers and staff, these skills are transferrable and one can move from one domain to another. I’m extremely project-oriented and like to understand and immerse myself in any task I undertake. I dedicate all my time, passion and talent to achieving the outcomes of the job at hand. My entire career has been dedicated to taking on projects at different stages and seeing them through to the end. You could say I’m more of a long distance runner than a sprinter! I’m also rather hands-on as a leader. This comes from 12

ISSUE 14.9


my experience in managing lean teams throughout my career. While I don’t want to do everything myself and appreciate delegating work to staff around me, I prefer to have a short distance between them and myself. I prefer to have direct contact with most of the team on the ground; to listen to them; and to understand the kinds of issues they have to deal with. This allows me to provide my employees with the right resources and processes to help them complete their tasks well.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Having had more than a decade’s experience in the sports industry, it’s no surprise that I am inspired by football team coaches. I think it is one of the most difficult kinds of jobs and one that is very close to management. When you are coaching a team, you can’t score yourself; neither can you be a goalkeeper yourself. You have to stay on your seat at the side-lines. First, you have to accept that without your team, you are nothing. It’s all about the team you are managing. You can mould them by giving all the training you can but when the

Man of the people When asked how employees would describe him, Philippe Collin Delavaud, CEO, SportsHub, said: • great first impression • personable • visionary leader • strategic thinker • dedicated

“Without your team, you are nothing” – PHILIPPE COLLIN DELAVAUD, CEO, SPORTSHUB

BIO BRIEF Philippe Collin Delavaud CEO, SportsHub Having been CEO of the Stade de France for four years and currently as the CEO of the Singapore Sports Hub, Philippe Collin Delavaud has developed a unique knowledge base and detailed skill set of how to drive business as a Stadium Operator. Delavaud’s vast experience and knowledge in the business allows him to work closely with parties with diverse backgrounds – high level local authorities, construction companies, event organisers, ticketing companies, public and private media companies – to deliver numerous international worldclass events throughout his career. Delavaud was the CEO of the Consortium Stade de France (CSDF) including during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Managing Director of SDF Production, as well as Chairman of the Stade de France Live Events (a company producing and selling live events). Delavaud was also at the board of the company managing Green Point Stadium in 2009 and 2010 (including during the FIFA World Cup) on behalf of the City of Cape Town.

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Singapore Sports Hub team has to deliver, and they have to do so without you at their back, alone. You have to trust your team. Secondly, you also have to accept that when the team is winning, the team is winning. However, when the team is losing, it’s the coach that is losing. This is true also for business. The business leader, such as myself, has to take the rap for a failing team. Therefore, I focus on building a good relationship with my team and ensuring they are capable to complete the tasks at hand.


You were with the French national stadium before this. How has that experience prepared you for your role here at the Singapore Sports Hub? I was the CEO of The Stade de France (the national stadium of France) including during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. While I gained broad skill sets of how to drive the business as a “Stadium Operator”, taking over at the Singapore Sports Hub presented a different set of exciting challenges. The Singapore Sports Hub is more than a stadium. It is a unique, multi-sports, multi-themed, multi-tenant project. It boasts a number of ‘firsts’, including being Asia’s first integrated sports, leisure, entertainment and lifestyle destination. The centrepiece of the Singapore Sports Hub is the new 55,000-seat National Stadium, the first stadium to be located within the city centre, providing spectacular views of the waterfront and Singapore city skyline. It is also the world’s first stadium able to host rugby, cricket, football, athletics and concerts in the one venue. The Sports Hub is also at the forefront of technology and innovation, with the stadium’s retractable roof and energy efficient bowl-cooling technology representing the next stage

• I love: Sports and my wife. • I dislike: Irresponsibleness. • My inspiration: Barcelona Football Club team and Arsène Wenger, manager of Arsenal Football Club • My biggest weakness is: Time-keeping. I don’t want to pressure people but to get things done on time, I sometimes need to • In five years’ time I’d like to be: A good grandfather. I’d also like to be in a non-profit organisation dealing with homeless people. • Favourite quote: “If you want your team to win the World Cup, don’t tell them to reach the finals, tell them to win the World Cup.” – a football coach


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in sustainable stadium design. I relished the challenge of setting up the country’s first full sports ecosystem. The move from France to Singapore also made me more aware of cultural and behavioural differences of patrons and presented the opportunity to manage a more Asian profile, as compared to the European-based patrons that I used to work with.


Such an esteemed project requires talented people to bring it to fruition. How did you hire talent to deliver what the Sports Hub promises? The Singapore Sports Hub is no doubt a unique and new undertaking. Thus, finding the right talents for the jobs has proven challenging. While we have a very limited number of international expatriates, we do import international talent that has experience working at large sporting events such as the London Olympic Games and even the World Cup. In between working for such events, which come by once every four years, it’s common practice for such experienced talent to travel and work in venue management. We tap on this specialised pool of people to complement our workforce at the Sports Hub. They are part of our succession planning programme, helping to train and mentor local staff so that one day, they can take over management of Singapore Sports Hub. For example, Gregory Gillin, the Sports Hub’s senior director of stadia, has had extensive experience in managing pitches at world class venues including Wimbledon. He is currently mentoring a team of employees and transferring to them his knowledge of maintaining the specialised grass pitch at the National Stadium. Each event at the Stadium helps staff learn and grow in confidence and experience. Next, we look towards locally-sourced talent who are skilled and understand the Singapore context. These can come from a variety of industries to fill positions in departments such as HR, finance and legal. We have also hired local managers for some of our facilities, including the Water Sports Centre


(Calvin Palayama, Director) and the OCBC Aquatic Centre (Lynette Ng, Assistant Manager). These leaders have had prior experience in sports venue management. The third line of recruitment comes from training non-experienced talent. While some universities offer degrees in sports marketing and such fields, there is no formal certification or degree in sports venue management. Nobody comes with a formal education in swimming pool management, for instance. More than half of our staff currently did not come in with any specific experience in venue management and were trained through our internal courses, and at local colleges and institutions that we partner with.

will get the chance to see, up close, tennis stars Li Na, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, who will be here for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals, and Mariah Carey, who will be here for her Me. I Am Mariah concert. For me, the most interesting person I’ve met so far is the General Manager of WTA, Stacy Allaster. She’s not a famous tennis player but the way she managed the tender to select Singapore as the five-year home for the WTA Finals was extremely professional. We look forward to maintaining this culture and energy for years to come.

I understand that part-timers make up a rather large part of your workforce as well. Tell me more?

Time! I hope to spend more time with staff. When the boss is not there, people are different. I hope to not only be my employees’ leader but also someone they can talk to almost as a friend. Also, it seems like in Asia, a meeting without 10 people is not a meeting! Sometimes it can be a challenge to ensure that these meetings are truly fruitful.


With any event at the National Stadium, such as last month’s Singapore Selection versus Juventus Football Club match, we have in the region of more than 3,000 full-time and part-time staff working. We invest in our part-timers and avail internal courses to train them in specific skills, including crowd management. This is important to us as we routinely host large-scale events. This is different from other stadia around the world where large sporting or other types of events are somewhat rarer. We are constantly developing new courses for staff to undertake.


How do you ensure your diverse staff work together under one roof? Is there a culture that binds everyone? Today, it is not a challenge to engage staff because everybody is happy to see the birth of this big baby, the Sports Hub, for which we have all been waiting for more than 40 months! We are like young parents. While we have our anxieties, we are also very excited. There is a sense of ownership amongst staff too. They like to show off the place they work, bringing their families to the Sports Hub on weekends and for events that we host. Singapore’s first Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the Sports Hub project is also one of the largest sporting infrastructure PPP projects in the world today. Although it’s made up of various outsourced companies, when asked who they work for, everyone says “the Sports Hub”. There is unison in our identity. Staff also like the atmosphere, the diverse sporting and entertainment events, and the fact that they are part of something historic in Singapore. Employees have the opportunity to move from working in retail to sports or non-sports venues to events coordination, and more. It will take a long time for anyone to get bored here! The perks of the job are also second to none. Staff regularly get to meet famous personalities, as if they are working in the movie industry. For instance, next month alone, some staff


What are some challenges you face as the CEO of the Sports Hub?

PRIDE COMES FIRST Sports Hub staff are trained under Sports Hub’s service initiative, called the PRIDE programme, which is designed to align all stakeholders to deliver a consistent service standard that is unique to Sports Hub.

P – People come first R – Respond with respect I – I will make a difference D – Do it with a smile E – Enjoy yourself

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A fair chance Ex-offenders are making a positive impact on a growing number of workplaces in Singapore. HRM looks at how the Yellow Ribbon project is engaging business in this small, but important section of the workforce By Shalini Shukla-Pandey


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More employers today are giving ex-offenders a second chance. The statistics speak for themselves – the number of employers employing ex-offenders has more than tripled over the last decade. As of May this year, 4,145 companies pledged to give former convicts a second chance, compared with the 1,381 that registered with the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), a statutory board under the Ministry of Home Affairs, in 2004. SCORE says that the service industry is the top sector for this group of workers, with the manufacturing and logistics industries coming in second and third respectively. One reason for the increase is the success of the Yellow Ribbon Project, says Juliana Bte Abdul Khalik, Deputy Director (Reintegration), SCORE. “Ten years since inception, the Yellow Ribbon Project has really pushed up awareness about reintegrating ex-offenders into society,” she says. “Programmes like the annual Yellow Ribbon Prison Run receive very good responses from the community,” she explains. “People are also more

understanding about how the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and SCORE help offenders, and they make donations to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.”

Preparing ex-offenders for employment Employers should keep an open mind and be supportive of hiring ex-offenders, says Juliana. “Offenders are also part of the Singaporean workforce,” she explains. “They can be equally productive and contribute to the economy.” “They need additional support to reintegrate back into the workforce but they are really no different than any other person working,” she adds. “We work with them closely to ensure they adapt to the environment.” SPS works closely with SCORE to provide vocational training and increase the employability of the offenders under its watch. The provision of rehabilitative and reintegration of inmates is guided by a structured Rehabilitative Framework which is divided into three main components: in-care, pre-release and aftercare.

Nandos A key challenge in hiring ex-offenders is no doubt retention, says Bebe Wong, Assistant HR Manager, Nandos. “After completing their home tagging programme for three, six or 12 months, nearly half will leave.” Still, in 2013, 81% of ex-offenders hired by various employers through SCORE worked for more than three months. More than half (59%) worked for more than six months. Nandos continues to recruit a fair number of part-timers along with its full-timers, so the high exit rate of such employees does not have a large impact on the business. “Still, we are working very well with SCORE and join their recruitment exercises in the prison itself,” says Wong. “This is because we encourage offenders to start afresh with a family like Nandos – part of our core values. “Nandos values family, passion, pride, integration and courage,” she adds. Ex-offender Jane (name has been changed to protect her identity) has been on the service crew at Nandos for eight months now. She says that everyone at Nandos treats her very well, “just like family”. “Nandos has been a good environment for me to start afresh,” she says. “Colleagues and managers treat me very well and I’ve learned a lot – for example, how to meet customers, good hygiene, first aid and other such skills.” “My job coach also visits me regularly, giving me a call to check in on me.” “This motivates me a lot,” added the first timer in the food and beverage industry. “While before prison, all I did was odd jobs, this is really a change and it also allows me to support my family and give my parents money. “Hopefully I can work here for a long time,” says Jane. “I’m looking forward to working at Nandos and building a brighter future for myself.” Everybody is different, says Wong, and employers should embrace differences amongst everyone and encourage them to realise their potential. “That’s why Nandos gives ex-offender staff the same opportunities as others in terms of training, salaries, and benefits,” she says. Still, this isn’t without its challenges. In one case, the Learning and Development department designed a series of courses specifically for one ex-offender – but he was sent back to prison before he could take on the programme. Still, there are others, like Jane, who have completed training and are even being assessed for promotion now, says Wong. “Ex-offenders have been very helpful for our business,” she concludes. “We are very happy to see them growing in our organisation. It also means Nandos is growing too.” “We are always asking SCORE when their next recruitment exercise is happening!”

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Recruitment Mandatory Aftercare Scheme

“Offenders are also part of the Singaporean workforce, they can be equally productive and contribute to the economy” – JULIANA BTE ABDUL KHALIK, DEPUTY DIRECTOR (REINTEGRATION), SCORE


In-care A Personal Route Map (PRM) is charted for each inmate according to his individual needs and risks, upon admission. The PRM will record inmates’ progress in the programmes that they require or have gone through during their incarceration or detention. Fewer programmes are given to inmates during the initial deterrance phase of their incarceration. This gives them time to adapt to their incarceration or detention, reflect on their past actions, and prepare for the treatment phase. During the Treatment Phase, eligible inmates are allocated programmes, as identified in their PRM.


Pre-release During the Pre-Release Phase, eligible inmates are prepared for reintegration into the community upon their release. They participate in counselling sessions, academic programmes, work and vocational programmes, and rehabilitative programmes. SCORE’s in-custody training aligns with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s (WDA’s) Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) framework. “This helps them level up and leads to certification as well,” says Juliana. Employers are brought into prison for candidate selections and interviews, just like any other job fair. “SCORE will brief employers first, explaining the programmes we provide to ex-offenders,” says Juliana.

SCORE helped


ex-offenders to secure jobs last year

The Mandatory Aftercare Scheme (MAS) is a structured aftercare regime that provides enhanced community support, counselling, case management, and tight supervision for a selected group of ex-offenders. Those who need more support in reintegrating into society, or are considered at risk of re-offending, are eligible for the programme. Eligible offenders are required to undergo between six and 24 months of aftercare, depending on their rehabilitation needs. While in prison, offenders on MAS will undergo programmes to mitigate their risks of re-offending. High risk offenders with sufficient sentence durations will undergo rehabilitation programmes that include psychological-based counselling programmes, employability skills training and family programmes in prison. Upon release, at the two-third mark of their sentence, offenders who are assessed to be suitable for MAS will be placed progressively through step-down support and supervision. The MAS comprises three key phases: • Halfway House (HWH) Phase: The offender will be required to reside at a HWH and undergo rehabilitation programmes and drug testing. They will also be required to take up employment and/or vocational training, and may be subjected to electronic monitoring to track their movement outside the HWH. • Home Detention Phase: The offender will be required to observe daily curfew hours and will be subject to electronic monitoring. They will continue to undergo rehabilitation programmes, employment and/or vocational training and drug tests. • Community Re-integration Phase: There are no curfews imposed, but other conditions such as scheduled reporting and drug testing may continue. It is estimated that about 1,400 inmates will become eligible for MAS each year.

Source: Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE)

Phases of MAS Phase A Halfway House

Phase B Home Supervision

Phase C Halfway House

Holistic assesment will be done for each individual. Not everyone will need to go through the three phases. Some may be placed on the home supervision phase directly.

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Recruitment Employers are able to upload their job descriptions into the SCORE online job portal. Offenders also have an account and can find jobs through the portal upon release.


Aftercare The Aftercare Phase is the final and most important phase in an inmate’s journey. Just before their release, SPS will work with them to determine if they require any assistance with regard to immediate needs such as accommodation, finances and employment. Newly-released inmates placed on communitybased programmes are attached to a reintegration officer, who supports them in their reintegration. SPS also deploys correctional rehabilitation specialists who conduct regular counselling sessions to help address communication, and anger and stress management skills. “Once offenders start work, a job coach is a liaison between employee and employer,” says Juliana.


HRM_GWSAad14.05_186mm(W)x119.5mm(H)_FA.indd 1

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“Upon release, ex-offenders join their respective employers and for six months, job coaches help to resolve any work-related issues that they may have.” One major challenge can be that ex-offenders have difficulty keeping up with the demands and pace of work. “A quick solution is, ‘I quit’,” says Juliana. “This is where the job coach comes in. They will sit with the offender, break down the task and help them understand the job scope.” Beyond ensuring the safety and secure custody of inmates, SPS has continued to refine its capabilities in the prevention of re-offending over the years. The introduction of new initiatives such as the Mandatory Aftercare Scheme (see: boxout), empowers SPS with an extended and meaningful influence on the inmates’ journey of rehabilitation and reintegration back into society. This means that inmates will benefit more from receiving an extended aftercare support and guidance as they return to their families, workplaces and the community, and go on to lead crime-free lives.

9/4/14 10:12 am


Employer Branding

UNMASK your employer brand Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, says that a brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. HRM shares what leading organisations are doing to boost their employer brand and with it, overall business success By Shalini Shukla-Pandey


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In today’s competition for top talent, your reputation as an employer is a key factor in whether a candidate will accept your job – or leave it for something else. According to the LinkedIn Employer Brand Playbook, the bottom line impact of this is real: a strong talent brand reduces cost-per-hire by up to 50% and lowers turnover rates by 28%. Also, LinkedIn advises that if you don’t influence the conversation with candidates, others will. Candidates today are empowered to make decisions before even having a one-on-one conversation with employers, says Tim Grogan, Head – Talent Brand Solutions, Asia-Pacific, LinkedIn. For instance, for every candidate that has a bad experience during a recruitment process, 42% say they would never even buy a product from that employer. So when you think about the impact or influence that this has on the business, employer branding is no longer just an HR problem. “You, as an HR or talent acquisition professional, are telling stories every day, be it internally or externally,” says Grogan. “At the heart of that is having to define your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which is the attributes that you most want associated with yourself, then delivering the EVP across every communication touch point. “That should be both internal and external (employer brand) and more recently, it includes influencing what

people are thinking, feeling and sharing about your company as a place to work (talent brand).”

Award-winning branding practices Having won HRM Awards for Best Employer Branding consecutively between 2009 and 2011, McDonald’s Singapore knows a thing or two about developing and maintaining a successful employer brand. With employees as diverse as the customers the fast food chain serves, it is important for McDonald’s to engage its current and potential employees on relevant platforms, and ensure they understand what they can expect from a

Want to use gamification? When looking to improve your employer brand by gamification, first clarify the following: • What are your business objectives? • How do your processes work? What are the strengths and weaknesses? • Who are your users? Different user types need different game elements and game mechanics • Choose the best game mechanics and elements for your target audience. This is crucial in every gamification project. • Be lean – build, measure, learn. A gamification project requires a lot of flexibility. Source: Games for Business

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Employer Branding The building blocks of a talent brand the unique & differentiating promise a business makes to its employees and potential candidates

Employer Brand


Brand core and positioning

What talent thinks, feels and shares about your company

Talent Brand


Sourcing & Branding Efficient & Effective Quality = Passive



Transactional Recruitment High Cost Quantity = Active

Foundational Emerging

Traditional Traditional

how employees can be ‘more’ at McDonald’s,” Chin added. The campaign was a success. It won the Singapore Press Holdings Ad of the Month award in April last year, and successfully established key employer brand messages. The number of job applications received doubled within the first two weeks of the campaign. To strengthen its employer brand with the next generation of Food and Beverage (F&B) sector leaders, McDonald’s utilises several partnerships with relevant organisations. For example, McDonald’s collaborates with Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs) to train both staff and students in quick-service restaurant operations and customer service. “Under this programme, we established the region’s first McCafe Training Academy at ITE College West in June this year,” Chin says. “We also started a new National ITE Certificate in F&B Operations traineeship programme, which gives trainees on-the-job practical training with McDonald’s and off-the-job learning at ITE. “In addition, we are partnering with the National University of Singapore’s iGen Programme to provide tertiary students the opportunity of a training workshop and internship at McDonald’s,” Chin adds. Third-party recognitions also build and sustain McDonald’s Best Employer reputation. “This year, we won four employer-related awards,” says Chin. “Recently, we were also awarded the “Best Companies for Mum” by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Women’s Development Secretariat (WDS) and Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) for our family-friendly policies.” “Our employees are actually one of our best recruitment ambassadors,” Chin adds. “When they feel great working at McDonald’s and are confident of their career with us, they say it with so much passion that it naturally becomes the best branding for us!”

Understanding and sharing life Talent

People Source: LinkedIn

career with the company and what it stands for, says Audrey Chin, director of HR, McDonald’s Singapore. “For instance, our ‘I’m More’ campaign focuses on our people,” she explains. “We pride ourselves in being a good place for people to grow – growth in personal character, social connection, career possibilities and work-life quality. This idea can be seen through four dimensions: friendship, future, flexibility, (and) fun.” To communicate the promise that working at McDonald’s can be transformative, the fast food chain created three TV commercials and aired them through YouTube and Facebook. “We also had posters, brochures and flyers in store to share 24

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The key driver of employer branding efforts at Ericsson has been to bring out the company’s identity and what life is like in the organisation. A common misconception is that Ericsson makes mobile phones. The truth is that the organisation has moved out of the telecommunications space, and into the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector. “When we were in the telco industry, people knew Ericsson and it was easy to hire talent as people wanted to work for us. However, as we moved into ICT, it got more difficult to attract talent as most candidates just didn’t know us or see us as a potential employer,” says Matt Kaiseŕ, Employer Branding and Digital Recruitment/ Global Talent Acquisition, Ericsson. “We’re also moving into a more global structure, instead of a regional one,” he adds. “We want to be known as ‘One Ericsson’ so we need to build a global employer brand.” The organisation approached its employer branding


efforts via a three-step methodology. First, Ericsson conducted an analysis of internal materials and benchmarks. This included existing research, employee surveys, internal communications, strategic plans and core values. Then, it undertook qualitative research, conducting interviews with existing employees representing departments across the globe, along with external focus groups. Lastly, an analysis of competitors was also completed. Three core pillars of trust, performance, and innovation, were found to be indicative of life at Ericsson; its EVP. “We brought our EVP to life through the ‘You + Ericsson’ initiative,” says Kaiseŕ. “What a candidate brings to Ericsson, shapes our success and drives change. No matter what your role at Ericsson, you are contributing to something bigger.” The message was adapted to different regions, and roles. “We created a communication plan to deliver the right message to the right people and broke this down into three channels: employees, online and digital, and offline and events,” Kaiser explains. Existing employees were educated on Ericsson’s EVP and engaged through an employee referral programme. They were encouraged to be brand ambassadors and share information with their networks. For online and digital platforms, Ericsson created a talent community on its career site. “Every candidate that comes to our career site joins our talent community, where we keep in touch and communicate with them,” says Kaiseŕ. “We also built social media and search platforms to expand our digital reach to active and passive talent.” Because not everyone in different regions is on social media, Ericsson also created a strong offline presence through events such as conferences and university engagement efforts. “While we only embarked on the journey last year, we are already seeing results,” says Kaiseŕ. “For instance, our employee engagement score stands at 77%, as compared to a global norm of 69% and an ICT industry norm of 67%. Attrition is also at about five per cent.”

Branding through gamification Being creative and innovative in boosting your employer brand can be both easy and difficult in today’s economy. There are several online sources, conferences and networking platforms where HR professionals share their thoughts, but implementing something new is always a hard decision, says Balázs Vendler, Founder, Games for Business. “The first step is being open-minded and wellinformed,” he explains. “The second step is to know all strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. This is the key for building a strategy that works for the company.” An upcoming trend in keeping employer branding fresh is gamification. “Gamification can add a strong boost for organisations but 80% of projects will fail to meet business objectives due to poor design,” says Vendler. “Still, in my opinion, if companies give a fair amount of

Transformation of talent engagement Organisations are moving from a traditional model, where they outsourced their sourcing activities to high-cost agencies, to one where they’re developing sourcing expertise inhouse, says Tim Grogan, Head – Talent Brand Solutions, Asia-Pacific, LinkedIn. “This has helped companies move from a reactive, requisition-to-requisition process to one where the full team is managing a pipeline of talent on an on-going basis,” he explains. “As a result, talent acquisition organisations are becoming more strategic partners to the business.” Meanwhile, companies are moving from a pure post-and-pray model to one that more intelligently targets and develops relationships with candidates. “This means personalising job opportunities and developing a unique and – ideally – targeted set of talent brand messaging and content,” Grogan concludes.

emphasis on developing a well-designed strategy, gamification can work extremely well.” For example, Games for Business has been running a gamified employer branding solution for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Hungary, named ‘Multipoly’, for more than three years now. The solution gives high value for the company because it simulates the corporate culture for candidates and introduces the company in a highly interactive way. “Through this innovative solution, PwC Hungary has the chance to distinguish itself from other Big Four accounting firms and show their EVP directly to potential candidates,” Vendler explains. Games for Business’ latest Multipoly Campaign saw more than 1,000 business students in Hungary playing the game, which involved 43 universities and 40 student organisations. “The average player spent more than two hours on the game. I don’t really know any other solutions that provide this high level of engagement,” says Vendler. “On the other hand, almost half of the players in Multipoly completed the built-in Assessment Centre which helped PwC Hungary to have a great view of their potential candidates.” Gamification is really a new trend worldwide, which also means there are few case studies or best practices readily available. “The early success of gamification was because of the use of Points, Badges, and Leaderboards (PBL),” says Vendler. “These things work in special situations but cannot be applied in all processes. Nowadays, most PBL applications fail because these are not the best tools for the specific business challenge of an organisation.” Ultimately, organisations have to think about whether gamification is really the best solution for their individual business problems, Vendler warns. “Never use gamification just because it’s fancy. Gamification doesn’t solve problems like bad working conditions or low wages,” he explains. “However, gamification is good in cases such as team building, training, engagement and motivation.”


of recruiters don’t understand their own employer brands Source: Corporate Leadership Council, Smart Sourcing: How Talent Advisors Use Sourcing Intelligence to Extend Recruiting’s Influence

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Goodrich Global

Building careers

Interior furnishings firm Goodrich Global is a homegrown Singapore brand that has expanded prolifically over the past 30 years. HRM finds out how the company has been overcoming common SME challenges and soaring to greater heights By Sumathi V Selvaretnam

A specialist in wall coverings, carpets, and fabrics, Goodrich Global is well-known among house-proud home owners in Singapore and beyond. From its humble beginnings as a six-man team in 1983, the company now encompassess some 30 regional offices and galleries in the region, with a staff strength of 400. Its corporate headquarters in Changi, where the photoshoot for this story took place, is a design buff ’s delight, featuring countless swatches of wall coverings, carpets and fabrics. However, the road to success was not without its challenges, says Wong Wai Meng, Head, Capability Development and HR, Goodrich Global. “Recruiting good people has always been a challenge for SMEs like us, especially when we are competing with multi-nationals and larger employers which may offer better terms and career opportunities.” • Total number of employees: 122 (Singapore HQ only) • Size of HR team: 5 • Key HR focus areas: Manpower Planning, Recruitment; Training & Development; Compensation & Benefits; Performance Management; Career Management, Wellness and Safety; Talent & Succession Management; Compliance

However, the company has recently been seeing greater interest from graduates from ITEs, polytechnics and universities. Wong says that this observation was gleaned from its recruitment exercises and interactions with various stakeholders in the manpower sphere. “More and more SMEs are able to offer attractive employee value propositions. With continued effort from various stakeholders like the government, SME employer groups, education institutes and HR practitioners, we stand to benefit from an increased pool of workers who are willing to work for us,” he says. To encourage more young talent to come into it fold, Goodrich Global is also an industry partner with the National HR Scholarship. Upon graduation, scholars join the company as HR executives and get the opportunity to try out different roles within the function. The exposure helps them to develop a more systemic and strategic view of HR management, says Wong.

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Goodrich Global Staff retention at Goodrich Global:

10 key measures

• Continued investment in training and development • Regular communication and dialogue with staff • Feedback on performance and counselling if necessary • Ensuring up-to-date compensation and benefits package • Strong family culture • Active coaching and mentoring • Trust between management and staff • Opportunity for development, job rotation and promotion • Rewards and recognition • Flexi work arrangements

to consider Singaporeans for professional, managerial, and executive jobs before they hire foreigners. Foreign worker quotas have also been tightened in recent times. These new restrictions have added extra pressure on companies such as Goodrich. “We are experiencing difficulty in finding local skilled workers to replace the foreign skilled workers for our site-work, as we try to adjust to the government’s policy shift,” says Wong. The company is still looking out to recruit local skilled workers by offering them competitive salaries. “We are also working with a network of external contractors who will help supplement the resource pool,” he adds.

Many generations but a singular focus Handling a multi-generational workforce also comes with its own intricacies. While Goodrich Global tries to ensure its HR policies, practices and activities can be as wide-covering as possible, it is also mindful of differing motivations for different segments of workers, Wong says. “For example, for the younger workers, our Chairman has always said that it is no longer the case that the company gives them three months’ probation. Rather, it is them who are giving the company probation.” Goodrich Global also has large proportion of older employees who were a part of the pioneer team that founded the company. According to Wong, these employees offer a wealth of experience to younger employees. “These older workers can act as role models, mentors, coaches or motivators to the younger workers in areas such as business 28

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negotiations, relationship building, inter-personal skills, life skills, personal and career success. Together, a multi-generation workforce offers the diversity of workforce that can contribute towards our business success.” Jessica Change is an example of this. She is a mature worker who was re-employed at age 62 with no change to her employment terms. “We had her job redefined so that we can continue to tap on her vast experience to mentor younger sales staff,” Wong says. Change previously worked as an outdoor sales executive at Goodrich Global. She is currently handling sales within the gallery, and doesn’t need to take as many trips out of the office as she used to. Edson Khoo, Head of the Wallcovering Department, 55, has been with Goodrich Global for over 30 years. He believes that both younger and older colleagues have much to learn from each other. For example, younger employees are on the pulse of today’s trends and can better understand the needs of today’s customers, he says. Goodrich Global ensures that older workers receive the right training and development so that their skills remain relevant. The company also sponsors opportunities for continuing education and conducts overseas learning visits to suppliers and factories, says Wong.

Career growth trajectory Making sure that employees start on the right footing is critical for their long term retention. “Staff retention at Goodrich Global starts the moment we begin our recruitment process where we have a chance to interact with the candidates and size up them up against each other for suitability. We have to be thorough in our point of entry to ensure we find the right people who can contribute and grow with the company. We find people who can fit into our culture and core values,” Wong says. All new employees who join the company are given a comprehensive one-week orientation and briefing by the management and various departments, with HR included. “There are career progression routes which are clearly identified. This area is often discussed and addressed during the HR briefing,” Wong says. However, there is no physical document detailing a career roadmap being handed over to a new employee, Wong explains. “A more pragmatic approach we adopt is to highlight the key attributes that the organisation looks for in employees when advancing their careers. These factors could include performance, personality-job fit, attitude and skillset, and the current business needs and vacancies available.”


Wong also feels that staff retention has to be treated more holistically and systematically. HR should not adopt a knee-jerk reaction to each episode of resignation and make overly frequent adjustments to policies or compensation, he says. At Goodrich Global, staff who are performing well, living out the company’s core values, and displaying the potential to assume higher responsibility will be identified early. They are then groomed to take on future management positions. “During the ‘grooming’ stage, high potential staff could be coached, sent for training, assigned to

carry out special projects or given opportunities to move laterally, vertically or even overseas,” Wong says. High-potential employees are also given dual or multiple roles, such as involvement in leading committees, projects or staff activities. If the past is any indication of the future, Goodrich Global seems to be on track with its retention strategies. “After 31 years since the founding of the company, we still have five of the original six employees working in the company today,” Wong says.


Eva Cheng

Stella Tan

Alicia Ng

Catherine Chen HR & Admin Manager

Wong Wai Meng Head, Capability Development and HR

Senior Front Desk Officer

Senior HR & Admin Executive

Senior HR & Admin Assistant

ISSUE 14.9



Employee Dismissals

YOU’RE Employee dismissals are a necessary part of working culture. However, companies should still strive to handle them delicately and impartially. HRM investigates By Sham Majid

Last year, then Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin revealed that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) received an average of around 70 complaints of unfair dismissals from female employees every year between 2007 and 2013. A sizeable 70% of these involved pregnant women. According to Tan, the majority of these cases were not simple. In most, both the worker and employer were unable to validate whether the sacking was with or without sufficient cause. Tam reaffirmed that the Employment Act (EA) “protects employees against unfair dismissal” and that under the Act, female workers are further protected from unfair dismissal during pregnancy. The Act also ensures female staff are entitled to paid maternity leave and prevents their dismissal while they are taking it. Nevertheless, where the employee’s case falls outside the ambit of the EA, the conditions of dismissal will be governed primarily by the terms of the employment contract, says lawyer Kala Anandarajah, 30

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FIRED! There was an average of 70 complaints of unfair dismissals from female employees every year between 2007 and 2013. A sizeable


of these involved

pregnant women

Source: Ministry of Manpower (MOM) statistics

Partner and Head of Competition, Anti-trust, and Trade at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

Unfair dismissal claims According to Kala, if the employee is not covered by the EA, there is nothing to prevent them from alleging that they have been unfairly dismissed by the employer. That’s particularly true where the employer summarily dismisses the employee without adequate reasons or where the procedure related to summary dismissal has not been followed. “The employee will have to show evidence of the unfair dismissal,” says Kala. “If the employee succeeds in an action alleging unfair dismissal, as a general rule, the employer will be liable to pay the employee damages equivalent to all amounts that the employee (would) get under the terms of the employment agreement. “ Summary dismissal refers to dismissing an employee without notice. The high-profile sacking of a National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant director in 2012 was one recent example (see: boxout). That same year, a top-level banking executive at Barclays was fired after a video of him hurling abuse at a group of construction workers emerged online (see: boxout). Even if the action does not succeed, there is a time and opportunity cost incurred by the employer.

Barclays banker pays the price for rant Singapore-based Barclays banker Olivier Desbarres found himself in hot water in 2012 when he was filmed exploding into a rage against a group of construction workers outside his home. Hurling vulgarities at them, the 37-year-old former head of foreign-exchange strategy in Asia had also threatened their family members, claiming he could easily find them as “I am a man with resources”. He was also filmed throwing a sheet of zinc panel into the construction pit. The construction company filed a police report after his outburst. According to the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal, Desbarres was subsequently sacked for his unacceptable behaviour. “It’s a very sad thing. But that kind of behaviour... is so completely out of the standards that we expect, we had to ask him to leave,” a bank source reportedly told The Business Times.

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Employee Dismissals

Sacked for racist comments Amy Cheong, then an assistant director with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), was fired after she posted offensive comments on her Facebook page. Cheong made insulting remarks about Malay void deck weddings and published a public status on her personal Facebook timeline. She linked Malay weddings to high divorce rates and questioned how society could “allow people to get married for 50 bucks”, filling her post with vulgarities. In a separate post, she also allegedly wrote, “Void deck weddings should be banned. If you can’t afford a proper wedding then you shouldn’t be getting married. Full stop.” Her comments drew serious fire from netizens and although she apologised soon after, she was sacked from her high profile position. In a statement to the media, NTUC secretary-general Lim Swee Say said the NTUC had “terminated with immediate effect the services of Ms Amy Cheong, Assistant Director, Membership department, after establishing with her that she did post offensive comments... on 7 October 2012”. “Regrettably and rightly so, her comments have upset members of the public, including many union members,” said Lim. “We are sorry that this has happened. We have counselled the staff and impressed upon her the seriousness of her action. She is remorseful and has apologised for her grave lapse of judgement.” Lim also stressed that the NTUC “takes a serious view on racial harmony in Singapore”, adding that it “will not accept and have zero tolerance towards any words used or actions taken by (its) staff that are racially offensive”.

“If the employee is to be sacked immediately and without notice, it is crucial for the employer to realise that this could be a breach, if the employment agreement does not allow payment in lieu” – KALA ANANDARAJAH, PARTNER AND HEAD OF COMPETITION, ANTI-TRUST, AND TRADE AT RAJAH & TANN SINGAPORE LLP “As such, it is important to take measured approaches in terminating an employee; although ( just) providing the reason for the termination is not the solution,” says Kala. In addition, when the employee being terminated is a Singaporean citizen, the employee may file a complaint with the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) alleging that they have been discriminated against by reason of nationality. “In this instance, TAFEP may commence an investigation against the employer and where the employer remains recalcitrant or unresponsive, the employer’s work pass privileges may be curtailed,” adds Kala.

Documenting the reasons While companies have every right to dismiss their employees, they must adhere to all relevant procedures, if any, within the firm. “Where it is a case of giving notice to terminate, do ensure that proper notice is provided,” says Kala. 32

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“Additionally, do verify the entitlements due to the employee at termination and ensure that these are provided.” If the employee is to be sacked immediately and without notice, it is crucial for the employer to realise that this could be a breach, if the employment agreement does not allow payment in lieu. “Hence, we recommend that if the employer is going to do this, it is critical that the employer be thorough in assessing what the employee could be entitled to and provide it in full,” explains Kala. When there is a decision to proceed ahead with a summary dismissal, the employer needs to ensure that relevant internal grievance procedures, if any, are complied with. “If there are no such procedures, then it is particularly important to document the reasons comprehensively for the termination,” she adds. “At the very least, the employer should document instances of the employee’s conduct relating to the summary dismissal, including any warning letters that had been previously issued.” According to MOM’s Guide on Employment Laws for Employers, an inquiry to determine whether the worker has indeed been guilty of a serious offence or gross misconduct needs to be conducted. Should the inquiry find the worker guilty of either, then the company may fire him without providing any notice.

Rise of constructive dismissals Another aspect of dismissal becoming a more common occurrence in Singapore is that of “constructive dismissal”, says Kala. “These generally arise where the employee is able to show that the employer had through actions, gradually demoted the employee or had removed benefits that the employee was entitled to,” she explains. “Other illustrations include demotion of the employee, unilateral reduction in salary of employee, failure to pay salary, and undermining the position of a senior employee.” The issue of constructive dismissal was personified in a recent case of an IBM New Zealand employee, who eventually lost his appeal (see: boxout). Kala adds that in legal terms, constructive dismissal amounts to a repudiatory breach of the employment contract, where the employer had engaged in a significant breach which goes to the root of the employment contract.

Kiwi worker loses constructive dismissal suit An ex-IBM New Zealand employee has lost his claim of constructive dismissal against the technology conglomerate, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) in Auckland recently disclosed. According to an online article on Techday, having worked for the New Zealand division of the firm for over 17 years until his resignation in August last year, the worker cited that he was “unjustifiably constructively dismissed” by IBM, who he claimed wanted him departed from the firm. To add insult to injury, the ERA found in favour of a counterclaim by the company. Far from receiving any damages, the man was instead ordered to fork out $4000 for breaching his employment conditions. The ERA filing deduced that he had abused his company laptop and following an evaluation of the contents, the ERA reported that the laptop had: “Materials including pornographic images, illegally downloaded movies, music, unauthorised software and recordings of private and confidential conversations between IBM employees.” While the Judge in the case, Eleanor Robinson, recognised in her verdict that his pornographic images were personal in nature and “may have been placed there inadvertently and may not have offended anyone at IBM during the course of his employment”, he still broke company rules on physical properties such as laptops despite the employee claiming the images were in a deleted state since 2011. “[Laptops] should only be used to conduct IBM business or for purposes authorised IBM management”, said the ERA report. The ERA also established that he had kept confidential IBM material after his departure, heralding to a further breach of his employment contract. He also said that his then direct manager, Kate Tulp had deliberated both his performance and requests for a salary raise with fellow IBM managers, and during an email conversation which he saw on her laptop, he felt that the management “wanted him out of the business.” According to the ERA, on the aspect of offering him a salary raise, Tulp wrote, “This will mean we elongate his time in the business though.” While recognising that he was aware of Tulp’s worries over his performance, which she described as “unacceptably low for any seller at IBM”, he felt he was being forced out of the firm and that the management had already decided about his career path. In giving evidence at the hearing, the worker told Robinson that he was one of only two sales reps to have made target during the sales half, and that he was in fact at 110% of target. Judge Robinson though, concluded that he “voluntarily resigned from his employment with IBM having received an offer of alternative employment on 8 August 2014 and that he was not unjustifiably constructively dismissed.” Nevertheless, the ERA ordered IBM to pay $500 due to a breach of good faith in not communicating in a timely manner the outcome of the annual salary assessment.

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MBAs and Executive Education

Winds of change


ISSUE 14.9



MBA and executive education trends reveal that soft skills are becoming increasingly important, alongside technical skills, as employees advance to senior positions. The post-recessionary climate is also placing greater emphasis on ethics, financial risks and corporate responsibility. HRM investigates By Sumathi V Selvaretnam

Good leaders are able to effect positive change in their organisations by inspiring and rallying their employees towards a common goal. An effective MBA or executive education can equip these leaders with the necessary knowledge and skills required to thrive in a competitive and constantly evolving business environment. Effective leaders are excellent communicators who are able to explain their vision for the future of their organisation, says Professor Derek Condon, Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. “They have the necessary technical knowledge to understand the operations, while being able to look at the bigger picture.” Good leaders are also decisive and have the skills to assimilate and assess data before taking decisions, Condon says. They are able to explain why a decision has been taken and the implications. Most importantly, they have integrity, and can be trusted and respected by their subordinates, he adds. Leadership also has to do with influencing change in complex organisational environments, where messy, ‘adaptive’ issues cannot be resolved simply by telling people what to do or planning a neat, linear path from A to B, says Damian Scanlon, MBA Director, The University of Adelaide. The Executive Education programmes offered by his university, and available through the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre in Singapore, prepare students to facilitate or “midwife” emergent organisational change. “Such leadership is not exercised on a separate, disconnected entity, but exercised in a connected, living system – the person exercising leadership is part of the system being influenced,” Scanlon says.

Renewed focus on soft skills While technical skills still carry weight, soft skills are growing in demand among employees moving into

senior positions, the 2013 Hanover Research report, MBA Course Trends has found. Cedomir Nestorovic, Management Professor and Director of ESSEC Executive MBA, ESSEC AsiaPacific concurs. Leaders today need to be holistically future-ready and be equipped with hard knowledge and soft skills, he says. According to Nestorovic, softs skills are essential for rallying employees across a diverse workforce towards a common vision. It also enables leaders to be adept in communications to harness partnerships and communications. Developed for executives working in the AsiaPacific region, ESSEC’s EMBA programme offers an innovative curriculum that allows executives to acquire new skills while reinforcing their soft skills to navigate the changing business environment. “It also uses skills in managing diversities as an innovation driver to achieve more cross-cultural pollination of ideas,” Nestorovic says. Many of the students enrolled in the Birmingham MBA progamme offered by SIM Global Education come with a technical background and their course work helps them learn the soft skills necessary for a senior management role,” says Condon. Under the Birmingham MBA programme, soft skills are learnt primarily through the group exercises undertaken by students. These require them to work with people from different backgrounds. “In these exercises, students learn negotiation skills and appreciate the importance of working with individuals with different values and beliefs from different national and corporate cultures,” says Condon. An example of this is the Foreign Investment Negotiation Simulation which is part of the International Business module. This exercise simulates a negotiation situation among three multinational corporations, the governments of two large emerging

Effective leaders are excellent communicators who are able to explain their vision for the future of their organisation,

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MBAs and Executive Education market countries, and two companies based in these countries. “The goal of the simulation is to provide the students with the understanding of cross-interactions between multinational firms, local companies and host country governments,” Condon explains.

Latest offerings Organisations are currently gearing up for growth as global markets enter economic recovery. To steer their teams forward, leaders need to know how to operate in new business realities. The “Managing Contemporary Organisations” MBA course module offered by the Ngee-Ann Adelaide Education Centre examines the nature of the “organisation” as an “open system”. “Students look at the management challenge in relation to various facets of organisation: learning, motivation, politics, performance, ethics, culture, innovation, decisionmaking, structure, and change,” Scanlon says. Today’s complex problems and challenges can no longer be tackled with the narrowly-focused, linear thinking of the past, says Scanlon. Another MBA module on System Thinking equips students with knowledge and skills in the art of systems design and interconnected thinking. Many growing businesses in Asia are still family businesses currently run by second or third generation family members, says Nestorovic. In addition, many SMEs are also family-run businesses. “Our EMBA programme has incorporated a course module called “New Business Models in Asia – Managing Family Business” to help family members or professional managers understand the intricacies of these businesses and learn how to take these businesses to the next level.” The rapid rise in entrepreneurship in Asia and globally is also calling for new skills and renewed mindsets. EMBA course participants at ESSEC take on an Entrepreneurial Project as part of the course curriculum. “This is to provide them with hands-on experience to deal with a higher element of the unknown and persevere amidst adversities. They will learn to analyse the environment and identify new opportunities that others may not see,” Nestorovic says. Cross cultural management is also becoming increasingly important as businesses enter new geographies. “In our highly interconnected world, the capacity to understand and address cross-cultural issues is at the heart of both organisational success and, beyond that, of global health,” Scanlon says. Students pursuing the University of Adelaide MBA at the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre are exposed to the practical challenges of a culturally diverse business environment and coached in the development of insights into how best to meet those challenges.

MBA graduates: Which sectors are hiring? • Technology is emerging as a promising sector for business school graduates. Some 61% of those seeking jobs in the tech industry had job offers, accounting for 15% of all students with early offers. This is in contrast to 2010, where just nine percent of students with early offers were in the technology industry. • Manufacturing and healthcare/pharmaceuticals may be the undiscovered beaches of the business school job market. While they account for just seven percent and five percent, respectively, of the students with early offers, students searching in these sectors had the greatest success rate. Some 74% reported at least one offer. • Consulting is the most popular field for career-switchers. Twenty-seven percent of all career-switching graduates with job offers were in consulting. • Finance/accounting is the top sector for graduates with job offers who are not switching industries after graduation. Twenty-six percent of all those with job offers were in this sector. • Government/non-profit remains a steady sector for business graduates, accounting for five percent of the graduates’ early job offers. Some 62% of those seeking jobs in government/non-profit had early offers. Source: 15th annual Global Management Education Graduate Survey by The Graduate Management Admission Council

Boosting business ethics The report by Hanover Research also revealed that business schools are channelling their focuses to courses on business ethics, international business, and corporate responsibility. There is mounting pressure on organisations to be transparent as consumers are far more demanding and scrutinising today, says Nestorovic. Organisations have to be sensitive to their operating environments and ensure that their resources and supply comply with sustainable and ecological standards in their various sectors. “For example, mining organisations not only hire locally, they also have the social responsibility to help develop the infrastructure of the town or region where they carry out their production,” he explains. ESSEC offers a course on ethics and corporate responsibility under its Leadership and Personal Development module. MBA modules at the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre have ethics embedded in them so that students are constantly reminded of these ideals in their pursuit of economic, social and environmental sustainability. “In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we may be introducing a capstone Social Enterprise project (in the near future),” Scanlon says. “This will provide the opportunity to draw together the discipline-based learning from the programme in a way that highlights connections between the business world and the wider community ‘systems’ within which enterprise is embedded.” ISSUE 14.9





A fresh way to look at

ACCOUNTABILITY Accountability drives performance. But as leadership consultant Greg Bustin says, this important cultural factor is not just about employees

When it comes to accountability in the workplace, it’s tempting to shine the spotlight on other people when the results we get are not the results we want. After all, people are the ones doing – or not doing – the work. That’s certainly one way to approach accountability. But this approach rarely is effective over the long term and it’s one of the reasons accountability gets a bad rap. That’s because it is easier to blame a person than to drill down and discover the real reasons things aren’t getting done to your satisfaction. Just saying the word ‘accountability’ conjures all sorts of negative images: micromanagement; an emotional, mean-spirited conversation; punishment. Accountability can be all of those things, but it doesn’t have to be any of them. HR professionals have the opportunity to encourage colleagues to consider taking a fresh look at accountability. There will always be nearmisses that occur along the way inside any organisation – even high- performing organisations drop the ball from time to time.

When these misses and near-misses occur with customers, the reason is almost always because the promises that are being broken are the promises colleagues are breaking with each other. So when leaders stop pointing fingers and start asking questions, they’ll discover that most near-misses could have been prevented. Leaders also will discover that, practiced effectively, accountability can be a support system for winners. Before reaching the conclusion that people are at fault, guide yourself and your colleagues through this process for driving accountability and achieving more of what you want.

The first look In my third book, That’s A Great Question, I’ve collected more than 500 of the most provocative questions I’ve asked very successful people to help them get more of what they want out of their businesses… and their lives. As a leader, you may have found that as your responsibility grows, you’re working harder than ever. You may have some nice grown-up toys and you’re still in

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“When leaders stop pointing fingers and start asking questions, they’ll discover that most near-misses could have been prevented”

charge of a team, a department, a division or even a company, but you may find you’re spending more time away from your personal pursuits of happiness. Or that the work you’re doing is less fulfilling than it once was. If any of these scenarios resonates with you, take a look at yourself by answering these four fundamental questions: • What do I want out of life? • Is my business helping me get it or keeping me from it? • If not, what am I bartering my life for? • What’s the impact of not achieving my life goals? Your answers may provide insight on whether your purpose lines up with the work you’re doing. You can’t hold others accountable until you know what matters to you.

The Second Look The “Second Look” is about ensuring that what matters to you matters to your team. We all belong to ‘clubs’. One of these clubs is the place where we work. Clubhouses have rules, and our workplaces have rules, too. Some are formal policies. Others are unwritten. The sum of this behaviour is our culture. We’d like to believe that our culture reflects our values, beliefs, principles. But often, that’s not the case. Take a fresh look at your workplace and answer these four questions: • If an impartial observer visited our organisation, what would that person see, hear and experience? • How would this observed behaviour align with or vary from the behaviour we desire? • What’s causing this behaviour? • Do the values we say are important align with the behaviours we’re getting? The great paradox in the workplace is that most organisations have values that they do not value. They say one thing and their behaviour says another. If your values are just cheap words, accountability will be an uphill battle for you and your team.

The Third Look And while I’ve learned there’s no silver bullet for accountability, one key to accountability is that “clarity creates confidence”. The clearer the expectation – for yourself, your organisation, for others – the greater the likelihood you’ll get the results you say you want. For your “Third Look,” examine how well your values and expectations are showing up. • Do we hire only for “skill” or do we also hire for “will”? • Does everyone know what’s expected of them to 40

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achieve our vision? • How clearly have we communicated the rewards and penalties related to individual, departmental, and organisational performance? • How do our people connect what they’re doing to what we’re measuring? It’s almost impossible to over-communicate. How are you doing?

The Fourth Look Mistakes happen. Under-performance is a pattern. For your “Fourth Look,” answer these questions: • Whose job am I doing today? • What’s our process for addressing underperformance? • How much time am I willing to invest in an underperforming employee? How much time can the organisation afford to invest in an under-performing employee? • Have we earned the reputation of walking our talk? When things go awry, we must again look first to ourselves for answers. Because as leaders, we get the behaviour we tolerate.

Our own worst enemy When it comes to holding people accountable, we are often our own worst enemy. We accept excuses that sound logical even when we know better. We allow emotions to cloud our decision making. We delay having a conversation with an underperformer because it’s easier to avoid a difficult conversation than having one. Instead of practicing accountability, we practice avoidance. That was certainly the case with me. Along the way, I learned three valuable lessons: • Clear expectations must be established. Don’t assume everyone on your team has the same definition of success. They may not. Failure to set clear expectations means that evaluating performance is subjective. When your purpose, expec­tations, and rewards are crystal clear, your employees will embrace accountability as a way to become even more suc­cessful. The opposite is also true: If you are not clear about everything – vision, values, objectives, strategy, rewards, and, yes, penalties – the likelihood of achieving your vision is slim. • Bad news does not improve with age. Avoiding performance issues in the hope performance will improve is wishful thinking. When you see a problem, it’s best to address it immediately. Failure to speak frankly with the person about his or her perfor­mance means nothing will change.

• It’s not personal. Yes, you’re talking with a person, but leave emotions and opinions behind. Stick to the facts, set a plan to get performance back on track, and communicate spe­cific consequences for underperformance. If underperformers require termination, do it professionally and allow them their dignity. I learned these lessons the hard way. I figured there’s got to be a better way to build and sustain a culture where accountability is part of the DNA.

The seven pillars of accountability To discover that better way, I asked leaders at widely admired companies in completely different industries to share the steps they have taken to create, nurture, and sustain their high-performing cultures. What I learned was that high-performing organisations create and sustain a culture of purpose, accountability, and fulfillment that is guided by a set of principles and practices that I call the Seven Pillars of Accountability: • Character • Unity • Learning • Tracking • Urgency • Reputation • Evolving You probably noticed an acronym: CULTURE. It’s deliber­ate and will help you remember the seven pillars. It will also help you remember that your culture is a significant predictor of your future performance. The key to accountability is bringing together these principles and then acting on them with consistency to sustain that high-perfor­mance culture. So the next time something doesn’t go as planned, take a fresh look at accountability. Take a fresh look at your processes. And before you blame other people, take a fresh look at yourself.

When it comes to holding people accountable, we are often

our own worst enemy

Greg Bustin is the President of Bustin & Co., a consultancy that he founded in 1994. He has dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He helps high-performing companies successfully build and sustain a culture of purpose, trust and fulfilment. He also specialises in helping teams drive accountability and improve performance. Bustin is the author of four leadership books, a sought-after speaker and a Master Chair for three C-level advisory boards for Vistage International.

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Steps to a SUCCESSFUL COMPANY D&D Whether you’re a small business owner or managing staff in a large multinational company, hosting a dinner and dance party is an ideal way to gather colleagues and maybe even clients. HRM shows how you can plan a memorable dinner and dance party filled with food, drinks, conversation and entertainment By Shalini Shukla-Pandey


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The season for the annual dinner and dance (D&D) is upon us. Or at least the planning bit is! Companies large and small organise one special night to gather colleagues and reward staff for the good work they have contributed for the year, with some long-service awards thrown into the mix as well. Planning a truly memorable dinner and dance party requires some serious thought beforehand. “One thing to always bear in mind is that employees are there to wind down and enjoy their accomplishments,” says Natasha Shah, Marketing Coordinator, Muddy Murphy Holdings. “Try to keep the speeches and planned programmes to a minimum and allow room for them to mingle and get to know colleagues,” she adds. “It’s best for all speeches and ceremonies to be done within the first third of the night, leaving another third for entertainment (comedy acts, fun awards, lucky draw, and the like) and the remainder of the time for mingling.” Another must-have during a D&D is an experienced emcee. “He should be able to capture attention, deliver requirements promptly, and not ramble on when it’s unnecessary,” Shah explains.

Every D&D organiser should consider purpose, budget and timing, says Lucia Loposova, Marketing and Sales Executive, UE Serviced Offices and Convention Centre. “D&D events should always have a purpose, since companies are putting significant amount of money into them,” she explained. “This reason should be clearly communicated to guests and will influence the whole event.” Another very important element is ‘budget’ as this usually determines the planning process, from venue choice, through to decoration and catering. “It is easier for venues, caterers or event agencies to have a specific amount to work with as it saves time to propose appropriate packages to clients,” says Loposova.


• Be an early bird to make sure you get the venue for your preferred date. • Be as specific as possible when inquiring about venues and planning the event – this will save time and allow you to create a shortlist of options that are really suitable for your function. • Form a good organising committee that will support you during the event so you will not be alone. • And finally, do not forget to have fun!

YOUR PLACE TO LEARN, SHARE AND CONNECT Hosting event for 10 or international conference for 600, everything is possible at UE Convention Centre. UE Convention Centre has a unique circular layout with built-in operable walls making it a flexible venue for different functions.







Source: Lucia Loposova, Marketing & Sales Executive, UE Serviced Offices & Convention Centre


6809 7288 All thumbs up at Muddy Murphy’s in January 2014 ISSUE 14.9

HRMASIA.COM 43 UE Serviced Offices & Convention Centre, 2 Changi Business Park Avenue 1, Singapore 486015


MICE Finally, ‘timing’ is also crucial, taking into consideration that a D&D of 200 people can take as long as two months to prepare. “Therefore, starting ahead of time can keep organisers from stressful experiences close to the event,” says Loposova. “In addition to this, the end of the year is usually a peak period and leaving the venue booking for the last minute may result in a situation where organisers need to take whatever space that is available because the best options have already been taken.”

Dealing with partygoers from hell Rowdy or intoxicated guests are a potential reality of any party. Organisers of dinner and dance parties must prepare for the eventuality of having to deal with these types of guests and other such problems. It can be hard to estimate the behaviour of some individuals after a couple of drinks, says Lucia Loposova, Marketing & Sales Executive, UE Serviced Offices & Convention Centre. That’s especially if the group of guests is large and you do not have a close relationship with everyone. “Therefore, most companies opt to exclude alcoholic drinks during the event and usually suggest a place for an afterparty for those employees who would like to continue after the event is over,” she says. “In our experience, if the event is held in a pub, it is often best to allow venue staff to handle such issues,” says Natasha Shah, Marketing Coordinator, Muddy Murphy Holdings. “A third party is usually able to resolve the situation since they are impartial and do not have personal ties with the guests.” However, in the event that an organiser has to handle the situation, the rowdy guests should be separated and taken outside for a breather. “Sometimes, it might be necessary to send them off so as not to affect the overall vibe of the event,” Shah advises. “Tap on your gut feeling and do what you think is best. The rowdy guest would probably thank you the next day.” An alternative way to still include alcoholic drinks in a D&D event, whilst controlling consumption, is to have the option of giving a bottle of wine, for instance, as a prize in the lucky draw. “People will either save it and bring it back home or share it at the table,” Loposova explains.

Choosing the right venue

A D&D of 200 people can take as long as

two months to prepare

A corporate Christmas party at Muddy Murphy’s in December 2013 44

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A D&D organiser should always think about guests first, and then choose a suitable venue, theme and catering with that in mind. “First of all, choosing an accessible location makes it more probable that your guests will be happy to attend,” Loposova advises. “However, do not forget to change your venue every now and then to keep the event interesting for those who attend every year.” The right venue depends on the objective for the night, says Shah. “Pubs and nightclubs have recently been increasing in popularity among event organisers, as they are often built to encourage mingling and evoke a sense of casual comfort, allowing employees to relax and have a fun night out,” she explains. The theme of the night can also affect the venue choice. “For instance, if the theme is related to James Bond, not all venues might have the right look and feel to pull off a truly adventurous-looking set that is reminiscent of the movies,” Loposova explains. “Hence, paying a visit to a couple of venues prior to making a decision is a must for a successful themed D&D.”

More on themes Themed D&Ds are always fun for employees as they get to decide who they’d like to be for the night, says Shah. However, participation is often key and thus, it is up to individual companies to encourage this. “It usually helps to have senior management encourage participation by being excited about the theme,” she explains. “We find that generic themes that allow for more flexibility seem to work better.” Examples include colour themes, themes that revolve around an era or even something as simple as “Be whoever you want to be” to allow room for individual interpretation and creativity. While themed D&Ds are very popular in getting guests more involved and creating the right atmosphere, organisers should nonetheless be well aware of company culture. “For instance, if you are organising an appreciation night and you are Google, you might as well go a little crazy in terms of the theme. This would probably not be the case if you are organising a similar appreciation night for a private bank,” Loposova says. “Also, if you have decided to go plan a themed D&D, do not forget to properly communicate dress codes to


Budget D&D What if organisers have budget constraints? How can they hold a dinner and dance party on a shoestring budget? • Venues generally charge more on the weekends, so consider a weekday as an option • Ask for alternative minimum spend packages, as opposed to free-flow packages • Discuss your budget with the venue and decide on the best option that works for you • Keep the programme simple enough for a colleague to execute, as opposed to engaging a professional emcee Source: Natasha Shah, Marketing Coordinator, Muddy Murphy Holdings

your guests in order to avoid any awkward situations,” she warns.

Help on hand Delegating party planning work can sometimes be difficult. It boils down to the programme of the event, says Shah. “The best way to form a D&D committee is to include various departments and consider how individual department strengths can contribute,” she explains. “Ultimately, a D&D should be treated like any other project within an organisation, requiring a multitude of skills and strengths.” For example, should the programme focus on an exciting lucky draw, committees could include a sales representative who already has good contacts that can donate prizes. Many times, organisers are short-staffed. Companies can look at outsourcing the on-day event coordination, in order to ensure that everyone (including the committee members) can enjoy the event, especially if it is of a large scale,” says Shah. For example, a small group of volunteers can help with minor tasks such as registration or clicking through the presentation slides for the CEO’s speech,” says Loposova. With an in-house sound system and screens strategically located through its outlets, organisers of events at Muddy Murphy need not source for technical support externally. “Additionally, we customise our packages to suit our clients’ budgets and needs, providing various options for different types of budgets,” says Shah. “Our staff are trained to handle functions, so there are no worries about delivery and execution of food and drinks.” UE Serviced Offices and Convention Centre, meanwhile, is flexible in terms of room layouts, giving event organisers a free hand in coming up with customised seating arrangements according to their event needs. “Moreover, our team is always ready to assist or give advice on how to prepare the venue in the best possible way, based on experience from previous events,” says Loposova. “Most of the time we are also mediators between organisers and caterers, being able to suggest and request customised menus for our clients if needed.” ISSUE 14.9



111 Somerset Road, #01-02 TripleOne Somerset, Singapore 238164 Tel: 6735 0400 Web: FB: Email:


26/27 Boat Quay, Singapore 049817 Tel: 6538 2300 Web: FB: Email:



On Ear Sa ly v gi st ly S B e er ir $ be $8 d S 90 fo 95 p 0 re + e 24 G cia Se ST l p * Re

3rd Annual


15 October 2014 Marriott Hotel Singapore

A positive hiring pace is anticipated for the succeeding quarters of 2014*. However, as the government tightens its requirements for hiring foreign candidates, persistent talent shortages will become all the more evident. The question then arises as to the innovative and proactive strategies our organisations are really deploying to appeal to the ambition of graduates in order to help them win the talent war. One of the hottest topics this year, the 3rd Annual Graduate Recruitment and Development Congress is designed to uncover both strategic and practical elements of designing and implementing successful and innovative graduate recruitment and development programmes to select, attract and develop the best Next-Gen talent and keep them engaged throughout their careers. *Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Singapore 2014

Featured speakers: Sandy Grewal Head of Recruitment East Asia BRITISH COUNCIL

Cara Reil Vice President - Talent and Leadership Development SINGTEL

Ho Sze Ming Manager – APAC Graduate Recruitment DEUTSCHE BANK

Anna Fourie APAC University Staffing Consultant MICROSOFT

Carmen Wee Ai Chyun Director - NUS Business School NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

Loh Pui Wah Director – Career and Attachment Office NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Larry Charles Medina Head Postgraduate Career Services SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

Kristi Robson Head - Graduate Development APAC BARCLAYS

Eric Wong Head – Talent Acquisition and Development – APJ and China POLYCOM

Shalini Bhateja Director Global Talent Development SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

Lim Kar-Men President AIESEC SINGAPORE | +65 6423 4631

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One of the attributing factors to the high cost of living is car ownership. Singapore is the only country in the world that mandates all vehicles, including commercial types on the road, to have a certificate of entitlement (COE). COE is based on a demand and supply bidding system and an average COE may cost up to $70k which then brings the average 4-door sedan to cost at least a hefty $120,000. In comparison, the same car will only cost $50k in another country. Thus, companies are looking at alternative ways such as Corporate Car Leasing to mitigate the rising cost. Motorway’s schemes will help you avoid a huge capital investment on assets at one time and provide effective cost control through a minimal monthly fixed repayment plan over a lease contract period of six months to three years. There will be zero assets depreciation in your books too.

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ISSUE 14.9



HR talent Roselin Lee

Director of HR, Estée Lauder Travel Retailing, Asia-Pacific

How many years HR experience? I started my career 23 years ago with SOGO Department Stores, where I learnt the importance of being detail-oriented, meticulous, and the compliance of local employment laws. Back then, we were using monochrome Apple computers and dot matrix printers. I still recall saving files onto a 5.25-inch floppy disk! Why HR? I made up my mind to pursue a career path in HR where I set my goals in hiring the right person and ensuring that he or she was developed to become a successful individual. I call HR a “sales & marketing” job – we sell jobs to individuals and then market their careers. Since then, I didn’t look back, and have never regretted the career path that I chose. I am still enjoying every bit of it. My life has been beautiful as a HR practitioner and I know I will continue to be one. Why Estée Lauder? I joined Estée Lauder Companies in August 2001, and left to join Tangs in June 2006. I returned to Estée Lauder

in September 2008 to support the Asia-Pacific Travel Retail business unit based out of Singapore. If I had not left, this coming September would have been my 13th year with Estée Lauder Companies. Biggest achievement? My biggest achievement is being a mother to my two beautiful children, 17-year old Jodi and 13-year old Jay, and also playing my role well as a daughter to my parents. After hours? As I am a workaholic and I travel a lot in my job, I seldom spend time with my children and family. They have been extremely tolerant and understanding towards me. Because I am a workaholic, and an introvert by nature, I am still very “connected” after office hours. My colleagues once joked to say they are afraid to send me emails as they normally receive my responses within the next 30 minutes! Family? Two children: 17 year-old Jodi and 13-year old Jay.


Book reviews

Studying for an MBA, road trip style Who says MBA case studies and knowledge only apply to large conglomerates boasting billions of dollars in annual revenue? Certainly not Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer and Scott Schaefer, authors of The Roadside MBA. The three MBA professors scour the US highlighting the cases of small businesses and companies in need of some MBA knowledge and nous. Mazzeo, Oyer and Schaefer usually try to catch up with the boss or general manager who possesses intimate knowledge of the company’s strategic direction, and then start picking his brain on pricing, strategy and organisational structure, among other aspects. The Roadside MBA comprises of chapters such as Scaling a Business, Establishing Barriers to Entry, Product Differentiation, Managing Your Brand, and Hiring.

But it’s the unique insights and technical knowledge – applied to smaller business issues – that makes this book a standout In particular, case studies of the everyday American business and how some MBA know-how can be imparted into their company are what make this book a truly fascinating read. In addition, the technical aspects of the MBA lessons stated in the book are not challenging, which is a surprise considering that the authors Mazzeo, Oyer and Schaefer teach MBA courses at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Stan¬ford University’s Graduate School of Business and the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business respectively. Along with the informal and colourful style of writing, which makes reading easy to comprehend, The Roadside MBA is an important resource for any business hoping to tap onto the diverse and endless breadth of skills and teachings of the MBA programme.

Title: The Roadside MBA Author: Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer and Scott Schaefer Publisher: Macmillan Price: $24.00 ISSUE 14.9


awards AWARDS


The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore | 6 March

Nomination Entries Are Now Open


New Appointments Alan Darr

Corporate Director, HR and Support, Asia-Pacific, Outrigger Enterprises Group Outrigger Enterprises Group has announced the appointment of Alan Darr as Corporate Director, HR and Support, Asia-Pacific. Darr will provide the strategic planning, direction and administration of the HR function for the Asia-Pacific region including staffing and recruitment, HR administration, recognition and motivation, benefits, compensation and payroll, and implement global HR initiatives, programmes and

policies, in partnership with the company’s corporate offices. He was most recently HR consultant for Artyzen Hospitality in Hong Kong and previously worked with Shangri-La Hotels, first as director of resourcing and organisational development and then as Vice President of HR. Prior to Shangri-La, Darr held roles with Genworth Financial as an HR manager for Southern Europe and also London. He originally came

to Europe while working with Intercontinental Hotels (IHG), where he began his career in hospitality HR. Darr worked for IHG for almost nine years and held various roles located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; and London. Darr holds a Master of Science degree in HR from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University.

York, where he has been responsible for senior executive recruitment across the digital assets in North America, with a particular focus on strategic digital hires. Prior to joining WPP in 2012, Duax spent eight years at The HowardSloan-Koller Group (HSK), a boutique executive search firm servicing the advertising and media industries. Hoe quickly rose through the ranks at HSK to become MD, overseeing the firm’s advertising and marketing practice. “At WPP in North America, Randy has made an outstanding contribution,

particularly in the digital space,” said Frances Illingworth, WPP’s Global Recruitment Director. “I believe his experience will be of enormous value to the future of our business in the Asia region.” “As a faster-growing region, Asia is seeing increased demand for new talent and skill sets, driven by a rapidly evolving marketplace and the need to provide greater value to clients,” said Duax. “I look forward to the opportunity to help build upon the amazing work our teams have been doing in Asia.”

Randy Duax

Talent Director, Asia, WPP Randy Duax has been named WPP Talent Director, Asia. In his new role, Duax will be responsible for senior talent acquisition and talent management across the Asia-Pacific region. As of October 1, Duax will be based in Singapore overseeing recruiting teams in Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. Duax brings strong experience in senior-level hires, including in digital and new media areas. Duax is currently VP – Executive Recruitment, for WPP based in New

Valerie Loy

Vice President and Head of HR, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) Valerie Loy recently joined Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) as the group’s Vice President and Head of HR. A passionate HR practitioner with over 22 years of HR experience gained from industries like telecommunication, retail and banking, Loy’s expertise is in the areas of business partnering, employee engagement, strategic HR, performance management, talent management, retention and workforce planning. She was also involved in major HR transformation works which

encompassed the review of outsourcing and offshoring of the HR function, the setting up of a Shared Service Centre within HR, and the implementation of operational efficiency. “Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is an iconic and unique brand,” said Loy. “It is an Integrated Resort with diverse industries under one big roof, such as Attractions, Entertainment, Hotels and Food and Beverage.” “I am excited to be a part of this big family and joined them at a time when the company is expanding its footprint

in Singapore and around the region.” “Our team members’ engagement is one of our top priorities, more so in today’s tight labour environment,” added Loy. “We are in the service and entertainment industry, therefore it is important that we nurture a recognition culture and amplify our company’s kampung spirit, where trust, integrity and mutual respect are our core values.” “My mission in life is consequently internalised in every role I play. I strive to make a difference in people’s lives.” ISSUE 14.9



HR Technology

Leveraging technology What are some key HR technology practices departments should invest in? Khia Tat “KT” Lim

Vice President of HR, Avnet Technology Solutions, Asia-Pacific

As a company whose mission is transforming technology into business solutions for customers, Avnet Technology Solutions, Asia-Pacific is an avid adopter of innovation within the organisation itself. We continue to reinvent ourselves and align our business with market needs. As part of that transformation, we commit ourselves to bringing the right innovation into the company in order to inspire and engage people to work and to contribute to accelerating our success. We empower our employees by investing in tools and technologies that help them perform better. One such investment is adopting mobility and collaboration technologies. We support the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and we give our people the choice of using devices that allow them to work, learn and communicate, be it within Avnet work premises, or, while on the move. In addition, we allow customised use of mobile applications for employees who need them. Salespeople, for instance, can use an app that allows them to quickly check on a customer’s credit status. We have an IT organisation that looks after the IT needs of the employees and various business departments. We also adopt best privacy and security practices and procedures to protect our people and our data assets. To correspond with today’s nomadic workforce and the massive amounts of data being created, we also invest in storage and analytics to monitor and ensure workforce productivity and labour cost. 52

ISSUE 14.9


James Foo

Head, Group HR, ABR Holdings Limited

Will HR Technology replace HR practitioners? That’s what some HR professional are asking. No doubt, some of HR’s traditional work will be taken over by software. With the help of a HR Information System (HRIS), we are able to call out reports in real time, with almost zero error and live data. This is critical for timely data analysis of management reports. Besides the HRIS, other key technologies used by ABR Holdings are payroll software, E-Leave, and Talent Management systems. Given our headcount of close to 1,000 employees is located island wide, a biometric attendance system which can sync with our payroll system is crucial for our paymaster to make timely and accurate pay-outs monthly. Likewise, an E-leave system with accurate records is equally important in order to cut down manual records and minimise chances of error, thus increasing productivity. Our Talent Management system, ABR Talent Bank, houses records of talents under our brands including Swensen’s, Earle Swensen’s and Hippopotamus. In view of the various brands, we need to constantly review, update and ensure that our talents’ skills and competencies are well developed and are transferable. The system allows us to capture records of their competencies, capabilities and skills required for a particular brand and the desired positions in the short and long terms. ABR Talent Bank is primarily built for the purpose of succession planning to facilitate talent transfer among outlets and among brands, for both local and overseas markets.

K. Thiveanathan Chief HR Officer, UTAC

I would like to highlight three areas where technology can make a significant and positive impact on HR management. The first one is in strong performance management (PM) systems. Through the integration of a robust PM system, HR departments can help to achieve improved levels of individual performance and development, as well as establish and reinforce a resilient culture where individuals and teams take ownership for the delivery of their own skills and contributions. It is equally important to have a strong team of supervisors working in tandem with the software to ensure that proper feedback and coaching are provided. The second area is E-Learning. With the incorporation of strong e-learning platforms, multinational companies with many employees can provide their workforces with an interactive personal learning environment that delivers an avenue of learning designed around the unique needs of each employee. Our factory in Thailand is a good example. UTAC’s e-learning platform not only enables individualised training and development in Thailand, it also contributes significantly to our success in aligning our local workforce with the overall corporate goals of UTAC. Lastly, the use of cloud technology can improve workplace efficiency and enhance employees’ user experiences so that these match the potential of their personal technology. UTAC Group is one of the pioneer investors in Microsoft Azure Cloud and Office 365 email messaging, which allows UTAC employees to utilise public cloud with a single sign-on.


HR at Work

8.00am A quick check-in at the office of our Chief Executive Officer, Bernold Schroeder, to address any arising or urgent human capital and development matters.

Andreas Sungaimin

Senior Vice President, Human Capital & Development, Pan Pacific Hotels Group

8.30am The office comes alive as colleagues start streaming in. I catch up with my team on the progress of the tasks and projects that we are working on. 9.00am With a rapidly expanding portfolio of over 30 properties worldwide, the Group strives to maintain our competitiveness as an employer of choice. I take scheduled phone calls with some of our HR Directors to discuss recruitment as well as learning and talent development initiatives. 10.00am Morning meetings. Today, the management committee has come together to discuss the pre-

opening support for Pan Pacific Tianjin, our fifth hotel in China scheduled to launch later this year. 12.30pm Lunch is often a business affair where I meet with potential candidates, recruiters or business partners. I usually visit Si Chuan Dou Hua restaurant at PARKROYAL on Beach Road as it is located just beside the office. As both the restaurant brand and hotel are owned by the Group, it’s a great way to introduce guests to our product offerings and services. 2.30pm The afternoon is busy with document signings, calls with hotel General Managers to discuss mid-year performance reviews and the drafting of strategy papers for 2015. 5.00pm I interview a shortlisted candidate for a position within our management team. 7.00pm I finish up any outstanding paperwork, plan my ‘to-do’ list for tomorrow and check my emails before heading home.

HR Manager South East Asia Pacific

HR Business Partner

HRD Manager

› US industrial multinational company › Hands-on and strategic focused › Start-up and challenging role

› Technology Industry › Growing Global business › Group human resources

› Technology Industry › Newly Created position › Strategic business partnering role

An international player in the industry, our client has extensive global presence and now seeks an experienced Human Resources Manager to lead its People agenda for South East Asia Pacific region. Reporting to HR Leader, Asia Pacific, you will align HR strategies with business strategy and provide high level professional and operational HR advice to business leaders. You will work closely with General Manager in building an effective team to drive business change and development. You will set up HR policies and processes that align with global guidelines, and local law and regulations in the region, and provide daily generalist support including recruitment, employee relations, performance management and talent development. Degree qualified with 8 to 10 years of HR generalist experience in MNCs, you also have hands-on regional exposure, ideally within South East Asia and Pacific. With proven success in driving and executing change management activities in a complex matrix reporting environment, you possess strong influencing skills and partnering experience with cross-cultural business leaders, ability to work with all levels of staff. You are committed in building a performance-driven culture and quality standards of service excellence. Frequent business travel within the region is required.

The role involves the driving, defining and the delivering of HR expertise to internal customer groups in the business units as assigned. The majority of the time shall be focused on working with the line leadership, providing guidance and expertise on all aspects of people interventions. The Executive will work in the business environment as assigned, face to face with customers and be an integrated part of the business unit’s management team. He/She will be a seasoned HR professional and will enjoy using influencing, relationship building and decision making skills to align, as well as tailor top level HR Priorities to meet the people agenda of the business. You are a highly strategic and hands on HR practitioner with minimum 10 years of experience and Business partnering experience. Possessing strong leadership, interpersonal, influence management, coaching and communications skills, you have demonstrated ability to operate in a highly matrix, fast paced and demanding environment.

The main function is to assist the Human Resource Director in the development and execution of comprehensive programs in organizational development, learning and development & talent management to meet the overall business objectives. Included but not limited to implement, review, develop for organizational climate, change management strategies and programs, on boarding program, competency framework, , performance management framework, talent management and succession management program as well as plan and deliver Training Need Analysis and Total Company Learning Plan to support individual learning & development need You are a degree qualified seasoned HR practitioner with minimum 10 years of solid hands-on HR experience and at least 5 years experience in developing and implementing HRD programs with 2 years in a supervisory position. You are able to understand business and people issues and translate these issues into HRD strategies and align these strategies to business goals. You are a strong communicator with the ability to work independently in a demanding environment, and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Reference number: MH/JD46911 Contact person: Maureen Ho (Reg No. R1105976)

Reference number: OL/JD 46804 Contact person: Oka Lee (Reg. No. R1216022)

Reference number: OL/JD 46791 Contact person: Oka Lee (Reg. No. R1216022)


7.30am I get into the office early and enjoy the tranquility with a cup of Japanese green tea. I review my emails and respond to urgent ones that have come in during the night and clear my in-trays.

Your Human Resources recruitment specialists To apply, please go to and search for respective reference number. For a confidential discussion, you can contact Maureen Ho or Oka Lee for the relevant position in our Singapore Office on +65 6511 8555 

Allegis Group Singapore Pte Ltd Company No. 200909448N EA Licence No. 10C4544

ISSUE 14.9


Frazer Jones Global HR Recruitment As specialists in HR recruitment, we work with the world’s leading HR talent to place them into some of the most sought after, interesting and high profile HR jobs, helping to secure the next phase in your career. We work with our clients to source and search for the very best people working in HR, anywhere in the world. If you are looking for your next opportunity, please do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of the team. For an overview of our current opportunities, please visit or alternatively please see below a snapshot of our current roles:

Manager, Learning & Development


Regional L&D Business Partner


HR Business Partner



HR Operations Senior Manager HR Associate





Regional HR Business Partner



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SS197311 SS197431


Recruitment Specialist - Oil & Gas



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New Starter Frazer Jones are pleased to welcome Nicola Robertson to the firm. Nicola has now joined Frazer Jones to specialise in placing senior level HR professionals across various industry sectors.

For more information, please contact Fiona Nesbitt at, Samantha Soh at or Nicola Robertson at alternatively, call the team on +65 6420 0515. @FRAZERJONESHR FRAZER-JONES


ISSUE 14.9



PART OF THE SR GROUP Brewer Morris | Carter Murray | Frazer Jones | SR Search | Taylor Root UK | EUROPE | MIDDLE EAST | Asia | AUSTRALIA | OFFSHORE EA Licence No: 12C6222

{ WE KNOW RECRUITMENT Regional HR Director

Regional Human Resources Manager

APAC Compensation Consultant

› Dynamic environment › Fast growing Asia footprint

› Leading European multinational › Growing business in Asia

› Leading information services organisation › Global market exposure

Our client is an outstanding European multinational in the electronics-consumer goods industry with a global presence spanning 60 countries and a workforce of 50,000 people. Due to expansion, an opportunity has arisen for a Regional HR Director to join their business. You will design long-term HR strategies and provide practical mid-term solutions to meet business goals while working closely with regional leadership to translate business strategies into achievable HR objectives. There will be strong focus on talent management and mid to long term succession planning. The successful applicant will engage senior leaders on a strategic level while retaining oversight over operational HR matters.

Our client is a market leading pharmaceutical multinational with a revenue of €1.6 billion. As Regional Human Resource Manager, you will be responsible for the HR business partnering across South East Asia and report into the SEA GM. Leading a team of two, you will also be responsible for overseeing the talent acquisition strategy across APAC and report to the APAC HR business partner. To be successful in this role, you will have at least 10 years of HR professional experience gained in a blue chip multinational. The successful candidate will be open minded and possess strong business acumen.

Our client is one of the world’s most reputable information services corporations with extremely strong expansion plans in the APAC region. Working closely with the global compensation team, you will be responsible for driving compensation programs and strategies across the organisation. You will also serve as the lead compensation point of contact to the SVP HR and HR bsiness partners and leaders in the business. To be successful in this role, prior exposure in a regional role as well as a strong ability to act as a business partner and connect with cross border internal stakeholders is a must.

Please contact Sean Tong (Reg no: R1110029) quoting job ref: H2380410 or visit our website.

Please contact Ashley Wei (Reg no: R1434529) quoting job ref: H2370110 or visit our website.

Please contact Domi Di Marco (Reg no: R1439720) quoting job ref: H2381570 or visit our website.

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

Human Resources

Get Connected. Stay Ahead.

Specialists in human resources recruitment

#15102 Licence No.: 98C5473 Business Registration No: 199804751N



Senior Manager, Compensation and Benefits

Senior Leadership Role with Global Leader Attractive Remuneration and Benefits Good Career Progression

Excellent Career Prospects Attractive Remuneration and Benefits APAC Region Exposure

Our client is a global leader in the heavy manufacturing industry known for its innovation, safety and providing world-class products and services. Reporting to the Regional HR Director, this role will cover the full spectrum of HR services and provide plant leadership in HR matters, contributing to delivering the commercial objectives and continued business success. You will focus on employee relations and development, compensation & benefits, disciplinary, union issues and ensure smooth and efficient running of the HR function. To be successful in this role, you should have a degree in any discipline with 15 years of relevant work experience in manufacturing industry. You must have a proven track record in communicating and consulting with business heads and employees in the manufacturing plant and good knowledge of Singapore employment laws and regulations. If you meet the above criteria, please email your detailed CV in word format to EA Personnel Registration No. R135491

Our client is a Singapore government-linked organisation with a strong operating base in Asia Pacific. Due to continual growth, they are looking for a Senior Manager, Compensation and Benefits. Reporting to the Director of Rewards, this role will cover extensive compensation and benefits activities with deep understanding of executive compensation, designing, implementing and executing HR strategies and framework to ensure industry competitiveness and maintain internal equity. You will be required to study market trends, salary benchmarking, job grading and amend policies when required. You will be the key focal point to lead annual salary reviews. Prior experience in unionised environment will be an added advantage. To be suitable for this role, you must have a degree in Human Resources/Finance/ Management or in any other relevant discipline and 7-8 years HR working experience in a fast paced MNC environment with 3 years in a C&B role. You should be precise, meticulous, diplomatic, analytical and discrete in handling confidential information. If you meet the above criteria, please email your detailed CV in word format to EA Personnel Registration No. R1325491

Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions globally. For more than 35 years, Kelly in Singapore has been partnering the finest

local companies, key government agencies as well as some of the world’s most respected multinational companies to deliver the best talent in the market. Kelly’s centralised recruitment hub makes nearly 8,000 placements in Singapore last year. Complementing our general staffing capability, Kelly also offers great expertise in the sourcing of specialised professionals across technical disciplines such as Engineering, Technology and Science, as well as functional specialties for Finance, HR, Sales & Marketing, Procurement and Banking.

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

ISSUE 14.9


Headquartered in Singapore since 2003, Kerry Consulting is Singapore’s leading Search & Selection firm. Our consulting team is the most experienced, and amongst the largest, in the ASEAN region.

We offer positions in the following sectors: Banking & Financial Services Commerce Finance Engineering & Supply Chain Healthcare & Life Sciences Human Resources Legal Sales & Marketing Technology

Kerry Consulting celebrates 10 years in Singapore since 2003


ISSUE 14.9


TO APPLY: Please submit your resume to the consultant email address listed, quoting the job title and reference number. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. For further information on each job, visit the short URL | Returning the Human to Resourcing

VP - Compliance Trainer

South East Asia Reward Manager

Senior HR Business Partner

Leading Premier Bank Strong Growing Bank Salary Circa up to $150K

Fortune 500 company Excellent Working Culture Salary Circa up to $120K

Real Estate Management Dynamic and highly motivated environment Salary Circa up to $120K

A strong European Bank who has been known for their financial stability, diversity, sustainability and internal mobility is seeking a Compliance Trainer.

In line with the Regional Reward Strategy, this global FMCG is seeking a reward professional to join. This role will support the Head of Reward in the development of the Reward Agenda for South East Asia.

A global MNC and world’s largest facilities management with an innovative business model is looking for a senior HR business partner to further strengthen the HR function.

Reporting directly to the Head of Learning & Development, you will work closely with business unit management and the respective compliance policy owner to provide training, advice and support to the business on compliance related topics.

This role will contribute to the development of guidelines for building total remuneration packages for each market conditions, as well as to contribute to the development of the appropriate controls and set of indicators to track progression.

Reporting to the Head of HR for Singapore, you will provide business partnering support and consulting to line managers on HR issues such as talent management, compensation and benefits, employee relations and ensuring that issues are resolved by outlining options and making appropriate recommendations.

more info:

more info:

Ref No: PC7356\HRM Priscilla Chen /

Ref No: PC7381\HRM Priscilla Chen /

Reg No: R1104327

Reg No: R1104327

Southeast Asia HR Leader (Director Level)

Senior Manager Total Rewards

Senior Associate - C&B (Private Banking)

Leadership Role Fortune 500 Organisation Salary Circa up to $220K

Newly created role Fortune 500 Organisation Salary Circa up to $200K

Premier Private bank Newly created role Salary Circa up to $100K

This organization is one of the leading industrial organisations in the world. It is consistently ranked as a great place to work, with exciting expansion and growth plans in the region.

This successful and growing organisation is headquartered in Singapore and has an exciting future ahead. The company is looking to make a strategic hire to ensure the further success of the business through its people and partners.

This is an international private bank with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific region. The organisation is currently going through an expansionary phase. We are delighted to be assisting with this appointment of Senior Associate - Compensation & Benefits (C&B) position.

more info: Ref No: PC7410\HRM Priscilla Chen / Reg No: R1104327

Reporting directly to and supporting the APAC HR Director, this management role requires you to oversee and lead all HR initiatives for the senior leadership team within the Singapore operations and for SEA. With a diverse workforce, your key priorities will include performance management, compensation and benefits, recruitment, professional development and employee/ union relations. more info:

Reporting to the Global Total Rewards Leader and partnering closely with senior executives, this key Total Rewards Lead role will require you to oversee, manage and design the C&B policies and framework for the region. There will be a big emphasis on executive compensation and benefits packages and, long-term incentive programs, as well as stock and share plans. You will also be required to support to M&A activity as necessary.

Reporting to the Head of C&B, you will need to work closely with HRBPs, local and Group C&B team on market competitiveness analysis and provide expert advice on reward related issues. You will also need to support the day to day operations of the Benefits portfolio, working with third party benefit vendors. more info:

Ref No: FT7421\HRM Finian Toh /

more info:

Ref No: FT7334\HRM Finian Toh /

Reg No: R1104310

Ref No: FT7399\HRM Finian Toh /

Reg No: R1104310

Reg No: R1104310 Licence No: 03C4828

ISSUE 14.9


Human resources professionals speak to tHe experts assistant Director, media company lead the Hr function across se asia

regional learning manager, european Bank lead talent management and succession planning

A unique opportunity exists for an Assistant Director to join this growing media organisation that focuses on websites. A European MNC, it operates across the SEA region and is looking to expand into further markets. As the business has grown, the HR function requires a professional to look at the group level organisational development, employer branding, talent acquisition and development in particular, in alignment with the organisation’s strategic direction and business strategy.

This established bank has a workforce of over 2,500 across APAC. Due to internal promotion, a learning and development manager is needed to lead the learning, talent management and succession planning strategy on a regional level. Based in Singapore with little travel required, you will work with senior business heads to define learning needs and implement a structured approach to training, engagement and retention.

Hr Business partner key Hr lead to spearhead Hr initiatives within apac

senior recruiter implement Hr strategies for an innovative & growing organisation

A renowned IT firm with regional presence within APAC is looking for a Regional HR Business Partner to support its expanding businesses. Reporting to the HR Director, you will plan, implement and monitor HR initiatives and solutions in alignment with business goals and objectives, as well as oversee all aspects of HR generalist work. With more than six years of relevant HR business partnering experience, you will be independent and people-oriented to provide insights and solutions to department heads on a professional level.

A global investment bank is seeking a Senior Recruiter. You will be consulting and partnering with the Business Managers on the implementation of the full spectrum of HR functions, primarily focusing on senior recruitment, staffing and talent management, HR policies, HR project implementation and management reports. You should have more than five years of relevant hands on experience in the full spectrum of human resource management functions within the banking and finance industry.

please contact ash russell, chris lui or tamara sigerhall at or +65 6303 0721.


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ISSUE 14.9






Formerly Steve Morris Associates

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