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Local CEOs round up and move on

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The past year has seen a lot of change and growth within the HR and overall business world.

To wrap the year up, we spoke to four business leaders to find out what lessons they learned in 2013 and what they are doing to prepare themselves and their HR teams for the coming year.

Unsurprisingly, human capital was high on their agendas this year, and is a focus that is expected to spill over into 2014.

“We are now on a path of building high performance teams and building capabilities in this area, enabling team members to bring out the best in teams,” Barathan Pasupathi, CEO of Jetstar Asia Airways, said.

“We are setting the stage right for people and team members to live our values as role models and also work seamlessly together to deliver greater outcomes.”

This is a sentiment echoed by Serene Tan, director of BHG Singapore, who said the company does not just focus on KPIs; rather they “have turned our focus to getting the right people on board”.

“With a better job fit, the staff will be happier in their jobs,” she said.

Looking into 2014, Terry O’Connor, group CEO for Courts Asia, said he will be focusing on attracting, recruiting and retaining talent as the company continues to grow.

“We will definitely continue to promote development and training initiatives that will lead to career growth and opportunities within the organisation to keep our people continuously engaged and motivated,” O’Connor said.

He also said the business has made – and will continue to make – a solid effort in getting the HR and IT teams to collaborate on many levels.

“Faced with the challenge of an increasingly tight labour market, our HR team has collaborated with our IT team to introduce technology solutions to the shop floor with the aim of improving productivity and enhancing the customer experience.”

Martin Rinck, president for Hilton Asia Pacific, said his organisation will also continue to place a strong emphasis on training. The company recently launched its first general management development programme for internal team members who have been identified as high potentials, but have less than two years experience.

“We also plan to bolster our talent development partnerships with tertiary institutions that have garnered much success for us in recent years. While I would not change anything in the past, there is always more we can do in the future, particularly in the area of rewards and recognition,” Rinck said.

So, is there anything these business leaders would change about 2013?

“I would recognise the need for structured coaching and mentoring programmes earlier,” said O’Connor.

Pasupathi said although there’s little he would change, he has “taken on new learnings” and is focused on forward-thinking strategies for the business.

To read their full responses, click here.

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