Grace Yip, chief operating officer, group HR at DBS Bank highlights the tools HR needs to adopt in order to be more effective in 2026, and how to develop an employee-centric and value-creation mindset.

In 2026, the role of HR becomes more critical as we help our workforce be effective in the digital age. HR teams must become more digital to effectively partner with the business.

Digitally enabled organisations will massively leverage automation to eliminate administrative and transactional activities. As such, we need to rethink our engagement strategies, how we should deliver our services, and reskill to play a bigger part in the strategic HR agenda.

Adopting employee-centric and value-creation mindsets are essential, and there are some key skills the HR practitioner of the future must acquire.

1. Change management and marketing skills

It is not sufficient to just push out new programmes as too often they are overlooked or misunderstood. Effective change management and marketing of these programmes is needed to drive adoption and satisfaction.

2. Making data-driven decisions

This is no longer optional as business leaders want to know there is sound judgment and analysis. The use of human capital analytics will be a big differentiator, enabling both specialist teams and business partners to obtain deep insights from the data we collect on our employees to optimise productivity.

3. Adopting a journey thinking approach

Really putting ourselves in the shoes of candidates and employees – and understanding their experiences as we acquire, develop and engage with them – will be game changing. HR should rethink the end-to-end candidate and employee journeys, focusing on the moments that matter and making the entire employee experience a focal point of re-engineering efforts.

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