Business: The British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg’s latest evening business forum attracted a healthy audience to hear about HR Challenges of today.
Photo: Olivier Minaire
Before addressing the current challenges facing human resources managers and also Luxembourg’s attractiveness, the panel looked at how HR roles have changed in Luxemburg over the past 20 years. As BCC chairman Robert Deed reminisced in his introduction, Luxembourg was lagging behind the competition in terms of HR in the 1980s.
Chaired by Pascale Schuman of fast, the panel was made up of Andres Moll, HR business partner/HR manager at Vodafone, Anne Levy-Prévost. HR director at Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe, David Holland, founder and CEO of Results Rules OK Limited and Ernestina Tancredi, an HR expert and lecturer.
Andres Moll tackled the challenge of training in an increasingly demanding business environment. The days of five day courses have been replaced by compact e-learning modules that take hours rather than days, he explained. “HR needs to deliver tangible results,” he said. Nevertheless, David Holland gave an example of one typical company that he worked with in which take up on soft skills training was as low as five percent. “Responsibility for personal development and ambition lies squarely with the individual.” Holland remarked that he is always looking for people who will provide added value to the customer, people with an entrepreneurial spark.
But Ernestina Tancredi pointed out that the role of HR has changed significantly from being a mere administrative department to being involved in strategic decision making at the same level as other departments. Anne Levy-Prévost agreed, saying that HR must be a change agent, but must also be there “to provide people with the right support to develop their competencies in a rapidly evolving world.”
The panel agreed that Luxembourg was still attractive in many ways, offering good revenue packages, a multicultural environment and safety. But some voices of dissent said that it needed to improve in areas of work-life balance, flexibility of shopping hours and services and also, significantly, employment law restrictions. “Luxembourg’s employment laws scare the bejeebers out of me,” said Holland. “There is a warning signal there. I love Luxembourg, but in terms of risks there are legislation concerns.”