Welcome to the Employee Benefits Asia 2016, Singapore, the region’s biggest conference dedicated to compensation & benefits strategy! This two-day conference will see speakers from Bosch SEA, Rehau, Seagate International, and more unveiling the secrets to developing best practice rewards strategies.

On this page, you can catch live updates from the conference, brought to you straight from Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore – from all the tweets on #EBA2016 to the top advice dished out by our speakers and photos.

#EBA2016 Tweets ___________________________________

DAY TWO - 3 August, 2016

In the final segment of the conference, we dive into , we discuss the best practices ttwo o keeping employees engaged in a series of special ""Ted Style"" talks from: - Ng Ying Yuan, director, human resources and organisation development, Singapore Economic Development Board - Samarth Kasturia , senior associate, consulting & workplace strategy, Jones Lang Lasalle - Irene Leng, director of human resources, National Kidney Foundation.


Up next is an HR leader with 23 years of experience across high-tech, services and manufacturing sectors. Entering the stage is Joon Tan, vice president - talent management GSC, Schneider Electric Singapore, for a presentation on the best practices for a compelling employee value proposition.

One of the pillars of Schneider Electric's employee value proposition is diversity. "There is a consciousness about any bias against female employees, and we invest in training the leaders. By 2017, 40% of our hires at the entry level will be female employees. The more diverse the workforce, the more relevant it will be," she says.



Our next speaker is an engineer turned lecturer turned HR practitioner. Having spent a major part of his career in Republic Polytechnic (RP), some of the notable projects he has spearheaded include strategic workforce planning, employer re-branding and social media engagement.

Koh Chee Keat, deputy director HR, Republic Polytechnic, reveals family-friendly policies to support working carers in the workforce. "It is not about the count of benefits, but about benefits that count. More benefits does not result in more staff engagement. We work intentionally on our organisation culture," he says.

Republic poly


Next up, panellists take the stage to discuss how to develop an innovative flexi scheme that complements culture. Moderator: Eudora Choo, vice president – benefits governance, APAC, Deutsche Bank - Paul O’ Malley, director of total rewards APAC & MEA, Franklin Templeton Investments - Verena Chua, head of compensation & benefits, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific - Chetna Singh, vice president, APJ total rewards, SAP Asia Pacific.

Singh talks about the driver for flex benefits - multi-generational workforce, diversity agenda, simplification. "SAP started with focus group discussions and picked out the different needs of demographics, for example, what Millennials wanted."


Our next speaker is another senior HR leader doing a delicate balancing act between her responsibilities managing compensation structures, performance management systems, HR technology and analytics, international resourcing, human capital development, faculty HR management, as well as talent frameworks.

Dr Jaclyn Lee, the senior director of HR at Singapore University of Technology & Design, takes the stage for a presentation on leveraging HR analytics to improve the efficiency of the C&B function.

The first step in starting your predictive HR function is isolation of the true cost, via causal analysis, affirms Dr Lee. For example, does a bonus pay-out lead directly to retention? Does the leadership have more correlation with engagement than real base pay.

Further, she advises, "Set up in-house training programmes for your team to learn how to run regression models."

jaclyn lee SUTD


If getting buy-in from your internal stakeholders has been a big issue for you, our next presenter share some feasible ideas: Anita Zuo, HR director, rewards, recognition and HRIS, Asia Pacific, Electrolux SEA.

Action and review, she explains, is key to getting your initiatives through to stakeholders. "Your actions must be quick, and reviewing can help us to learn from our mistakes. We do not really need to ask a question that we do not need an answer to. Review on time, and take action quickly regarding review."

anita electrolux


We get the day started with our first speaker - point of view of the CFO. Clarence Chua's presentation today is driven by the importance of engaging and retaining talent through non-cash rewards, as he brings to the table a cost-benefit analysis. Pictured: Clarence Chua, finance director, BMW Group Asia

"30-year work anniversaries are very common in BMW," he says. "People start and end their career with BMW." The reasons why employees stay with employers? He cites career growth and L&D, exciting and challenging work, great people, good boss, and fair pay.

BMW- resized


Human Resources' regional editor Aditi Sharma Kalra takes the stage to welcome all delegates, sponsors and speakers to the second day of Employee Benefits Asia, the region’s biggest conference dedicated to compensation & benefits strategy. #EBA2016

"Today, we have in store for you case studies from BMW, Electrolux and SUTD, as well as a panel discussion on creating a flexi benefit scheme," she shares.

Aditi's opening


We hope you enjoyed day one of Employee Benefits Asia 2016. We're on to our second and last day at Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore. Stay with us for live updates. Today's conference will see speakers from Deutsche Bank, Electrolux SEA, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific and more unveiling the secrets behind developing best practice reward strategies. Live feed: http://bit.ly/EBASG2016


DAY ONE - 2 August, 2016

Tarun Gulrajani, head of HR, Asia Pacific at Rehau, shares a case study on implementing a new on-site wellness programme, and the challenges he faced in redesigning the healthcare benefits strategy.

tarun 3


After lunch, Rachel Tay, chief of benefits strategy at CXA Group, takes the stage to address the issue of rising wellness costs in Asia and its impact on the business.

"Employee health is worsening - owing to rapid urbanisation, stress, long periods of work, expanding waistlines. We need to rethink employee benefits," she highlights.

Not only to employees don't understand insurance enough to really value it as a benefit, she explains, she adds that for employees what's most important is if they will get their money back quickly when they make a claim.

rachel tay


Our next session sees Elliott Webster, head of flexible benefits, Asia at Aon Hewitt, on stage to share a case study on maintaining effective C&B framework to boost staff morale.

In his view, the best place to start is by asking staff what they view as an attractive remuneration package. "Employees are usually motivated by more than just money. Ask them key questions, for example, about the office environment."

This personalisation, he says, is highly valued in today’s workforce. "How you discriminate your benefits package on a personal level will be linked to how you are able to reduce irrelevant costs," he points out.

aon 3


For our very first Employee Benefits Asia 2016 panel discussion on driving a globally aligned yet competitive local remuneration framework, panellists take the stage (from L-R): - Mayur Chaturvedi, associate director, APAC, Zimmer Biomet - Charles Keh, compensation benefits & global mobility manager, Sembcorp Marine - Harpreet Singh Chhatwal, senior director Human Resources, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group - Eddie Lee, regional director of human resources, ethics & compliance APAC, Bollore Logistics - Moderator: Carlo Felicia, head of rewards, Philips ASEAN Pacific

In talking about best practices in rewards communication, Chaturvedi says that Zimmer Biomet has the concept of running "knowledge cities" - wherein they pick out a key topic and run communications around it. They do a three-day townhall for HR to take on all sorts of questions from employees.

Meanwhile, Sembcorp Marine has launched leadership training upon identification of nine competencies, partnering with SMU to develop training programmes for management. Technical training, on the other hand, is conducted in-house.

On the topic of global versus local rewards strategies, Chhatwal if of the view that if the regional offices get too much autonomy, there is a risk of diluting the brand. "We need to look at proper data, and push for more buy-in," he suggests.

In response to a delegate's question on how to balance rewards governance and market prevalence, Lee asks HR leaders to calculate the cost of losing an employee versus employing fresh grad and training. Putting that in comparison can help reflect priorities better.




Next up, Liana Attard, Asia consulting leader, employee health & benefits – Asia at Mercer Marsh Benefits, takes the stage to share tips on evolving your total rewards strategy amidst current economic headwinds.

She breaks down the reasons for increasing medical costs to employers: "If you consider a GP visit, we have analysed over 4,000 claims in Singapore. GP costs in Singapore were about $30, now they've come up to $37. For a specialist, average cost is $112."

She cites research wherein 65% of employers believe their benefits meet the business goals as well as employee needs. But just 12% of employees appreciate these benefit offering. "Are your benefits not good enough, or are you not communicating their value effectively," Attard questions.

mercer 1


Martin Hayes, president of Bosch South East Asia, kickstarts the conference with a keynote on the internal and external factors to consider when developing a competitive salary structure.

"We should not blindly design policies against every generation's wants, we need to balance costs and returns. As our workforce increases in sophistication, so must our methods for managing this workforce," he says. He cautions: "Do not enter the salary war... it is not sustainable."

He signs off with a quote from founder Robert Bosch: "I don’t pay good wages because I have a lot of money, I have a lot of money because I pay good wages."

bosch 2


To inaugurate day one of Employee Benefits Asia, Human Resources' regional editor Aditi Sharma Kalra takes the stage to welcome all delegates, sponsors and speakers.

She says: "Having organised this conference for the past three years in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, one thing has become quite clear - when it comes to rewarding staff and implementing compensation and benefits programmes, organisations throughout Asia Pacific are keen on creative yet cost-effective solutions."



The registration counter is open and our team is all set to welcome today's delegates at Employee Benefits Asia 2016, Singapore. Ready to start the conference.