Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Human capital development critical to economic growth

Azlan Othman

Quality human capital development is critical to economic growth. Efforts in enhancing people’s knowledge and skills are critical to encourage a flourishing economy. This is evident in developed countries where generating productive and skilled individuals have fuelled progress.

This was said by Head of Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) Secretariat Dr Hajah Siti Haziah binti Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the INITIATE Human Capital Summit 2022 held at An-Naura Hall, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex yesterday.

She said, “Several significant transformations and upheavals have occurred, substantially altering social and economic relations, and contributing to the formation of human capital. These changes have had an impact on innovation, skills requirements and knowledge development.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has changed how we work. Personal interactions and meetings were suddenly replaced by video conference calls and emails, which abruptly called for widespread adoption of technology. The new work-norm immediately required individuals to be tech-savvy.

“This also requires leadership to lead and manage the organisation differently from the traditional face-to-face interactions in a remote environment.

ABOVE & BELOW: Head of Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) Secretariat Dr Hajah Siti Haziah binti Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin delivers a speech; and CEO and lead trainer of Perspective Insan Academy Iswandy bin Ahmad presents a memento to Director of the Civil Service Institute Dr Hajah Noor Maya binti Haji Mohd Salleh. PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN

“Also in the midst of all these changes, the greatest challenge that organisations face is to ensure its survivability and sustainability in the long term.”

“On the other hand,” she added, “the shifts have also provided promising opportunities, among them enhanced digitalisation, innovation, fast-paced technological adoption, new ways of working and job creation.

“Businesses are pivoting to capture new growth, and equipping employees and leaders to operate in a more digital environment.

“To stay abreast of this unpredictable transformation, organisations must have adaptable and agile employees who are resilient even after facing so many obstacles and are able to bounce back stronger.”

Dr Hajah Siti Haziah said, “With the ever changing needs, robust human resources enable our businesses and workforce to navigate through their respective transformational journeys.

“Human resource practitioners and professionals play important roles in the ongoing transformation efforts to produce progressive employees who can support continued business growth and competitiveness.

“Due to structural changes in our labour market and significant technology advancements, a business-as-usual approach workforce planning and addressing personnel demands is no longer viable.

“Instead, organisations must embrace workforce revitalisation to ensure that every job is a better job.”

The MPEC head believed that “concerted efforts to redesign jobs, identify skills gaps and retraining, as well as facilitate job transitions will support inclusive hiring and allow employees to be deployed into new and exciting growth areas.

She also said in the speech: “It is the role of human resource practitioners and professionals to continuously foster the culture of wanting to learn new skills as well as building confidence and resilience amongst leaders and employees, while also helping them to embrace the change journey that will enhance their career.”

The second annual INITIATE Human Capital Summit was organised by Grominda Sdn Bhd and Perspective Insan Academy with interests in human resources and human capital development in the Sultanate.

It gathered participants from public and private sectors as well as human resource students.

The summit touched on work culture and discussed various positive workplace practices and a culture focussed on a growth mindset.

The summit also featured a workshop on ‘Learning the Best Practices’, where participants learnt the basic performance appraisal review cycle while encouraging them to share the best practices and experiences of their own organisations’ performance appraisal review process.

The ceremony was also held to extend appreciation to INITIATE’s Strategic Partner and Sponsors from MPEC, Young Professionals Network Brunei (Content Moderator), Human Resource Society Brunei (HRS), BizBrunei, Progresif Sdn Bhd, Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) and Cuckoo International (B) Sdn Bhd.

The second plenary forum focussed on the topic of resilience, where panellists discussed how various organisations operate successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic and how to develop trust over remote working.

The concept of ‘succession planning’ was also touched on, with participants learning the basics around succession planning in an organisation including the purpose, principles, methodology, tools, preparatory materials and conversations including roles and responsibilities, while sharing high-level principles and methodology such as useful tools and data, and facilitating a well-rounded discussion on best practices among the participants.