TechHR Speakers Explore Digital Impact on Management of Humans


David Litteken (on screen), senior vice president Asia Pacific at BI Worldwide, explains to the TechHR conference how his agency uses data analytics to improve employee engagement and recognition.

[Au] Gina Sin

Businesses across all industries are rushing to implement a digital strategy. But human resources (HR) experts warn that organisations must articulate the “whys” fuelling the journey and explain how employees can benefit from any new technology. That was among the messages at the recent TechHR conference in Singapore, which was organised by People Matters and where industry leaders examined how a strategic digital transformation can future-proof HR management.

In one panel discussion at the event at Marina Bay Sands, David Litteken, senior vice president Asia Pacific at BI Worldwide, explained how his agency is using data analytics and other tools to create more personalised experiences for employee engagement and recognition.

“The technologies that we employ for companies globally, coupled with the principles of behavioural economics, nudge talent managers and employees to reinforce the right behaviour at the right time,” he said.

“Our Recognition Advisor tool, for example, prompts managers when employees haven’t been recognised for a while,” he said. “It uses data and behavioural science to help managers pinpoint the precise point in time at which recognition will have the most impact on an employee’s performance.”

Andrew Spence, a faculty member at the Blockchain Research Institute and HR transformation director of Glass Bead Consulting, offered another view of the technology having an impact on HR, saying he believes blockchain can help ensure transparency.

“When you look at finding work, we still use [Microsoft] Word documents for CVs and resumes,” Spence said in a deep-dive session at the event. “In many ways, hiring practices have not caught up with the digital age. With blockchain, managers can check and verify if candidates are who they say they are.”

That resonates in the business events industry, experts say, where the same blockchain technology can be used to validate conference delegates’ identities and improve privacy.

While the goal of February’s TechHR, which drew about 1,000 delegates, was “taking advantage of the best technology that is available to build the future of work,” experts cautioned not to forget the human part of HR.

“Ask the question: ‘Why are we doing this?’ several times to figure out what really matters,” said Shweta Shukla, director of human resources Asia Pacific for Netflix. “If we don’t put people over programmes, we are never going to win.”

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