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PMAP-CDO Shoots for the Stars

How does one deal with HR practitioners yearning to leapfrog their trad HR processes to millennium state-of-the-art? PMAP-CDO chapter president, Ms. Joy Gogo, decided to just let them shoot for the stars.
That is how, last November 2, 2016 and on schedule, we–the Trustees of PMAP-CDO–successfully achieved a new critical milestone!

Our visit to the IBM Design Studios in Singapore was the first benchmarking session ever for the chapter. It was a ‘deep dive’ with IBM Country HR Director Pallavi Srivastava, IBM KENEXA ASEAN Executive and Workforce Science and Analytics Leader John Lim, and ASEAN HR Leader – Global Business Services Simran Bose.

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Why benchmark?
PMAP-CDO Officers and Board of Trustees Vivien Lawansa, Josette Cellona, Bambie Espiritu, Dulce Esperon, Precy Capitan, Jojo Ortiz with Pres. Joy Gogo and this writer, wanted to learn from the best to become one themselves.
“Benchmarking has indeed long been a tool for continuous improvement. It is used time and again to seriously move from the traditional ways of doing things. In fact, it scored the second highest usage–84% among 24 management tools used by executives worldwide. A Bain & Company survey confirms that users tend to be highly satisfied, rating 3.96% on a 5-point scale, with the benchmarking results provided to their companies.
Coincidentally, IBM KENEXA’s ASEAN Executive John Lim was the Session Leader on October 20, Day 2 Plenary 3 of the recent 53rd PMAP Annual Conference tagged #tHRive3 where he wowed 1400 participants on the science of HR Analytics and metrics. He had us the second he played humanoid and so we moved fast and furious as soon as he got off stage.

At IBM-Singapore
Our session was held in the IBM Studios on the 42nd floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower. (Yes, the modern and super-stylish place where Marina Bay Sands is also located.) The Security Clearance Process, of course to be emulated, was precise, respectful and firm.
In their all-glass conference room, Country HR Director Pallavi led the discussion on their technology-driven HR Transformation based on a roadmap made seven years ago. Their ‘HR’ is now a client-based organization with 350,000 ‘internal clients’ in 177 countries; 55% mobile and 60% millennial.
And no, they are not bogged down with admin work. Processes are relegated to HR apps installed in the personal cellphones of employees. Meaning, one can check his VL balance and apply for leave using his cell, get a ‘pat-on-the-back’ the same way and communicate via the internal chat system.
IBM HR is globally integrated. Tools used are the same all over the world and employees collaborate across time zones. A 24-hour contact center, with a call back standard of 24-48 hours, handles their regular questions.

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Key learnings
What struck me at the get-go was HR’s agility and obvious alignment to IBM business. For instance, part of its 7-year transformation was moving to a SaaS1/Cloud HR application. This successful deployment also allowed IBM to use it as a flagship client reference and thus help meet its business goals. A modern lesson on synergy.
On Recruitment. HR operates on multiple applications and for hiring, it uses KENEXA that provides end-to-end mobile support to our Hiring Managers from requisitioning to video interviews to tracking candidate for future opportunities.
On Compensation. There are 3 significant lessons in this area. First, IBM’s compensation strategy is market-sensitive with a positive nod to global mobility. Second, when managing the compensation of globally mobile talent, the rule of thumb is to maintain the positioning. Third, the annual performance rating is no longer a major determinant for salary increases.
On Training. Two take-aways: One. Instead of the ubiquitous Individual Development Plan (IDP), IBM has THINK 40, a self-learning program with a requisite 40 hours of professional development to be completed each year. Two. Reverse mentoring? Yes, millennials join leadership meetings handling the digital and social media aspects. Baby boomer stake care of the more traditional topics.

Conclusion
The benchmarking trip vigorously affirmed that HR is more than just benefits, payroll and employee relations. It plays a key role in meeting the company’s business objectives and therefore must constantly evolve to play that role.
While each of us took home different learnings from the prized benchmarking experience, we will undoubtedly focus on changes that offer high pay-offs in our own companies based on individual perspective.
And speaking of perspective, along the way, we saw that simple teamwork make for a successful trip. It need not be organized top-down. Each trustee brought out their talent without prodding or mental reservation. One called meetings, another bought the tickets. One wrote the letters, another handled the social functionality. And we did it!

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TAGS: benchmarking, HR, HR practitioners, human resources, pmap
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