Employee assessments must be based on reasonable performance expectations: Head, HR, HSBC Singapore
People Matters|August 2020
COVID-19 may have a significant impact on our financial results and our variable pay is awarded on a discretionary basis taking into account ‘what’ has been achieved and ‘how’, says Brandon Coate, the Head of Human Resources for HSBC Singapore, in an interaction with People Matters
Mastufa Ahmed

As we move toward the post-pandemic world, business and talent leaders are looking to reset the workplace and people's policies in the new reality of work. Businesses are increasingly realizing the need to focus on employees’ well-being while ensuring productivity during this tough time.

We caught up with Brandon Coate who is the Head of Human Resources for HSBC Singapore to find out how they are adapting to the new normal and realigning the performance and rewards strategies.

Brandon joined HSBC Singapore in April 2019 and has responsibility for the delivery of HSBC’s People Strategy in Singapore. Born in the US and educated in the UK, Brandon has worked for HSBC over 12 years in multiple Human Resources roles in the UK and Hong Kong. Prior to joining HSBC, Brandon started his career in consulting at Watson Wyatt and has also worked at Lehman Brothers.

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

How has the impact of COVID-19 been on the banking industry? How are you adapting to the changing times and embracing the new normal?

COVID-19 has accelerated already existing pre-pandemic trends in the banking industry. For example, online banking was on the rise in recent years, but it became absolutely necessary for many of our customers in the past few weeks. Similarly for policies like working from home – HSBC already had the infrastructure and policies in place, but most people have only really embraced remote working in recent months. HSBC Singapore has set out its ways of working principles. HSBC has well-established policies, technology, and management support to enable and empower employees to work from home. During the peak of the circuit breaker phase in April, we had 87 percent of our employees working from home. HSBC is actively participating in the Return to Onsite Operations Taskforce (ROOT) organized by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), which focuses on the measures that will become the ‘new normal’ in offices and branches.

What are some of your latest measure in terms of business continuity and digital innovations? Do you think COVID-19 is accelerating innovation opportunities in banking?

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