K. Pimonrat is the Chief People Officer of both the Charoen Pokphand Group and CPF. RBL Principal, Darryl Wee interviewed her about the importance of the Advances Human Capability domain.
Please share a little about your organizational context, and the role that you play for your organization.
The Charoen Pokphand Group (C.P. Group) is Thailand's largest private company and one of the world's largest conglomerates which covers 13 business groups in 21 countries. Managing synergy in very large and complex enterprise to make cross- business unit collaboration is very challenging. As Chief People Officer, K. Pimonrat is responsible for designing and finalizing the People Strategy, contributing to C.P. Group’s business strategy. She has been the key integrator of developing and executing a well-defined organization culture. Partnering with the Senior Executives, she has implemented and supported the Group’s HR policies, practices, and programs to drive changes for the Group, ensuring that C.P. Group’s Thai and overseas business groups comply with the same core values.
As part of C.P. Group, CPF is a key business group and known as a leading agro-industrial enterprise. K. Pimonrat is also Chief People Officer of CPF and her responsibilities covers a wide range of areas including leading HR CPF and the business-driven People Strategy, both of which support and align to the company’s overall business strategy and are essential to drive the company’s transformational journey. She is also involved in CPF’s approach to strategic workforce planning with an initiative to promote programs that develop the skills and capabilities that current employees need to be more innovative in today’s technology driven environment.
Why do you think this domain is relevant to HR and the work that you do?
Currently, we are living through a transformation in the way we work and operate. The acceleration of digitization and automation are replacing human tasks and widening skills gaps. All organizations will need to reskill and upskill their workforce to support the digital and post-pandemic era.
In this regard, HR plays a vital role in being a strategic partner by shaping an organization’s workforce planning that serves the disruptive trends including determining future capabilities, assessing how supply and demand apply to future skill gaps. HR should also identify the required skillsets of an employee and embed these attributes within recruitment, development, and succession planning.
At C.P. Group and CPF, we ensure the right talent is in place through recruitment, leadership development, succession planning and performance evaluation processes. We adopted digital platform and online assessment like SHL to select talents that best match our organization. We also developed ‘University Relation Program’, partnering with various prestigious universities in Thailand to co-develop curriculum and research.
Furthermore, we prepare our talents and successors to be dynamic and ready to meet rapid changes of market to drive future value creation through our development programs including:
Learn by experiences- Through on-the-job trainings and challenging assignments, we initiated a wide variety of activities to broaden the scope of their roles..
Learn from others- A series of activities have been created to give our talents and future leaders the opportunity to learn through their interactions with others including: executive coaching, CPF Leadership Talk, site visits, and networking.
Learn by education- We set up a formal professional development program to sharpen our leadership capabilities i.e., CPF Executive Acceleration Program, external executive training courses and on-demand online learning.
Last but not least, C.P. Group has incorporated ‘Future Skills’ as one of the key metrics for performance evaluation. We determined the required abilities and skills for the future of works in C.P. Group in which such skills are defined based on C.P. Group’s and business unit’s strategy with the objective of sustainably growing the business in the digital ages.
How have you or your team applied this domain to situations or initiatives in your organization? Please share 2 examples.
Key to successful domain implementation is the Agile Organization Model, due to the ever-changing business environment which has forced organizations to adapt with an emphasis on speed and quality. In this connection, the organization created a modular approach within the organization by developing cross-functional projects and projects across business groups which lead our organization to have competitive advantages. Moreover, our organization attempted to adapt agile working approach throughout C.P. Group to create efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.
In addition, we invested in the HR innovative system to support changes in business demand. Formerly, the majority of our employees spent 75% of time in operational activities which cannot contribute productively towards important and strategic tasks at hand.
Our organization realized the importance of employee self-service portals in streamlining and automating management tasks. We have currently applied HR digital transformation with high impact by using technology platform of SAP Success Factors to create a new way of working for our organization. The innovative HR system, which is called ‘HR-X’, will change operational HR processes to become automated and data-driven to improve efficiency of administrative tasks and business agility. There are 4 levels of HR digital platform effectiveness for new CPF ways of working, which include:
- Create digital HR functionalities and automation to create a high value HR function.
- Standardize HR processes driven by employee experience, which caters to business needs and relies on key metrics to measure efficiency and effectiveness.
- Develop transitions into new HR operating model and roles.
- Build HR function rotating to a new set of HR competencies to build capabilities for the future.
What were the benefits when applying the domain Advances Human Capital at work?
We have executed a variety of programs to help guide, drive and develop employees to align with the company’s direction and strategy. The benefits of applying ‘Advances Human Capital’ solutions to work impact various stakeholders.
Employees receive ongoing support from the organization. They know their purpose and value to the organization. At the same time, they are being equipped with required future skills to continuously contribute to organization success in the long-run. Love, pride and loyalty are developed. Employees are becoming highly-engaged to the company. While the company becomes employers of choice and gains optimum contribution from employees.
By advancing human capital, the company not only creates benefits within the organization, but also gives interests towards external stakeholders such as customers, investors and societies. CPF has a mission to deliver top quality products in terms of nutrition, taste, food safety and traceability to customers and societies as well as appropriate returns to shareholders. With the power of the company’s people and capabilities, CPF will continue to deliver the promises.
What do you think are key factors that contributed to the successful application of this domain?
The most critical factors to the successful application of advances human capital are the management’s commitment and the company’s culture. Management’s commitment is the vital first step that requires communicating clear intentions and pulling together everyone’s effort to make it successful. This domain demands an organization-wide transformation that requires the right goals and strategy, implementation plan, and ongoing performance tracking.
To sustain continuous commitment to ‘Advances Human Capital,’ building organizational culture is another key element. Meaning that the company shall identify core values that are important to establish and maintain the competency, then engage leaders and change agents throughout the organization to build the necessary culture that improves morale, engagement, and performance.
What were some challenges faced when applying this at the workplace? How did you and your team overcome them?
The top challenge was to change the employee’s mindset and culture to accept digital disruption throughout the organization. As previously mentioned, culture is a key element of engagement and digital transformation. Then, we had to overcome the issue of people transformation and technology adoption by designing a proper plan for learning the development program and motivation through ‘Digital Mindset Program’ via blended learning. In addition, our organization mainly focuses on data-analytic training towards all employees by providing knowledge and skills in using tools and effectively analyzing and presenting information. Lastly, communication is a key driver to shift employee’s mindset magnificently, then we need to develop a long-term mechanism of change to ensure our company transformation proceeds seamlessly.
Are there any other thoughts or comments you would like to share that you think would be useful to those that read this article?
At C.P. Group and CPF, we have implemented the Leadership Development Program to develop employees’ leadership potentials and to get them prepared for business changes and become significant forces in leading C.P. Group’s business expansions or starting new business lines, all of which create business opportunities. In real business environments, the participants are given opportunities to develop their business skills, ownerships and leaderships, while the Company has provided supports and resources as appropriate according to formats that the participants have taken for their studies, designs and developments. In addition to guidance given by top executives in the Group, who shall act as sponsors for participants throughout the project period, opportunities for participants from both Thailand and overseas operations to exchange experiences can be created as well. Roles of sponsors are: providing guideline to talents without commanding, supporting the team with sufficient information, tools and equipment to work effectively. Moreover, the sponsor plays a crucial role to create a safe environment and drive collaborative culture which leads to innovative outcomes.
This program offers career advancement opportunities to management positions based on a series of developmental experiences as well as attractive compensation and recognition program for outstanding participants.
Read other articles in the Exemplars of the Domain series: Accelerates Business, Simplifies Complexity & Fosters Collaboration, and Mobilizes Information.
If you are looking to strengthen HR competency on an individual, department, or business level, RBL is prepared to take that path with you. Contact us to get started.