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The need for adaptability and resilience in the HR function, as we shift towards a digital economy

The need for adaptability and resilience in the HR function, as we shift towards a digital economy


Asia is at the forefront of a workplace revolution, with technological advancements, an evolving workforce, and changing social norms transforming the business model and how we work.

As the disrupted economy recovers post-pandemic, companies face new challenges and ways of working. In a new whitepaper, titled Reviving Workplace Success in Asia-Pacific - Perspectives from CHROs, Lim-Loges & Masters (LLM) shares the key trends, challenges, and best practices in HR for driving workplace success in the APAC region.

We've pulled out some key quotes (in maroon) shared by whitepaper respondents, as well as analysis, relevant for HR leaders in and around Asia.

"To be competitive in the current job market, it’s important to have a flexible working environment. Even if you don’t want to take advantage of the flexible working options yourself, it is becoming increasingly essential to have them in place so that your company can attract the best talent."

Organisations worldwide are adapting quickly to the new reality of hybrid working, and policies must be amended for this. However, working remotely across the Asia-Pacific is no simple task. Success depends on understanding local culture and requirements. For instance, specific cultural expectations exist in countries like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. In India, remote work may be more cost-effective but faces infrastructure issues. Australia and New Zealand are seeing more remote work, but this must comply with their employment laws. As such, many organisations have adopted new approaches for their individual markets, with no single policy working universally.

One of the APAC HR leaders was cited in the report as saying: "We found that people in Japan, Korea, and China wanted more guidelines on balancing work and life. In these three markets, and Taiwan, we provided guidelines that allowed people to work from home or remotely some days.

"In other countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, people can come to the office or work from home whenever they want. For example, if they need to onboard someone new, have a one-on-one meeting with a subordinate, or start a project with project team members. But there are no set rules.”

"Diversity comes in as a strategy. It is a strategy because it’s just common sense that you should not ignore the recruitment of 50% of the population."

Businesses in Asia must consider ESG principles when re-evaluating strategies. An HR director for Greater Asia was cited as saying: "Investors today want companies to be responsible and to take care of all their stakeholders. And having good ESG policies is something that will not go away. If a company doesn’t address these issues, they will only get worse and will require more attention in the future. Every company needs to do what it can to be 'in the good books' of investors."

With the growing awareness of ESG practices, companies in Asia Pacific have been changing their vision and mission statement to include more sustainable goals. This shift focuses on implementing inclusive policies like those on diversity and inclusion in workplaces and guidelines on employee welfare and benefits.

Establishing a diverse and inclusive company culture may require an organisational reset. This entails completely rethinking how it communicates, resolves conflicts/disputes, and sets expectations for remote teams. It also means empowering and encouraging employees to take initiative and ownership; converting virtual learning into permanent skills; revamping recruitment programmes to better define workplace values; improving workplace safety measures; and providing more career advancement opportunities for employees and flexibility for different family needs.

"Only by preparing for the future can we hope to stay ahead of the competition. This is especially true in the banking industry, where change happens rapidly. By being proactive, we can ensure that our business not only survives but thrives in an everchanging landscape.”

To remain competitive, HR leaders must be at the forefront of change, actively working to shape their organisations’ future, including being part of boardroom conversations and strategic decision-making. Understanding the business challenges can help the company remain competitive and successful, avoiding becoming an ‘antique organisation’.

Offering flexibility and time for education and training ensures employee engagement and motivation. Additionally, investing in initiatives such as mental and physical health activities reduces stress levels. While celebrating success reinforces the importance of hard work, collaboration and dedication. Fostering an environment where employees feel valued and supported leads to higher job satisfaction, higher productivity and better engagement.

ALSO READ: The state of ESG maturity amongst companies surveyed in APAC

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Photo / Shutterstock

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