Excellence an indicator of HR's growing value

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am

The way corporations perceive and use human resources could finally be turning a corner if applications to this year's HKIHRM/SCMP People Management Awards are anything to go by. Judges of the competition concurred that the standard of candidates this year was higher across the board, resulting in a particularly challenging judging and decision-making process.

'The standard of applicants was amazing this year. They were extremely well prepared and put a lot of effort into their presentations. I wish they could all have won first prize,' said Andrea Zavadszky, editor of Special Reports and Classified Post at the South China Morning Post.

Eddie Ng, an executive council member of the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM), who was also a judge, echoed these sentiments.

'We had more participants and the quality is even better, reflected by specific human resources management initiatives which were explicit in demonstrating the positive impacts to employees, quality of management and business results.'

Lai Kam-tong, chairman of the awards organising committee, said: 'Almost all entrants have demonstrated their understanding of the importance of cultivating and maintaining a caring culture as well as the establishment of an effective communication process in the organisation. This requires tremendous effort at every level with the senior management team taking the lead.'

Aaron Yim, Ricoh Hong Kong's managing director who was also involved in the judging process, was most impressed to see that organisations were using human resources initiatives to tackle a specific people issue and as part of a broader corporate strategy to improve bottom lines and achieve business growth.

'There was very clear linkage between HR projects and companies' overall business objectives, processes and results. Companies were strategically using HR as part of the business strategy,' Mr Yim said.

He added that the measurements of HR initiatives were clearly defined and results evaluated against the strategic requirements.

Improving staff engagement and human asset development were priorities among the applicants, a reflection that companies in Hong Kong are no longer just paying lip service to the belief that people are, at the end of the day, a corporation's biggest asset.

Wilfred Wong, president of HKIHRM, said that the enthusiasm and involvement of staff at all levels, which had enjoyed the full support of senior management, had been remarkable.

Through a rigorous interview process, which included the completion of an online self-assessment questionnaire, a presentation and interview with a panel of judges, the HKIHRM/SCMP People Management Awards recognised organisations that had achieved business success through a coherent and strategic approach to managing people.

A public presentation seminar was held on Thursday for the finalists to showcase their human resources initiatives or projects.

The awards presentation was organised on the same day at the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong.