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Keeping it human: 3 tips for balancing technology better with the human factor

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At HR Tech Interactive 2019, Jewel Paymentech's Evanna Chuah and a host of other speakers paved the way for HR's future featuring a tech-savvy ecosystem. Report by Aditi Sharma Kalra.

"Deep meaningful conversations are what forms relationships. Conversations that allow us to be 100% engaged, to not only hear what’s spoken but also what’s not spoken. So how mindfully present are we when we are multitasking while communicating?"
This was the thought-provoking way in which Evanna Chuah, Director, Human Resources, Jewel Paymentech opened HR Tech Interactive 2019, Malaysia edition, held on 22 August at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral.

This marked the seventh year of Human Resources Online's tech-driven conference in Asia, and the day saw a number of conversations on topics such as talent acquisition technologies, AI for predictive analytics, tech-enabled recognition programmes, and more.

[Photos from HR Tech Interactive 2019, Malaysia: Check out on Facebook]

Chuah's presentation focused on learnings from her experiences using a software that helps to drive better one-on-one conversations and goal alignment.

"Tech cannot convey emotions - we cannot tell how a person is feeling, or what tone they are using in a certain word, and more importantly, we are not aware of the impact of our words on the other person until it’s too late," she pointed out.

Yet, the software her company used enabled the team to rise above such challenges and create meaningful interaction.

"At Jewel, as leaders, we endeavour to listen hard to what’s spoken and unspoken, and receive feedback as well as deliver them," she said. As such, the host of features inclusive of customisable templates on the goal setting software, helped the team to record and finalise notes post one-on-one interaction.

Not only are managers encouraged to host one-on-ones on a monthly basis, but they are also trained on the concept of having these conversations, so that they can enhance the experience for employees.

Chuah's presentation was a great way to set the ball rolling for the day, as she aptly summed up the three factors that leaders have to take note of when trying to balance the human factor and technology:

  1. Technology cannot completely replace what humans are doing, in terms of being able to understand human behaviours on a case-by-case basis. Technology is built on some amount of generalisation, thus it cannot address individuals as individuals - we shouldn't expect it to solve all HR problems.
  2. The mindset of how we approach technology has to be more of a growth mindset, where we should be able to see the opportunities for technology to come in and help solve given problems, rather than for us to be more reactive and wait for technology to tell us what those problems are.
  3. Unfortunately, some companies are not ready to bring in technology and implement it into their people functions. Therefore, if we are dealt with those situations, the first person to target would be the management team. Getting their buy-in is so important.

This knowledge was shared at the Human Resources Online’s conference, HR Tech Interactive 2019, Malaysia. To know more and attend such events, please visit:

Presenters, panelists, and moderators at HR Tech Interactive 2019, Malaysia included:

  • Evanna Chuah, Director, Human Resources, Jewel Paymentech
  • Emi Hasniza, Key Account Manager, Malaysia, Panopto
  • Jimmy Ong, Principal Consultant, Omni View Consulting
  • Umasuten Karisnan, Human Resources Director, Intel Malaysia
  • Daniel Sherrington, Regional Director, APAC, O.C. Tanner
  • Vikram Anand, Head of HR, Cluster Lead (Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines), British Council
  • Rosden Dato’HJ Rahmat, General Manger, Human Capital Division, UMW Toyota Motor
  • Umasuten Karisnan, Human Resources Director, Intel Malaysia
  • Mohd. Syukri Ahmad Sudari, Chief People Officer, AXA Affin General Insurance
  • Subetra Maruthamuthu, Head of Human Resources, Infinity Blockchain Ventures Malaysia
  • Jan Pambid, Head of Human Resources, Malaysia, AVON
  • Kevin Tan, International Business Director, Harrison Assessments
  • Sharon Chiew, Human Resources Director SEA, LexisNexis Malaysia
  • Terri Chan, Head of Marketing, HealthMetrics
  • Vikram Anand, Head of HR, Cluster Lead (Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines), British Council
  • Thomas Sullivan, Head of Customer Success, HealthMetrics
  • Muhammad Suhaimi Sulong, AVP Human Capital, Bank Muamalat Malaysia
Photo / Jewel Paymentech's Evanna Chuah opening the conference to delegates who are engaged and passionate about implementing technology in HR

Human Resources Online would like to thank its Gold Sponsors who have supported this event:

  • Harrison Assessments
  • HealthMetrics
  • O.C. Tanner
  • Panopto

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