held its first "Employee Engagement Summit 2009"
on 3rd December 2009 at Kowloon Shangri-La to address
the challenges and solutions of employee engagement. The
summit was a success and had over 250 human resources
professionals and senior executives to join. Following
we consolidates advice for HR from each of the keynote
speakers at the event.
is talent management knowledge platform tailored for human
resource personnel and senior executives. We are in fact
a talent management community and network with a comprehensive
knowledge centre. In this way, A-Performers.com provides
a true elite environment for human resources professionals
benefiting from updated features on key personnel moves,
salary trends, corporate brand identities, executive education
and training. And it's all arranged in clear-cut categories
for easy and convenient readability and access.
The morning session kicked of with Gary Leung, Head of
Investment, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Bank
Leung quipped that Standard Chartered's version of the
HSI is the ‘Happy Staff Index’, believing that the key
to happy staff is having a strategic framework and being
‘clear and honest’. Leung noted the importance of measuring
staff engagement which at Standard Chartered is achieved
via an annual staff engagement survey. The survey asks
questions such as:
|• Do you know what is expected of you at work?
• In the last seven days have you received recognition
or praise for doing good work?
• Does your supervisor, or someone at work, treat
you and care about you as a person?
• In the last year, have you had opportunities to
learn and grow?
Dr. Christine Lai, Regional HR Director, Pearson Education
Asia then addressed shared her success story of engaging
people's minds and hearts and turning results to action
through employee wellness programmes. Lai emphasised the
importance of understanding staff needs to achieve employee
engagement adding that if staff are not engaged it is
a failure of leadership.
Pearson Education advocates such initiatives on a global,
regional and local scales and Lai underscored the need
for these to be owned and managed by staff through a one-team
approach. Lai emphasised the importance of communication,
and explained how it supports sustainable and continuous
cultural change. She added, “It is necessary to share
a common vision and communicate in a participative process
from top to middle management. Middle levels are critical
and need to be engaged from beginning to end and in review
Luzia Hung, Chief of Pension & Group Business, AXA China
Region Insurance Company Limited spoke on boosting staff
engagement with effective employee benefits programmes.
She listed the most commonly desired employee benefits
as: a pension, medical coverage, group life coverage,
benefits for dependants—medical and education, and a discount
on company products.
Hung explained how employees had become much more aware
of retirement needs since the launch of the MPF. She extolled
the virtues of additional voluntary contributions under
the scheme. Although the minimum employer contribution
is 5%, some employers give 15% if an employee has worked
at the company for more than 10yrs, with 8-10% being the
average. These additional voluntary contributions not
only enable employees to save more, but also help employers
attract higher quality employees, enhance loyalty, and
reduce tax burdens as they are tax deductible.
Professor Kathleen Slaughter, Dean, Ivey Asia, Richard
Ivey School of Business (Asia) Limited was next to the
stage to share her take on engaging employees. Slaughter
believes employee engagement should be a high priority
for HR due to changing demographics and the importance
of employee retention.
|Things employees need for greater engagement
|- Understanding of strategies
- Understanding of business fundamentals
- Meaningful feedback
- A tangible stake in results
|- Ongoing reinforcement
- Alignment between pay and performance
- Connection between operating decisions and
- Closeness with shareholders
Slaughter shared the ten
Cs of employee engagement from the Ivey Business Journal:
connect, clarity, convey, congratulate, contribute, careers,
control, collaborate, credibility and confidence. Highlighting
connection as the most important factor, she urged HR
to check staff have a good relationship with their leaders,
and that managers have adequate people skills as, "Talking
to people is key".
Florence Ng, Senior Director, Country Human Resources
Hong Kong, Philips Electronics Group kicked off the afternoon
session explaining how leadership development could be
used to engage talent and allow sustainable business growth.
Sharing the four Ds from Philips, Ng explained the company
philosophy of creating an environment where all staff
can: delight customers, deliver great results, develop
people and depend on each other. Ng explained how staff
are developed through master classes on growth and performance,
she added, “…while they [Philips] seek to develop leaders,
leadership is a choice—you have to influence it, not force
it.” With this in mind, Philips adopts a 70:20:10 ratio
for staff development with 70% on the job assignment,
20% feedback from management and 10% training.
Marieke van Raaij, Group Leader, Greater China, Towers
Perrin then looked at leveraging staff in uncertain times
and gave an insight into their newly released benchmarks
and best practice sharing.
Engagement in Hong Kong has slowly increasing year on
year, with a jump in 2008. Raaij pointed out that there
is loyalty and commitment among employees with 57% of
respondents not considering leaving their current job.
Despite this, she warned that as the economy improves
and the job market becomes more competitive, retention
of key talent is likely to be a greater concern. Raaij
highlighted three key engagement drivers: ongoing leadership,
image, and career development opportunities. In Asia,
leadership was the highest driver, 72%, followed by image,
60%, and then career development, 44%.
Agnes Koon, Vice President, Hong Kong Women Professionals
& Entrepreneurs Association spoke about ensuring business
success through employee well-being and strategic insights.
She noted that successful engagement strategies have to
have commitment from the top, and each level of a company
shares the responsibility for success. Employees should
be well informed and HR managers should ask for employees’
advice and involvement and get feedback. Koon then highlighted
numerous points HR should try to ensure to maintain a
|• A clear job description with clear expectations,
standards and requirements.
• Basic materials, equipment and training for staff
to do their job.
• Recognition—essential in people management.
• A sense of belonging and citizenship for employees
and ensure their opinions are heard.
• Team building—as friendship at work is vital for
a successful company.
• Support, guidance, sharing and fun through team
• Opportunities to learn and grow—personal development
• Wellbeing schemes—physical and psychological health
is very important.
• Medical insurance, check-ups, inoculations, dental
care and health talks.
• A safe and healthy workplace.
Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, Director of the Public Opinion
Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong gave the
final keynote sharing results on job satisfaction and
staff retention from the Headline Jobs Quality Workplace
Index, 2009. The survey looked at two main areas: job
seeking and staff retention; and job satisfaction and
employee engagement. Dr Chung revealed that the five main
drivers of job satisfaction, according to the survey results,
were compensation, recognition, relationship, job nature
The survey also included several questions to gauge employee
engagement. Firstly concerning morale, and whether staff
felt their associates were committed to doing quality
work, 57% said yes. Secondly, in respect of ethos and
whether the company mission made staff feel their job
was important and meaningful 60% said yes. Regarding respect
at work and whether staff felt their opinions counted,
52% of respondents said sometimes, with only 4% giving
a definite yes. In response to a question asking staff
if they had recently received recognition or praise, 43%
said yes and 58% said no.
Note of Thanks
A-Perfomers.com, as the organizer, would like to take
this opportunity to thank all the honorable speakers,
partners, sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, facilitators
and delegates from Hong Kong and overseas, who have made
this summit a success and memorable one. Hope to see you
all next year!