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PETALING JAYA: Malaysia needs to reinvent its workforce or risk losing its competitive edge, according to HSBC Asia-Pacific general manager and head of human resources David Thomas.
In order to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world with major developments in technology and to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income economy, he said it is crucial for the country to reinvent its workforce or risk losing out to more progressive countries.
This includes incorporating greater flexibility within organisations, as employees expect more choice over how, when and where they work, he told StarBiz in response to e-mail queries.
Thomas said it also includes supporting the country’s workforce to develop skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
“The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated trends like digitisation and challenged other notions like the ability to work from home.
“These advances have opened great opportunities globally. Simultaneously, it has forced organisations to rethink how they manage their workforce,” he added.
HSBC Asia-Pacific general manager and head of human resources David Thomas.,
Thomas said organisations in the Asia-Pacific are also recognising the need to move away from a singular focus of one or two strands to cover all strands of diversity such as generational, age, disability and cognitive diversity.
“We need to look to integrate all the strands, the intersectionality of diversity and move away from the targets that focus on only one or two areas.
“At the same time, it is vital to look at how we achieve inclusion and getting the diversity mix to work to achieve the maximum benefit for all employees,” he noted.
Furthermore, he said talent is industry agnostic as they have transferable skills which are highly sought after, particularly in technology.
Thomas said Malaysia is a hotbed of diverse talent. The country’s large demographic comprising young talent, with a strong grasp of the English language and a wide variety of skills, is the foundation of the country’s economic growth.
Supported by the government’s continued investment in human resource development, he said the quality of the nation’s workforce is superior.
Moreover, he said its unique location within the Asean region, robust infrastructure capabilities and competitive business landscape have been key reasons for attracting global talent to the country.