China Everbright Bank Co., Ltd., Hong Kong Branch charts path to HR automation
Since the inception in Hong Kong in 2013 as the first overseas branch of China Everbright Bank, the Hong Kong branch of China Everbright Bank (CEBHK) focuses on wholesale banking business, providing corporate and investment banking services to Chinese, local and multinational companies.
Since its establishment in Hong Kong, CEBHK has been driving multiple initiatives to automate its HR operations via a phased implementation approach.
Fanny Chan, Chief Administrative Officer, Head of Human Resources, Managing Director of CEBHK
Core HR portal
Its HR automation journey began with the implementation of a core HR system for personnel administration, remuneration, payroll, leave and attendance management. The HR system was powered by FlexSystem Ltd, one of the largest Hong Kong-based enterprise management software and services providers.
Fanny Chan, CEBHK’s Chief Administrative Officer, Head of Human Resources, Managing Director of CEBHK, plays a leading role in driving special projects like FlexSystem’s HR project for the bank. In her current capacity, she manages the bank’s HR, corporate administration, corporate communications, CEO office and special projects.
CEBHK eventually chose FlexSystem’s Human Resources Management System after a careful evaluation of various HR solutions available in the market.
“FlexSystem’s solution meets the requirements of our bank and employees in terms of scale and scope,” said Chan. “Their consultants worked very closely with us to customize their solution to be the right fit for our bank.”
The Human Resources Management System is designed to optimize people management and increase ROI. It supports customers to comply with the latest regulatory requirements, provides high-level data security and access control, as well as flexible reporting capabilities.
Self-service platform for staff
The second phase of CEBHK’s HR process automation was rolled out in May 2019. FlexSystem’s Employee Self Service platform (ESS) was deployed to increase employee engagement, communication and productivity.
Chan noted that the technical aspects of the ESS like defining functional scope and project implementation were not difficult to handle. The biggest challenge came from the behavior change of employees — how to encourage employees to embrace the change in work habits. HR plays an important role in managing it.
Prior to the debut of the ESS platform, CEBHK’s HR Department devoted time and efforts to communicate and engage staff to help them understand the value of the platform. Briefing sessions were held during the bank’s townhall meetings to introduce the platform and collect employees’ views and comments.
“The ESS platform helps us increase employee empowerment, transparency and efficiency which aligns with the core value of our bank,” noted Chan.
The platform allows employees to log on to carry out a number of self-services for streamlining HR operations and approval flow. Leave management becomes more transparent and efficient. Trivial and repetitive tasks such as the printing and manual distribution of leave reports could be greatly reduced. As a result, HR executives could reduce administrative burdens and focus on more strategic tasks such as talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development etc.
Moving forward, Chan aims to automate more transactional-related tasks and HR functions. Some of the transactional-related tasks in the automation schedule are tracking and managing employee time and attendance, overseeing leave and attendance status in a granular view on a calendar. On the HR functions, Chan plans to add staff e-learning, annual appraisal and KPI performance management to the platform.
Her end goal is to streamline all the end-to-end HR processes throughout the bank. She believes a good overall planning is key to facilitate a structured, smooth and systematic rollout.
“From defining your objectives, selecting the right fit solution, getting management approval, prioritizing your resources, communicating with all the stakeholders to implementing the solution, a well-planned strategy helps you launch a HR project successfully,” she concluded.