HR Summit 2018: Day Two – Five things we learned

Here are our key takeaways from Day Two of HR Summit & Expo Asia 2018.

1. HR should be human, be brave, and be agents of change

Tricia Duran, Head of HR, Unilever Asia, said during her panel that in the face of technology, HR should on the contrary, be human. "We need to have a blended approach through having some element of humanity as well," she says.

Her fellow panellist Gaurav Hirey, Group Director of HR and Talent Development at Teledirect Singapore, says HR should not be afraid of leading their companies' technological pursuits. "HR has to be bold and brave," says Hirey.

2. Experimentation is how you get analytics right

Jordan Pettman, Nestlé’s Global Head of People Data, Analytics, and Planning, told a packed crowd at the Transform and Redesign stream, that the company actually experimented with the "Random Forest Analysis" approach, before discovering that it yielded no usable data. 

"Random Forest told us that an employee was more likely to leave if they are aged 23 and over. That's practically everyone," Pettman shares, adding that Nestlé eventually settled on the Survival Analysis approach as a way of predicting attrition. 

3. Social sharing is a great employer branding tool

"LinkedIn is a powerful tool for us to get our employees to shout out about us as a company, and what it's like to work here," says Lim Teck Yong, Head of Regional Operations and People Team, Shopee, during a panel discussion at the start-up stream.

The company encourages every employee, whether they're from corporate or from logistics, to actively post about their experience at the company, under the hashtag of "#LifeatShopee".

"This has also helped us to create an enjoyable culture," says Lim. 

4. Netflix’s open culture

Tadhg Bourke, Director of Global Employee Services at Netflix, outlined the three core principles that shape the culture at Netflix, the international entertainment and tech giant: 1) Context not control, 2) highly aligned, loosely coupled, 3) freedom and responsibility.

Employees at Netflix are empowered to make decisions – the organisation's structure could almost be seen as flat, where managers are seen as coaches, not approvers. Transparency is also highly valued, with incoming employees given access to information from the moment they step in -- this enables a highly collaborative environment.

5. Creating a high-performance environment

Nicola Marzicola, Regional Head of HR for Asia-Pacific and Japan at HP Inc talked about how the company created an environment that engenders high-performance. This, after Hewlett-Packard split into HP Inc (the computers & printers arm), and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

"One of the most powerful ways to ensure an environment of high-performance is by rooting the company in a growth mind-set - where employees are encouraged to take risks, ask questions, give authentic feedback, and continuously work to improve perfroamcen of themselves and the business," said Marzicola.

When HP made the split, leaders at the new HP Inc. wanted their people to change the way they worked, she added.

"We wanted them to think like a start-up that has the power of a Fortune 500 company. To do this, you need to start at the top. What leadership needs to do in terms of the way they communicate. We no longer have quarterly business reviews. Instead we have workshops. We want to know how to help each other tackle challenges and solve the problems they have," she said.


HR Summit & Expo Asia 2018 is took place at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 9 and 10. Check out the full list of coverage here.

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