Human Resources Focus Group Quarterly Update - Q2 2014

Published on 2014-07-03

HR’s ongoing evolution to become a strategic Business Partner. HR is increasingly asked to play a more strategic role in designing and implementing initiatives that enable & support senior management in raising the productivity of their workforces.

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HR’s ongoing evolution to become a strategic Business Partner

As organisations in China continue to face strong pressure from rapidly rising operating & labour costs, “Increasing Productivity” is a common theme amongst most executives and HR practitioners alike. HR is increasingly asked to play a more strategic role in designing and implementing initiatives that enable & support senior management in raising the productivity of their workforces.

This highlights the need for the HR function to continue its evolution towards a more strategic business partner, although it is clear there are some unique challenges to be overcome in China if this goal is to be achieved. Developing HR Generalists towards becoming effective HR Business Partners was the subject of discussion at a recent HR Focus Group event and invited much comment and debate amongst the HR Practitioners in attendance.

Talent shortages, cultural gaps and effective communication between HR & Operations were all identified as key themes for businesses to overcome if they wish to successfully develop HR as a strategic business partner.

Against this backdrop, Q2 also saw many organisations preparing to adapt to the additional restrictions to regulations governing the usage of dispatch workers in China. The new requirements & restrictions came into effect on 1st March 2014 and potentially have a significant impact for organisations that have traditionally relied on dispatch workers to create a more flexible workforce, and it has been highly recommended that all organisations review their arrangements to ensure compliance with the new rules.

Following the Chinese New Year period, Q2 typically sees recruitment & retention feature as top-level priorities for HRDs and CEOs alike. Most organisations are still focused on “localising” their workforces, and strategies to attract and retain top (local) talent have dominated discussions in the industry. In particular, there has been strong interest in: designing innovative / non-traditional retention strategies, investing in Learning & Development and effectively developing & utilising Generation Y (those born from 1983 – 1995).

On the Organisational Development side this quarter has seen an increasing rise in awareness for a need to analyse how Training & Development should be linked to a clear ROI in terms of business needs. There is a rise in using the 6 Ds of High Impact Learning to establish non-traditional, sustainable learning that can be actively implemented on the job.

It promises to be an interesting 6 months in Q3 and Q4, with HR firmly in the spotlight to assist senior management effectively manage and develop their workforces to meet the challenges ahead. The HR Focus Group is looking forward to offering ongoing support the British Chamber’s HR community, and sharing best practice amongst the membership.


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