Breathing New Life into HR
By Chris Davis
  • With the theme “Revitalising HR”, the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM) Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022 and HR Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021/22 will take place on 7 September at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.

  • The blended conference format, which comprises an in-person event and webinars, will explore the future of work in its multiple facets. 

With the two previous annual conferences successfully staged virtually, as a major initiative of the Institute’s 45th anniversary celebrations, the HKIHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022 is returning as an in-person event. Adding a new dimension to the flagship event, the HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021/22 will also take place during the conference. 

Designed for HR professionals ranging from those in the budding stage of their career to veteran HR executives, the conference brings influential speakers, inspirational HR practitioners, and C-suite business leaders under one roof to discuss pertinent issues. A strategic element of the blended conference format will include a series of online webinars anchored by the theme of revitalising HR. 

Kris Lui and Jenny Pong, Co-chairpersons of the HKIHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022 Organising Committee, elucidated how offering an in-person conference and webinar sessions will provide HR practitioners with flexible opportunities to gain valuable insights into the competencies needed and the role HR is expected to play in the evolving world of work. “As the most representative human resource management professional body in Hong Kong, we want to add value for our members and the wider HR community,” Lui said. The Co-chairpersons were also keen to highlight how the conference and exhibition will provide useful insights, personal development tips, and actionable takeaways for HR professionals regardless of their industries or positions in the HR function. Furthermore, as organisations adapt to, learn, and reimagine business models, CEOs and professionals from a non-HR background will offer their thoughts on the rapid changes reshaping the business landscape.

Sharing the view that the HR function's reputation has been enhanced by the vital contribution they have made to help their organisations and the workforce navigate the persistent COVID-19 situation, the Co-chairpersons concurred that the conference will provide rich inspiration for participants to build on the lessons learned in order to strengthen HR competencies and develop new proficiencies. “As a profession,” Pong said, “If COVID-19 has taught HR practitioners anything, it is how to become more adaptable and flexible.”  She added, while the pandemic required HR practitioners to take on wide-ranging responsibilities for which they were not necessarily prepared, the conference and webinars will provide them with an opportunity to reflect, recharge, and reinvigorate so they are ready for the next phase of their career journey. “It is about anticipating the changes and working towards preparing ourselves for them and becoming future-ready,” Pong added.

Focusing on the future

In a VUCA world, the Co-chairpersons noted the annual conference and webinars will take place at a time when the HR function is seeking various ways to become more agile, resilient, and resourceful. Speaker topics and round table discussions, for instance, will focus on the technical and psychological skills HR practitioners need to elevate work, workplaces, and their employees’ wellbeing, while simultaneously helping their organisations and the workforce to chart a path forward. In its new blended format, the conference and webinars will provide a platform to inspire HR practitioners with pragmatic insights to help them identify ways they can revitalise their skills and competencies. “We need to reimagine what HR is and what we want HR to be in the future so that practitioners can have the agility and competencies they need to emerge stronger,” Lui said. With the HR function in the driver's seat of employee-centric activities, now more than ever, HR professionals need to develop an agile mindset and practices to assist their organisations in redefining strategies and setting the direction to thrive in the future. 

During September, HR professionals will also be able to participate in webinars featuring subject experts who will focus on a range of hot-button topics veering from environmental, social and governance to organisational effectiveness, rewards to talent recruitment and management. 

Expert insights

Featuring a line-up of leading industry executives drawn from a broad spectrum of industry sectors, the CXO Boardroom panel at the conference will offer high-level views on the unique challenges business leaders are facing. With a deeper understanding of these challenges, the Co-chairpersons believe that HR practitioners will be better prepared to enable their organisations to redefine the workplace and employee experience. 

Relevant to HR practitioners’ cross-functional responsibilities, the Future Leaders panel session will explore how they are preparing for and reimagining the nature of work in a post-pandemic future. The Co-chairpersons pointed out that conference attendees will be able to gain insights of strategies deployed by forward-thinking business leaders to transform, adapt, and prepare themselves for the times to come.

In addition to their individual and panel presentations, the CXO and Future Leaders speakers will gather together for a roundtable session, which will encompass interactive exchanges with the audience. “The roundtable session will provide an excellent opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions about topics shifting the HR landscape,” Lui said, adding there will also be a few audience-orientated surprises, to be revealed on the day of the conference. 

In his keynote lightbulb session, internationally renowned HR thought leader, researcher, and analyst Josh Bersin will provide macro and micro insights based on his in-depth research. “While HR practitioners recognise a lot of their work is becoming increasingly data-driven, this session will delve into explaining what analysing and aggregating analytics means,” Pong said. Keeping with the conference theme, Bersin will also provide future of work insights, such as the significance of employer branding.

Maintaining a trend that began in 2013, the closing event at the conference and exhibition will feature a keynote by Ricky Yu and a fireside chat with him. Yu is the Founder and CEO of LightBe, a social housing enterprise in Hong Kong that seeks to lift individuals out of short-term poverty. Motivated to quit his corporate career and do something more meaningful and impact-driven, Yu will talk about people-centric activities beyond the traditional realm of HR. 

While it remains critical to observe COVID-19 safety protocols, the Co-chairpersons trust that the conference and exhibition will provide plenty of constructive networking opportunities for participants to reconnect with peers, exchange ideas, and talk about tackling similar challenges with like-minded professionals. “People will realise they are not facing challenges alone and there is a strong support for each other in the HR community,” Lui said. 

In a fast-changing world of work, whether participants attend the conference in person or partake in webinars, they will benefit from innovative insights, which will empower them to stay ahead of the curve on a personal and professional level.

Breathing New Life into HR
PR 5 September, 2022