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HR Leaders Meet in Melbourne

Hosted by: ANZ

The Chapman Consulting Group recently brought together an impressive group of Regional HR Leaders in Melbourne, hosted by the ANZ Bank. Our session took the format of a round table event whereby leaders discussed current challenges shared by many multinational organisations. Some of the challenges discussed included rapid growth in a dynamic business and strategies that have been implemented to mitigate potential problems; HR transformation and moving to a structure of a Shared Service Centre and HR Business Partner model; and cultural change post acquisition.

All very interesting topics with some key points highlighted below.

In dealing with the challenge to cope with fast growth one organisation has implemented the following framework:

  • A common induction program, leadership programs and reward recognition tools, to name a few.
  • The HR team is clear on the HR structure prior to rolling out to the new division. All policies and processes are clearly defined. The leadership team have a good degree of confidence and are well versed on the Talent Acquisition strategy. The business recruits carefully based on identifying people who have the competencies required to cope with matrix and growth.
  • The HR and leadership team stand by their model and are passionate in rolling it out to new divisions and businesses.
  • It was identified early on that when working across diverse countries and cultures, multi-language skills are required in both locations.
  • Extensive testing is regularly undertaken to give confidence and ensure that people understand and have the company has employee “buy-in”.
  • Allowing their people to experience the product first hand is expensive but vital.
  • A remuneration system that has flexibility to work across all locations. i.e. The principles and framework remain standard however there is “give” within that framework that works in the location. Integrating Business Acumen into HR and Transitioning to a New HR Structure.
  • Many organisations are moving towards an HR model of a Shared Service Centre and HR Business Partner model.
  • Challenges that are shared by many include finding the right people to partner with the business and then selling the model to the business where some leaders are not receptive to an HR Business Partner.
  • Changing the image of HR from a function that manages tools and processes to a Partner that supports the business using tools to assist.
  • Creating a framework that will support career progression within HR. i.e. it was noted that moving to the Shared Service and Business Partner model may reduce opportunities internally due to recruiting based on specific job skills sets and competencies that may not transfer as well. There has also been signs of disengagement where HR Managers may have moved from managing a team to an individual contributor role
  • The question arose as to where should HR report to? The business or the function? We had a discussion around developing commercial acumen, focusing on business issue and gaining credibility within the business. It was agreed that there is no right or wrong approach and it’s certainly a topic that could run its own event.

We hope to have identified just some of the key points and challenges that we find our APAC HR Leaders grappling with on a regular basis. It was a great session in Melbourne and we look forward to sharing ideas and case studies next time.


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