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How to introduce a strategic-HR approach into your team, and more talent advice

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While hosting segments at Talent Management Asia 2019, Singapore, here’s what Aditi Sharma Kalra and Jerene Ang call out as their key takeaways. 

Having hosted Talent Management Asia 2019, the region’s leading human capital strategy conference, for seven years; this year, the Human Resources project team, led by Priya Veeriah, continued to inject new ideas and innovative formats into a compelling conference agenda.

The Singapore edition was held at Hotel Grand Copthorne Waterfront on 3-4 April 2019. The two-day conference was attended by more than 160 delegates, and saw over 35 speakers taking the stage to share trends and best practices. [check out some of the event photos]

To facilitate context-relevant learning, and high interaction, delegates had access to three parallel streams: Strategic HR, Design-Thinking HR, and The Future of Agile HR, led by chairpersons Dazzling Chong, Futurist, Chief Talent Officer, Great at You; Daniel Lee, Partner, Delivery Delight; and Jerene Ang, Deputy Editor, Human Resources, respectively.

These were supplemented by innovative session formats such as Knowledge Café, Fishbowl Panel, Solution Room and Fireside Chat. A fun game of HR Bingo, created exclusively for Talent Management Asia, was also weaved into the programme.

[check out some of the event photos]

Among the innumerable nuggets of learning derived from the on-site conversations, we summed up our top three below:

#1 Ideas on how to prepare our people for the future 

Change is not a question of if, but when. So how does the organisation prepare it’s people for the future? An end-to-end perspective is what is needed, which starts with people planning. Given that the HR personnel of the future are more of strategists, those are the kind of people we need to start hiring.

As for performance management, if we want to send a signal to the organisation on transformation, we firstly need the moral authority to do so. We have to start with changing ourselves.

One way to do this is to change the HR structure by introducing strategic HR. Picture your HR team being organised more like a consulting firm, wherein they work on a day-to-day basis as a project team. Once the project is over, they will then move on to another project, thus enabling them an agile mindset.

One of the speakers noted: “Many employees now want to collect experience. So if you are looking to keep people till they are in senior management, you are working against the force of nature.” Thus, in his view, we need to think of the ecosystem differently, providing them exposure to different geographical areas, functions, and more.

Don’t miss the event’s video highlights:


#2 Nothing affects speed in an organisation more than trust

If you want better results, you build a better strategy. If you have a brilliant strategy, you get brilliant results, right? Wrong.

Brilliant strategy does not equal brilliant results. Strategy x execution = results. But there’s a hidden factor called trust. “If the lines between the layers of leadership are not wrapped in high trust, then you will not get good results,” noted one of the speakers.

Most performance issues are actually trust issues in disguise. Building a high-trust culture starts with us, it starts with character and competence.

Here’s a checklist for a high-trust organisation:

  • People share information
  • There is a focus on results and accountability
  • People are loyal to the absent (they are loyal to you even when you are not there)
  • People talk straight and confront the real issues
  • People collaborate, communicate and show respect
  • People share credit abundantly
  • Don’t hold meetings after the meetings
  • People are authentic and transparent

If trust is not there, speed goes down and cost goes up. And vice versa, if trust is there, speed goes up, and cost goes down.


#3 It’s important that you keep your top talent inspired

Nowadays when high-performing talent have more options than the employers do, the more organisations share about themselves with the prospective employee, the more it sets the tone about how open they are.

When you are bringing someone aboard, we should know that they will be an brand ambassador whether or not they join. Yet, candidate experience sometimes tends to be overlooked especially when an employee applies for a job internally. It is the onus of the manager to go back to the employee and tell them why they are not hired for the role, thus engage them and give them a good experience.

Similarly, when conducting psychometric assessments during recruitment, we can share the assessment profiles with not only the successful candidates, but the ones who were not successful, as it would help the candidate experience.

“At the end of the day, you have to remember that even if the candidate does not join you now, they are still your potential talent and may join you someday,” one of the panelists pointed out.

An equally important thing to think about is keeping top talent inspired at all times.

Here’s what a panelist said on this topic: “At times, we become very tough with our top talent, because our expectations of them are very high. Every time there’s a project, we put our top talent there, saying it would be good for them. However, is this really developing them or is it making them exhausted?”

Certainly, great food for thought as shared by a number of delegates.


This knowledge was shared at the Human Resources’ conference, Talent Management Asia 2019, Singapore. To know more and attend such events, please visit: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/events/.


Presenters, panelists, moderators, and stream chairpersons at Talent Management Asia 2019, Singapore included:

  • Dean Tong, Managing Director and Head, Group Human Resources, UOB (pictured above)
  • Tom Watson, International Execution Practice Leader, FranklinCovey Global
  • Eric Wong, Chief Human Resources Officer, Intel-Wise Group
  • Vandna Ramchandani, APAC Head of Talent, Philanthropy and Engagement, Bloomberg
  • Ramanujam Mysore, General Manager, Human Resources, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems India
  • Jeff McLean, Regional Human Resources Director, UPS
  • Dazzling Chong, Futurist, Chief Talent Officer, Great at You
  • Daniel Lee, Partner, Delivery Delight
  • Eileen Nah, Head of Leadership, Future Smart, Customer Experience Faculty, OCBC Bank
  • Elouise Chin, Vice President Group Talent Management , OCBC Bank
  • Padmashree Santosh, Associate Director Talent & Development, South APAC, Merck
  • Sanjay Yadav, Director and Senior Consultant, Scotwork
  • Suzie Custerson, Global Business Effectiveness Lead, Global Talent, Manulife
  • Lisa Low, Talent Management Director, Asia, Carlsberg Group
  • Jennifer Gillette, Regional Head of People Attraction and Talent Management, Allianz
  • Tham Weng Yip, HR Lead, Talent Management, Brenntag
  • Richard Yeo, APAC Talent Performance Leader, Global HR Solution, Cargill
  • Annie Lim, Global Lead, Diversity and Inclusion, Sanofi
  • Sebastian Schwab, Senior Vice President Human Resources, APAC, Siemens Healthineers
  • Vibhu Ganesan, Talent Intelligence and Analytics Lead, Asia, Intel
  • Jolene Huang, Human Resources Director, TBWA
  • Tina Sharma, Senior Vice President and Head, Human Resources, State Bank of India
  • Stephanie Tan, Director, Human Resources, APJ, Elastic
  • Balan Krishnan, Vice President Talent Management, LF Beauty
  • Andrew Newmark, Vice President Human Resources, APEC, Marriot International
  • Karine Scelles, Global & APAC Human Resource Director, General Electric
  • Shell Sharma, Talent, Organisational Development and Diversity Lead, Asia & Global Digital, Aviva
  • Sandeep Chanana, APAC Human Resources Business Partner, Rakuten
  • Ramya Balakrishnan, Director, People Possibilities Advisory
  • Tanavpreet Longia, Global Lead-Internal Mobility, Deutsche Bank
  • Alan Tan, Head of Human Resources, SEA, Festo
  • Shalini Prasad, APAC Human Resources Business Partner, Maersk

Human Resources would like to thank all its sponsors and partners who have supported this event:

Gold sponsors

  • FranklinCovey
  • Scotwork

Silver sponsors

  • ManpowerGroup
  • Ramco

Exhibitor

  • The Praxis Company


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