Merger highlights HR’s international role

The formation of Enterprise Singapore should provide a wake-up call to local HR professionals. They need to be taking a proactive role in fostering an international outlook among their workforces.

The announcement that Singapore government agencies International Enterprise Singapore and Spring Singapore have merged will not have come as much of a surprise to many business leaders on the island.

Both agencies are known for championing the growth efforts of organisations, and for encouraging them to move outside of Singapore, into the Southeast Asia region and even globally.

With the merger, the newly formed Enterprise Singapore will be able to tap on to the expertise of the two agencies and pool resources together to help organisations climb to even greater business heights.

HR should take charge

While heads of business groups such as the Singapore Business Federation and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises have respectively said the merger would see SMEs gain the "support and guidance" they require, it is ultimately up to organisations themselves to plot their own journeys.

While Enterprise Singapore is certainly available to help, it would be futile if organisations did not take the first step and map out their aspirations for both the business itself and its employees.

For the latter, this entails affording staff regular opportunities to upgrade their skills.

For firms looking to do business regionally, this could potentially mean dispatching their bright talents ahead of any planned launch date. In addition, HR practitioners should familiarise themselves with local labour laws, and keenly understand infrastructural, political, economic, social and environmental issues.

Human capital the key

For all the clamour of protectionism around the world right now, organisations by and far realise that having a global outlook on business is the only way to truly flourish in today’s extremely disruptive landscape.

For that to materialise, human capital is the core underpinning factor that will make or break an organisation.

While Enterprise Singapore will offer the thrust and technical due diligence for organisations aspiring to grow, there is no running away from the fact that the biggest push needs to come from HR departments themselves.

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