Asian employers can’t ignore the importance of an agile culture
The potential benefits of an agile workplace culture cannot be ignored in this ever-changing world. Emboldened by trust and flexibility of their employer, the best employees stay longer to be more productive and happier as a collaborative and efficient team. For employers in Asia seeking a competitive edge with today’s shifting market demands and the millennial talent pool, agility has to come first for a thriving workplace culture which emphasises integrity, care and collaboration – and flexible work arrangement is too big a trend too valuable to ignore.

Work-life balance increasingly in demand across Asia
It’s no surprise then, that the top reason why Hong Kong workers would leave their present employers, cited even as more important than financial rewards, is the lack of work-life balance, according to a survey among 500 Hong Kong job seekers from recruitment firm Robert Half. Even in Japan, where work has always come first by tradition for locals who tend to stay in the same company for decades, a recent survey published by the Japan Productivity Center found that work-life balance actually ranked higher for new graduates than working long hours to move up the corporate ladder.

Diversified system for hiring, training and review
If working remotely—even from a tropical beach— was once a fantasy, it now feels more accessible as digital technologies can facilitate flexible work arrangements. The rapid rise of household wealth and social media has inspired young people to value new life experiences sharable with others. In addition, today’s employees across Asia have become more economically independent to readily change jobs and confident with their prospects, too. In response, key pillars for HR professionals to identify and measure core competencies, pay structure, performance growth and leadership development have to keep up accordingly. A more diversified review system from hiring, training to review to boost agility can impact the workplace culture as a whole.

Continuous technology investment and innovation
With these in mind, an agile workplace culture can begin with timely pairing of young talents and technologies, such as integrated human management software to break the trust barrier and empower employees to earn their independence: it helps the central office to track individual productivity and project progress, regardless of the employees’ physical locations. Armed with such data, employers can then tweak flexible work policies to reflect the unique capabilities and responsibilities of individuals. Robotics and automation can also drastically reduce manual and repetitive work, and in its place multiple career pathways can be created to reflect diverse skills and personalities, so that organizations can get the most from everyone on their team.

Never too late to make things happen
For employers, these shifts in employee expectations and work arrangements can at first feel too challenging to manage alongside core business activities, but one company’s failure to ignore the demands of today’s talent will inevitably into another company’s competitive advantage. With an open mind for diversity and health appetite for technology, an agile workplace culture will not only benefit the employees, but also business sustainability and talent retention in the long run.

Article by Sharon Cheng, Group Chief People Officer of Tricor.