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Philippines HR Leaders on Talent Trends and Managing Change

Hosted by: UnitedHealth Group

At the end of Q1, ChapmanCG was back in Manila to bring together a group of passionate HR leaders as part of the latest ASEAN HR networking series. GrahamTollit, Director, and Tom Storey, Senior Associate with ChapmanCG, were in attendance at the meeting, which was co-hosted by UnitedHealth Group (UHG), located in one of Manila’s largest and most impressive business hubs. Jolina Khan, Senior Director Human Capital with UHG, helped facilitate the session, and we were joined by representatives from a number of high profile organisations including Accenture, Emerson, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan, Macquarie Bank, Orica, Philip Morris International and Telstra.

UnitedHealth Group’s 2020 Vision

The session began with a presentation from UHG, an organisation in a fairly unique position in the Philippines because it plays a pivotal role in the global business of this US headquartered company. Since 2010 UHG in the Philippines has hired over 7,000 employees, and projections include a full-time workforce of 10,000 in the country by the end of 2016. This population will be responsible for end-to-end healthcare services and will operate in four different Philippino locations — Taguig City, Alabang, Cebu & Quezon City.

Jolina briefed the group on the five principles that UHG is striving to instil throughout the organisation by 2020 and beyond:

  1. Collaboration – this calls for interwoven work, both internally and externally;
  2. Authenticity – core values and transparency that demonstrate genuineness;
  3. Personalisation – tailor-made career paths for employees;
  4. Innovation – in a challenging world, new thinking enables sustainability;
  5. Social connection – noone is an island. The future workplace will be based on sharing and forming a community.

The UHG roadmap is heavily focused on engaging a workforce through a community/family atmosphere, which is hugely important in the Philippines; enriching the employee experience through a more consumer-focused lens; and developing and continuously upskilling internal talent.

Emerson’s Journey from Outpost to Business-Critical

On a similar note our next presenter was May Sunega HR Director at Emerson, who shared her inspiring story and insights around the organisation’s journey from mere support location, to what is now a key component of the overall global business. Sunega played a key role in this transformation, which saw support evolve from simply transactional to value-added partnering.

The following five elements will enable organisations to effectively drive change:

  • Organisation must encourage frank and honest conversations;
  • Be ready to spend — not just finanically, but also time and emotion;
  • Any change involves some form of loss, and this should be dealt with across relationships, skills, people and investment;
  • Ensure robust leadership assessment and development programmes are in place to keep the right talent;
  • HR leaders must keep learning, adapting and developing.

Emerson’s success provided a positive and encouraging note to end the meeting on, and there was a real sense of momentum in the room about the business climate in the Philippines. Many thanks go to the UnitedHealth Group team for hosting us, and to all of the attendees who contributed to the discussions. We look forward to bringing together our Philippines HR network again later in the year.

Graham Tollit and Tom Storey both have a key focus on HR Executive Search in the Philippines and wider ASEAN region.

Here’s What People are Saying:

“Thank you to Chapman Consulting for facilitating events like these, it provides a platform for the Philippine HR Community to leverage on each other’s strength.” May Sunega — HR Director, Emerson

The discussion and insights during the meeting were very rich. It was such a privilege to have exchanged ideas, stories and battle scars with my fellow HR Leaders. Looking forward to the next session.” Jolina Kahn – Senior Director, Human Capital, UHG


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Key Contributors:

Graham Tollit

Senior Director

Consulting Team
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Consulting Team

Graham Tollit

Senior Director

Graham is a Senior Director with ChapmanCG based in the United Kingdom. He is passionate about building long-term partnerships and his current focus is on European and global search mandates, working with the team to identify high-calibre HR talent across EMEA and internationally.

With over 20 years in executive search, Graham has a successful track record delivering across multiple industry sectors and specialist functions with many of the top global multinationals. He has a deep interest and knowledge of the HR profession, future of work, and is a big advocate of the importance of mental health and wellness in the workplace. Before a return to the UK in 2017, Graham spent seven years based in Singapore.

Graham’s personal interests revolve around his family, and you could find him either on the golf course or exploring a new city or coastline somewhere.