The second annual edition of the region’s biggest conference dedicated to compensation & benefits annual signature summit, organised by Human Resources, was held at The Mira Hong Kong on August 9 and 10, 2016.

To open the conference, Rachael Tay, vice president sales of CXA Group, shared on  engaging your workforce through personalized benefits and wellness.  To combat the rising cost of medical care, she thinks it is crucial to have a one stop shop to deliver health and benefit services to employees.

Next up, Liana Attard, principal, AMEA employee health and benefits consulting leader at Mercer, takes the stage to share tips on the use of big data for employee health benefits. She discusses the devices and technology available as well as best practices in using them.

After the morning tea break, Ceyda Kamhi Ozyel, director, compensation and benefits, Asia, Philip Morris International gave insights on how to correctly allocating resources to talent. She said the key to success is identifying the critical workforce and allocate resources to them.

Next on stage is Elaine Chan, chief health officer, general insurance, Zurich, with an overview of ways to fulfill the benefit gap of your employees.

She introduces the room to a number of different structures companies can adopt to fulfill employees’ needs, such as offering the option of an additional individual plan to complement the existing core medical benefits.

Kris Lui, global head of human resources, C&A took the stage to address the issue of satisfying employees' needs while cutting costs.

With many human resources professionals facing budget constraints, she introduces the delegates to the option of alternative rewards. “A lot of people are not only motivated by money, it’s about how they can learn and grow within the company – both vertical and horizontal,” she said.

Furthermore, generating a sense of pride for their work, investing in capable line managers who can coach employees, and considering life outside of work can all be ways of satisfying needs while using limited resources.

For the final keynote presentation of day one, Deborah Mannas, group head of human resources at Wallem, shares how reinforcing the rewards programme can drive excellent performance.

She points out that companies can learn something from the society they’re operating in. “We’re living in a point-era”, she tells the room. “Supermarkets, airlines, even schools are all rewarding good behaviour with points. So why aren’t we deploying points at work?”

Mannas emphasises the importance of balancing negative and positive consequences in order to change employees’ behaviour and improve performance. When the reward is appealing enough to your employees, it will outweigh the immediate negative effect of them having to change their current behaviour.

Our last session of day one sees panellists taking the stage to discuss the best practices of one-off bonuses and long-term pay rises: Moderated by  Anthony Wong, editor, Human Resources, the audience heard from Theresa Chong, group human resources director, Amoy Food , Kris Lui, global head of human resources,C&A ,Sunny Fong, senior director, rewards, mobility and HRBP McDonald's high growth and foundational Asia markets, McDonald's and Deborah Mannas, group head of human resources, Wallem.

Photos from day one:

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Kicking off day two was Gordon Bedford, global director environment, health and safety and corporate social responsibility, Mattel on motivating employees.

Bedford suggests that maybe we have misunderstood how to best motivate employees to perform well. “Goals and rewards may actually have a negative effect on staff performance,” he says. “The very presence of goals may lead employees to focus on short term gains and lose sight of the potential long-term affects on the organisation.”

For the first panel of the day, moderated by Elaine Chan, chief health officer, general insurance, Zurich, Vanessa Yen, head of HR Asia, institutional banking and markets, Commonwealth Bank, Ricky Long, director, people and performance, Asia, Colliers International and Sonia Leung, director, head of human resources, Greater China, Knight Frank discussed  some of the medical benefits they feel are most valuable to their employees.

Up next, Danny Yeung, chief executive officer, Prenetics shed light on using how advances in DNA technology can be part of the health care programme.  With advanced technology, the cost of DNA mapping has come down tremendously.  Yeung predicts in the next few years, the public will be able to carry their genetic data on phones.

With such information, the risk of patients being prescribed medication that they are allergic to will be greatly reduce, individuals will be able to know what kind of diet and fitness programme are the best for them.

In the afternoon, Grace Xu, human resource director, Hong Kong and Macau, Richemont, sharing insights into what makes employees more willing to be relocated.  Joanna Lee, head of human resources, Bauhinia Coating (Yip's Chemical) gave tips on engaging and retaining Millennials.

In a new presentation format, Theresa Chong, group human resources director, Amoy Food shared on how to satisfy employee's needs with various perks and benefits through an exclusive interview.

To conclude the conference, inclusive experts took the stage to share their ideas on building a diverse working environment for LGBT employees.

Florence Chan, senior amanger of strategic programmes, Community Business,  Paul Choi, executive director in the Human Capital Management (HCM) division, Goldman Sachs and William Hallatt, partner and LGBT sponsor for Greater China, Herbert Smith Freehills shared the best practices in building a LGBT inclusive workplace.

Rounding off the conference was Human Resources’ Anthony Wong, who thanked all delegates, speakers and sponsors for their support through the successful event.

Human Resources would like to thank its generous sponsors and partners, without whose support the conference would not have been possible:

Platinum sponsor - Zurich Insurance

Gold sponsor - CXA Group

Silver sponsor - Mercer Marsh Benefits

Exhibitors - Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) - Montigo Resorts, Nongsa

Partners - International Professional Managers Association (IPMA) - Centre of Executive Education (CEE) - Community Business - - Senior HR Forum

Photos from day two: 

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More photos of the conference are available on Facebook.