Local HR personnel bring about more results at work

Local HR personnel bring about more results at workCommissioned by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) — The RBL Group —  a leading leadership and human resource consultancy firm, embarked on a study to benchmark local HR professionals’ impact on business results against their global counterparts, as well as to examine the competencies and capabilities of local HR practitioners that create the most value for business results. 
 
More than 250 HR professionals and over a thousand of their business partners from 50 companies based in Singapore were involved in the study. The participating companies represent a broad spectrum of the Singapore economy — from manufacturing, professional services, logistics and healthcare to finance and the public sector.

The HR Competency Study is one of the three Asia-centric research findings that will be shared at the Singapore Human Capital Summit 2009. The Summit will be held on 29 to 30 September 2009 at Raffles City Convention Centre.

Over the last 20 years, The RBL Group and the University of Michigan have conducted the largest ongoing study of the competencies of HR professionals across the world with a database of more than 45,000 people from North and Latin America, Europe, Australia, China and India.

The preliminary findings of the Singapore study revealed that while local HR professionals do the best job at being a credible activist, they need to strengthen the rest of the competencies, especially the business ally competency, in order to add greater value to business results. These findings are similar to the global results.

Another finding showed that the impact local HR professionals can have on business results and their personal performance is noticeably greater than the impact of their global HR counterparts (by up to 12 per cent) when they can harness these competencies effectively.  This is despite the finding that they are rated consistently lower in all categories of HR competencies compared to global findings. This may indicate that the expectations on local HR professionals by their business partners are greater than elsewhere in the world - their line management colleagues expect them to be better and to contribute even more than their global counterparts.

Commenting on the implications of the findings, Professor Dave Ulrich, Partner and Co-founder of The RBL Group, said: “With a higher expectation by their line management colleagues, HR professionals in Singapore need to more effectively translate their business knowledge to strategy formulation and implementation for business success.”  
Professor Wayne Brockbank, Partner of The RBL Group and principal investigator for this study, added: “Singapore HR practitioners also need to have greater knowledge and skills at aligning their HR activities to create effective business cultures and to be a more effective change management agent. Essentially, they need to understand their roles and agendas through which they create more customer-focused organisations.  The internal clients of Singapore HR professionals expect them to add greater value. The HR community in Singapore has a mandate to develop greater knowledge and skills that enable them to add greater value to the business.” Commenting on the implications of the research findings on organisations in Singapore and local HR professionals,  MOM Permanent Secretary Leo Yip said “This first-ever such study is significant and will go a long way.  Its findings and recommendations by the researchers uncover the fact that organizations in Singapore are recognising HR’s role as a strategic partner, while uncovering key HR competencies that matters most to their organisations. To help HR professionals prioritise their efforts to become stronger business allies, MOM and WDA are putting together some key national initiatives to make Singapore the HR Hub for Asia.”

Singapore’s initiatives

The MOM and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) have introduced a range of initiatives to enhance the capability and competencies of local HR professionals. These include the Human Resource Workforce Skills Qualifications (HR WSQ) and the Leadership and People Management Workforce Skills Qualifications (LPM WSQ), which are national skills standards against which HR and leadership capabilities can be benchmarked, with training conducted through Human Capital (Singapore) Pte Ltd, the WDA-appointed HR CET centre. 

To bring cutting edge knowledge, thinking and practice in the leadership development and HR fields to local business and HR leaders, Singapore has also started the Distinguished HR Visitors Programme (DHRVP) to invite key thought leaders from around the world to Singapore to share their expertise. The Executive Roundtable created a platform which brought together global and regional CEOs, key thought leaders and HR practitioners to deep dive and deliberate into the talent and human capital challenges and solutions of managing in Asia. Other initiatives include the Singapore Human Capital Summit and the Asian Human Capital Award. 

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