By PRETHIBA ESVARY
Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group once said: “An organisation is only as strong as its people.”
This statement holds true as an in-depth research conducted by Aon Best Employers showed that there is a correlation between the people in an organisation and its business performance.
With the presence of a volatile global economy and intense competition among businesses, the quest to stand out has agreeably become more challenging, and it takes much more than just a company’s brand name to grow and sustain its business performance.
Prashant Chadha, managing director of leading human resources (HR) consulting group, Aon Hewitt Malaysia (Aon Hewitt), said, “Organisations now realise the significance of being the Best Employer, they know they need to step up their game by creating a difficult-to-replicate competitive advantage, a distinct employee value proposition (EVP), people culture and having effective talent management.
“While in the past HR was only seen as an operational function, it has now become a strategic adviser to businesses. This shift in focus has changed the way we think and manage employees without compromising business growth.”
What Best Employers do differently
The Best Employers in Asia-Pacific study established by Aon Hewitt reveals four key ingredients that Best Employers focus on exceptionally well compared to other organisations.
Rise of tailored programmes that foster employee engagement
Gen Y is the least engaged and most difficult cohort to retain in the workforce. However, Best Employers in Malaysia have successfully retained their top talents through tailored HR programmes.
Fact: The Aon Best Employers-Malaysia 2016 market insights reveal that Best Employers have an engagement score of 87% (market average is 62%).
Continuous need for a compelling employer brand
Organisations will continue to face the challenge of having their employer promise diluted by a poor employer brand perception. Best Employers of Malaysia have thus developed, implemented and effectively articulated their EVP, which has proven effective in employee retention.
Fact: Eighty-seven per cent of employees from companies hailed as Best Employers, believe that their companies deliver on the promises made to them (market average is 54%).
Increased focus on effective Leadership
Best Employers invest in their leaders as engaged leaders typically drive higher employee engagement. Customised succession and high-potential development programmes that apply to different career stages, are initiatives undertaken by Best Employers to develop engaging leaders.
Fact: Seventy-eight per cent of Best Employers have formal mentoring programmes to develop an effective leadership pipeline (market average is 63%).
Building a high-performance culture
A high-performance culture is often driven by managers who are able to articulate the right expectations for their teams and develop their people well. This culture is also often complemented by robust career development and differentiated rewards programmes.
Fact: Eighty per cent of Best Employers acknowledge their employees’ contributions by rewarding beyond pay and benefits (market average is 51%).
In a nutshell
Employees now enjoy real-time access to information regarding other organisations’ brand presence, culture, best practices and talent management within and outside Malaysia. In addition to that, employees today have a different set of expectations than before, namely the Gen Y cohort.
Being able to stand out in the market as a Best Employer has thus become more imperative than ever when it comes to attracting and retaining the right talent pool, as they hold the key to your organisation’s business performance.
Do you have what it takes?
The Aon Best Employers programme serves as a diagnostic tool designed to help your company identify areas of improvement in your employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, employer brand, and culture to drive high performance.
By participating, your company will benefit from a 12-month partnership with Aon Hewitt, which will equip you with the elements listed below.
According to Prashant Chadha, this programme is not just a journey to introspect, but is also an opportunity to learn from organisations that have dared to differentiate and then build for the future.
At the end of the programme, the best employers are recognised and this subsequently aids in sustaining their relevance and strength in the public eye.
What’s unique about the awards this year is that the recognition is not only given to winning organisations, but also to those that have shown commitment in one of the four Best Employer pillars (mentioned above).
Judges of the Aon Best Employers-Malaysia 2016
Datuk Vignaesvaran Jeyandran
Chief executive officer, Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia.
Having accumulated 17 years of professional experience and hands-on involvement across various sectors, i.e. construction, power, telecommunications, and manufacturing, Vignaesvaran’s contribution to the human capital industry in Malaysia is unparalleled, namely in leading and mitigating trends and issues within the subsectors covered by the PSMB (Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd) Act, 2001.
“Employer branding is crucial in today’s highly competitive job market to attract and retain highly skilled talents; who will not only enhance an organisation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace but also raise the visibility of its brand.”
Shareen Shariza Datuk Abdul Ghani
Chief executive officer, Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp)
She brings with her 20 years’ worth of experience across varying industries, i.e. retail, capital markets, social and humanitarian sector, and corporate sustainability. She was previously the director of corporate responsibility at Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah) and chief operations officer at Mercy Malaysia. She is known for her ability to work with diverse groups of people and for achieving goals together.
“What’s unique about the Aon Best Employers programme is the rigorous process which is conducted over a 12-month period which certifies a credible list of Best Employers.”
Chief human resources officer, Citi Malaysia
She kickstarted her career in the HR field by working with different multinational companies in Argentina. Her journey with Citi began in 2002 and spanned across Argentina, Brazil, United States and Singapore. With Citi, she transitioned from country to regional roles and from generalist to specialist roles, supporting the majority of Citi’s business lines. She is known for her expertise in recruitment, succession planning, talent management and leadership.
“The Aon Best Employers programme is a journey to self-improve as an organisation, with the employees at the centre of it.”
Chief executive officer of Leaderonomics
He served with General Electric for more than 13 years in the United States, Europe and Asia. Then, he became the director of global talent management for Johnson & Johnson.
He is a key thought leader in the field of leadership, HR and business, and development of new insights and methodologies such as the Four Mastery model of Leadership.
“The Aon Best Employers programme enables organisations to take a pulse check on their engagement levels and build possible actions to address gaps and issues faced.”
Senior vice-president of HR, USG Boral
She brings with her over 20 years of experience in finance, supply chain, business development and HR. Under her leadership as the senior HR director of Agilent Malaysia, the organisation has garnered accolades as an employer of choice, including one of Aon Hewitt Best Employers award in 2013. She is recognised by various organisations for her role as a HR leader and HR professional.
“Being recognised as a Best Employer is no longer a nice-to-have. It is a must-have.”