EforP also publishes INTRAPRENEUR magazine. HR-focussed, INTRAPRENEUR offers a platform for the best of those who are in search of the best to communicate their ideas. So many great minds in corporate firms do not have the chance to speak out loud. INTRAPRENEUR offers top personnel managers and leaders the chance to introduce their firm, its approach, and their personal vision for the future. Whatever industry we work in, we are all ultimately aiming to improve our customers’ quality of life: INTRAPRENEUR offers new and better ways to achieve it.
INTRAPRENEUR is also a recruitment tool. Top HR managers can write blog posts that highlight their approach and by doing so catch the eye of like-minded leaders outside their company. By talking about what is pushing them forward and holding them back, these brilliant leaders also gain a platform to attract the right candidates.
Intrapreneur is published in English and Chinese four times a year.
HR Head Global NI Business & Supply Chain
It’s a global world: SCM-Supply Chain Management & HR
The key challenge as an HR manager with an international supply chain is to understand the local structures but think global at the same time. You cannot jump to the global level too quickly: first, you have to understand the structure of each zone and division, and then the talent that is available. Many people focus on talent management too early, and then try to find global solutions and implement worldwide standardisation. Although there are a number of recipes out there, I am not yet convinced that global one-size-fits-all concepts will be successful on the long run.
It is important to remember that every whole is made up of small bits and pieces. Even when considering global positions and posts in a huge company like Schindler, I still see that understanding local issues and structures is the top challenge faced every day.
Of course, there are unique challenges that come with a global supply chain. Talent management is key, as it is in any company, but in an internationally-operating firm like Schindler you also have to focus on cross-cultural management and thinking. However, we should not forget that the world is changing and that the speed it demands is helping to shrink the differences in different cultures.
Naturally, we use a line language concept – English. The other key tenet of our hiring policy is consistency. Especially when we are taking people on to the board, we want to make sure that the candidate will work with the same team for two to five years; the question of how long they will stay with the company is another issue.
Chill management goes in another direction. With this approach, the first step is analysing the business morale of the cultures. Specifically, we are interested in how consistent candidates perceive a job position to be, and understanding their main motivations to leave. These vary from region to region and from country to country.
In particular, commitment and consistency differ around the world. For instance, in China we observe a trend that employees – especially from Generation Y – stay in firms for a maximum of three years and then move on. They also prefer to avoid a set career path: they often change industries. They are not even aware that they might be called “job hoppers” when they apply to a new firm – they simply don’t care. As we all know, the typical motivation of the so-called “generation why” is to get enough money to finance their lives; for them, free time, hobbies, and family play a bigger role. However, in Central Europe for instance, even generation Y employees are aware of the fact that to show stability and constant development in their CV they need to stay with a firm for “at least” three years. Despite this, some generation Ys in Central Europe feel that they have to move quickly to keep up with the pace of the world, and regularly change roles even though they know they should show consistency. This is a different mindset from in China though, where the regular moves are just how work life is practiced. Generation Z employees approach this issue differently, which I will address in a subsequent article.
Overall, my experience show that there is a global understanding of talent management and HR but the interpretation is still very much local. What do you think? Are global supply chain challenges best met by candidates that understand local cultures? Or do we need to keep the global nature of a position foremost in mind when making HR decisions? I would like to hear your views!
HR Head Global NI Business & Supply Chain / Schindler
Grace QY Wang
Senior HR Business Partner of METRO Group Buying (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
HR Approaches to Talent Acquisition, Management & Retention
Talent management today is a science. Skilful approaches are needed to recruit and keep the best professionals in a diverse and dynamic global environment. In my role as a senior HR leader, I approach talent management with an eye to both vertical and horizontal planning, and apply a scientific method as well as an artful approach. My motto is ´focus on today and prepare for tomorrow´.
Today´s workforce is dynamic and everyone brings their individual motivations, cultural background, career goals and unique mindset to the table. This diversity has consequences for talent managers and companies, as it influences the whole chain of recruitment, development and retention. This calls for significant research and a tailored approach on the part of talent management professionals.Read More
Young people are more concerned about work-life balance than the generation before them. That´s not to say that money isn´t still a key motivator, but professionals in China today value their time too, and want to feel valued by their employers. Aside from money, young people want opportunities to learn and to grow their talent, to have a platform for play, and to develop their skills. It´s not just the paycheck that people come to work for: the prestige of working for a renowned company, the responsibility of carrying out pioneering work, or the ability to build strong friendships within a team – these can all be important factors in choosing a job.
People often ask me how they can retain high-performing staff in their companies. The answer involves three key things: transparency, opportunity, and reward. Be clear with people about their status, provide them with a vision and a mission, and periodically emphasize targets. A clearly laid-out career development plan within your organization lets people know how they can succeed and flourish. Provide opportunities for learning through mentoring programs and a job rotation scheme that allows for access to different departments and diverse experiences. Give high-performers exposure to large project management tasks to keep them engaged. Offer help to your team on development when they need it, and set tasks and aims. The worst thing you can do is to let people get bored. Boredom stagnates talent. Have an innovative rewards system to show people they are valued. Rather than financial incentives, for example, you could invite high-performers to the Annual Dinner at HQ, to a lunch with the MD, or share their success with others on the intranet. Other rewards could include special holidays, concert tickets, an overseas gift or special event. As I always say, think outside the box. Make dreams come true!
During my HR career, I have developed several practices for motivating the teams I work with. Recognizing performance with a congratulatory card can be nice, while a flexible benefits scheme and flexible working hours facilitate work-life balance. Equally important is providing teams with a workspace that promotes health and wellness. This can be done by providing adjustments to office furniture, putting plants in the workplace, hosting lifestyle activities (for example, workshops about healthy eating or women’s health, and fitness classes) and having special events, like a family, charity or sustainability day. Sharing the achievements and activities of the team on social media is a great way to include friends and family in their success.
When applicants ask what the key skills that I look for, I have the following advice: be agile and fast-learning. A willingness to practice and to share your skills is vital, as well as the ability to review your own performance. Be social, be proactive, and above all, be patient. Your future depends on your attitude.
And when HR managers ask me for one golden piece of advice, I remind them that finding and attracting talent is just the first step. The real test of an HR manager is how we, with our companies, motivate and encourage people through their careers. It is the ability to do this that secures truly outstanding performance from promising talent.