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The Futurist: Future by design

Antonio Ramirez, senior vice-president of human resources at Sands China on how to proactively prepare your business for a new generation of employees.

Millennials are already here – time to get ready for Generation Z.

A few years ago, I used to ask at the end of meetings with all the team members if they had any questions or suggestions – 99% of the time the team had no questions or suggestions, so I assumed they had nothing to share.

I was wrong. They had lots of questions, lots of things that they wanted to tell me and share. I was just using the wrong platform. A few months ago we started to use an anonymous communication platform. I received lots of messages from the team; we maintained conversations; they raised concerns – the end result being a much better team.

E-chat is a must-have platform and not a “nice-to-have”. At Sands China, we do not offer a job, but a lifestyle, so we need to have the culture, the technology and platforms that support it.

HR works to be a team that supports the company, which shapes the reality of today and the future, supports innovation, develops the culture, attracts, retains and develops talent so we have the best team structures.

How do we do this?

We do it by using a leadership approach based on coaching principles, plus:
  • Innovation based on design thinking and start-up models
  • Continuous improvement based on Scrum and Kaizen
  • Visual management and working spaces based on neuroscience findings
  • A culture that allows us to embrace three different generations at the same time (and we are getting ready to embrace a new one) through technological tools, platforms for dialogue, development of specific projects, rotation between jobs, different learning platforms, and the like.
We are the architects of the HR strategies. We work with departments bringing the latest developments in the HR field. We zoom out with them and we work together on the planning, monitoring the implementation and measuring the outcomes of HR.

We are now getting ready for Gen Z.

This is the generation that doesn’t know what a TV channel is – this is the Netflix, YouTube and Google generation.

We will have so much to learn with them and we want to be ready. We have created the Innovation and Productivity Centre, where the physical space and the working methodology are being shaped with the input of Millennials and for Gen Z.

We are investing big on a HR data centre and our Millennial team members are playing a vital role in mining the data and proposing solutions and new approaches. We are confident that we will be able to see trends that will allow us to be ready for Gen Z.

Millennials and Gen Z value information, stimulation and connection. They are well-informed, evolved and empathetic, and at Sands China, we want to be the reflection of all of this.

We are designing today to be the future of Gen Z.

The June 2017 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 12 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.

Read The Futurist or subscribe here.

The Futurist - HRHK Q2 print special edition

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