The implementation of an annual rewards cycle guidance tool led to an 11% increase in employees feeling supported in their growth journey. Engagement levels also rose 6% year-on-year, shares Watcharapong Soottiard, Country HR Manager, HP Inc. (Thailand).
HP Inc. (Thailand) took home the Silver award for Excellence in Innovative Use of HR Tech at the inaugural HR Excellence Awards 2021, Thailand.
In this interview, Watcharapong Soottiard, Country HR Manager, HP Inc. (Thailand), shares the secrets behind this win - including the implementation of a new annual rewards cycle guidance tool that marked a shift from a rating culture to an organisation that prioritises development with a growth mindset.
Q What is HP Inc.'s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?
HP Inc. is proud to have received the silver award for Excellence in Innovative Use of HR Tech. As technology advances faster than ever before, we strive to use the latest technologies such as predictive analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, to shape hiring, identify emerging capabilities, and develop a nimble job architecture. HP strategises to attract new candidates to help us meet our future needs and to retrain and reskill current workers in the age of automation.
Our strategy is simple – we prioritise areas that have the greatest impact on the employee experience and are very cognizant of the change management curve and adoption rates. It needs to make life better for everyone, everywhere. We constantly ask how we can make our offerings more effective, and then do our diligence on best-in-class offerings, partner with organisations with similar values and vision and define success metrics upfront.
Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?
By listening to our workforce and prioritising the voice of our employees, we have been able to utilise technology across the HR function to enhance the employee experience globally. Some key initiatives include the implementation of Workday recruitment, Charli the HR Chatbot – who supports employee’s questions 24/7, Annual Review Cycle WorkDay module implementation that provides managers with rewards guidance based on individual contributions, and redefining learning through a social learning platform that gives employees curated resources and an opportunity to network with SMEs.
Our leadership team, within HR, but also across our businesses is integral to our success. They have been our change champions and because we are meeting their needs in the most innovative way technology allows, the journey has been a true partnership between HR and the business.
This leadership support extends beyond just investment budgets; it's driving adoption rates, generating awareness and education, and continuing to provide feedback.
Q Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?
The implementation of the new annual rewards cycle guidance tool marked a shift from a rating culture to an organisation that prioritises development with a growth mindset. One of the biggest challenges for our managers was how to allocate rewards if we no longer have ratings. We introduced the rewards tool to help managers determine the appropriate merit/bonus/stock rewards in the absence of performance ratings while still maintaining a performance-based culture that considers both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’.
From a technology point of view, we optimised our tools and creates a roadmap to support new processes. We listened to our stakeholders’ feedback and kept communication open through several brown-bag training sessions to ensure our managers bought into the vision. Additionally, we equipped our HR Partners with FAQs on the new tool enhancements as we anticipated the questions, so they were well prepared to handle the queries.
Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your game plan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?
Our biggest indicator of success has always come from our stakeholder feedback. How many escalations were we receiving? How many positive comments? Could we resolve concerns and be agile enough to adapt to the needs of our people? As our new tool was implemented, we found a shift from tactical questions to feedback as the vision came to fruition. Direct managers felt empowered to make rewards decisions and there was an increase in talent-based discussions across groups to get to that decision.
A notable achievement was responses to a question around employee growth and development at HP as part of our annual employee engagement survey. We saw a 6% increase YoY because of the new tool among our managers – they saw we are driving a culture of innovation at HP.
Similarly, our employees responded favourably with an 11% increase in feeling that their growth was supported at HP.
Q We’re now seeing HR manage portfolios that were previously considered far from their job description. In your view, what are the top three skills and attributes of today’s successful CHRO?
As the role of HR evolves, the CHRO position has become more complex and important than ever: a strategic partner to the business, which means being business savvy – understanding the context and being able to influence and navigate complexities of both short and long term. At the same time, there is an increasing need to empower and enable change throughout the organisation and champion the organisational culture, keeping a close eye and ear on the ground and anticipating and solving for potential challenges. All of this, while continuously ensuring a high ROI on the investments they make be it people, organisational development, or technology.
Utilising technology will differentiate the good from the great. But it is the combination of bringing the softer skills and genuine passion for looking after the organisation’s human capital, alongside automation, digitisation, and AI that will be the crème-del-a-crème when it comes to successful HR leadership.
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