It’s all about the Experience!

Here we go again. Yet another article on company culture and employee experience. Why? Because, it’s important! Really important! I don’t know about you, but for me, the experience I get, the emotions and feelings that comes with that experience is everything.

What are we talking about here? Let’s take a step back and think. Everything we do in life, the experience we get, we feel something about it. Did we like it? Or, did we not? Are we angry? Or, are we sad? From a behavioural perspective, how we channel that emotion and feeling that comes with the experience that you’re having in that moment in time, will have a direct effect on our actions.

While we all can agree that once you take away the “willingness” or “motivation” in anyone, the performance goes down, however trying to decipher the secret behind how an individual experience an organization or even a company’s brand is a complex and multi-dimensional journey.

When you “experience” an organization as an employee, there are many factors at play. Just to name a few:

  • The overall culture, and the department, team culture.
  • The people you work with
  • The physical office space, your work station, the pantry, meeting rooms and maybe even that famous office slide!
  • Technology? Did you get an old cranky laptop or that latest mac or surface pro? Is the network slow? Are there technologies that help enable collaboration?
  • The work itself, too little? Too much? Too easy? Too tough? Does it have meaning? Did you see yourself as the janitor or someone that is helping put a man on the moon?
  • Is everyone treated equal? Or are there certain groups or individuals that are more equal than others?

There are many different things that contributes to how an employee experience an organization. However, that’s not all. There are other dimensions to this. A simple example would be the employment stage in with you are experiencing the organization. Before you became an employee, as a candidate. And even, after you left the organization, and maybe considering rejoining the organization much later in life. At the different stages, you would look and interact with the organization in different ways. As a candidate, you take reference from the interviewers that you’ve met, information from public domains, such as Linkedin, Glassdoor, and social media. After leaving the organization, ex-colleagues and such.

All this contributes to your overall experience of the organization. And it does stop there. Your role at that point in time also influence the way you experience the organization. Were you also a consumer or customer? Were you impressed with the customer service while you were a customer? Did you come to know about the organization during a career fair in school while you were a student. Or were you a vendor that’s providing a service to the organization? What about family and friends? A lot of candidates and employees first experienced the organization hearing about it from family or friends. Don’t underestimate the influence these stories shared over casual dinner conversations. These are usually one of the most powerful impressions you can leave with someone who’s experiencing the organization for the very first time.

I don’t think that there is a magic bullet in solving for experience. Organizations that are committed to creating wonderful experiences all around have something in common. They pay attention to tiny details, listens with an intention to do better. We don’t have to list these organizations out, I’m sure you’ll be able to experience it for yourself as you come by these really wonderful companies.

Here’s one of my recent experience with a team of highly talented and passionate entrepreneurs from WorkbondAmir Palmén and Ryan Cohn. And I thought that they’ve done something really amazing with the platform that they’ve built which might help many organizations create a fun social experience for all their employees.

They’ve approached employee engagement by taking a simple desire in all human beings to want to connect and interact socially and building a platform enabling employees from all over the world to connect with one and other over common interests.

While we can all say, that’s not too hard to do. After all, we all have emails and instant messengers. We know how to talk to one another right? What we often overlook is that these conversations don’t often happen spontaneously in a workplace. Even if it does, it stays as watercooler talks and on the few occasions develop into full blown activities. One of my clients recently wanted to hire someone with part of the job scope to organize employee engagement activates.

What Workbond provided was a platform created with an intention for employees to gather around interest and get together to bond, lowering the barrier to organizing activities. And that’s what many organizations had been doing with the mostly HR led activities created to foster togetherness. I had the privilege to participate and experience the interaction myself, and I have to say, it was fascinating! (I was part of the San Jose Sharks channel – oh boy, it was fun!)

While the focus of a platform like Workbond is around an interest centric platform for employees to bond, and I guess that how many of us would had described it. What we may not had realized is that, with the interaction between employees across departments and regions, comes the benefit of a more tightly knitted organization, allowing an organization to form a strong identity.

An organization’s identity is a direct product of the people that forms that organization, and there is absolutely no way you can “write that identity into a policy”. By creating a social network within an organization might just serve as that large mixing bowl for the different personalities to come together and forge one unique identify.

In my short experience with team from Workbond, I have to say, that I can clearly see a unique organization culture and identity on their internal social network. It felt like being invited to their “virtual workplace online” and feeling the culture real time. If they’re hiring, this would be an organization I would love to be a part of! And that’s the power of creating an amazing experience.

Do you have a story about your experience with your organization? Or an organization that you’ve interacted with that’s left you a deep impression? Do share that via the comments below!

Eric Wong is the Managing Consultant from The Talent Shark and the CHRO forIntel Wise. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

The future of “Work”

“Work” as we know it has evolved over the years. The organizations of today are a lot more sophisticated than those of yesteryears. I remember not too long ago, where the function of HR (Human Resources) was catering to just personnel administration and management. In fact, in those days, the “HR” function was referred to as the “Personnel Department”. While we can argue that this is merely a choice of words, we all can agree that we’ve come a long way in the evolution of the function. Today, the HR function plays a much more strategic role in the organization.

We’ve all heard about the “Gig Economy”, and the first thing that came to mind are “freelancers” and “contractors” who would engage with an organization for the duration of a project or assignment. While we are not entirely wrong in this assumption, in fact, I would say we are mostly right about this, the fundamental reason why we think this way is due to the traditional role base structure of an organization. We think of an organization as an entity with a predefined structure, and within that structure, there are relatively well-defined roles and we would staff those roles with employees (be it full time, or otherwise) to do the job.

As the organization undergo a slow evolution in its structure, the one thing that we all become very familiar with the increasing engagement of termed employees or contractors in bid of reducing the full-time headcount. Coupled with the increasing trend that tenure in employees are getting shorter, which is due to many different reasons, employees today are evaluating jobs and employment much differently than the previous generations.

This creates challenges on multiple fronts. From the organization to job design perspective and creating meaningful experience to maintain deep engagement with employees throughout their career lifecycle with the company. This also changes the way we define an employer’s value proposition (EVP).

In a recent article by John Boudreau, “Are Freelancers Your Best Performers? Applying Organizational Network Analysis to the Gig Economy” , he talked about looking at the interaction between employees in an organization and that going beyond the traditional org chart. Citing an example from Rob Cross’s work where he applied the ONA on the exploration and production division of a large petroleum organization, we can see the communication map is drastically different to the organization setup.

This got me thinking about the role in which these individuals play and how their job description (JD) would look like. (Ok, I confess. That’s because I was just rewriting the JD for one of the role I’m recruiting for).

Going along with the point that I’m making, if we dissect the “job” that they are doing and compares the individual tasks to the tasks in a project, a “job” is essentially made up of different tasks. Taking that one step further into this “gig economy” discussion, essentially, what needs to be done in an organization would comprise of many tasks. Keeping that in mind, and putting on our radical thinking cap, let’s just say, we put a price tag against each of these tasks, and have a bunch of individuals “build” a “role” by picking/ bidding on these tasks. The amount of money they make will be based on the number of tasks that they can complete and turnaround, and the premium for the “proven quality/ reliability” in completing those tasks.

I’m going to push that idea a step further. Organizations of the future can than look at this group of “Top Performing” individuals and work on a baseline retainer to buy time slots (commitment) so as to guarantee capacity.

In this model, the concept of “work” will become one that is decentralized and itemized. Theoretically, we will break free from the traditional role-based organization and move towards a task-based one. In doing so, we might even mitigate issues such as gender pay parity and workforce efficiency.

Just some crazy thoughts that I needed to get out of my system. (Must be too much JD writing this week). If you’ve made it all the way to this point in my article, thanks for the patience and attention. What’s your thoughts on this? Do share your comments and I would love to hear from you and maybe seek some assurance that I’m not going crazy! Happy Thursday (almost Friday).

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Eric Wong is APAC Head of Talent Acquisition at Equinix. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong

The “Toothpaste Moment” – Inefficiencies in standards and predefined procedures

Everyone that knows me would tell you that I have a tendency to criticize and poke fun at the inefficiencies in systems, processes and policies. A large part of me likes to think that that’s an inborn personality trait, and I’m naturally sarcastic. However, for those who seek to understand this unique sense of humor a little better can attempt to read the book “The Milkshake Moment: Overcoming Stupid Systems, Pointless Policies and Muddled Management to Realize Real Growth” by Steven S. Little.

Am not going to do a book review here as I believe someone else can do this better than I can. However, Steven cleverly articulated the idiosyncrasy of systems and policies, specifically how clumsy organizations can get.

Jokes, humor and sarcasm aside, as we look at how organizations tries to engineer processes, structure and policies to introduce standards and consistency in delivery, I’m sure we have no lack of examples where such implementations become an overkill.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about this toothpaste moment that I had. I tend to be a little bit of a tree hugger. In many of my business travels, I’ve noticed that the hotels would usually provide us with toothbrush and toothpaste.

The problem becomes a little bit more apparently when you stay for an extended period of time. Do you notice that usually, the toothbrush and toothpaste are sealed together in nice plastic wrapper?

While all that’s good from a hygiene and presentation angle, but I’ve always had the issue where the toothpaste would run out and I had to open a new pack which consist of both the toothbrush and toothpaste.

Thus, if I’m staying for an entire week, I would end up with 3 toothbrushes which I’m sure I would last me at least 3 to 6 months normally.

A simple remedy is to pack the toothbrush and toothpaste separately, which so far, I’ve only seen one hotel do that.

While the hotels generally do a good job with being environmental friendly, for example with their towel policies and such, they do face an interesting challenge with having to maintain a certain level of customer service standards and such.

If we use the same lens to look at an organization design, how do we identify the inefficiencies? This does not just apply to hotels and their toiletries. What about processes, tracking and monitoring?

Process administration creates overheads and cost resources to maintain. We need to whether the intended result is justified or if a tradeoff will cause a deviation. Let me go back to a hotel example again. For example, hotels issues umbrella to its guests when it’s raining. If the cost of administrating the loan system for these umbrella is more than the cost of guest losing the umbrella, would you still recommend tracking it? If the guest loses the umbrellas, would you make them pay for it?

The argument can be made from either side, and honestly there’s no absolute right or wrong answer. Some would also argue that the answer is different if it’s a luxury hotel vs. a budget one.

Finally, there will be many of these “Toothpaste Moments” or “Milkshake Moments’ that we’ll encounter as we embark on our organizational/ process design. I guess, at the end of the day, we need to rely on our trusty common sense.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Eric Wong

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Eric Wong is APAC Head of Talent Acquisition Leader at Fitbit. His experience spans across the various human resource functions such as HR Information Systems, Business Partnering and Talent Management. Eric currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

Technology and Trends that is changing how HR functions

Life used to be simple in HR. Or, at least that’s accordingly to what I’ve learnt in school. As I was tidying out my books, and old notes, academic “HR” seemed to be this utopian concept where each function integrates and works well seamlessly with one another.

The other thing about textbook HR is the ease of record keeping. Data and analytics seemed to be effortless and straight forward. Bell curves are always perfectly shaped and scatter diagrams of employees’ salary distribution always correlate nicely.

I think we all agree that in the “Real Life”, it’s probably a little more complex.

I am not intending to discuss the evolution of HR today. What I think is interesting to talk about some of the recent technology and trends’ impact on how HR functions. This is something that I’m sure every one of us had encountered, and I think it is also important to acknowledge the way it’s changing our workflow and processes.

Social Networking

By now, this is not a new concept. The fact that you are reading this article on Linkedin shows that you are probably very well aware of the existence of social networking platforms and how these platforms can be used in a professional setting. This has direct impact on how we do recruitment. The availability of information on individuals listed on these platform changes the way sourcing is being done. A lot of companies had since moved the sourcing function in house hoping to save on agency uses, this had also changed the roles agencies plays in the process.

Apart from recruitment, companies are also leveraging on the social networking channels to strengthen their employment branding which in turn support the overall recruitment function.

Enterprise Social Network

Moving on, some companies recognizes that not everyone wants to be “friends” with our colleagues. The rise of software such as Yammer or Jive, supporting social networks at an enterprise level allows companies to provide a platform to interact “socially”. Content generation moved away from a top-down towards a community driven model, allowing stronger level of engagement and interaction among the employees with the subject matter experts.

This would also change the way corporate intranets are being run, where content generating and maintenance are being decentralized.

Some may argue that this is a corporate communications “toy” and has got nothing to do with HR. Am not going to indulge in that debate, but think about how much employee engagement you can drive with a robust enterprise social network!


Leaderboards, badges, and points. I’m sure many of us (at one point or another) caught the internet gaming addiction bug. Be it “Plants vs. Zombies”, “CandyCrush” or “Angry Birds”, the fundamental design incorporates a ranking system bringing in a certain social element where you see how you rank against your friends in progress and achievements.

Coupled with a gradual progression, increasing the level of difficulties designed to keep you engaged to the game as long as possible. You would notice that you would almost certainly start with an inbuilt tutorial, allowing you to learn the game easily. Another feature is the constant but not too easy “achievements” serving as a pat on the back as you go along.

Now, isn’t what all your employees want? A gradual progression throughout his/ her career, with acknowledgements for achievements and progression.

Companies are now starting to see the value in incorporating gamification concepts into their employee engagement initiatives. It could be a simple leaderboard competition, a simple competition with prizes, to a more elaborate system that allows companies to analyze the workforce productivity and engagement. The bottom line is, gamification will be something that will gain popularity in organizations.


All of us love our HR systems. There’re like the center of our universal, and the very foundation of our work evolves around our HR management systems (HRMS), our Learning Management Systems (LMS), our Performance Management System (PMS), and our Applicants Tracking System (ATS). Let’s not forget the leave administration systems, benefits administration systems and our medical claims systems.

The list goes on. Today, the term “cloud” is becoming a common term that we all got used to. Cloud based solutions allows companies to move away from having to invest a great deal of money upfront in capex spending, and go into an opex model allowing a pay as you use approach.

This is fast becoming the norm and for some of us who are still working with some of the older systems would find themselves involved in system upgrade projects. For many others, who’s build their overall HR management systems with components from different service providers may find themselves looking at systems integration in their next software upgrade.

Thus, although we may not need to be HRIS experts, but there is an increasing need for us to be aware of how the systems can help support our workflow.

Massive open online course (MOOC)

MOOC was first introduced in 2008, bringing free quality education and content to everyone. Over the years, it has seen participations from various established universities made MOOC emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.

With the various quality programs that are been offered for “free”. Many companies had started looking at incorporating these programs into their training plans.


I’ve talked extensively about how video is changing the HR workflows and processes in my Polycom Blog “The View from APAC”.

The availability of quality video solutions today had enabled various HR processes to evolve changing the way we engage and manage our employees. Some examples:

  • Recruitment – Video interviews are fast becoming a norm. A lot of roles today require candidates to meet with a panel of interviewers and chances that part of this panel would sit in a different geographic location. Video interviews allowed much better cost and time efficiency allowing candidates to connect with these interviews from their local location and not having to make separate travel arrangements.
  • Training – The availability of video opened up different ways which training content can be delivered both via a pre-recorded video, or a live video training. Benefits includes:
    • Cost efficiency in training delivery allowing a larger and more geographically dispersed audience
    • Consistency in quality of delivery and content,
    • Real time feedback and interactivity, resulting in a higher level of engagement with participants as compared to pre-recorded videos
  • Workplace and role design – In a recent post on “Video and the Future Workplace – What to Look Out For in 2015”, Geoff Thomas talked about how video is transforming workspace and organizations as we know it. Such transformation would bring about new ways of working and how employees go about performing their roles. As such, we would see role evolve to fit into this workplace of the future.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

One of the most important inventions in recent time are the mobile devices which we all got so addicted to. The pervasiveness of this mobile technology, its popularity and ease of use blurred the line between personal and workspace. It is now common to see employees are linking their work emails and calendar to their personal devices. Some would even bring their own laptop to work.

The result of all this changes the way which employees engages with their work. Increasingly, employees are working more and more out of their mobile devices. It’s not just the emails, but also the various business applications that they have to access on a day-to-day basis.

These are just some of the technology and trends that’s changing the way how we in HR engages with our organization and employees.

I’m sure you would have more to add to this list! Share your thoughts using the comment box below.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Eric Wong

Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC”. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.




  • 减少出行费用
  • 缩短招聘时间
  • 联系不同地区的候选人



1) 确定时间


2) 熟悉设备

大部分视频会议解决方案跟宝利通 “RealPresence Group Series”类似,软件解决方案跟“RealPresence CloudAXIS”类似,直观且便于使用。 但是,不要认为它们一模一样。




3) 紧急联系人


4) 检查屏幕形象



5) 如果在家里接受面试,注意如下:



黄国晏 (Eric Wong) 宝利通, 亚太区人力规划与发展总监。请在 LinkedinTwitter@ErickyWong联系他。浏览更多关于“视频协作与人力资源”的博客,请点击 Polycom’s “The View from APAC

Original Article: How to prepare for your job interview over videoconferencing (as a candidate)

(译:Cherry Li)

Look back 2014 – “Flexible work arrangements”

Looking back on my blog articles for 2014, it has been an interesting year with a quite a few articles focusing on the topic of “Flexible work arrangements”.

It started out as a discussion back in May 2014 where we did a video clip around a simple concept where employees are empowered with the flexibility to manage their own work schedule and the benefits that flexible working brings for both employers and employees. You can view the blog article here – “A changing workforce – is flexibility the key? (Click Here)

That led to another article around the Fifa World Cup 2014, “What is HR going to do about the World Cup? (Click Here)”

Given the football fever and the crazy time zone, many companies look to having some form of flexible work arrangement to help mitigate the impact of a sleepy workforce, which in turn maintain a reasonable standard of productivity.

Going into June and July with a lot of anticipation and excitement, I welcomed the arrival of my new baby girl, Audrey. In preparing for Audrey’s arrival, I changed my working schedule to work about 70-80 per cent of the time from home for the next few months. This allowed me to be around my wife and our new born baby while she’s on maternity leave. That was the inspiration for the blog article “How to manage your time with a flexible work arrangement? (Click Here)

One of the feedbacks I got soon after the article about my own flexible work arrangements went live was, “How do you ask your manager for such an arrangement?”

Apparently, it is not easy to go about asking for such “special” arrangements. That brought about the next blog article “How to ask your manager for a flexible work arrangement (Click Here)” which led to a radio interview with 938Live on the same topic.

(Wei Leng and I @ 938Live studio)

One thing led to another. How do you hire for a flexible work culture (Click Here)?What do you look for?

In recruitment, we like to hire the best talent for the job; thus, flexible working should be a choice that the employee can exercise. Having said that, there are still steps in which one can take if you are looking to hire for a flexible work culture.

I think we had given the “Flexible Work Culture” topic a pretty good coverage in 2014.

Do let me know if there’s any topic you would like to see in 2015.


Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC”. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.

The business of HR

Many of us, HR practitioners understand the importance of having a keen sense of business awareness and acumen, allowing us to partner with our business in today’s fast changing world.

So much so, “business acumen” has became one of the essential attribute companies look in HR hires.

However, as a HR practitioner myself, I found an added level of complexity in our role as HR. It is the “human” factor.

Apart from having to perform our functional role, be it in recruitment, learning, development or compensation, we have to be “guardians” to the policies and processes that maintains the “sanity” of the organization. On top of that, we are sometimes tasked with influencing the organization’s culture and building a positive employer’s brand.

At heart of it all, employees look to us as their de-facto representative (aka champions) in making sure that they are well taken care of.

So, what exactly is the role of HR? Who do we represent?

My short and simple answer is “the company”.

As HR, I felt that our role is in the management of the human resources for the company. While there is a great deal of “decentralization” where the people managers are required to take on a much larger role in the day to day management of their employees, HR has a pivotal role in supporting and facilitating this.

I was recently asked by one of my staff who’s looking to move from a recruiter’s role into a HR business partner’s role on what are some of the key attributes that he must have to become a good HR business partner.

My response to him was, “Represent the company in the best way you can; common sense, ethics and integrity. That’s all you need”.

I am not discounting the importance of sound HR foundation, processes, policies, and understanding of employment law etc. That to me is a given which every HR person should have to do his/ her job.

I guess the ability to balance business needs, function and employees is what makes a good HR great.

Eric Wong is Head of Talent Acquisition & Development (APAC) at Polycom, and blogs about how video collaboration can benefit the HR function on Polycom’s “The View from APAC“. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ErickyWong.