Just the same, and completely different


August 11th, 2015

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That’s certainly been our experience with a group of HR business partners, Directors and Managers in Beijing last week. They were taking part in our three-day HR Business Partner Skills programme, hosted by HR Excellence Centre from Shanghai.

beijingHaving worked with many similar groups in the UK and elsewhere in Asia Pacific, we asked about the challenges they’re facing. Many of the HR challenges faced by these Chinese HR professionals (left) were very familiar. We could have been in Birmingham or Berlin not Beijing: how to persuade leaders of HR’s value; how to lead change; how to make the shift from traditional HR to Business Partnering.

But some issues were unique. How do you support a state owned business through mergers and acquisitions, particularly where the collaboration is with a Japanese business? How do you sustain competitiveness and productivity when international competitors have smaller workforces? How does HR contribute to supporting key sales functions within the business to be stronger at business development?

It was great to have a diversity of organisations represented in the group that included a long-standing Chinese state-owned motor company as well as a prominent Chinese Dairy Business, more recently established software businesses and three multi-national conglomerates from the food services , media and pharmaceutical sectors.

We were blessed with the expert professional help of a first-class Chinese interpreter who enabled us to work seamlessly with her to deliver a programme that could meet the needs of non- English speakers from the Chinese- based organisations as well as the English-speaking HR Managers in multi-nationals .

Our experience of working with enthusiastic and highly committed individuals from some really interesting organisations has certainly given us the thirst to do more in mainland China in the future and we thank HREC for their faith in us as their trusted partner


Our next HR business partner skills programme will be running in Hong Kong during September.  To find out more about our programmes in Asia Pacific including China, please contact us.