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Highlights from Accelerate HR 2019: Human Resources Online’s debut in Bangkok

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This 26-27 November saw Human Resources Online’s first-ever conference in Bangkok, with the brand-new Accelerate HR crafted exclusively for CHROs in Thailand making its launch.

Produced by Prassana Pillay and held at Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit, the two-day event saw more than 100 HR leaders discussing agile transformation, building a flexible and integrated HR department, and more, across a range of keynote and networking sessions, as well as panel discussions.

We’ve shared some of the several insightful snippets shared by speakers during the conference below:

1. Don’t forget about technical competencies, which are evolving as fast as leadership competencies

In context of the skills of the future, HR leaders need to think about the skills their companies need – break it down by function, role, and what we will need in the future.

This lays the foundation for the competency mapping. Most competency maps focus on leadership and behavioural comptencies, but technical competencies are evolving equally fast. As Subbu Viswanathan, Co-Founder and CEO, Disprz shared: “The world needs data scientists, and you’ve got to start building them now! To build some scale into our learning strategy, we need to think about putting together content of all types.”

2. Key tenets for digital learning initiatives – start with the CEO’s buy-in

For a successful digital learning intervention, start by ensuring that the CEO gets buy-in. As Viswanathan added: “This is not an HR initiative. Ensure that your CEO constantly tells people that this is important.”

The next step would be to tackle the learning strategy function-by-function. Instead of taking on the overwhelming task of rolling it out for everyone at the same time, you can start with the most critical functions, for example, the front-facing retail staff.

3. HR tech must be consumerised for it to have widespread accessibility and relevance

The three steps to consumerising HR tech include: exceptional user experience, collaborating to achieve more, and staying open and connected.

As shared by Kiran Kumar, Founding Member, PeopleStrong: “Gone are the days when you had multiple versions of a software – today, it has to be a single source code platform. When you’re dealing with the amount of data you have today, you need to have something that is meta data driven.”

Along the same line, while earlier teams used to be hierarchical, nowadays teams are networked. Employers, thus, need to be in situation where we are able to change workflows as often as we want, i.e. we need to look for native workflows.

These are some of the aspects that HR leaders must keep in mind while deciding upon their chosen HR technology partner.

4. Don’t take your high-potentials for granted

You’ve identified who your high-potentials are and they know it, so you end up giving them a range of projects from the mundane to the complex, from the short- to the long-term, and from the minor impact to the major business impact. Sounds like a familiar story?

Well, we might be doing things wrong. As affirmed by Mila Pascual-Nodusso, Human Resources Director, East Asia, Electrolux: “You should be very picky in giving projects to your high-potentials, because they are the most likely to accept whatever you throw to them.”

Thus, instead of taking the risk of burning them out with a slew of projects, take a more mindful approach in terms of the work assigned to your high-potentials.

5. Knowledge and skills of the connector manager

“Most people don’t know what they don’t know – we believe that we can always give the right answer in everything,” clarified Somkiat Sakulsuraekkapong, VP, Human Resources and Business Excellence, MSIG Insurance, while highlighting the range of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required of today’s connector managers.

When it comes to knowledge, your connector managers must be equipped with knowing:

  • Organisation context
  • Team heartbeat
  • Individual gaps
  • Resources mining
  • The unknown

Similarly, when it comes to skills of the connector manager, they must be aware of:

  • Coaching/mentoring
  • Feedback – situation/behaviour/impact (from the past)
  • Sharing and engaging (in the present)
  • Lateral thinking
  • Communication

6. What a blended workforce truly is (and isn’t)

As affirmed by Nititra Sara Tienrakvicha, Director, Human Resources, Tilleke & Gibbins International: “When people think about blended workforce, they think about different religions, gender preferences or ages – but actually it’s about helping different types of people work together.”

As such, to harmonise operations in a blended workforce, HR professionals need to move from transactional to be more transformational and collaborative. “As HR, we need to be musical conductors – things have to keep running smoothly, while we spend time to talk to the C-suite and provide them data.”


Human Resources Online extends its thanks and gratitude to a fantastic set of sponsors and partners:

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