Article: The What, Why and How of Business Transformation

HR Technology

The What, Why and How of Business Transformation

Learn how HR Tech can enable not just outcomes, but stabilize workforce across various functions to ensure growth and scalability.
The What, Why and How of Business Transformation

In this session focusing specifically on business transformation at People Matters TechHR SEA 2021, we witnessed a great case study on how business transformation can be driven through HR Tech - not just at the level of outcomes, but also at the level of creating new structures which have the effect of stabilizing the workforce across its various functions to ensure that it is primed to scale as the organization itself grows.

We had the pleasure of being led by Vicky Chai, the Chief People Officer at Singapore Life. She began by setting the context for her work at Singapore Life - it was a two-year-old startup and had a team that was just over 60 people. The majority of their work fell into two segments, including the tech and the insurance segments. Moreover, their in-house company talent was very enthusiastic and energetic and was always up for putting in 100% effort to get the desired results. So, while all of this sounds good to go, where did the real problem lie?

The problem was in the fact that there was a lack of coordination across the entire company, which prevented them from both seeing the right kind of results, as well as seeing them within the desired timeframe. There were problems with teams which resulted in them not being effectively communicating with each other; this, in turn, led to silos which resulted in stunted business delivery as well as growth. Moreover, there was a problem at the level of aligning with business goals as well, since there was no way of communicating these goals to the rest of the team in a way that could be structured and translated to them.

Solving the Business Growth Challenge through HR Tech

Chai’s approach to solving organizational challenges was through a reinterpretation of the adoption process when it came to  HR Tech. So, instead of driving behavioral change through the organization - something that would take a significant amount of energy as there were multiple teams and there was a pervading lack of structures - she chose to implement the HR tech first, believing that it could lead to behavioral change across the organization. And it did! 

In addition to this, she also coupled HR Tech with a human-centric approach to building her teams, with a specific focus on People Development programmes that would enrich the team members’ lives. 

Here’s a quick summary of some of the key points made by her:

Key features of HR Tech: 

  • Transparent - With a transparent HR Tech platform, it ensured that its features could be applicable for everybody across the board, from the newest recruit to the oldest veteran. This helped to create a level of trust within the team.
  • User-friendly - With a UX that encouraged people to take ownership from the very first step, this HR Tech platform made it easy for team members to drive home with their work completed well in time!
  • Accessible and intuitive - By ensuring that the HR Tech platform could be accessible by all, it allowed the design sensibilities to be approachable by all. This further helped create a sense of inclusion within the team and allowed them to bond with each other

Advantages of implementing the HR Tech:

  • Promoted recognition among team members - by allowing them to acknowledge each others’ efforts and form a community around their work.
  • Allowed team members to align their goals with those of the organization through cascading targets
  • Anonymous feedback for leadership could be given through pulse surveys
  • Teams could be tracked across various functions
  • Year-end performance reviews became greatly simplified

Focus on People Development through HR Tech

  • “Performance monitoring” became “People Development” and facilitated meaningful conversations around work, development, highs and lows, and more.
  • Initiated a shift away from focusing on weaknesses to working on developing strengths
  • Held decisive conversations with management about the quality of leadership that the teams were expecting and vice versa, leading to a more holistic working environment overall where the leadership could act as role models

Overall, Chai’s unique approach really worked out for Singapore Life as a whole and led to amazing results! The HR Tech platform - and her specific focus on People Development - laid ground for the organization that really allowed it to scale from a medium organization to one that could handle much bigger workloads and could work effectively across a broader series of issues. 

Transformation through skilling

In addition to this, a representative from Workforce Singapore introduced us to the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package in the session, throwing light on the support measures made by the Government to help Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 to acquire job-related skills and capabilities, and access expanded employment opportunities. These include: 

  • The SGUnited Jobs Initiative - bringing about a wide range of permanent positions in the public sector and temporary jobs to support COVID-19 efforts or to cope with disruptions in labour supply.
  • SGUnited Traineeships Programme – gaining access to a pool of fresh talent and be able to recruit from a pool of experienced trainees when hiring picks up
  • SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – gaining access to mid-career individuals who bring with them a wealth of work experience and consider hiring well-performing individuals as permanent employees when business conditions improve  
  • SGUnited Skills Programme – equipping Singaporeans with in-demand and emerging skills across several sectors, especially those with good hiring opportunities 

On top of this, WSG also has other programmes, such as the Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative and the Job Redesign Reskilling Programmes, to support businesses across various sectors stay relevant and also accelerate their business transformation and digitalisation efforts to combat the impact brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All put together, there are immense opportunities for Singaporeans in terms of jobs and career growth despite these challenging times. 

Overall, it was truly an insightful look into how business transformation can be achieved through HR Tech!


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Topics: HR Technology, #TechHRSEA

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