When we think of notable and influential human resources (HR) leaders, a name that may come to mind is Dave Ulrich, a professor, consultant, author and recently known for developing the Leadership Capital Index.
Other names that may crop up are Susan P. Peters, the senior vice president of HR at General Electric and Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google.
While these are HR practitioners to look up to, it is also imperative that we as Malaysians, look up to the pool of home-grown talents that are impacting the development of our workforce.
The Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management (MIHRM) president and chief operating officer Aresandiran Jaganatha Naidu said the HR industry has an aim to have Malaysia’s very own top HR leaders.
He emphasised, “The younger generation needs a role model. By identifying the top industry players through an award, this generation will be able to learn from these leaders.”
With this line of thought, the MIHRM Malaysia HR Awards was inaugurated in 1999.
But why an award?
Aresandiran had this to say: “For this, we need to think back to what our objective is as a developing country.”
He conveyed that it is to raise the standards of the workforce in the country.
A step towards achieving this is to recognise the standards of HR in the country and to recognise the best industry players as a role model and benchmark for others.
Highlights for this year
Interested participants will be glad to know that this year, MIHRM has decided to put a little twist on the awards ceremony.
Instead of the conventional over-the-top gala dinner, MIHRM will be hosting a luncheon presentation that will comprise a half-day seminar and a presentation of awards ceremony.
The half-day seminar is something to look forward to as it will feature past winners leading panel discussions on trending issues in Malaysia and also their best practices.
Some of the key topics are as follows:
- Building a HR career, challenges and setbacks
- Managing business and people in difficult times (in the new economy)
- Building HR best practices: The successful traits
With regards to the awards, the categories are as follows:
- Employer of Choice
- SME Best Employer
- HR Innovation
- HR Best Practices
- HR Leader
- HR Manager
- HR Specialist
- HR Best Student Project
Each category of award can be further broken down into Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.
Stringent and neutral evaluation
When it comes to the awards which provide an individual or entity with not only a national recognition but a global recognition, credibility, transparency and stringent guidelines ought to be in place.
Synonymous with this, the evaluation process of participants are broken down into three stages and each stage features a different selection of judges.
Features a selection of HR managers, HR practitioners, and members of the MIHRM Council who will rate and score participants, and shortlist five nominees for stage two.
Features senior representatives who are past winners, senior managers, and senior ‘Fellowship of MIHRM’, who will select and shortlist two finalists for each category.
Selected CEOs (who may also be past winners) will select the grand award winners.
In regards to the judging panel of the last stage, Aresandiran said, “We want non-HR individuals (in this case, CEOs) to judge whether HR has indeed contributed to the particular business or not.”
There are numerous commercial awards that are awarded to individuals or companies by HR magazines annually, and even lists of top HR leaders that are released by media organisations.
So, where does the MIHRM Malaysia HR Awards stand, you may ask?
The key thing to note about this awards is that it is a professional award.
Aresandiran said, “MIHRM is affiliated with the World Federation of People Management Association (USA), Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM) and other reputable regional human resource management associations.
“This means that as a winner of the award, you will be recognised not only in one country, but in 95 countries!”
In addition to that, the components, criteria and standards set for the awards are crafted based on comparative studies done by MIHRM with that of other countries.
Testimonial from past Malaysia HR Awards winner
1. Jenny Ooi, grand award winner—HR Leader of the Year (2012)
Ooi, who comes from a diverse background of finance, business development, supply chain management and HR, has served as a senior HR director at Agilent Technologies and is now the senior vice president of HR at USG Boral Malaysia.
Recalling her win in 2012 while she was still attached with her former company, Ooi said, “I encourage companies to participate because you learn about the best practices and you get to benchmark your company and yourself against the best.”
Her individual victory combined with Agilent Technologies’ grand win for the Employer of Choice category that same year resulted in HR practitioners and CEOs approaching her to seek input on how to transform their organisations into a best place to work. She also saw a surge in the company’s hire of top talents.
Ooi praised the stringent policy practised by MIHRM in their rating and selection process. When a certain quality or standard is not met, there may not even be any Gold winners for that particular category.
2. KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ)—Grand prize winner for Employer of Choice (2015)
According to vice president II of group talent management Datin Sabariah Fauziah Jamaluddin, the win gave the company more confidence and assurance that they are indeed on the right path in managing their talents.
Sabariah said, “KPJ is a home-grown institution, and so our achievement is all the more meaningful as we were competing for this award with other multinational companies and bigger corporations.”
Since the win, other companies have expressed their interest in KPJ to share their experiences. Apart from that, KPJ’s clients are able to recognise their efforts and have also benefited through the improved services given by KPJ’s employees.
Sabariah added that winning the award has also given KPJ some mileage in the human resources (HR) community.
“In fact, we have developed strategic HR practices and came up with more engagement programmes by virtue of the awareness created by our win,” she added.
The Malaysia HR awards 2016: Key dates to note
Briefing & Workshop: Jan–Mar 2016
Start date of submission: Jan 1, 2016
Closing date of submission: Jun 30, 2016
Awards presentation: Oct 27, 2016