Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 13 December 2017
We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary. The news is curated from more than 50 HR related websites across more than 15 countries including Singapore, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia and Kenya, among others.
The Daily Digest covers the Global view of latest people practices and technology developments amongst other areas.
1. Winners of the 2017 Myanmar Employer Awards have been announced
The Award Gala Night hosted on December 9th at Sule Shangri-La Yangon marks the culmination of the first ever Myanmar Employer Awards, a 6 month long campaign aimed at recognizing employer excellence in the country, organized by JobNet.com.mm – Myanmar’s leading online employment marketplace.
Participating companies went through 2 stages of judging, and finalists were selected in November. On Saturday December 9th, the winners in each category were announced to the public in a red-carpet and exclusive event, attended by both leaders of the private and public sector.
While companies were competing in 7 categories, each representing a different characteristic of an employer of choice, two categories were not open for application. The Best of The Best category was awarded to the company with the highest grand total score across all categories, and the People’s Choice Award was based on an employee questionnaire (internal people) and a vote from the open public for the company they would most prefer to work for (external people).
The 2017 Best of the Best international winner is Unilever and local winner is Yoma Bank. For People’s Choice Award, Ooredoo won in the International segment, and MPT triumphed in the Local section.
Other notable winners who secured a 1st place Gold Award in each category were: Peace Myanmar Group, Sule Shangri-La, FAME Pharmaceuticals, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and MyWorld Careers.
A total of 61category awards (at Gold, Silver and Bronze level for each category) were given to both International and Local companies that are operating in Myanmar across the following categories: Most Effective Recruitment Strategy for Talent Attraction, Best Learning & Development, Excellence in Workplace Environment, Best Use of Internal Marketing for Company Pride, Best Career Advancement Program, Best Use of Rewards & Recognition and Most Innovative use of Technology in HR.
The esteemed judging panel composed of 11 local and international judges, headed by Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet, the former Economic Advisor to the President of Myanmar, and Deloitte Myanmar participating as the Verifying Partner to ensure transparency and validity of results.
“What a sensational first edition of the Myanmar Employer Awards. It is a honour to establish the first ever awards system that recognizes employer excellence in one of the fastest growing (and least developed) economies in the world. We believe this is a great platform to create awareness of the importance of professional human capital management among local and international organizations operating in the country. Myanmar is growing fast, and we believe the MEA will help create a healthy sense of competition for companies to be recognized as employers of choice. We are overwhelmed by the response we received from all companies and the public, and would like to thank all participants and partners who supported this event, as well as congratulate all winners that stood out in the judges’ eyes!”.” said by Matt De Luca Managing Director of Jobnet.com.mm.”
Companies have applied from all sectors of industry: food and beverage, travel and tourism, telecom, FMCG, distribution, financial services, banking, legal, pharmaceuticals, education and training, chambers of commerce, electronics, construction, medical and more.
THE JUDGING PROCESS
The judging process has been overseen by Dr. Aung Tun Thet, Former Economic Advisor and a well-respected expert in the field of Human Resources. Votes by the judges will be tabulated and verified by Deloitte, the 2017 Official Myanmar Employer Awards Verifying Partner.
ABOUT OUR SPONSORS
Special thanks to Luther Law Firm and Wall Street English, our Platinum Sponsors ,our Gold Sponsor, Samsung, and our Silver Sponsors Power House Fitness Center and Wave Money. The Australian Chamber of Commerce, The American Chamber of Commerce and CCI-France Myanmar join the British Chamber of Commerce Myanmar as Supporting Partners. Votes by the judges will be tabulated and verified by Deloitte Touche, the Myanmar Employer Awards Verifying Partner. We also thank Sule – Shangri-La Hotel, who is our Venue Sponsor.
ABOUT THE MYANMAR EMPLOYER AWARDS
The Myanmar Employer Awards celebrate top industry leaders across the country for their exceptional achievements and relentless commitment to employer excellence and talent management.
Over the course of five months, teams and organisations – both international and local – will be assessed independently based on their individual merits in planning and executing effective best practices. Finalists will be announced in November in the weeks leading up to the awards night. The Myanmar Employer Awards are powered by JobNet.com.mm.
ABOUT MATT DE LUCA
Matt De Luca is the Managing Director for JobNet.com.mm. Before co-founding JobNet in 2015, he worked in the Management Consulting division of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where he was specifically dealing with the impact of technology on banking in the Netherlands. He holds a Masters of Science in Finance from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. Matt is based in Yangon, Myanmar heading up the growth of JobNet.
2. Five things we learned about… leadership development
- Build towards larger, long-term culture change.
Michael Vaz, Director of Learning and Development at Accorhotels Asia Pacific shared the example of placing beanbags – instead of chairs – on the floor during a learning & development session with leaders.
While people were self-conscious and wary at first, they slowly loosened up and tried them out. Beanbags might seem like a trivial matter, but the attitude towards them is representative of a person’s approach to innovative ideas.
“Culture change comes slowly, but small changes can help – plant the seed of belief [in the people you are grooming to be future leaders],” said Vaz.
2. Take care of your middle management
“We make sure that our leaders have the space to act as leaders – in particular, our middle management,” said Marie Petit, Chief HR Officer Asia Pacific, Socomec.
“We try to create that awareness around them, that they are they first and main entry point for their people to experience the company – when our employees see the company, they see it first through the eyes of their (middle) managers.
“So if those people are empowered and understand what the company’s vision is, and what is expected of them, they feel empowered. They are then the biggest leverage to make our people grow,” she added.
3. Look out for and nurture learning agility
Cynthia Lee Mai, Head of Talent & Learning, Asia Pacific & Japan at HP Inc, advised that it was important to pioritise learning agility and adaptability in the next generation of leaders – namely, how fast and quickly can they learn.
“We can’t predict what’s going to happen in the next two years, much less four or five, so it is important for our high-potential talent to be able to learn and adapt to changes,” she said.
“If we can help them now to build their resilience, and ability to handle stress and the fast pace of disruption, they’ll be equipped to take on whatever challenges are thrown at them in the future,” she added.
4. Provide a supportive environment for experimentation
Like Vaz, Mai noted that nurturing an innovative mind-set would be crucial for business survival in the age of disruption. Accordingly, she emphasised that this means encouraging potential leaders to try new projects and approaches without worrying too much about whether they work out or not.
“If we want people to experiment, but if we penalise failures or only talk about success stories, we are not encouraging curiosity,” she said.
“What we need to recognise and reward are the right behaviours,” she added.
5. Own your talent
Arthur Lam, People & Organization Lead, APAC at Syngenta pointed out that high-potential talent cannot be left to grow by themselves. Nor can their development be left to just their line managers.
After all, “if the person is a high-potential, they’ll probably outgrow the manager,” said Lam.
“Development of an organisation’s future leaders needs to involve senior management. The regional or global team need to own such talent; to watch their growth and understand where they are going.”
3. Three Ways HR Execs Can Help Their Organizations Grow
The following are actual snippets of phone calls with senior executives in human resources departments in the days following the post of my recent article 3 Reasons CEOs Should Lose Sleep Over The State Of Their Human Resources Departments.
“Glenn, I never thought about human resources as a growth strategy.”
How did you think about it?
“That if we met our compliance objectives that growth would happen organically elsewhere in the business.”
“Glenn, human resources isn’t something that needs to connect to outcomes in the marketplace. We shouldn’t be accountable to the bottom line. Our business unit leaders are accountable for that”
Why do you think that?
“Because HR is not expected to influence growth outcomes in the marketplace. We are not always included in those conversations because that’s not what is expected from us.”
“Glenn, human resources is not a strategic function in our company.”
Is any other department connected to every other department and all the human capital in your company?
“Well, no. But that’s not its point.”
I could go on. I won’t, because I think the point is clear: My article exacerbated a deep disconnect between how HR is perceived by many organizations and the often-untapped potential it offers them in a business climate that is fueled with change and transformation.
Simply put, most leaders understand the basic function of HR, but they don’t see the bigger opportunities to help them be more inclusive in the workplace to impact marketplace growth. Despite the fact that HR is the spine of most organizations – connected to every part of their “bodies” and essential to keeping things standing and moving forward – they do little to improve its health. They even remove pieces of it and outsource it. Since they have historically viewed the role of HR as compliance, they don’t think anything more of it.
It’s neither human nor a resource to many of them.
But to get caught up on questions of outsourcing misses the point. No matter how lean an HR department becomes, it still connects to all the talent in an organization and every business unit and/or functional department leader. In a traditional workplace, those departments are so silo-ed, they rarely communicate nor evolve fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing workplace and marketplace demands. This has direct implications for a business looking to recreate growth not just manage the growth they have.
When leaders want action now and the implications of that action affects the entire organization, why don’t they think of HR? Why is HR not in the center of corporate growth and transformation and playing a greater role in the company’s goals – not from a compliance standpoint but from a growth standpoint? HR has certainly evolved to be about more than personnel management in many companies, but everything from talent acquisition to maximizing existing talent potential to inclusive leadership still remains elusive.
Part of that is on HR and the way it stays wedded to the templates of the past, requiring steps, documentation, and details just like it must when it comes to the traditional role of compliance, such as cases of discrimination or harassment. HR can’t follow those templates if called on to influence growth outcomes. Leaders who do that need a growth mindset and a sense of urgency to do that. You need agility and to be more of a business consultant to the organization as you proactively touch all parts of it every day. That’s how HR can gain influence in an organization and talk about growth in the workplace as it connects to growth in the marketplace and thus the bottom line.
Part of it is on organizations and their leaders placing HR on the fringe and not seeing it as a business resource. But they should be. HR is uniquely positioned not only to see how people in those organizations are doing from performance and engagement scores but also to understand how talent can influence the future of the business if they are allowed to move outside the box they are given. HR should know who can plug into the roles that will help lead an organization’s transformation.
Any HR person can see the opportunity to attract and retain talent but the next step is to help a business leader do that and influence the direction of the company and understand what this means. To do this, HR must turn the spotlight of accountability on itself and develop the core competencies and skills needed to gain influence beyond compliance.
To help me understand what these competencies are, I turned to Monica Pool Knox, Head of Global Talent Optimization at Microsoft. Monica leads efforts at Microsoft to “design and drive transformative, global talent solutions that optimize how the company identifies future capabilities, employees build career experiences and internal talent is deployed to do leading edge work.” She broke them down into three areas: data interpretation, talent optimization, and personal evolution (not just how it helps people comply with it).
1. Data Interpretation
In today’s business, we can no longer interpret growth through numbers alone: data tells a story and people tell a story. I previously discussed how Mark Cuban believes the skill most in demand will be “creative thinking.” According to Monica, this is no less true for people in HR: “Read, interpret and tell a story through data. This means the ability to identify the key data points from P&Ls and understand what this data says about the business; the ability to glean insights from people data and predict future outcomes with it; and the ability to tell a story and create a vision through data. By learning how to master the use of data, talent leaders can be major influencers in their organizations.”
2. Talent Optimization
I have said it countless times: Today’s leaders must break free from the idea that the business defines the individual (forced assimilation to the company, stripping people of their identities) and instead allow the individual to define the business (and find like-mindedness in our differences). Monica sees this through the lens of HR as well: “See the opportunity to attract and retain talent not through a monolithic lens but through a lens that sees a collection of people shaped by their unique experiences.”
With multi-ethic and racial, multi-generational, and multi-everything people in your business – not to mention globally in the workplace and marketplace – we need to think inclusively and about the individuals around us. As Monica says: “This is not our future reality – this is our reality today. Talent leaders will have to be dialed in to how employee values and perspectives differ. What motivates one person will not motivate the other. It’s our responsibility as talent leaders to lean in to make sure we understand the varied dimensions of our employees and with that insight, provide the right kind of leadership within the organization.”
3. Personal Evolution
“Deliver with a focus on marketing: As particular as business leaders are about implementing a new product or service in the market, HR professionals should be just as particular about internal talent solution rollouts and adoption,” Monica says. “Talent solutions can be tools, processes or concepts. It goes back to storytelling. How do we influence the organization to adopt a talent solution through a clear, thoughtful and compelling campaign where the value proposition is clear?”
Monica is on point with what she says: Thinking about how you can influence a conversation is one thing, knowing the way you have done things and present them may undermine that influence is another. Considering the dynamic nature of business today, HR leaders will be well served to stay both agile in how they work and highly skilled in their capability. In other words, change and transformation starts with you: “The way HR has always done it may not make sense in the future,” adds Monica. “Talent leaders will be well served to stay on top of external industry trends and use that insight to evolve traditional ways of thinking and working. Unless it’s the timeless values of treating people with respect and assuming positive intent, performing a practice for the same way for 15 years might be one to consider evolving.”
Talent and HR executives like Monica are exceptional in the way they see these things but there are many more like her – who don’t yet – but are hungry for more. They have untapped potential to help organizations lead in these three areas for the future. If they commit to developing these core competencies, will leaders give them that proverbial seat at the table? They must. Will they be able to assert themselves in conversations about growth from the center of the organization, not the fringe? They must.
HR can be the team that breaks down the silos and help everyone see opportunity in everything and anticipate what is to come. They can lead with a true innovation mentality.
4. Top in Talent: Wellington, New Zealand Attracts Global Tech Talent
DCI is always on the lookout for incredible talent attraction stories. Earlier in the year, we got wind of a particularly interesting campaign in New Zealand’s capital city, and we couldn’t help taking notice.
Wellington, NZ is a rising center for tech and creative industries, located at the very bottom of the country’s North Island. With ocean views and a vibrant culture, this city would seem like an obvious choice for professionals looking to advance their careers. However, following an all too familiar narrative of places throughout the world, Wellington companies were struggling to attract talent, particularly in the tech industry.
The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) recognized this problem and came up with a solution, the LookSee Wellington talent attraction campaign, launched in February 2017. This idea would eventually go on to earn them the 2017 Innovation award from Economic Development New Zealand. DCI recently had a conversation with David Jones, the General Manager of Growth and Innovation at WREDA, reflecting on the experience.
“What you’d find if you came to Wellington is that people are deeply passionate about this place. It’s a compact city that seems to attract people who have an aspirational career and quality of life,” explains Jones.
Centered around global tech talent attraction, LookSee Wellington took the world by storm. Project partners WREDA, recruitment agency Work Here and Immigration NZ, created a well-designed website and video with a simple application, seeking qualified professionals interested in making the move to Wellington. In return? Selected candidates would be flown out free of charge and be given a week of networking with top New Zealand companies, as well as information sessions about immigration and daily life. Organizers of this campaign knew that to really attract talent to their location, candidates had to see the city for themselves, up close and personal.
After several top media outlets such as the New York Times, Forbes and Mashable got a hold of the story, qualified applicants from across the world flooded in, totaling well over 45,000.
Jones explaines, “It’s been an incredible campaign for the level of ROI, with millions of dollars in media coverage; for the level of investment we put in, it’s fantastic.”
When it came time for the week of interviews, executives from top companies were thrilled with the candidates who were invited to Wellington. As of today, 40+ people have either begun living and working in Wellington, or are moving through the interview and immigration process.
“It’s been great giving people the opportunity and platform to go and fulfill their ambitions. For us as a city, continuing to bring in more candidates will make an incredible difference to our economy,” says Jones.
The LookSee story doesn’t stop there, either. Not only are candidates from the original applicant database connecting with new Wellington employers and job opportunities on an ongoing basis, other regions of New Zealand are lining up to present their employment opportunities to the talent pool. The LookSee model is also being expanded by Workhere for New Zealand’s booming construction sector, with LookSee Build.
What DCI Loves About This Campaign
Solved a Problem Many Local Employers Were Facing
Talent recruitment was a reoccurring issue for many employers in the Wellington area. When the concept of LookSee was brought to local companies, WREDA was met with enthusiasm on several fronts.
According to Jones, “[Recruitment] was a common issue that was potentially constraining a lot of employers in our great potential market. As we proposed this campaign it just struck a chord with everybody and addressed a problem that was felt by a number of companies.
Provided Practical Resources for Moving to New Zealand
LookSee’s commitment to helping new talent make a smooth transition immigrating to New Zealand set this campaign apart from others. With a full week of events for attendees and involvement from Immigration New Zealand, Work Here, WREDA and professional tech organizations, candidates were given huge opportunities.
“In the mornings we put on information events around buying/renting houses, schooling, immigration and other practical things necessary to move around the world. Afterwards, candidates who were invited to set up interviews were given arrangements to meet with various employers.
“In the evenings we hosted events about Wellington life; everything from mountain biking to visiting national museums, craft beer/wine tasting events and more. We wanted to give them a range of experiences we have to offer,” describes Jones.
Helped the City of Wellington’s Brand
When asked about the biggest takeaways from the LookSee campaign, Jones spoke on behalf of the city: “The brand of Wellington has been hugely enhanced by the LookSee Wellington campaign and has helped position us as a technology hub. We were looking for an opportunity to tell that story and this gave us a chance to do it, so from a marketing point of view it’s been worth its weight in gold.”
What this campaign managed to achieve went far beyond a few dozen new employees; LookSee put Wellington on the map not only as a great place to live, but also as a great place to relocate in the tech industry.
Sought Out Talent for the Long Term
A factor that sometimes gets swept under the rug in talent attraction is a commitment to long-term relocation and creating a sustainable workforce that will last. WREDA recognized this and specifically targeted candidates who were serious about relocation.
Jones explains, “According to Immigration New Zealand, from the time you decide to move to actually doing it takes about 18 months… We recognized it’s a long-term commitment from Wellington, the employers and the candidates. If they’re serious about moving, then we’re going to help make that happen.”
This campaign is a great example of the magic that happens when an idea resonates with local stake-holders and talent. Wellington identified a need in their economy and provided a realistic solution that companies simply could not pass up. Moreover, not only did they accomplish their main goal of bringing in new tech talent, but they also enhanced their city’s brand and earned millions of dollars in media coverage.
In his personal blog, Allen Geer—one of the candidates selected from LookSee—puts it simply: “There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t been immensely thankful that somewhere on the other side of the world, on an isolated island in a little city, a group of folks put together a contest to bring me to Wellington.”
5. Death of the dreaded annual evaluation? One can hope
For decades, it’s been an annual ritual for most white-collar employees that occurs around this time of year: Take stock of the past year’s job performance and prepare to discuss that and goal achievement with their boss and hope all the subjectivity adds up to a raise or a bonus.
But the old paradigm of how to reinforce and achieve desired behaviors is shifting from a once-a-year, face-to-face encounter to supervisors giving their employees quarterly, or even instant, informal feedback to guide them throughout the work year and avoid surprises along the way.
“The traditional performance review has been practiced in many, if not most, organizations as a once-a-year, by-the-seat-of-the-pants, informal discussion about very subjective topics that may, or may not, relate directly to an employee’s actual performance,” said Bettina Deynes, interim chief human resources officer for the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va.
“It has been every bit as frustrating for the employee as for the employer and generally has not been productive in changing performance or behaviors,” she said.
What has changed and what is working is the increased frequency of the evaluation interview.
Some organizations that are making this change are adopting quarterly reviews, and some others, such as General Electric Co., are developing apps for smartphones that encourage supervisors and their employees to communicate regularly, even daily, on the subject.
“Another change, and a welcome one for many, is the direct tie-in between the performance management system and the strategic plan and job descriptions in a few innovative enterprises,” Deynes said. “This adds a quantitative element to performance reviews that can be more easily related to goal and objective accomplishment, as well as overall performance success.”
Companies that still cling to outdated performance metrics that focus on traits and characteristics as opposed to competencies and performance are increasingly in the minority, said Meloney Sallie-Dosunmu, founder and president of Precision Talent International in Allentown.
“Organizations that have transactional HR departments are not getting the best performance out of their employees,” she said. “They’re just checking boxes.”
All of her 15 clients are using a performance appraisal process, but they’re using robust talent management technology for succession planning and measuring performance more than once a year to help ensure employees are aligned with and understand the organization’s goals and vision.
“What I’m seeing is more of an evolution of the performance appraisal process, where HR is functioning as a business partner,” Sallie-Dosunmu said.
A certain amount of anxiety over being held accountable will always surface with employee-boss encounters over performance, but establishing so-called smart goals allows both sides to track and quantify the quality of work over the course of the year to help defuse the tension.
Some organizations use the acronym SMART to definite their goals as specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (with a deadline).
“Organizations are trending toward smart goals because they’re specific and measurable, not someone else’s judgment,” Sallie-Dosunmu said, and allow employees to control their success during a year.
“Managers should be there to help someone through a career development process.”
NO MAGIC BULLET
To be sure, all employers are concerned with performance management and employee productivity, said Bob Orzechowski, a board member of the Berks County chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.
“Employers are faced with many variables and must try to strike a balance among them daily,” he said. “The human asset component is usually one of the largest expenses for any firm, so managing employee performance is always on the employer’s mind.”
Given the vast array of firms (size, culture, workforce composition and technology), industries and other organizations today, there is simply no one formula for success, Orzechowski said.
“It is generally accepted that employees want to know how they are doing; they want meaningful work and recognition for good performance,” he noted. “Thus, the real question for HR is how to align employee expectations with the employer’s need to remain competitive and productive.”
There are tools and solutions that can be brought to bear for most workplace performance situations and conditions, and few people are experts in all of them, said Orzechowski, chief operating officer of the Lancaster Cancer Center.
“The key is to know which tools and solutions to use in which situations,” he said.
Lancaster Cancer Center, for example, employs highly skilled Registered Nurses and uses a competency-based job description and appraisal process for them and other clinical staff and office staff, and each has a performance appraisal document fit to their jobs, which focus on essential functions.
“The review is held annually, but interaction is regular and constant, as we are all in one facility,” Orzechowski said. “Any needed intervention and accommodations are addressed as they manifest. We do not see the anxiety or deleterious impact on the employee-manager relationship.
“Even when a marginal employee must be coached, counseled or disciplined, it is not a surprise and it all usually works out well,” he said. “A key is to hire well so we can manage more easily.”
Performance reviews in the nonprofit world also are commonplace but changing to accommodate more frequent conversations.
For the full-time staff members at Moravian College in Bethlehem, the annual performance assessment still applies.
“I think we owe it to our employees to sit down with them at least once per year and discuss how they are doing,” said Jon Conrad, vice president for human resources. “Ideally, it is a synopsis of discussions throughout the year about how their work relates to the strategic plan of the college.”
Moravian employees monitor their goals quarterly to make sure goals are on target and to avoid surprises during review time.
While acknowledging that no one looks forward to annual reviews, Conrad said they are “very necessary.”
From a legal standpoint, employers should be mindful of not giving false performance reviews, which can be tempting when work relationships evolve into friendships over time.
“When employees bring claims of discrimination or retaliation based on employment decisions, the employer must provide legitimate business reasons for the decisions being challenged,” said Keely Jac Collins, a Bethlehem labor and employment attorney.
“Even where the employee has a history of discipline, positive evaluations may undermine an employer’s ability to credibly assert that poor performance was the reason for the decision.”
Employers may want to consider assuming the role of mentor with their employees to keep the work relationship positive and productive without losing objectivity, she said, adding that employees are looking for opportunity and engagement as primary motivators “as opposed to just a paycheck.”
LINKED TO LOYALTY, MORALE
Although employee engagement is the buzzword in HR these days, companies are still concerned about employee loyalty and morale.
“All three are important to a growing and successful enterprise,” Deynes said. “Many companies are still trying to figure out how to make that trifecta work effectively for them.
“What they do not yet realize is that effective performance management systems will take them a long way in that direction.”
BUILD YOUR OWN
A successful formula combines much more frequent reviews; review conferences that are short and to the point; quantitatively measurable criteria for performance measurement; measurement criteria that are directly tied into the organizational strategic plan and individual job descriptions; and use of cutting-edge technology to assist in implementing reviews and review schedules.
“In addition, thought leaders in more progressive companies are encouraging supervisors and employees to develop their own standards of performance together as a part of the ongoing performance management system,” Deynes said.
“People will support this when they have a direct hand in creating it.”
Do you like the articles? We update these trends everyday. Come back tomorrow for more interesting articles. Feel free to share them with your co-workers or friends.
(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)