Tactical transformations: The HKIHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition 2016 will provide the ideal platform for sharing best change practices
Whether due to new strategies, advancing technology or more powerful global influences, transformation is a constant in the business world. But, these days, change seems to come at a faster pace and with greater intensity.
To help HR practitioners and their companies respond with improved workforce engagement, behaviour and capabilities, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management’s (HKIHRM) Annual Con-ference and Exhibition 2016 will adopt transformation as its theme, with a focus on strategy, people and organisations, explain the co-chairpersons of the Organising Committee Lawrence Hung and Andy Luk.
Partnering with business leaders
Hung and Luk believe that, for the HR function to play a critical role in helping organisations navigate areas of transformation, it is vital for it to be involved in the planning and execution of transformation strategies that have clear priorities. “To create energy and successfully drive transformation, HR professionals need to ensure they are in a proactive position and are a fundamental part of the transformation process,” Luk says.
Hung adds that, while the role of HR professionals has been evolving for some time, more emphasis is needed to ensure the HR function is a strategic partner in the business.
“HR professionals must be fully aware of their organisation’s business processes, operations and financial issues to take advantage of opportunities,” Hung says. “This means having a place in a shared management framework for structuring goals, activities and responsibilities.”
Hung would also like to see senior marketing, finance and operations managers improving their understanding of the HR function. “HR should be everyone’s business, and the more integrated the HR function is, the better the business and talent management outcomes,” he explains.
Gaining insight and inspiration
A major people-orientated event in Asia, the two-day HKIHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition will take place on November 24 and 25, 2016, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will entail a CEO plenary, guru plenary, inspirational plenary, senior HR forum, close to 20 concurrent sessions, and 10 symposium sessions. A pipeline of expert speakers from across the globe will provide insight, practical takeaways and inspirational ideas that attendees can adapt to meet their professional aspirations and organisational needs.
Hopeful of breaking last year’s record of 2,000 delegates, Luk believes this year’s event will continue to provide an ideal platform for top-level conversations, networking and sharing of best practices. “With so many HR professionals gathered in one place, participants will not only be inspired by leaders and keynote speakers, but they will also be an important part of the event through networking and exchanging knowledge,” Luk says, adding that it is one of the most important people management events in Asia for many companies.
As delegates connect, share and network with other HR professionals, Luk adds, there will be prime opportunities to gain insight into challenges, lessons and solutions – including solutions that are working for other organisations.
Understanding tools and practices
To address the immediate and future needs of their organisations, HR professionals need to have the right tools and techniques to gain insight into their organisation’s culture, while ensuring they are aware of trends that could have an impact on a business and its operations.
“This requires HR professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to push their careers forward as part of the transformation process,” Luk says.
As technology continues to disrupt and shape the businesses world, HR practitioners need to understand the significant impact that technology is having on their practices. While technology does not replace the human touch, Luk says, the use of technology is essential for recruitment.
For instance, alongside technologies used for training and career development programmes, social media has become an essential tool for making contact and building relationships with candidates. The challenge, however, is to align technology-driven strategies with business goals.
“Technology is a useful enabler, but it still requires the right mindset to embrace and implement technology in a way that helps the HR function and their organisations,” Luk says. In some cases, he adds, there is resistance to technological changes.
Hung believes HR professionals need to make better use of data and key performance indicators (KPIs) in decision-making processes. “There is a chance for the HR function to rely on intuitive and results-orientated decision making but, by using data and KPIs, they are more likely to be able to reach out to stakeholders faster and more efficiently.”
At the same time, Hung says, HR professionals need to play a guiding role in deciding which elements of corporate culture should change and which are essential to protecting an organisation’s values and ethics.
Also high on the list of current HR transformation challenges is the on-going struggle to attract and retain talent – particularly with baby boomers moving closer to retirement and millennials, with their different goals and expectations, playing a more strategic role in the workplace. “Strategies for workforce planning, candidate experience and employee retention are crucial factors in the transformation processes,” Hung says.
HKIHRM ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION 2016
Transformation: People. Strategy. Organisation
November 24 and 25
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai
Early bird offer until October 14
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Transformation: People, Strategy, Organisation.