“I See Tremendous Opportunities in Change”: Faustina Chiu, Head of HR – Asia Pacific, BNY Mellon

July 25, 20168:10 am1355 views

Taking us through her experiences at BNY Mellon to witnessing four major M&As during her tenure, Faustina Chiu, Head of HR – Asia Pacific, BNY Mellon shares with us, insights on the importance of ‘Investing in People’ right philosophy for business growth, need for effective talent management to retain talent, building high-performance culture at work to introducing concepts like “Holocracy” in Asia.

Know more about the workforce management strategies, crisis management, fostering development of women leadership talent pipeline and changing paradigms in the workplace of the future, from the one of the world’s reputed investment company, BNY Mellon here.

  • What are the talent management strategies followed at BNY Mellon to attract, and retain talent?

Helping our people realize their full potential starts with having the best talent with the right experience and expertise, and by providing the right opportunities for growth. Through a continuum of integrated performance and development processes, we are attracting, retaining and developing the talent for the future.

Forming the backbone of our talent attraction, development and retention strategies, HR team works closely with our business stakeholders to align people strategy with business priorities and external talent landscape. The close collaboration between HR and business teams allows us to drive a holistic integrated performance and development strategy, to make our talent, a competitive advantage.

It is also important to stay flexible and agile with our strategies. This allows us to adapt quickly to new market trends and retain top talent. Finally, talent development targeted at harnessing potentials of our top talent, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion are some of the key differentiators towards attracting, retaining and growing talent within the company. This in turn also drives our profits and success.

  • Take us through the company’s journey of investing in the right people for business growth.

Collaboration across HR and business teams is the key to our integrated approach to talent management. Working closely with business stakeholders across all facets of our people strategy – from hiring, talent development to feedback and assessment – helps us understand the needs of each business and determine priorities accordingly.

For example, some of our businesses identified client-facing sales skills as an immediate priority, so we are developing a consistent firm-wide competency model and corresponding courses.

  • What are the secrets to investment success and strategies that help workforce management of more than 50,000 individuals across the globe?

Talent analytics should firmly link your talent strategy to the business strategy.We are using talent analytics to make informed management decisions, focus on the long-term quality and effectiveness of  hiring and prioritize investment strategies for our talent. For example, identifying training programs that make a significant difference in productivity outcomes of our people, and improving targeting to the right internal audiences.

Faustina Chiu, Head of HR - Asia Pacific, BNY Mellon

Faustina Chiu, Head of HR – Asia Pacific, BNY Mellon

  • What are the challenges to maintaining a consistent momentum of employee productivity, especially during M&As or crisis when employee confidence is at its low, during transition phase and change in management?

Change brings uncertainty and it is natural for people to feel uneasy.The foundation of good change management is effective communication. It is important to help our employees stay informed and understand why the changes are beneficial to the company and individuals, and how we as an organisation will support them through the changes.

We also need to give employees the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns, and to foster an open dialogue through change. Managers at all levels should be open, transparent and proactively address any concerns.

This is why we are focused on the early identification of emerging leaders and invest in their continued development to equip them with leadership skills. This will help manage change and future cultural shifts.

See: Why Does Change Management Fail in Organisations?

  • Does effective workplace culture help retention of talent pool? How can you develop a high-performance culture within the company?

An engaged and inclusive high-performance culture is imperative to retaining top talent.  A key towards building a high-performance culture is our ability to provide great leadership and development opportunities for employees at all levels.

We take a globally consistent approach to training, however we can modify for certain businesses, whether it is by business model or by the internal stakeholder. Our key talent and leadership programs, for example, use a blended approach, whereas other programs leverage on live classroom training, virtual classrooms, eLearning and, the recently added, social learning.

Our “Pathways to Leadership” approach to talent management is focused on the early identification of key talent and investment in their continued personal and professional development.

“We also place continued emphasis on cross-functional career development opportunities, particularly for our Vice President and below population.”

  • Highlight steps to develop a comprehensive people strategy to hire, recruit and train talents and promote women leadership in an organisation?

We believe diverse and inclusive environments that foster an open workplace and encourage creative thinking provide a competitive edge for global talent.

In 2015, we have been recognized as the Top Company for Women in Technology by Anita Borg Institute for our efforts in advancing women in technical roles and creating a culture where they can thrive.

At BNY Mellon, our cross-company Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are an important component of our diversity commitment. Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) is one of the six employee resource groups, which support women advancement in the company through various channels and opportunities for professional development, leadership, enhanced visibility and greater connectivity with other employees and clients.

In Asia Pacific, we engage our employees through a wide range of WIN events and initiatives including International Women’s Day celebration, mentoring program, professional development webinar series on career development for women and men.

Our regional management team is also strongly committed to diversity and inclusion by sponsoring many of the initiatives. For instance, one of our APAC Executive Committee members is co-chair for APAC WIN and an early member of The Women’s Foundation’s Male Champions of Change, working on achieving gender balance with approximately 20 other companies in Hong Kong.

WIN also held focus groups to find out what employees need to advance professionally and work closely with HR to drive initiatives that are aligned with our talent agenda to further develop female talent pipeline.

  • How difficult can it prove for organizations functioning in a traditional set-up to bring about transformation in the workplace culture, considering challenges in mindsets and cultural differences across geographies?

Cultural transformation will be challenging for any organisation as it is about changing people’s behaviours and indeed mindsets. Changing behaviours will take time, open conversations, reinforcement, recognition and reward. This is especially true for organisations that manage talent across geographies and in the case of Asia – many languages, cultures and lifestyles.

For example, effectively changing culture in Singapore will look entirely different from changing culture in Taipei as leadership style can vary from country to country. Perceptions and meaning around concepts like flexibility can vary greatly across the region.

Whilst it is important for organizations to take a scalable and global approach in their HR strategy, its implementation also needs to cater for cultural differences.

  • How can technology be harnessed to foster a culture of innovation at work and set the stage right for leadership development?

Technology not only drives innovation in the market and for our clients, but also for our internal processes and workplace.

As technology explores new ways for employees to collaborate, such as Agile, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), it brings new ways of working, thinking and behaviour to our company. In turn, this can ignite a culture of innovation amongst people.

This also requires leaders and people to become more comfortable with technology and flexibility in the workplace. For leaders, they need to demonstrate leadership styles that can drive this culture forward and help their teams become more nimble and thrive in an ever-changing environment.

  • What have been the turning points in your career and during the tenure at BNY Mellon, which has helped you become the leader you are today?

There were a few key turning points and it all happened in times of change.  I see tremendous opportunities in change.

Throughout my career, I have experienced four major mergers and acquisitions that have all offered an extensive training platform for me to learn new skills and gain new experience. These experiences helped me to build a strong foundation as a leader.  More importantly, I have continued to follow my passion in HR and contribute in a meaningful way at BNY Mellon.

  • What advice would you offer to HR professionals who are struggling with, getting the “Investing in People” right philosophy incorporated as a part of the organizational culture?

It is important to stay open minded and see opportunities in change and challenges. In today’s fast evolving world, organizations are increasingly looking for these traits in their leaders including those in HR.

  • How do you envision the workplace of the future in Asia – Vision 2020?

I think that the idea of a virtual organization without any need for an office space is still a distant vision for the broader Asian economy. Concepts like “Holocracy”, which is a new organizational structure that removes power from the management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles is now seen ‘live’ in Europe, however this will take time for the Asia Pacific region to adopt.

Activity based working and flexible working is gaining popularity in the region. Instead of a specific location in one particular building, people will start viewing the office as a virtual place where you can connect from your own personal device, wherever you are.

Flexibility in the workplace will be instrumental to this virtual office concept, which would require a significant shift in the mind-set from our leaders, as they move from managing face time to managing outcomes.

Trust, creating a sense of belonging and leading change will be the key themes for leadership in any organisation. Being digitally savvy, innovative, change resilient and agile are essential traits for our new leaders.

At the same time, it is pivotal that they can keep in tune with their teams, in terms of making them stay aligned and engaged with the vision. In other words, the role of our leaders will be more complex than ever before.

Also read: 8 Reasons HR Failed the Change Management

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Image credit: wsj.com

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