60 seconds with a rising star – Shanice Yeo from MUFG

Author Janard Liew
October 10, 2023

In our most recent edition of “60 seconds with a rising star” we interview Shanice Yeo, Regional Performance & Rewards AVP at MUFG.

Shanice is a Regional Performance & Rewards AVP within the HR function at MUFG Bank based in Singapore. A graduate from Nanyang Technological University (majoring in HR Consulting), she is switched-on, engaging and she has accrued HR experience within and beyond the financial services sector. She started as a generalist with broad-based understandings of the HR landscape and has recently transitioned into the specialist field of total rewards. In this article, Shanice shares with us the origins of her HR journey as well as how the past seven months in a new COE rewards portfolio has been for her. 

Why and how did you come into Human Resources (HR)?

My journey into the field of HR began during my university days, specifically through a transformative internship experience with Aspial. During that time, I was exposed to the intricate workings of HR, including talent acquisition, employee engagement and business partnering. 

What struck me the most then was the profound impact HR professionals have on shaping the culture of the organisation and supporting the growth and well-being of its employees. I was inspired by the opportunity to make a positive difference in the workplace and create an environment where individuals could thrive.

You have had an interesting career trajectory so far, starting as a generalist and now specialising in the field of total rewards. How has the transition been?

My decision to transition into the field of total rewards stems from a belief in the motivating power of rewards and recognition. During the earlier part of my career as a generalist, I gained a comprehensive understanding of the HR landscape, including the pivotal role that rewards play in attracting/retaining top talent and driving employee performance.

Hence when I was presented with the opportunity to move into rewards, I decided to take it up. I must admit that the transition from a generalist to a specialist, however, has been both challenging and fulfilling. Nonetheless, it has been a journey of continuous learning, particularly in an area that I am truly curious about.

What do you enjoy about your current role?

I enjoy the opportunity to design and implement benefit programs that will motivate employees and align those with our company’s objectives. It is incredibly fulfilling to see how these initiatives positively impact our workforce.

My role also allows me to engage in global projects within performance and rewards. Being part of these international initiatives not only broadens my perspectives but also allows me to collaborate with colleagues abroad and align rewards strategies in a manner that best meets the needs of our global workforce. 

How does total rewards feature in the future of HR from your point of view? 

I believe total rewards will play a crucial role in the future of HR. As workforce needs and requirements continue to evolve, driven in part by Covid-19 and broader economic uncertainties, attracting and retaining top talent will become even more competitive. Well-structured yet nuanced rewards programs are essential to raising employee engagement and satisfaction levels. 

What advice or thinking points would you provide for other HR peers who are deliberating between pursuing a specialist or generalist portfolio?

I would advise exploring both roles early in your career as much as possible to understand your strengths and interests. Specialisation offers the depth, while a generalist portfolio provides a broader set of skills. More importantly, it is about choosing a path that aligns with your long-term goals and interests and getting exposure to both paths has helped me understand myself better.

Tell us about yourself – what do you like to do in your free time?

I truly enjoy spending quality moments with my dog which is a huge source of happiness, especially over the weekends. Be it going for walks, playing fetch or simply lounging together, the companionship I receive from my furry friend provides a wonderful balance to my life outside of work.

I also love cooking during my free time because it allows me to explore my creative side. Experimenting with different recipes and creating new dishes bring joy to both myself and those whom I share them with.

Any hidden talents?

I can identify ingredients in a dish just by their scents! I also play the piano in my free time. 

Please note that all commentary and opinions provided are those of the individual, and not the organisation/company.

As part of our commitment to keeping our HR community up-to-date with the latest HR insights and trends, Frazer Jones publishes a quarterly newsletter purely for HR professionals. In each issue we include an interview with a leading HR professional, a high-potential “rising star” and/or a CHRO for our “view from the top” programme. If you would like to receive future newsletters, participate in our talent programmes, or nominate one of your network or team, do get in touch with our Frazer Jones HR practice in Singapore.

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