The April 23rd morning session at Gap was well attended by HR leaders from companies including Syngenta, Oracle, Dolby Laboratories, Wikimedia, eBay, Google and Cisco. The afternoon session at Levi Strauss & Co brought HR leaders from as far south as San Diego – with companies such as Life Technologies and Qualcomm. Both sessions were opened by Stefanie Cross-Wilson, International President of The Chapman Consulting Group, welcoming HR leaders from San Francisco, the surrounding Bay Area and Southern California.

The morning session, held at Gap, opened with introductions, and a few reunions of former colleagues. International Vice President, Human Resources, Jose Davila of Gap provided insights into Gap’s strategy for capitalizing on its Japan presence and the introduction of the Gap brand into China. His presentation “People Systems as a Lever for Building on 15 Years of Gap in Japan and for Launching the Gap Brands into China", sparked a lot of discussion and idea sharing.

Alison James, Head of HR for Operations and Corporate at Life Technologies presented on “Turning Around the Business in Greater China, and Examining the Pros and Cons of Local Versus Expat Talent”. Her focus was on how companies can make the most of their expat employees and even how to maximize the ROI with the repatriation of that population. Particularly important were her insights on how to bring these expats back into the home base corporate fold. This was appreciated by the group – which also acknowledged that repatriation tends not to be handled well by most organizations.

Ann Owens, SVP Total Rewards at Qualcomm presented on “Communicating Total Rewards Value in Growth Markets”. She showcased some new programs and processes that Qualcomm HR use to measure employee satisfaction with the Compensation and Benefits program. She also demonstrated how the results of employee surveys are used to create and adjust rewards throughout the organization, and the positive effect this has had on retention in key emerging markets.

The afternoon saw us attend a great session at Levi Strauss & Co. Attendees included HR Leaders from Roche, Nike, Flextronics, NXP Semiconductors, KLA-Tencor and Landor Associates. The afternoon kicked off with Levi’s own, Carrie Cassidy, Vice President of HR, Global Retail and Commercial Operations, presenting on “Driving a Global Performance Culture at Levis Strauss & Co”. This was followed up by Emma Docking, International Managing Director of HR at Lam Research. Her presentation on "Leading Organizational Change in an Environment with Evolving Work Expectations" opened the floor to earnest discussion among the attendees.

Closing out the session was Mark Levy, Global Chief Talent Officer; and Yuca Hung, Global Director of Talent Management and Engagement from Landor Associates. They opened with an inspiring video presentation created for the purpose of engaging overseas employees and introducing them to the “Landor Way.” The presentation itself, entitled "Engaging with Asia & Growth Markets in Global HR Transformation - Involving Them in the Creation of Our New Vision and Values" underscored their own commitment to the values expressed in the video. Each presentation drove home the fact that many companies are faced with how to engage their employees globally in a meaningful and quality way. They know that the more engaged their people are, the better return on the corporate investment in both the short and long term.