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Winning Secrets: Konica Minolta BSA is acing virtual people development during pandemic times

Winning Secrets: Konica Minolta BSA is acing virtual people development during pandemic times

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Asia (Konica Minolta BSA) took home the bronze award for 'Excellence in Workforce Mobility' at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Singapore.

In this interview, Irene Goh, Snr Manager, Regional Strategic HR, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Asia, talks about the impact of the virtual fun activities the team has conducted, such as 'We got talents competition', a seminar on ergonomics awareness, and 'Terrarium Project'.

Q Tell us a little bit about your journey reaching here – how did you get here and what was most important to you during this process?

Doing the right thing at the right time, and taking into consideration the implementation of HR initiatives that are aligned with business strategies are both important.

Inclusiveness and collaboration are in our DNA.

The HR team members' dedicated effort to roll out HR activities in a timely manner and effectively in the region are some of the success factors to get us where we are.

Furthermore, we stay agile, proactive, and respond fast to re-adjust HR processes to meet the VUCA environment during the period of safe management measures, keeping in mind employees’ safety and health as a top priority.

It is also important as business partners in the company, to stay positive and resilient, and continuously find ways to keep employees connected via virtual programmes such as ergonomic workshops and change management programmes. Our mindset shift transformation programme came just in time to prepare employees for a change of mindset to adjust to the new normal so that our employees can continuously learn and cope with changes from remote working.

Continuous communication via regular management updates is equally important to strengthen our employees’ connectivity in the new normal. 

Q What would you list as your company’s most meaningful contribution to employees in the last 12-18 months?

Our management leaders’ continuous support and participation in the regular HR activities to keep our employees together have been remarkable. Some of the virtual fun activities we conducted included: 'We got talents competition', a seminar on ergonomics awareness, and 'Terrarium Project'.

We are also optimising virtual people development programmes during pandemic times, namely our 'Regional Leadership Development Programme' and 'Shift of Mindset' workshops. We have also run a 'Regional Digital Transformation Programme' with favourable feedback from our key business leaders in APAC to discuss our company’s future strategies for our business transformation journey. 

Q What are some challenges you've had to overcome, both as a CHRO and as a people leader, and how did you get past them? What was your biggest learning?

There is an evolution underway from traditional HR to digital HR.

Transforming to digital systems is not difficult, but changing employees’ mindset and behaviours to adapt to new ways of working quickly can be challenging.

Very often, we are unable to see the results planned from the transformation activities soon.

As such, we have learnt not to take things for granted. Constantly upgrading oneself’s skills in your specialised area is important to meet changing needs in adverse situations.

The small achievements along the way, such as winning at the HR Excellence Awards, are an affirmation and booster that we are in the right direction of our HR transformation journey to stay competitive with the market. We have gained confidence that anything is possible as long as we are determined to face and overcome problems and challenges, while ensuring HR strategic goals stay aligned with business goals. 

Q Onwards and upwards! Can you share some highlights of your year ahead in 2022, and what your workforce can look forward to?

HR will continue to stay vigilant to define future workforce needs and fill the gap between people and the organisation. Further enhancements to our culture of care and wellbeing to support our employees through an employee assistance programme will be launched in February. 

Q Bring out your crystal ball - 10 years down the line, where do you see the future of HR?

We foresee more leveraging of workforce specialists globally. We have seen success stories on remote working. We are likely to see more work secondments or localised certain roles and services that can be worked on remotely, keeping in mind prudent considerations on country immigration laws and tax implications. Jobs will be moved to the workplace for employees who have niche and specialised skills.

The hybrid working or remote working model will be an expected and consideration factor for new joiners post-pandemic.

We need to relook into overall total rewards practices on how to motivate & compensate our employees equitably.

Upskilling employees on digital technology to meet the demands of digital transformation in all functional areas at the workplace will become essential. Employees with agility, digital-savviness, innovative spirit, strong presentation skills, and who are independent contributors are likely to be in high demand in the market.

Image / 123RF

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region! 

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

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