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Taking stock of how HR practices in Malaysia can become “green”

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Despite the perceived importance of green human resources management (GHRM), most HR practitioners do not feel that their organisations are ready for it, a new study by the Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) revealed.

Surveying 542 stakeholders across the financial services industry (FSI), the study entitled ‘Green Human Resource Management: An Organisational Strategy for Sustainability‘, revealed that 90% of respondents perceived GHRM as being important. Yet, only 26% of HR professionals felt ready to implement GHRM practices in their organisation.

Of the 90% who perceived GHRM as being important, the highest affirmative responses came from the future FSI employees (97%), comprising primarily of students who were studying courses related to the FSI; followed by current FSI employees (77%). While the lowest affirmative responses came from the governing agencies.

AIF GHRM Fig 3

Ranking the overall importance of the GHRM process, stakeholders ranked green talent management (91%) the highest, followed by green performance management (91%) and green reward systems (90%). Green employee engagement (90%) was ranked fourth, followed by green training and development (90%). While green employee separation ranked the lowest at 76%.

When asked to rate which indicators of each GHRM process is the most important, the top two were:

AIF GHRM report figure 5

Despite that, over a quarter (26%) of HR professionals felt that their organisation was not ready to embrace GHRM practices, while almost half (48%) were undecided on their organisations’ readiness to adopt these practices.

When asked to rate the readiness of the organisation to embrace the six GHRM processes, green employee engagement topped the list with 39% of HR professionals deeming their organisations as ready, while green employee separation came in last (13%).

In addition to the overall ranking of readiness, HR practitioners identified the following indicators as the top two in terms of readiness in adopting GHRM.

AIF GHRM Fig 7 AIF GHRM report figure 8

The study also established six key elements critical for the successful implementation of GHRM. These fortifiers of GHRM adoption are top management support and commitment, strategic HRM, environmental competencies, employee empowerment, technology and corporate social responsibility.

At the same time, the report outlined three steps organisations with few or no green initiatives can take to get started on their green agenda.

AIF GHRM report figure 11

Noting that the HR department plays an active role in the implementation of GHRM, the report highlighted how HR can lead the organisation towards greater sustainability by analysing Maybank’s efforts in the area.

Puan Nora Abd Manaf, group chief human capital officer, Maybank commented, “Green human resource management is a critical business imperative and there is a need to fully appreciate the magnitude of failure to adopt these practices earlier. It is not just a ‘nice to have’, it needs to be ‘a way of doing business and preserving life”.

AIF report figure 8 (Maybank)

GHRM has six generic processes which are green talent management; green performance management; green training and development; green employee engagement; green reward systems; and green employee separation.

AIF GHRM report figure 1

Photo / 123RF

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