Key takeaways from HR Summit & Expo Asia 2017 day one

Airbnb, eBay and Henkel were among the organisations that shared unique HR insights on the opening day this year.

Day one of the HR Summit & Expo Asia 2017 got off to a great start, as HR and business leaders from a number of global organisations shared key talent management insights to a packed house of over 1,000 HR professionals.

Airbnb’s talent management strategy

At the Plenary track, accommodation disruptor Airbnb’s Asia Pacific talent head Ken Hoskin shared how the company shapes culture and drives productivity – it treats all employees as founders.

In order to do this, Hoskin says the company has had to be transparent with all information. Airbnb conducts regular video meetings with all 3,000 employees globally, updating them of latest company updates and plans.

Another key component in this strategy is the growth and recognition of employees.

“Companies have to help employees take on a growth mindset. This means that employees have to grow their skill sets as their company grow,” says Hoskin.

On the recognition front, the organisation gives out equity to top-performing staff every year, among other incentives.

Hoskin believes this approach has been extremely beneficial for the platform.

“All this helps us go through rapid periods of change more easily because the change management process has been on-going,” he says.

How Henkel has built a lean and agile organisation

Over at the C-Suite Symposium, consumer goods company Henkel Singapore’s President Thomas Holenia discussed the company’s goal of increasing organisational agility by 2020, and its plans to achieving this.

Holenia said the organisation has narrowed this down to three strategic priorities: energised and empowered team, fastest product time-to-market and smart simplicity.

To energise and empower its people, Holenia says the company has to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of employees, enlarge their decision-making powers and promote openness to change.

Fastest time-to-market will require Henkel to digitally transform the organisation. This will include enhancing capabilities of its people and expanding digital training and development programmes.

Holenia shares how the digital transformation has led to all 40,000 employees globally upgrading to Microsoft’s Office 365 programme. This has resulted in greater efficiency and higher productivity.

Ebay’s one-stop HR shop

Online retailer eBay started its transformation process in 2010, but as its Asia Pacific senior director of HR Klaus Duetoft shared in the Redesign room, this journey is still ongoing.

In 2010, eBay’s HR underwent a global transformation, introducing an internal HR platform called MyHR.

Today, MyHR delivers 95% of the employee experience for the company, from HR IT platform familiarisation courses to performance management frameworks.

“It’s not an overnight process,” says Duetoft, adding that the company has not stopped tweaking the MyHR portal, and has introduced several new systems and software programmes such as Workday and Salesforce.

One of the key benefits of MyHR, he says, is it empowers employees to take charge of their own matters, while increasing manager effectiveness.

“Ebay is an extremely intense organisation. For people coming from other sectors, that can be earth-shattering,” says Duetoft.

“So as HR, the question is ‘how do you ensure new employees want to jump in and become part of the family?”

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