©2019 by Perdana Leadership Foundation.

Nurturing Human Capital in the Digital Age - A Summary of Session F



PERDANA LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION CEO FORUM 2019

SESSION F: Nurturing Human Capital in the Digital Age


Panellists:

  • Dato’ Hamidah Naziaddin, Group Chief People Officer & CEO, CIMB Foundation

  • Mr Saiful Zahrain Subhan, Group CEO, IRIS Corporation Berhad

  • Mr Mark Koh, Chief Executive Officer, SupaHands.com

  • Mr Ezra Effendy, Deputy Executive Chairman, Penborn Venture Capital Sdn Bhd

  • Ms Norhazleen Madros, Head (Human Capital Development) & CEO, PETRONAS Leadership Centre

  • Ms Mawar Mustaffa, Global People & Organisational Development | APAC, SWIFT

  • Moderator: Ms Dilys Boey, Asean People Advisory Services Leader, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP


Summary


In the digital age, the work force faces challenges in the area of recruitment, managing skill sets, and retention. Recruitment involves finding talents with a digital mindset, a combination of hard and soft skills, as well as creativity. Hard skills are not difficult to obtain as there are ample platforms for learning and development. In fact, most big organisations, e.g Petronas and CIMB, have their own training programmes for the continuous development of their staff.


On the other hand, soft skills are increasingly important as we need to inject the human element into the workforce to develop their creativity.


Retaining the workforce is also essential, especially the millennial employees who are motivated to stay with an organization not just for monetary rewards but for benefits in kind such as maternity / paternity leave, job rotation, mentorship, and opportunities for self-development.


Moving forward, the work force must realise that the job market is very competitive and they need to have the hard skills while developing their soft skills and creativity. They must constantly be self-motivated and driven. Companies are always on the lookout for creative talent with the right attitude.




SUMMARISED POINTS BY PANELLIST


MS DILYS BOEY

Ms Dilys Boey

  1. From our traditional lens, we have always defined talent as our full-time or part-time employees. But now we are moving towards an age where the stats says that by 2030, 50% of the workforce could be contingent workers.

  2. One needs to pick up many skills beyond the technical skills. To do that, we need great leaders in the organisation.

  3. In our personal lives, there are a lot of existing technologies, such as news feed and advertisements, which are pushed and personalised for us. In the near future, I am sure there are going to be technologies available to HR.

  4. As much as jobs are being displaced, there will be many opportunities for us. As Albert Einstein said, “Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of any technical endeavours”.


DATO’ HAMIDAH NAZIADDIN


Dato' Hamidah Naziadin
  1. The 4th Industrial Revolution is disrupting the banks. Competition is coming not from the banks alone but also from the non-banks. We need to prepare our people with the necessary skill set to compete in both the banking space and the non-bank space.

  2. CIMB has rolled out a couple of initiatives. First and foremost is recruitment. When we recruit new people, we do not just look at traditional qualifications anymore. We have opened up in terms of the qualification that we are looking for. We have cast the net as wide as we can because we want to be agile in banking now.

  3. We have set up a 3D academy for the existing people. Today, we are looking for not just IQ or EQ alone but also DQ (digital quotient). We are looking for people with a digital mindset, who can handle data and are ready for disruption.

  4. We are putting aside RM75 million over 3 years to educate, train, and equip a workforce of 36,000 people with the necessary skills. It is compulsory for everyone to take up about 10 different lessons, so they need to know coding, AI, and digital marketing.

  5. We have also set up a unit where we look for business beyond banking. We call it Ventures & Partnerships. For example, we have a partnership with Touch ’n Go. Today, we are working with them to do up our e-wallet.

  6. The skill sets that we are looking for today are more of the soft skills and less of the hard skills.

  7. To lead in the digital age today, we want to see people thrive in an environment where they can do high-value jobs. It is about critical thinking, navigating complexity, continuously reinventing yourself, and providing the platform for creativity.

  8. We want to allow creativity to surface and for people to be agile. We have job rotations – since we have the footprints in ASEAN – to move people around in different businesses.

  9. Today, it is about collaboration as well as valuing people from different perspectives and different views so that we can come up with better products and better innovation.

  10. Retention is always an issue. The young ones are impatient, they want to be seen and to be heard, to be empowered and to be instantly recognised. So we have come up with some interesting policies to retain them. Our policies are gender-friendly or gender-blind, so it is not just for women but also for men. We are also working to devise flexible rewards. For example, at their young age, millennials do not need a housing loan. So we are trying to tweak the incentive scheme to offer rewards that are more relevant to them.

  11. We have done a general assessment of our 3D skills. Only about 15% of the talents have the 3D skills, and the plan is to move it to 40%. We are engaging a provider to do an assessment of the skills first. We will then have an inventory of the skill set that our people have and that we need. Then we will do a mapping in terms of the skill set that we need and formulate a training plan.

  12. If we have any vacancy and we post it on LinkedIn, for example, we are going to get talents and applications from all over the world. And that is the competition today; thanks to technology, everything is borderless.

  13. Education is key in preparing the students. Much effort has been put in to change the blueprint. The important factor are the teachers. They must be trained well to teach well. We may be missing the equation. On the one hand, our job seekers face worldwide competition, but on the other hand, while we have a good education blueprint, if our teachers are not ready, we will not get the right results.

Retention is always an issue. The young ones are impatient, they want to be seen and to be heard, to be empowered and to be instantly recognised.

MR MARK KOH


Mr Mark Koh
  1. We now have 5,000 workers at SupaHands across South East Asia (SEA). The business goal is to use part-time workers across SEA who are multi-lingual, multi-cultural, have very good local understanding of their local market, and are able to work and connect with different businesses across the world to work on different types of data projects.

  2. We have created a platform to allow and facilitate information transfer from businesses to the digital economy. The future of work is very much a flexible and elastic workforce, where companies are able to expand and contract their workforce whenever they need to.

  3. In the traditional sense, it is more of a freelance economy. But freelancers generally work on a one-to-one basis, and we are trying to work with a larger group of people.

  4. We find that more and more people are enjoying this kind of work, and many of these workers are actually working full time in other organisations, but at night they want to earn extra income.

  5. It is our responsibility to make sure that the work that we give them is consistently upskilled. We build new technology for them to use, the tools, and they have to adapt to the new way of working. Next year, it is going to be something new as the market advances. It is up to us to make sure that we are able to train this market workforce at scale.

  6. Previously, it was a simple workforce performing data entry work, but now things have changed. Computer visions have become a massive part of what is going on in the world.

  7. We have flexibility in our workplace. Creating an open environment for sharing and improving on communication is a big thing.

  8. We focus on mentorship. A lot of time, my purpose of coming to work, is to coach and mentor the team.

  9. We basically run 2 activities. One of them is called ShareFair, which happens in a one-hour session over lunch every Thursday. Two persons share their thoughts, which could be work-related or their personal experiences. That helps create work engagement within the people in SupaHands, and it helps attract better talent into your organisation.

The business goal is to use part-time workers across SEA who are multi-lingual, multi-cultural, have very good local understanding of their local market, and are able to work and connect with different businesses across the world to work on different types of data projects.

MS NOR HAZLEEN MADROS

Ms Nor Hazleen Madros
  1. Today, there are a lot of opportunities coming from AI, robotics, and other tech innovations.

  2. In Petronas, we are looking at big data analytics. Our operation is huge, from upstream to downstream, from maritime to property development, and data is being collected daily across our whole organisation.

  3. The organisation requires new capabilities to help us understand our operation better and make it safer, as well as understanding the customer needs better.

  4. There is a shift in opportunities from doing administrative work to predictive analysis to determine what and where we go from here.

  5. In our development framework, we focus on 3 competencies:functional competencies, technical competencies, and leadership competencies.

  6. Today, we have got an extensive number of skill groups for everybody in Petronas to keep abreast with what is in the industry. We are adjusting and amending what is necessary as far as technical competencies are concerned.

  7. On functional competencies, we look at where everyone is expected to be in terms of working in teams and collaborating better. We also look at other areas like presentation skills, communication skills, and other soft skills.

  8. We focus on 6 leadership competencies, namely, visionary, transformative, clear thinking, value focus, connected, and authenticity. The focus is for our leaders to be flexible and agile.

  9. In all our programmes, we try to incorporate problem-solving, social collaboration, and business simulation.

  10. My advice for students would be to nurture their curiosity. They need to be able to think beyond what is in front of them. Secondly, it is about their influence or social etiquette, that is, whether they are able to relate to other people, instead of having their heads buried in their laptops or computers.

We focus on 6 leadership competencies, namely, visionary, transformative, clear thinking, value focus, connected, and authenticity. The focus is for our leaders to be flexible and agile.


MR EZRA EFFENDY


Mr Ezra Effendy
  1. Unlike the other companies such as Petronas and CIMB, it is slightly different for us. As a venture capital, our target is to identify special people.

  2. If a person comes for his presentation in a pair of slippers, a pair of shorts, and a Donald Duck hat, it does not mean he is not the guy for you. The scenario is different now.

  3. You identify the guy that you want based on 2 things, and these 2 things generally do not exist in the same person. You either get a guy who is very creative, or you get a guy who is very disciplined.

  4. Ideally, you are looking for the guy who is very creative but who can also perform according to deadlines and budgets. Part of my job is being able to identify that one special guy out of the 100 to 200 candidates we see a year. That guy will make the difference.

  5. The creative guys are really going to own the future. Try and make everyone as creative as you can. Force creativity, as it is the thing that is going to make the future.

If a person comes for his presentation in a pair of slippers, a pair of shorts, and a Donald Duck hat, it does not mean he is not the guy for you.

MR SAIFUL ZAHRAIN SUBHAN

Mr Saiful Zahrain Subhan
  1. At the crux of it, human resources is a question of quality vs quantity. Having a degree or a certificate will only take you so far, but over and above that, other qualities such as attitude, and communication skills come into play.

  2. AI, automation, robotics, will displace jobs. Routine, measurable work such as book-keeping, telemarketing or even parts of customer service will be taken over by robots or AI. But new jobs and skill sets will also mushroom. These include data analytics, new sales processes, software developers, and app developers, to name a few.

  3. When you are a leader of a commercially oriented organisation, the elements that will improve your profitability and reduce your cost inefficiencies will come into play. You need to adopt them as you want to provide value to your shareholders.

  4. There are certain traits of a leader that stand the test of time, regardless of technological innovations: integrity, being righteous, having empathy, among others.

  5. The students and children of today are the workforce and stimulants of the economy of tomorrow. You have to plan and equip them with the skills that would enable them to compete and be the workforce of the future.

  6. It is also about upscaling and rescaling. For a long time, technical and vocational skills have been considered the stepchild of the education system, but now, the oil & gas and automation industries need people with technical and vocational capabilities.

Routine, measurable work such as book-keeping, telemarketing or even parts of customer service will be taken over by robots or AI. But new jobs and skill sets will also mushroom. These include data analytics, new sales processes, software developers, and app developers, to name a few.

MS MAWAR MUSTAFFA


Ms Mawar Mustaffa
  1. When we talk about AI, the organisation has to start thinking about re-designing jobs and preparing for future growth.

  2. At Swift, our talent practices and processes focus on agility and adaptability. We have our learning platform, which is called Swift Smart, and we also have a culture of continuous learning.

  3. We provide our staff with a training playlist, like Spotify, based on certain topics so that people can continuously learn any time they want. The topics are not limited to their current role and expertise.

  4. We are also doing agile transformations, and we have an innovation lab for this. Around 70%-80% of our employees are in IT, and the sector undergoes rapid changes.

  5. We can’t really hire based on skills, because most of them don’t have the skills that we need. However, hard skills can be learnt.

  6. We are preparing our talents for the next part, which is being human. For example, we train our staff in communication skills, creative problem-solving skills, and empathy, all qualities that are lacking in robots. We are also training them on upcoming trends and technologies, and preparing them to win the battle against or together with the machines.

  7. As a multi-national company, we can partner with colleges or schools. We have our Swift Institute that is based in London that gives out grants to selected colleges and universities to do research and develop software.

We are preparing our talents for the next part, which is being human. For example, we train our staff in communication skills, creative problem-solving skills, and empathy, all qualities that are lacking in robots.