As Singapore presses on with its bold and ambitious “Smart Nation” blueprint, another “smart” revolution is quietly making its presence felt in the workforce. HRM Asia investigates how HR is equipping employees to join the smart workforce of the future.
Sureash Kumar Director – Global Talent and Organisation Development United Test and Assembly Centre
HR has a catalyst role to play within the organisation to help employees manage and drive their careers. Initiatives should focus on changing employees’ mindsets to current realities:
Mindset I: A shift from a sense of “secured employment” to one of “secured employability”. Where previously careers and job security were with the organisation, now employees need to take personal accountability for developing and shaping their own careers.
Mindset II: A shift from learning on an as-needed basis to life-long learning. Employees need to proactively identify current and future career requirements. They are required to “stay in school” and keep learning to continue to add value to their business.
HR also needs to manage the core people processes to support employees driving their own careers. This includes:
The performance management process to drive individual development plans for career development. Managers and employees should collaborate on career plans, development areas and goals.
Learning and development initiatives that are aligned to both the business and the career needs of employees. Staff should reskill themselves with specialist and transferable skills while having a broad industry knowledge. These goals can be achieved through both formal and informal development initiatives, including direct education, self-learning, and networking.
A talent management strategy and succession planning process that’s supported by an internal job opportunities programme (IOP). While talents have differentiated development initiatives, an IOP programme provides opportunities for all employees to apply for internal positions.
In managing careers, HR’s role has shifted from being the driver of career development to a facilitator. Various communication channels including career counseling and workshops would be helpful to educate employees. If done successfully, employees will see this as a value proposition and recognise the organisation as a great place to work, learn, and grow careers.