Live from the HRM Awards 2018

Relive every moment of the #HRMAwards2018, with this live blog from the event on March 2.

What: HRM Awards 2018

When: Friday 2nd March, 2018

Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, Grand Ballroom (Level 1)




That’s all folks! Thank you to our amazing host, Nikki Muller, our wonderful partners and title sponsors, the organising committee, and of course, the HR community here in Singapore and Southeast Asia that came out tonight to celebrate together. Thank you for all your continued support.


Please do keep an eye for more photos and write-ups about the winners in the coming weeks. Until next year, good night! We'll be off partying the night away, and hope you'll be doing the same!



Hays Award for Employer of Choice: Tan Tock Seng Hospital


“It is indeed a very lovely surprise and we’re very grateful for this kind recognition and to be among some of these great organisations in this room. To be recognised as the Employer of Choice is indeed very humbling."


"I would like to thank my team especially, as in many ways it’s the team that makes it happen for all of us, and helps us develop better people to deliver better care, and to build a better community. ” - Eugene Fidelis Soh, CEO




SME Employer of the Year: Gardens by the Bay


“Thank you so very much. 15 years ago, one man had a vision to build a national icon for Singapore. But who can imagine that in fifteen years, on a reclaimed piece of land in tropical singapore, one can see tulips and even cherry blossoms. Yes, it’s coming back to gardens by the bay in two weeks time so do visit us."


"Thank you to our founding CEO, our fabulous HR team here for everything they’ve done, and our 300 staff who made everything happen. We manage our people the same way we treat our plants: with tender loving care.” - Felix Loh, CEO




We're back, after some HRM Magazine Asia style witty repartee! Congratulations to Vodafone, the winners of the HRM Magazine Award for the HR Team of the Year.



Congratulations also to:

Best Change Management Strategies: Sanofi



Best C-Suite Leader: Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer, Changi Airport Group




Apologies, everyone -- Kelvin and Yamini are now being whisked off because they will be presenting one of the next awards, for the HRM Magazine Award for HR Team of the Year. Our liveblog will return once they’ve completed their presenter duties.



Best Workplace Culture & Engagement (<500 Employees): Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore At Zhongshan Park


“This is really a recognition of our culture which is to count on me. We’re in the hospitality industry and take care of guests, but more importantly we also have to take care of our employees. Thank you to my HR team for all their contributions and support.  ” - Josephine Chua, Director of HR & Quality



Best Workplace Culture & Engagement (>500 Employees): Changi Airport Group


“We’re really delighted and honoured. Thank you to judges for this recognition. I guess many of you will agree that the right workplace culture is very instrumental at engaging our employees and getting the best out of our people. And yet building culture is not an easy concept, it’s a long and hard journey."


"We’ll be celebrating this milestone together and hope this can be a motivating force for our employees.” - Justina Tan, Managing Director, People




Back to tonight's awards segments! First up, Best Workplace Culture & Engagement.



Fun, fun - we've got a little blooper reel up from the various finalist videos.



Huge thanks to our sponsors -- Hays, Singapore Institute of Management, and the Kaplan Institute.



Our second break of this fabulous evening sees hilarious standup comedian Sharul Channa take the stage to amuse the audience with some workplace-themed zingers!




Time for the lucky draws! Woo! First prize is a complimentary staycation here at the Ritz-Carlton! We've also got Apple TVs and CapitaLand vouchers! Congratulations to all the lucky people who scored these amazing prizes.



Outstanding Contribution to HR: Aileen Tan, Group Chief Human Resource Officer, Singtel


“I guess the first thing I want to say is thank you very very much. This award is not possible without each and everyone one of you. It’s only with the HR community that we can make that impact in our organisation."

"I stepped into this profession thirty years ago and I chose to be in HR. I felt that through HR, I could make a huge impact to the business. With my fellow HR community here, I feel we can make that impact.


"This award is not just for me, it’s for each and everyone of you because all of us have made a huge impact to the entire business world and the profession all of us have chosen to be in. this is dedicated to HR professionals in Singapore tonight." - Aileen Tan




Human Resource Executive Magazine HR Technology

Award for Best HR Leader: Shaun Ee, Head, Group Human Resources, Commonwealth Capital


“I met a lot of old friends here tonight and a lot of them told me great job Shaun but I just have to say I'm very fortunate to have been able to stand on the shoulders of giants throughout my career, and it’s really because of them that I’m able to be where I am today.
"A lot of people have helped me along the way and I'm honoured to be receiving this. I would like to thank my team at Commonwealth Capital and my family who has been supporting me along the way, and without whom none of this would be possible.” - Shaun Ee

HR Manager of the Year: Nikhil Dhawan, Senior Regional Human Resource Manager, Dell


“I want to thank HRM Asia for giving me this award. Dell management - my boss sitting there, Andy, has been very supportive. This is an award for my team, as any award win is meaningless without the team, so thank you to them. ” - Nikhil Dhawan


"Nikhil can probably look forward to some time off, right Andy?" Muller joked, as Dhawan returned to his table, beaming.




HR Rising Star of the Year: Cerlyn Neo, Regional HR Specialist, Michelman Asia Pacific


“I’m extremely honoured to win this prestigious award. Thank You esteemed judges for selecting me. Im extremely thankful to Philip Chun my HE director and my fellow colleagues for their support and giving me lots of opportunities to grow myself professionally and personally. This gives me a lot of motivation to push HR to the next level.” - Cerlyn Neo




The SIM Award for Best Talent Management Practices (>500 Employees): Singtel

“Thank you so much. Phew, we got this award after all! For a moment, I thought about last year’s Oscars when there were some problems with the announcements. Thank you so much to the talent management team for their great work. I’d also like to thank our account managers and line managers for everything they’ve done." - Charlton Ong, Vice President of HR, Group Enterprise, and Singapore Head of HR, Singtel.


Singtel's HR team won the SIM Award for Best Talent Management Practice
Singtel's HR team won the SIM Award for Best Talent Management Practice



The SIM Award for Best Talent Management Practices (<500 Employees): Kemin Industries


“Thank you to the management of Kemin Industries and last but not least thank you to my HR team.” - Davis Foong, HR Director.




It's back to the awards segments!

Best Next-Gen Opportunities & Development: DBS Bank


“We would like to thank the HRM Awards and the judges for endorsing DBS Bank’s continuing efforts to attract develop and groom the next generation of leaders. This award is a nice feather on our cap because it’s been a five year journey since we started.” - Debbie Chan Senior Vice President




It’s time for a break, and gracing the stage now is the first entertainment act of the night – the Great Gatsby Dancers! Some very nimble men and women up on stage foxtrottin'!




Best Leadership Development: Singtel


"Thank you so much, we are very happy to among such company in this category At Singtel, we fully believe in leadership development and we are so grateful to be recognised.” - Aileen Tan, Group Chief HR Officer




Kaplan Professional Award for Best Training, Learning & Development: OCBC Bank


“We’re so proud and so delighted. Thank you very much” - Yap Aye Wee, Senior VP of Learning and Development




Best Work-Life Balance (<500 employees): Ramada and Days Hotels Singapore at Zhongshan Park


“Congratulations to all the finalists and thank you HRM Asia. Thank you to my entire team and really appreciate all your amazing contributions. What is work without life? ” - Josephine Chua, Director of Human Resources & Quality




Best Work-Life Balance (>500 Employees): Building and Construction Authority


“We’re really surprised by this. It recognises our belief that employees are really the heart of the organisation.” - Jeanna Das, Group Director, Corporate Development




Best Health & Wellbeing: Blackberry Singapore


“This is a very meaningful award to the new Blackberry. We're no longer in the manufacturing of devices. We’re now a cybersecurity software company. If you want to know more, you can speak to all of us at table 36.” - Valerie Ng, Director, Regional HR - APAC



Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategies: Singtel


“In Singtel when it comes to D&I, it’s something we practice everyday. Because of this practice, each and everyone of us can impact the business.” - Aileen Tan, Group Chief HR Officer




Muller is now calling on Emma Dean, HRM Asia’s Events Director, to give out the tokens of appreciation for the judges. Emma’s looking sparkly today!

Check out the full list of judges here:



Title sponsor for the awards, HAYS’ managing director Lynne Roeder, is now up on stage.


“I’m delighted to welcome you here this evening,” she greets everyone. “Hays are thrilled to be the title sponsor for tonight’s awards. This is our eighth year, and we’re delighted to be back.”


She reminds everyone that next Thursday (March 8) is International Women’s Day. Studies have shown the female board directors are more likely to ask the difficult questions, she notes, adding that the onus is thus on organisations to help their employees understand the benefits of gender balance in the workforce.


“Without male employees being advocates, we won’t be able to move forward on this issue,” she says.


Speaking of International Women’s Day, do check out because we’ve got some great stories specially lined up for you, to commemorate the day.



Muller now introducing on to the stage our Guest-of-honour for the night, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress Patrick Tay.


"I’m so glad to be with you this evening - the HR fraternity of Asia. Each and everyone of you help your organisations and businesses grow day by day. I want to congratulate everyone here for your hardwork, excellent performance and individual contributions in making successful strike in improving human capital management this year," says Tay in his address to the crowd.


Here's a tip off for everyone present: "There will be some government announcements on Monday that will make your jobs as HR easier.” We're definitely paying close attention to that.


We've now got a fun little video summing up HRM Asia's very exciting events for 2018! You can look forward to our HR Summit & Expo in May, as well as HRXLR8, Smart Workforce Summit and much more over the rest of the year.


Joanna Bush, general manager of HRM Asia, is now on stage to deliver the evening's opening speech.


“Thank you to our seventeen judges who have spent considerable time and effort arbitrating the nominees. There were almost 200 nominees this year.


"We would also like to thank the HR community for everything they’ve done in the past year. Thank you for all your innovations and hardwork that continue to make HR great here in Singapore and across the region.”




Our host for this year’s gala is none other than the incomparable fly artist Nikki Muller, who returns to our stage after last year’s ceremony, where she was a hit among audiences.


Muller is kicking off proceedings with a song (we don’t’ expect anything less) – it sounds like it could be a Camila Cabello song – nope, of course, it’s “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie from the soundtrack to 2013 Baz Lhurmann film The Great Gatsby - which we are absolutely digging!


We have to say, she absolutely slayed it! SLAY.




“It’s pretty much the Oscars”, says Muller. Agreed. What an exciting time to be in HR!


She’s teaching us how to swear 1920s style.


If you’ve got a really bad day in the office: “Horse feathers!"


When you’re annoyed with your boss, you exclaim: “Applesauce!”


Another name for alcohol: “Giggle water”


A “stunning tomato” is a beautiful woman.



The ballroom is filling up! There's a great vibe here -- everyone seems happy to usher in the weekend by celebrating together with the rest of the HR fraternity here in Singapore.






Social media stars, please do use and check out the #HRMAwards2018 hashtag for all the latest from HRM Asia's social pages, as well as from the guests attending tonight's event.



And the doors have opened! Everyone is slowly making their way in, looking fabulous in their '20s inspired outfits.



The waitstaff are already beginning to lay out the first course in anticipation of hungry mouths - looks yummy!




Looks like people are really getting into the Great Gatsby theme!





The doors are not yet open, but the registration desk is already seeing lots of action.


We’re expecting nearly 700 HR practitioners and business leaders to join us tonight, or a whopping 70

tables in total to be exact. This might just be our biggest party yet.


Check out the cocktail reception area - it’s also abuzz with activity and lots of chit chat.


The photo-taking booth - always a hit with guests. There’s a long line forming around it!


Overheard: “The venue looks amazing!”


Overheard another: “Am I too overdressed? I almost went with silver."




We’re here at the beautiful Ritz Carlton in downtown Singapore, where the best of the best in region’s HR industry are gathering for an extravagant evening of wining, dining, mingling and celebrations.


Our theme this year is Great Gatsby, and we’re really excited to see everyone’s best take on the 1920s - think black and gold ensembles, feather boas, headbands, sequins and fringe.


This evening, we’re giving out 20 awards across a broad range of categories, including talent management, diversity and inclusion, health and well-being, workplace culture and engagement, change management, talent development, next-generation opportunities, and more.


But the biggest awards of the night will of course be Employer of Choice, SME Employer of the Year, HR Team of the Year, Best HR Leader, and Best C-Suite Leader.




Good evening from the HRM Magazine Asia editorial team! Our journalists, Kelvin and Yamini, are here to talk you through tonight's exciting festivities.

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