Some 180 senior-level HR executives and professionals gathered at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila last March 23 for Talent Management Asia 2017. This was the first time the conference was held in the Philippines.

Technological disruption of the workplace, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the organization, and using data analytics and other cutting-edge tools composed one primary concern. Another was the rise of the Millennial talent generation among firms, and the best approach that can develop their potential while winning their motivation and loyalty. Finally, looming over all this as one constant HR concern is the enhancement of performance, that of the individual employee as well as of the entire workforce, to bring the organisation to greater heights of productivity and profit.

Morning Sessions

Sheel Majumdar, HR Director of Microsoft Philippines, set the groundwork for the discussion with his talk on how technology and analytics can influence talent development, especially in a workplace that was becoming more mobile. Majumdar emphasized the speed of change that is transforming the 21st-century corporation: one workforce generation is now measured by five years, as opposed to the traditional 20-year lifespan of about a decade ago. The inclusion in machine intelligence in processes that were once performed by human beings will challenge talent everywhere to boost their skills and agility to adapt. Corporate leaders, in turn, must show decisiveness and clarity, as constant disruption will make the business landscape more unfamiliar, strange, and volatile.

Sheel Majumdar

Irene Palattao, Consulting Manager at Development Dimensions International (DDI), likewise spoke on how HR can prepare the leaders of today to face the business challenge of tomorrow. They must be able to anticipate future developments and ignite the energy to motivate their staff to respond at maximum performance. The need is urgent for as of 2014, only 15 percent of corporate leaders can handle these coming changes.

Irene Palattao

Eric Riego de Dios, HR Director of Baker McKenzie Global Services Manila, spoke about the critical role that an employee’s wellness and health status plays in his performance, and how ultimately it can impact the robustness of the organization. Performance, especially in the modern workplace where jobs take place outside of the usual 9-to-5 time period, can be delivered according to high standards only when the employee is in top physical, mental, and emotional shape.

Donna Grande, Senior VP for Human Resources for QBE Insurance, touched on the other almost unseen factor that can likewise affect performance: the core values and culture of a company. A company’s strategy to build its corporate culture must revolve around the values it espouses such as a commitment to excellence.

Michelle Rubio, Senior Vice President and HR Director of Union Bank of the Philippines, gave a comprehensive overview of the different generations of talent. The Millennial workforce can still be divided into the Gen-Y and the Gen-Z. Along with earlier workforce groups like Gen-X and the Baby Boomers, Ms. Rubio showed their respective core values, their perspective of work, their main professional goals, and effective ways for motivation.

Riego de Dios and Grande responded to questions from the audience during the second panel discussion. That discussion ended the first half of the day with the lunch break.

After the Lunch Break

The last sessions that transpired after the lunch break focused on the Millennial workforce, their integration into the corporate structure, and their interaction with other generations such as Gen-X.

Michelle Rubio, Senior Vice President and HR Director of Union Bank of the Philippines, gave a comprehensive overview of the different generations of talent. The Millennial workforce can still be divided into the Gen-Y and the Gen-Z. Along with earlier workforce groups like Gen-X and the Baby Boomers, Ms. Rubio showed their respective core values, their perspective of work, their main professional goals, and effective ways for motivation.

Finally, Ms. Divya Sharma, the Country HR Leader of IBM Philippines, illuminated a future where intelligent machines can be harnessed to help HR create long-term strategic talent development programs. AI can also be tapped to help each individual employee craft and implement his own career path.

Ms. Rubio and Ms. Sharma ended their session with the panel discussion, and responded to the questions of the audience. Mr. Majumdar joined them, culminating the event with insights and ideas on how HR executives can enter the brave new world of tomorrow, and grow a workforce who will be pro-active, performing leaders who will meet the challenges head-on and leverage them to boost the success of their organizations.