Having grown from just eight employees in 2000 to 40 employees in both Singapore and China today, provider of web/digital services, The Adventus Consultants found itself at pivotal point in its evolution. "Right now, the key to our company's growth is in building a strong infrastructure within which human resources is a key factor," says managing director Mr Ang Yuit. "We found ourselves in a predicament where in order to attract good talent, we needed a good HR programme and I wasn't sure where to start."

Having heard about SPRING Singapore's HR Capability Toolkit, Mr Ang logged on to see if it could help set him on the right path. The complimentary self-help Toolkit covers eight main areas to help strengthen and improve the HR management capabilities of SMEs by addressing gaps and promoting good practices.

"It's a large toolkit," says Mr Ang, "so business owners can figure out which modules are most relevant to their challenges and to adapt them to their needs."

In The Adventus Consultants' case, there was a need to change and improve the way the organisation communicated with its employees. "As our staff strength grew, our corporate culture began to get diluted, as there was no formal literature about the company's values and processes," he explains. "This, in turn, made it difficult for us to recruit new staff as the company lacked positioning."

Through the Manpower Planning module, Mr Ang realised the importance of forward planning, assessing their current workforce capabilities and working out their requirements based on future business goals. The company created a HR Handbook to clearly define the company's culture and give new employees a better understanding of the organisation and its future plans.

It also used the Performance Management module as a guide to build a structure for performance assessment. "Like many companies, we didn't think about what it takes for a new employee to pass his or her probation period," he explains. "With the module, we put together a checklist so new employees know what is expected of them."

Mr Ang has also implemented a system for quarterly performance appraisals based on three key factors - namely, company culture alignment, work done and skill level of each employee. All heads of departments have to fill up a spreadsheet detailing these points every three months, which helps the company better keep track of how its employees are doing and what improvements have to be made.

Being relatively small has not stopped the company from implementing best HR practices. Mr Ang learns of the good practices of bigger companies and adapts them to his company. For example, he adapted the "Huddle Cycle" from the Great Game Of Business by Jack Stack that teaches companies to implement open-book management practices for greater success. Today, the "huddles" (daily or weekly departmental team meetings) he implements provides an effective way to review work-group and operational performance. As part of efforts to motivate teamwork, teams decide on a common incentive for a target to be achieved. This could include an incentive trip to a location of choice.

"These are just the first steps in a much larger process," affirms Mr Ang. "Human capital development is the key to sustaining business growth, so we are constantly working on improving our HR framework and capabilities. The HR Capability Toolkit has been an invaluable tool for us and I'm looking forward to solidifying our HR system with the numerous tips and information that it provides."

The company will soon be working with a consultant to improve its hiring and talent management processes to groom those executives with hi-potential to lead and manage teams.

To take the first step forward, SMEs may download the free self-help HR Capability Toolkit at http://www.hrcapability.sg/tool-kit/ to help them systematically manage HR functions in 8 key HR areas:

  • Manpower Planning
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Performance Management
  • Learning and Development
  • Career Management
  • Talent Management & Succession Planning
  • Employee Relations

 

SMEs can also engage qualified HR consultants to customise the toolkit to their needs by tapping the Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV).

For more information, visit www.spring.gov.sg/ICV, call 6898 1800 or email enterpriseone@spring.gov.sg.