How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

To achieve Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, GovTech aims to deliver digital services that improve the business operations within the government and service delivery to citizens.

To live up to our mission, it is imperative to build and integrate multi-disciplinary capabilities to establish GovTech as a functional leader. In order to increase the agility and ride on the digital wave, we have to empower people through a culture of collaboration and experimentation.

Understanding the drivers that will propel our mission, we formulate initiatives and programmes to nurture talent within GovTech and create opportunities to collaborate with the industry. We also create platforms for exchanges within the industry to avoid being too inward looking and to keep tabs on what’s happening in the market, and offer our employees opportunities to collaborate with industry players. It enables us to raise the quality of our talent and create a network with the tech ecosystem.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?

We are very tenacious in cultivating to build the talent pipeline and acquiring the right skills and expertise. As HR, we also have to up our game to create innovative programmes to develop and retain our talent. Green harvesting ICT engineering talent through campus outreach is essential to our capability building strategy. This year, we started GeekOut, a five-day tech bootcamp that gives junior college students hands-on experience to different technologies and integrating them into practical tech solutions.

We will also be implementing a technical mentorship programme as part of our talent retention strategy. This programme matches suitable technical mentors from various specialisations both locally and internationally with GovTech engineers working on various technical project teams, in order to provide technical guidance and share advice in various technical areas of expertise.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?

Change is constant even at the public sector. To succeed and stay ahead of the game, you need to work with a team that challenges and inspires you. No man is an island. Quote by Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

”To succeed and stay ahead of the game, you need to work with a team that challenges and inspires you.”

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2019?

Tools that improve the candidates’ and employees’ experience.

What are your priorities for 2019?

Though our Employee Engagement index is at an all time high, we have to think of how to continue to harness employees’ experience in terms of the meaning of work, growth and the kampong spirit. And resources are not infinite. How do we exploit the supply of the workforce through crowdsourcing, co-creation or the gig economy?

What is one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?

Be authentic and be level-headed.

What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?

Digitalisation has become an essential utility and it is imperative for the CHRO to understand the impact of digital transformation on the organisation’s business. The role of HR is an anticipatory sport. The faster you can anticipate the changes to the business, the earlier we can address the changes required from our workforce to be future proof. The present is the past. Everything is agile and HR programmes and initiatives must adapt to meet the future needs. HR is not a maternal function but an enabler.

If we don’t transform ourselves, HR may become a commodity.

Coffee, yoga, music… what powers you through your day?

I start my day with a good cuppa of coffee and end my day with a jog ☺