Article: Enable employees to pursue new ways of learning, relearning and unlearning, says Alex Png of Intrepid Group - Asia

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Enable employees to pursue new ways of learning, relearning and unlearning, says Alex Png of Intrepid Group - Asia

In this edition of HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Experts Take, we talk to Alex Png, Chief People Officer, Intrepid Group - Asia.
Enable employees to pursue new ways of learning, relearning and unlearning, says Alex Png of Intrepid Group - Asia

The People Matters and Darwinbox HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Empower and Evolve study is a unique analysis of the overarching people, HR and business trends in Asia. Complied with responses from more than 1,200 HR practitioners, 350 CXOs and nearly 1,500 employees, the study decodes critical HR, business and people trends that will influence the future.

As a part of the study, we are also interacting with top people leaders in the APAC region to understand how people trends will impact business strategy, organizational culture and HR transformations.

In this edition of the Experts Take series, Sriram Nedunuri, Head Client Solutions & Advisory - SEA Region, at Darwinbox talks to Alex Png, Chief People Officer, Intrepid Group - Asia. In a conversation that spans different talent areas, Alex brings to the light the following trends:

  • Analyzing the permanent shifts in the HR function
  • Discussing the importance of training line managers
  • Building organizational agility and using the right metrics to measure its ROI

Recovering from the aftereffects of the pandemic

"The post-pandemic world hasn’t been a journey back to normal; instead, it has set a new normal. People, teams and leaders are now awakened to the idea of collaborating and embracing technology to achieve results more efficiently,” says Alex. The two biggest impacts of the past few years on HR have been, according to Alex:
Contingency and succession planning: an increased focus on designing practical and effective contingency operational plans, which include comprehensive success planning

Flexi-work arrangements: a permanent shift to a hybrid work arrangement that requires more effort from leaders and HR to ensure higher engagement and productivity.

While the drive to increase profitably was already gathering momentum in the tech and startup industry before the pandemic, it has gathered a new pace in the last few years. Now, the emphasis is on people leaders and organizations to invest in tools and strategies that keep people engaged and productive. “In short, there is a growing focus on doing more with less when it comes to human capital resources.”

A culture of learning and mentorship

“At Intrepid Group, all our teams embrace digital agility as second nature by going above and beyond to work together to get things done. One crucial reason for this culture is the easy access to mentorship and coaching in the organization, wherein any employee can sign up to train under senior leaders,” Alex explains. In addition to helping them understand the key competencies that will enable them to succeed today, these interactions also prepare people for the future.

This continuous form of learning and development also includes an in-house university that contains training sessions, workshops and resources from partners and external stakeholders. “We help people pursue new pathways to learn new skills and transmit them to the rest of the organizations to enhance business capability and success.”

Another vital aspect of this strategy is focusing adequately on line managers and developing them as people enablers who can lead by example and bring a sense of consistency to organizational values.

Driving and measuring business agility

Incubating agility in the DNA of your people practices, along with designing a positive experience for end users, is a potent combination to amplify business outcomes. “For example, we set up cross-functional teams - across time zones, business roles and expertise - to drive business outcomes before commencing any new project. This exercise will become even more crucial as our organization merges with the parent company and undergoes a major rebranding.” These practices have helped teams establish iterative work cycles that do not lead to unnecessary meetings or duplication of effort. It has also resulted in regular feedback loops that speed up decision-making and keep everyone responsive to change.

“While we deploy various leading and lagging indicators to measure internal agility and change, the ones that give the most reliable results derive from basic metrics like SLAs and OKRs,” Alex says. Besides, feedback-driven processes help people understand whether the workloads are increasing at the required pace and how to best intervene for course corrections.

Download the full HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Empower and Evolve report here.

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR, Learning & Development, #Empower And Evolve

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