Poo-Jiuan Eng is senior vice president, human resources for the Asia Pacific region at Schaeffler - a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors. Jiuan has more than 25 years of HR experience in the aviation and energy industries. Jiuan was most recently working for Baker Hughes as the Asia Pacific HR Director, leading several HR reorganisation efforts from the integration of GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes, separation from GE, and leading HR transformation efforts in the region.
What have you learned about management from the two years of disruption?
These two years showed the importance of learning, unlearning, and relearning by confronting the discomfort and insecurities that come with changes.
- Being focused on digital systems to automate tasks, leading a team remotely, and having to drive engagement and performance virtually.
- Embracing vulnerability. By being vulnerable and authentic, we can learn to build and earn trust – allowing employees to feel that they can contribute to the success of the team and the organisation’s success.
- A strong need to focus on collaboration, both internally and externally. Apart from removing internal organisational silos when delivering solutions, many organisations are seeking to partner outside their own entities to co-create solutions to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
What are the key factors that are shaping work and the workplace in 2022?
1. The key differentiator for an organisation in shaping work, workforce, and workplace is its culture and its people’s ability to navigate the changes to emerge stronger.
2. With business transformation happening almost everywhere, everyone must think about what transformation means for them.
3. An organisation that puts agility to practice across all levels drives innovation through diversity and inclusion, and engages with communities will have a strong chance to lead the pack.
What are the top areas HR leaders should distil their focus on in 2022?
HR leaders should focus on fostering an environment where employees can excel and achieve collaborative progress. At Schaeffler, the three important focuses in 2022 are capability, capacity, and culture. These are achievable by promoting upskilling and reskilling of the workforce and creating an ecosystem that promotes diversity, innovation, employee experience, and operations excellence. This will never be a one-person show and collaboration will be the key to achieving business success in 2022.
So, how can organisations work collaboratively to sustain the positives of the pandemic - from inequality to skills gap to crisis leadership, to employee wellbeing?
Experience management has earned increasing focus in recent years and will be critical to business success. Integrating changes to existing processes, and systems and incorporating them into the corporate beliefs will be the only way to ensure that positive changes stay. Organisations that offer great employee experience beyond just compensation will attract the best talent.
How do you see return-to-work play out with organisations scrambling to redesign work, and create fair policies while meeting employees' sophisticated needs?
Organisations would have to keep a pulse on their employee expectations towards new approaches to work by actively engaging them in conversations to design policies that meet their needs. At Schaeffler, we are looking to pilot a flexible and adaptable hybrid working approach across the Asia Pacific region, which is based on findings from a survey that was done last year with our employees.
With HR tech solutions taking the centre stage in addressing top work challenges, what are the top technologies that organisations will bet on most in 2022 and beyond?
Digital tools have been pivotal in harmonizing and simplifying HR-related processes. Analytics will play a greater role in helping HR get a better understanding in addressing and solving business goals and challenges. Similarly, advanced HR tools and technologies that further support transparency across various operational HR processes including performance management, recruitment, compensation and benefits, will help organisations to empower leaders and employees in driving a positive culture, enhance the capability of the workforce, and improve their capacity to do high-quality work.
What has changed at Schaeffler over the past two years and what are your key focus areas in 2022?
Schaeffler has undergone a business and cultural transformation. Many of these changes have been accelerated due to the pandemic's awakening towards tackling social and environmental issues. As such, maintaining our diverse and vibrant pool of talent, and the continuation of our long-term sustainability agenda is one of our primary focuses in 2022. This includes creating opportunities for colleagues to establish greater trust, teamwork, and understanding through cross-collaboration and building touchpoints for connection.