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The Art of Conscious Leadership in Human Resources

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Finalists of the 2016 APAC Conscious Business Leadership Awards share insights and examples of how they are bringing a higher level of consciousness to talent engagement and recruitment across their respective organisations. Nominations for the 2017 awards will open up soon.

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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The Art of Conscious Leadership in Human Resources

  1. 1. T H E A R T O F C O N S C I O U S L E A D E R S H I P I N H U M A N R E S O U R C E S
  2. 2. FOREWORD The global talent landscape is changing and so is the relationship between companies and employees. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report, millennials make up more than half of today’s workforce and they expect much more in terms of career development and progression. At the same time, the ubiquitous spread of digital technology is disrupting and redefining workplace dynamics everywhere. For organisations, there is a growing challenge to attract and retain quality hires, with talent engagement becoming an increasingly important part of the process. From surveying employee concerns to developing platforms for conversation and programmes for action, business leaders and key decision makers in Asia are consciously driving greater engagement efforts across all levels as part of establishing a more open and transparent organisational culture. In a series of rare contributions, a number of LinkedIn Conscious Business Leadership Award 2016 finalists share insights and examples of how they are bringing a higher level of consciousness to talent engagement and recruitment across their respective organisations, and the positive changes that have resulted. These are stories of Human Resource Leaders who are making a positive difference to talent attraction, engagement, loyalty and organisational culture through their strategy and approach. 1
  3. 3. It’s not about business models, processes and policies – it’s about making a difference, and being authentic. Anuradha Purbey Human Resources Director AVIVA SINGAPORE 2
  4. 4. BRINGING CORE LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES TO LIFE Anu believes that organisations that are built on trust, honest conversations and empowerment will thrive in good times and when faced with challenges, they will have the resilience to turn them into opportunities. Together with strong leadership capabilities, these are the pillars that will enable them to reinvent themselves quickly and transform to stay ahead of the game. Last year, Aviva announced that it was concluding its partnership with a key distributor. As People Director, Anu knew the organisation was at a crossroads and that it was critical to engage employees and bring them on board the new business strategy to deliver results. That was the best opportunity to bring the Aviva leadership principles to life. It was about being courageous in choosing a different direction for the company for long-term benefit; being present as the CEO, together with Anu, made floor visits to speak to employees and ensure every member of the team understood the direction and rationale for the change; being authentic by presenting the facts and not just giving a positive spin; and, being vulnerable by admitting the leadership team did not have all the answers at that point. Even amidst the change, Aviva’s employee engagement score hit a five-year high while attrition fell to a five-year low in that year. 3
  5. 5. Ewan Clarkson Partner, Human Capital PWC CHINA/HONG KONG Conscious Leadership is being mindful and aware of what it takes to lead in today’s fast-changing business environment, especially during crises or difficult situations. 4
  6. 6. When talent retention was a challenge for PwC China/ Hong Kong in 2010, Ewan launched the "PwC Experience - Breakthrough Programme" together with the organisation's senior leadership. Aimed at driving cultural and behavioural transformation, the programme was designed to change and improve employee interaction, communication and engagement. A “Breakthrough Blog” was created to drive authenticity, transparency and action within the firm. The online platform has enabled PwC professionals at all levels to exchange ideas, confidently raise pertinent questions and discuss issues with the management on a regular basis. These include questions and hot topics related to the firm’s culture, ways of working and business. Business unit leaders across China and Hong Kong have responded publicly with follow-up actions, which has helped drive an open, dynamic and engaged environment within PwC. The blog is now being transformed into a mobile application called Inspire. “Breakthrough Ideas” have also been introduced to encourage a new culture of innovative thinking and co-created ideas among PwC employees, who are encouraged to provide proposals and solutions to some of the most persistent challenges. The most innovative and practical solutions were implemented during the busy seasons, and the feedback was positive. The engagement score increased from 44% to 76% over recent years. Ewan believes that strong employee engagement today is closely linked with purpose and meaningful work. It starts with building a clear understanding of purpose and its importance, inspiring professionals to embrace it and, most importantly, empowering them to drive the purpose with actions on a daily basis. LEADING A BREAKTHROUGH TRANSFORMATION 5
  7. 7. Mariawaty Santoso Head of Human Resources PT AIA FINANCIAL INDONESIA Treat the business as though it is your own - make decisions with accountability and responsibility. 6
  8. 8. BUILDING A NEW CULTURE FROM GROUND UP Maria joined AIA in 2010, shortly before AIA became a publicly listed company in Hong Kong. She was recruited to create a new culture of empowerment, transparency and performance, all of which did not exist in the past. Before her tenure, HR was only an administrative function with no systems in place for benefits, hiring, performance measurement and development. She successfully rejuvenated HR from a purely administrative function into becoming a strategic business partner for the operating units. Maria with her team transformed the organisation from one that was fully entrenched in working in silos to one that is aligned with HQ culture of empowerment, transparency and performance oriented. Maria believes in growing talent in the business with an organic strategy of developing leaders. Her leadership principles revolve around making decisions with accountability. She recognised that there were weak leadership capabilities; hence she led the set up of a leadership coaching program where she personally mentors the leaders through regular conversations to build the culture of empowerment. She instilled the culture of transparency by keeping employee engagement at the centre. “REACH”, a digital channel for employees was introduced to send their feedback via WhatsApp to an HR-managed account, which has helped them gather rich feedback, and is very well-received among employees. Maria led her team to streamline 26 rankings to 14 rankings, rewrote the KPIs for all levels of employees, and explained the details to all employees to give people clear performance goals to achieve. All the above efforts in engaging employees had a tangible impact, which is evident from Gallup Employee Engagement Survey results - the score increased from 3.59 in 2011 to 4.27 in 2015. AIA’s new business ranking in the industry improved from #9 in 2010 to #2 in 2015. 7
  9. 9. Prashant Sharma President, Global Human Resources & Corporate Communications ZYDUS CADILA INDIA Being true to oneself and one's convictions in alignment with objectives of the organisation and society as a whole is the key to conscious business leadership. 8
  10. 10. REDEFINING THE FRAMEWORK FOR TALENT ACQUISITION Prashant's mandate was to ensure that HR had a strong business immersion. In addition, he had to ensure that HR supported the organisation’s global expansion strategy, which would have a wide impact on recruitment, performance measurement and training and development for a culturally-diverse workforce. To recruit across different countries and cultures, there was a need for a global definition on three fundamental elements: (a) The selection criteria for functional and leadership competencies; (b) Effective tools and techniques to measure these competencies and (c) Programmes to ensure leaders are trained in these tools and kept up to date in their knowledge. Prashant thus worked with Hay group to develop the Competency Framework which defines employees’ behavioural competencies at various levels. The framework was co-created with hundreds of employees through rigorous interviews and focus group discussions to identify the behaviours and measurement systems that are relevant across roles globally. Current behaviours and behaviours which would serve future organisational needs and design, were taken into account. With the help of Development Dimensions International, workshops were conducted where over 1,000 managers globally were trained on how to apply the framework. The team also partnered with third parties and became the first non-IT company to recruit entirely through full-fledged Assessment Centres. Leaders who have been trained in Behavioural Event Interviews would assess and select the talent according to the framework. Since then, the quality of new hires has improved significantly and there has been an increase in performance within the first six months while infancy attrition has dropped by 50%. 9
  11. 11. Ramzi N. Jabara Head of Human Resources, Administration & Personnel CONSOLIDATED CONTRACTORS COMPANY AUSTRALIA The essence of Conscious Leadership lies in putting people first in decision making. 10
  12. 12. DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE THROUGH A PEOPLE-FIRST APPROACH As the Head of Human Resources, Administration and Personnel at Consolidated Contractors Company, Ramzi led the recruitment campaign and process for the largest liquefied natural gas pipeline project in Australia. Besides the recruitment of 1,300 personnel of various skills based on a steep histogram, Ramzi was also tasked with creating and implementing a plan to engage traditional owners of the land to become part of their own indigenous economic strategy - a sustainable resource project which delivered both social and economic benefits. Throughout the project, he stayed true to the company’s vision and values while maintaining a strong commitment to the community, working closely with indigenous groups to empower them through employment. With a sustainable source of income, individuals could then provide clothing, food, schooling, and healthcare to children and extended family members. The initiative also offered fully provisioned camp facilities, great wages and, most importantly, the chance to undergo nationally recognised training. This ultimately contributed to improving the skills of local communities and boosting the local economy. In addition, Ramzi and his team have developed a new employee development programme to induct new employees into the company’s culture and minimise accidents and injuries by inculcating them with the organisation’s safety standards. In order to promote a culture of openness and honest communication, he regularly visits the construction site to gather first-hand feedback on people’s vision for the future. A believer of creating opportunities for people, most of his time and efforts are centred round designing and promoting innovative approaches to train and develop employees, and creating succession plans for people’s careers. Examples include leadership programmes, industrial relations workshops, induction programmes, and cross-functional training. 11
  13. 13. Peter Ling Director Human Resources OD MAH SING GROUP BERHAD MALAYSIA What differentiates a great leader from a good one is the heart to consciously lead others without dictating them, to influence without commanding and to achieve effectiveness without arrogance. 12
  14. 14. THE POWER OF TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT When Peter first joined OD Mah Sing Group Berhad, the company was grappling with issues like a fragmented Group Human Resource (GHR) department, a leadership gap in HR and customer service challenges. Unfazed, he proceeded to restructure the GHR department into one coherent unit. Consciously applying the company’s mission and values, Peter played a major role in developing POWER, a set of values which stands for Performance, Ownership, Well-being, Empowerment and Resourcefulness within the company. Peter facilitated the drive to transform the culture of the organisation from one that was “traditional” to one that is open, progressive and empowering. GHR town hall meetings, which were initially deemed unproductive, are now taking place more frequently, during which people have become more open to giving and receiving feedback. A mentoring programme was also set up to ensure that the older employees and younger employees are well integrated, and to reinforce the change in culture across the organisation. He was instrumental in implementing the Leadership Excellence Advancement and Development (LEAD) Project to identify, develop and retain good talent. Under the programme, fresh graduates with well-rounded capabilities are recruited and trained for three months. Over the past two years, 50 students have been recruited and 75% of them are still with the company today and are doing well. The initiative has been extended to existing employees and it grows in popularity, with each training programme attracting full attendance. 13
  15. 15. Sudhir Dhar Head of Human Resources MOTILAL OSWAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LTD INDIA Conscious Business Leadership is about influencing people to get the right things done. 14
  16. 16. STRENGTHENING COHESION THROUGH OPEN COMMUNICATION Leveraging technology and using continuous engagement with employees to build a future-ready organisation that will stand the test of time has been Sudhir’s motto in his ten years plus at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Sudhir launched the internal HR app “MyzOne”, which enables all employees to conduct transactional activities with the HR department on the move and removed the hassle of daily attendance logging by capturing the GPS location of the employees when in the vicinity of the office premises and thus automatically marking attendance. In the last one year, Sudhir, in line with the business needs, added close to more than 50% of the then workforce aided by changes in the ATS and processes in more than 150 locations across India, while maintaining the same size of the recruitment team. He is renowned for getting the best out of his employees by continuously engaging them with initiatives like “Dil Se” (meaning ‘open to discuss with me’) and the “Coffee with the Chairman” forum where employees can discuss any issue with Human Resources and the company’s Chairman. He also launched an internal radio station “Radiomasti”, which hosts a daily, hour-long program where employees can keep abreast about the latest developments in the organisation and are frequently invited to share their views on areas concerning the organisation and themselves. It can also be downloaded on the internal HRMS portal. Coming from a ‘Training and Development’ background, Sudhir takes an active interest and part in coaching initiatives like “IDP or Individual Development Plans” for the senior management and leaders. He introduced the “Internal Career Development” option for both developing and maintaining high potential and high performing employees in the junior to mid management. It is a testimony of the success of his initiatives that more than 89% of the employees love working in the organisation as indicated by external engagement surveys and cultural audits like Gallup. 15
  17. 17. Harshvendra Soin Senior Vice President and Country Head (Enterprise) - Canada TECH MAHINDRA INDIA Leadership is about pushing your limits, challenging the status quo and driving positive change. *Won the award as Head Global Leadership Acquisition & Development 16
  18. 18. INVESTING IN LEADERSHIP TALENT A big believer in driving positive change across the organisation, Harsh designed the 1000 Leaders programme – a self-nominated programme for employees who desire to grow as leaders, one which aimed to grow the talent pool and encourage people to believe in themselves. Employees are chosen according to rigorous selection criteria, based on competencies and performance (including 360-degree feedback and psychometric tests). Over a period of three years, the programme has identified over 800 leaders. To support these leaders, avenues have been created for them to provide feedback. These include a mentoring programme where each leader is mentored by a senior manager and a website where top management staff can view new job opportunities within the organisation globally. These leaders are encouraged to take on critical roles within the organisation. As a testimony of the programme’s success over the past few years, the attrition rate for leaders has been reduced to almost half of the company average. As part of this initiative, 150 leaders across the world have also been identified to be brand ambassadors responsible for evangelising new practices amongst other employees through formal and informal channels such as the company blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. The 1000 Leaders programme has gained significant recognition internally and externally. In particular, it has earned accolades from the National Human Resources Development Network and is now used as a benchmark in the industry. 17
  19. 19. Wendy Tan Human Resources Director, Asia UNITY TECHNOLOGIES SINGAPORE Be open, empathetic and always strive to do better. 18
  20. 20. POWERING UP FOR SUCCESS As Human Resources Director, Wendy is proof that Unity Technologies takes talent development and employee welfare very seriously despite being a young company with a flat hierarchy. In 2016, Wendy initiated leadership training targeted at senior level employees, who have played a key role in growing the business since the first Asian office was set up five years earlier, empowering them with critical skills to strengthen their role as leaders. Wendy’s team also developed a training manual coined ‘The Learning Menu’, which now serves as a key resource listing the training opportunities available to all employees. Designed to make learning and self-improvement a simple task for staff, the team analysed the training needs of each office before identifying a set of relevant programmes to be conducted by vendors selected by local teams. A performance review process was also implemented, where managers check in with their employees every quarter regarding their goals alignment and career progress. As part of a learning journey coined “Power Up” – in conjunction with the company’s gaming business, training programmes are also selected through a process of consultation and consensus. Deftly coming up with solutions to address existing gaps, Wendy’s role is important. For new hires, she created a buddy system to better assimilate them into the company. In addition, knowing that Japanese employees value family time although they tend to overwork, she introduced a five-day floating leave entitlement that enabled them to take extended time off during public holidays to visit their hometowns. 19
  21. 21. About the Awards: We are in the second year of the Conscious Business Leadership Awards. A unique platform that LinkedIn instituted in 2015, to recognize HR leaders of organisations in the Asia-Pacific region who demonstrate that being a true leader involves being mindful of building and managing an environment of trust, integrity and openness – thereby encouraging employees and colleagues to be well-rounded, grounded individuals. Today's business leaders need to be 'Conscious Leaders' - those who are successful not because of their experience or academic qualifications, but those who are passionate about their work and exemplify their values to everyone in the organisation. This thinking elevates an organisation and transforms it into a place where trust and integrity are at the heart of the business, driving a collective goal to be better employees, colleagues and overall human beings. The LinkedIn Conscious Business Leadership Awards are inspired by the seminal work of Fred Kofman, who has published a critically acclaimed book in business management by the same name. "Conscious Business- How to Build Value Through Values" The awards aim to celebrate HR Leaders across these four categories: • Management Maestro • Talent Magnet • Culture Champion • Loyalty Advocate View the winners and finalists of the 2016 Conscious Business Leadership Award: https://business.linkedin.com/en-sg/talent-solutions/s/16/2/o/conscious-biz-awards 20
  22. 22. About LinkedIn Talent Solutions LinkedIn Talent Solutions offers a full range of recruiting solutions to help organisations of all sizes find, attract and engage the best talent. Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With over 433 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Subscribe to our blog Talent.linkedin.com/blog Check out our Slideshare slideshare.net/linkedin-talent-solutions Follow us on Twitter @hireonlinkedin See our videos on YouTube youtube.com/user/LITalentSolutions Get additional insights talent.linkedin.com Connect with us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/linkedin-talent-solutions 21

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