Mr. Paul Huynh, HR Director, KPMG Vietnam
With the dynamic changes that are constantly happening, it’s important that HR teams are future-ready by proactively looking at the entire employee and people experience. Automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are impacting every facet of the business, so looking at enhancements to the way you recruit, develop and motivate talent to stay with the company should be done with a digital lens. Data and analytics will continue to play a key role, so a HR teams’ ability to use and manipulate critical data will ensure it adds real strategic value to the organization and its leaders.
It’s very important to fully understand the benefits that technology can bring to a company’s overall performance and employee productivity. Senior HR therefore need to select the systems most suitable to their organization and equip employees with comprehensive knowledge on using these technologies, via training or demonstration. Proper measurement should also be conducted to identify where implementation has been successful.
Industry 4.0 will be an exciting challenge for every organization and individual. In this rapidly changing world, everyone must be better updated and equipped with new knowledge and familiar with advanced technologies and apps. We have EY Badges, which offers the possibility for talent to attain new skills that will help them stay relevant in today’s dynamic working world. EY is the first professional service organization offering digital badges globally. EY Badges demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting talent and their ongoing development.
The world of work is changing, driven by new technology, office space, and attitudes towards the work-life balance. We want to be part of this change and are committed to making our time at work simpler and happier. To support the business in driving success and in building future organizational capacity, we must change the way we work by investing in our people, our processes, and our technology – our enablers and differentiators. We have been increasing investments in HR processes and platforms to increase productivity, reduce operational risk, and improve data analytics.
We have a four-year investment plan that is aimed at creating modern HR policies that deliver a digitally-enriched human experience. In seeking to significantly reduce our manual processes and therefore operational risk, enhance the client and line manager experience, and improve data analytics, we hope this will also boost staff engagement and improve productivity.
Industry 4.0 has crept into every part of human life. It will be driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which are no longer concepts but reality. I personally believe that unless HR and the entire enterprise adapt to technology and create the culture required in such an environment, they will struggle in building up a workforce of the future. For Millennials and Gen Z, who are very tech-savvy, foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) need to continuously modify many aspects of their recruitment practices based on incorporating technology and providing a culture of creativity, risk taking, and autonomy.
No matter what stage of Industry 4.0 we are in, I think it all starts with empowering your people and creating a culture that fosters an entrepreneurial mindset. With the expansion of automation, robotics and AI, it’s important that employees are encouraged to be thought leaders and given space to lead. Establishing an agile company structure instead of retaining a traditional hierarchical model will provide the flexibility needed to support rapid decision-making and appropriate levels of risk taking, which undeniably create excitement and motivation among young talent.
Vietnam has many employees with diplomas but insufficient numbers of lower-skilled workers. Medium-sized FIEs require a large workforce but only a few experienced department managers have sufficient English language skills. Most older Vietnamese don’t speak English, or not enough, which is another big problem. For every chief accountant to manager position I need to fill, I receive 100 or more applications. If I need 100 high-skilled workers, I have to find them myself locally and can only recruit a maximum of ten each week.
Job websites in Vietnam are helpful as a first step, but every candidate only wants a highly-paid job while forgetting their skills are limited. Senior managers often need to have a Western attitude and lots of experience, but candidates with these are not easily found in Asia. I think the main issue is that Vietnamese employees, at all levels, are only interested in a high salary. We need people to gain experience, skills, and reliability, and then a higher salary will come. The other way around works only in the short term.
HR departments need to change their company’s job descriptions, organizational structures, recruitment criteria, compensation systems, promotion methods, and training; basically everything. Their challenge is not just to think of themselves as traditional HR people, but more as an extension of the revenue-generating activities of the business. As globalization, technology, and continual modernization force companies to adapt to stay competitive, HR has to understand these changes and deliver the most important aspect – how employees can have the ability to lead this change. This is beyond being a reactive HR business partner. It is listening to the sales and operations departments of your companies and creating HR solutions that are better than the international competition’s.
Domestic enterprises have seen a breakthrough in business achievements and working environment in recent times, which has allowed them to attract talent. The results of the Vietnam Best Places to Work Survey 2017 prove this. It has affected recruitment by multinational companies and made them adjust their HR strategies to adapt. Utilizing social media channels will help increase engagement between employer and employee.
According to a Zombie workplace report conducted by Anphabe, the number of employees losing their engagement with people at the company has increased over the last two years. The reasons stem from changes in the company, the market, customers, regulations, and technology. These things make some employees despair, which affects the workplace spirit and quality of work as well as the motivation to make the company succeed. Employees who lose their engagement but don’t leave can greatly affect the workplace culture and the development capacity of and changes to a company. Zombie employees are also “Change Killers”, as they are against all change.
We can’t blame employees, however, because the biggest responsibility belongs to the company leader, who can do something about it. Communication from the company leader would help employees change and move forward with the company.
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