Corporate Wellbeing Asia 2023
Upskilling 101: Why HP's Singapore MD is passionate about developing leaders and digital literacy at all levels

Upskilling 101: Why HP's Singapore MD is passionate about developing leaders and digital literacy at all levels

People are at the heart of HP’s growth and innovation and the company’s success depends on a highly skilled, engaged, diverse workforce and a strong internal pipeline of talent for future roles.

It is no wonder the leadership team in Singapore, led by Vivian Chua, Singapore Managing Director, HP Inc, works closely with HR to identify areas of growth for all employees.

This is further affirmed in the current environment where as the world of work shifts to the new normal, this tech giant has continued to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of employees while ensuring they stay productive as they work and learn from home.

Interview excerpts below:

Q What are the key learning campaigns being undertaken to tackle the changes happening in the world of work?

We continue to roll out a comprehensive set of leadership development offerings to ensure employees are equipped with the skills needed for the future. We provide targeted learning experiences to build a high-performance culture by developing leaders at all levels. We also embed the HP Leadership Principles and Practices which focus on achieving high levels of collaboration and inclusion throughout HP, and create conditions for belonging, risk-taking, and building high performance teams.

We are focused on building a strong, diverse bench of future leaders ready to step into senior-level roles, and enabling rich careers for all employees.

This is established through a learning culture which supports ongoing development that helps enhance career opportunities. The culture is enhanced with cutting-edge learning that blends facilitated learning with high-impact content through Brain Candy, our learning platform, to create a highly collaborative learning environment.

As our employees adjust to the new normal, we launched HP Spirit, an initiative aimed at helping employees tackle the challenges they face in the current situation by supporting each other and having fun, while staying healthy, connected and productive.

Our Business Impact Network teams, like the Young Employees Network and Women’s Impact Network, have come together to roll-out programmes to keep employee wellbeing a priority even as they work, learn and earn from home. Initiatives include Song of the Day nominations, Virtual Speed Charades competitions, and more.

We will be encouraging our employees to devote time every week to build their digital literacy for the rest of 2020. We are launching “Speak Digital”, a learning initiative to help all employees at HP speak a common language when it comes to digital literacy around five topics that are key to our success: artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, big data, virtual reality, and cybersecurity.

Employees will also have access to Digital Fitness, an app that helps to assess their current knowledge and explore digital topics from three critical perspectives: business (for example, agile project delivery, financial technology), experience (for example, biometrics, smart cities), and technology (for example, cryptocurrency, machine learning).

Today, being digitally ready is no longer just a business tool. Technology has extended its purpose to being in service of humanity.

Q In your sector, what are the top five skills that are most in demand, and how are you developing these capabilities?

The industry needs individuals who not only have an understanding of technology, but also the hard and soft skills required to innovate and thrive in a fast-changing landscape. These include:

  • Data analytics, systems and design thinking.
  • Computational skills to make sense of data.
  • Creativity and storytelling which cannot be replaced by AI.
  • Emotional and social intelligence in understanding new media platforms and being able to communicate effectively.
  • Persuasive selling.

The way work gets done is constantly changing, and we see digital transformation playing a vital role in spearheading growth in the industry and also at HP. This was particularly pronounced as employees told us of their interest to attend training related to these skill sets to improve their digital skills paths and we have addressed the requirements through our evolving employee learning programmes.

Together, with our HR Singapore lead, Shelly Rajpal, our leadership team ensures that we continue to add to our highly diverse and inclusive workforce from 35 nationalities, as we proactively identify and develop new and existing talent with expertise and skill sets in these areas.

Q It would be too simplistic to believe that digitalisation is the only game changer when it comes to skills. What are some of the other key factors to take into consideration, going forward?

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at an unprecedented rate and that’s been reflected in the demand for our PC and print innovation that we bring to Singapore.

Today, being digitally ready is no longer just a business tool. Technology has extended its purpose to being in service of humanity. It’s now a way for individuals and families to adapt to the new environment and stay connected with each other as social distancing becomes the new norm.

This transformation will give many markets an impetus to invest more in developing their digital economies to prepare for a digitally-inclusive future. This elevates the importance of having digital skills literacy to help employees be ready to support Singapore’s digital future as the nation continues its journey of reinvention.

As we embark on the journey to recovery, businesses need to continue investing in their people not just with technology enablement, but also through personal development of both hard and soft skills to ensure that they are skilled, engaged and adaptable for future roles.

This interview first appeared as part of a feature in the May-June 2020 e-mag of Human Resources, Singapore, and the Q2 2020 edition of Human Resources, Malaysia. Read the case study in the e-mag, or the full feature here. 

Photo / Provided

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