The HR Symposium 2019, organised by the five polytechnics and ITE saw the confluence of three esteemed speakers—Mr Jason Ho, IHRP-MP, Head of Group Human Resources at OCBC Bank, Ms Ong Chin Yin, IHRP-MP, Head of People at Grab and Ms So-Young Kang, Founder and CEO of Gnowbe on 11 October 2019.
About 700 HR professionals and students came together to learn about HR’s digital transformation at the event themed “Tech-Partism: People, Technology & Business”. Our certified professionals who were conferred in the morning were also given the opportunity to attend the HR Symposium.
Here are 5 things you missed at this year’s HR Symposium:
1. National HR Young Talent Award MOU Signing Ceremony
The event witnessed the signing of the MOU between the Institute for Human Resources Professionals (IHRP) and the five polytechnics to launch the National HR Young Talent Award. The signatories for the MOU, comprised IHRP CEO, the Principals and Senior Management representatives of the five Polytechnics:
- Mr Mayank Parekh, CEO, IHRP
- Mr Clarence Ti, Principal, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
- Mr Lai Poh Hing, Senior Director, Organisational Excellence, Nanyang Polytechnic
- Dr Michael Koh, Deputy Principal, Academic Services, Republic Polytechnic
- Mr Soh Wai Wah, Principal & CEO, Singapore Polytechnic; and
- Mr Yeo Boon Leong, Albert, Senior Director, Principal Office, Temasek Polytechnic
- Ms Low Peck Kem, IHRP‐MP, Chief HR Officer & Senior Director (Workforce Development), Public Service Division
- Mr Jason Ho, IHRP-MP, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Human Resources, OCBC; and
- Ms Ong Chin Yin, IHRP-MP, Head of People, Grab
The award was only given to university students previously but has now been extended to polytechnic students through this MOU signing. The Award aims to recognise talented HR students and motivate the students to achieve greater heights of academic excellence and pursue a career in HR. With the extension to polytechnic students, IHRP hopes to build Singapore’s local HR talent pool further.
2. [Keynote speaker: Mr Jason Ho] Technology is here to help, not take over your jobs.
With wave after wave of technological disruptions, one can only imagine the impact this will cause to the economy and job roles.
The first keynote speaker, Mr Jason Ho, IHRP-MP, Head of Group Human Resources at OCBC Bank wants us to know that technology will create new jobs and opportunities and that we need to see this change in our workforce as a means for us to learn and develop.
In order to train and prepare the workforce, organisations must be a ‘true learning organisation’, where it looks towards the vision, leadership and culture of the company.
We must ensure the leaders put in place, as part of succession planning, the ability to adapt to the changing needs of the workforce, understand and make use of ever-evolving technology to move the company forward.
Organisations also need to have a culture that seeks to embrace technology and is open to experimentation. We need to provide an environment whereby there is opportunity for everyone to go on the journey of self-improvement and digitisation.
“At the end of the day, technology is only an enabler,” Mr Ho said. Technology doesn’t exist without a team of talented human individuals.
3. [Keynote speaker – Ms Ong Chin Yin] Technology for good
The second keynote speaker, Ms Ong Chin Yin, IHRP-MP, Head of People at Grab shared that the company has a very strong concept on what artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be used for.
Grab has set goals to achieve in its social mission to ensure AI and technology is used for good–they have set out to improve digital inclusion and literacy within Southeast Asia, empower micro-entrepreneurs like their drivers and small businesses as well as build a future-ready workforce.
She cites the #BreakTheSilence campaign. Grab has found ways to engage hearing-impaired drivers and let them drive on the Grab platform. Grab Malaysia pioneered this movement and transformed the Grab application yet again by building a system where passengers will be pinged with a notification highlighting that they have been paired with a hearing-impaired driver, including a message that provides some instructions on how they can learn to communicate with the driver.
Through technology, they were able to work with some associations of the deaf regionally and provide a platform for this group of people.
4. [Keynote speaker – Ms So-Young Kang] Learning through technology
To make full use of the advancement in technology that we see everywhere else, we need to integrate it into our learning experiences.
Last but not least, Ms So-Young Kang, Founder and CEO of Gnowbe, a microlearning mobile platform, gave an insightful sharing on the revolution of our learning and how she wants to bust the many fallacies and myths surrounding digital learning.
Over 5 billion people have access to a mobile device, she mentioned. “We thought about how this small device can help us upskill and reskill billions of people around the world in a way that the PC would not have been able to.”
Gnowbe empowered people to take ownership of their learning by making the learning relevant and easy to access. She continued to share that on an average, we touch our phones three thousand times a day.
“We tend to underestimate the emotional connection we have with our phones. We have this emotional stability when we touch this device–so how do we make use of this emotional connection to help us learn?” she said.
In classrooms, we absorb learning which the facilitators share, follow-by experience and practice. At Gnowbe, it has managed to apply technology and place this entire interaction and learning experience into a digital platform.
“Technology–if used powerfully and designed by humans, can be used to uplift and empower,” she said.
5. Panel Discussion
The sharing sessions concluded with a Q&A and panel discussion moderated by Tan Yen-Yen, Director at SP School of Business. The three speakers shared their experiences and views on topics like advice for young HR practitioners and students.
We would like to thank Singapore Polytechnic for hosting the symposium and for allowing us to be a part of the amazing learning experience.
Through these programmes and initiatives, IHRP hopes to help certified professionals learn the best practices and gather insights from industry leading companies and continue professional development.
To find out more on how you can be part of the IHRP community, and to learn more about best practices, visit https://www.ihrp.sg