In conjunction with ING, Stryker and Egmont, ChapmanCG was delighted to host three global HR leader sessions in the Netherlands and Denmark in early June. A diverse group of regional and global HR leaders from Benelux and the Nordics attended from prestigious global organisations such as IBM, Cargill, Philips and Maersk to name a few.

Adventures in Agility

There were intense discussions at all three sessions around the need for agile HR. The Director of Human Resources for ING, Maarten van Beek shared an inspiring story of CEO-driven project to transform into a young, innovative and customer-focused business. ING operates more like a technology business with the majority of their employees possessing a technology background, and only a minority have a traditional banking or financial services profile. An employee base that is very technology and customer focused coupled with leading edge mobile apps designed to deliver progressive services could arguably present ING as more of an Amazon or TripAdvisor styled business.

Using Data from Performance Reviews

Erin Muldoon, the Vice President of Human Resources for Europe at Stryker hosted the second day in Amsterdam with what turned out to be a very interactive and lively debate on performance management. Numerous attendees revealed a re-shaping of their approach to ensure that the process was less bureaucratic and more tailored to individuals, while remaining relevant to the organisation’s skill requirements. “The data we get from performance reviews is not just about ratings, but it is a useful aid in the design of talent management and workforce planning strategies” says Muldoon.

Underlying most organisation’s people strategies was the need for a strong leadership base. The need for leaders who could engage in ongoing communication and provide feedback tailored for the individual was deemed to be vital. There was acknowledgement that no one system fits all given the multitude of factors such as industry, the stage of the business, workforce demographics and so on.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The final event was hosted by Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Vice President of Human Resources and CHRO of Egmont. The session revolved around business-focussed discussions about how HR could ensure that organisations stay one step ahead and focus on development whilst leveraging existing frameworks and new innovations around workforce management. Many people in attendance spoke of their desire to create a work environment where employees felt empowered to share new ideas and that products and services were developed through all levels of the organisation. Egmont, like a lot of well-established businesses, is eager to leverage their existing business processes while at the same time embrace new technologies to drive consumer trends and industry innovations.

Creating the right culture and leadership from the board level down to the shop floor was seen as critical to future success in all four of the global HR leader sessions. HR leaders agreed that it was time to transition away from traditional “best practices” and instead focus on the needs of the organisation.

Join us when we return to this part of the region in late September, early October 2016.