Dear Learn & Perform Subscriber

Welcome to the 2013 November E-News! Happy Deepavali to all our Hindu subscribers.


The Malaysian budget was presented in Parliament by the Honourable Prime Minister. While there were many comments, I was very happy with the emphasis on inculcating excellence in Human Capital and Educations. It augurs well for the long term growth of the country. And now to the E-News:

  • Learning & Performance

  • Competency & Talent

  • Leadership & Innovation

  • SMR News

    Learning & Performance

    The recent Malaysian budget encouraged flexible work arrangements with tax benefits. The question foremost on most people’s mind was – can our workforce learn to work in a flexible mode and yet deliver performance without the required supervision. Talent Management magazine asked the question: The Remote Reality: Can working from Home Work? Organisations are choosing flexible work arrangements either remote or flexible as the goal is to have employees work from home, some as a perk and others as a cost-saving mechanism. To succeed, managers should focus on three things:

  • Building trust,

  • Clear communication and

  • Task management systems.

    While in most cases it seems the motives are tied to lowering costs, some choose remote or “distributed” models for their employees as an incentive.  “There is no commute, no dealing with traffic, no costs for eating out every day, they have the freedom of their own work environment and not a jungle of cubicles,” said Anthony Licursi, Vice President of customer service at Site5, a web hosting company with 105 employees who all work remotely. The organisation saves overhead costs and allows a unique flexibility for employees, not to mention being a waste-free, totally green company.

    While working from home or wherever you want to from without missing a beat is a definite perk, there are unique challenges in managing remote teams. It involves a great deal of trust. Scott Hanselman, a Principal Program Manager who has worked at Microsoft remotely for five years, said trust is essential.

    A professional as a professional has to work like a professional and be trusted as a professional. Working remotely requires the company to trust you and requires employees to live up to the trust. There is no doubt that to build an environment of trust, the company tries to hire the right type of person for remote work. People who rely on their work environment for social interaction tend to struggle with remote work. Another trust-builder is productivity, and this requires teams to develop a task management system helps create clear expectations. It can be as simple as emailing three weekly goals or as complex as task management software. Communications are vital. Technology can play an important role such as Skype, whatsapp, emails, mobile applications etc. Metrics and surveys are important to gauge customer satisfaction as well as different technology products. Ultimately, performance is what matters.

    Please email annnei@smrhrgroup.com for more information on implementing flexible work arrangements.

    Competency & Talent
    There has been so much written about integrated talent management strategy in recent years. Definitions vary, to some it means all the infrastructure, processes and activities within the employee life cycle, from hiring to the end of the employment life cycle. To others it only means software used to manage appraisals, assessments, talent pools, succession planning, career management and development. However it may be defined, talent management implementation is no easy feat, and it takes an enormous amount of time and effort. A technology tool and a clear plan for implementation is a minimum requirement. If implemented well, the benefits are great for organisations.

    Please email Subra at subra@smrhrgroup.com for more information on implementing integrated talent management strategies.

    Leadership & Innovation
    Great by Choice by Collins and Hansen is a good book despite all the criticisms against it. There are many surprises and highlights. They contend that the best leaders are not more risk taking, more visionary or more creative BUT disciplined, empirical and paranoid. Innovation is not the trump card in a chaotic and uncertain world but the ability to scale innovation and blend creativity with discipline is important. I loved the SMaC recipe – specific, methodical and consistent. Over the last couple of months we developed a CHAMP 360 degree leadership assessment that encompasses several of these and some other ideas in a cohesive way. The first thing we did was to implement it for our own team before we implemented it for our premium customers. Please email annnei@smrhrgroup.com for more information on developing leadership and innovation.

    SMR News

  • The Asia HRD Awards is scheduled for June 9th, 2014. Nominations are now open. Please do visit www.asiahrdawards.com and nominate individuals and organisations for excellence in the field human capital, human endeavours, education and people development.

  • The Global Journey of an Asian, my 15th book is expected to be launched on December 23rd at 7.30 pm in Kuala Lumpur. Please email annnei@smrhrgroup.com if you are able to make it and we will send you an invite.

    Have a good month ahead! I will be in touch again in December.

    With best wishes,

    Accredited Competency Professional
    Accredited Competency Professional