Photo (above): Team Continental Malaysia giving the thumbs up at the HR Awards night
Tech-driven: A steady presence of Continental
By SARAH TAN
Trust, passion to win, freedom to act and employees being there for one another – these are the key words that summarise the corporate culture of Continental Malaysia.
Set up as a joint venture in Malaysia in 2003, the leading automotive supplier worldwide, goes the extra mile to ensure a people-oriented environment for its employees and clients.
In recognition of its tireless efforts, Continental Malaysia won the silver in the Employer of Choice category at the 14th Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management HR Awards.
In a recent interview, Ahmad Kamal Samsuddin, head of human resources (HR) in Malaysia and Indonesia, and Priscilla Prasena, communications manager, explain that the company holds its employees in high regard.
One way to ensure success is to listen to them. This is evident through initiatives such as an open door policy, a return employment programme, an internal HR portal for employees’ 24/7 access and many more.
Ahmad says that the company places emphasis on internal communication – not just having messages passed from top down, but from bottom up.
“Since 2013, we have established a communication department in order to ensure a good flow of information in the company.”
The welfare of employees and their families are of utmost importance to Continental.
The company has flexible work arrangements for the employees in view of the importance of work-life balance.
“We are planning more programmes for our employees and their families,” Ahmad says.
Best employees (selected quarterly) are rewarded by the company’s “A Day Away” programme where they and their families are given a holiday package.
The company also has a monthly internal newsletter.
“We share our common goals, focus on improvements and also our successes, small or big. We celebrate with our employees and make them feel proud of themselves,” Ahmad says.
“I hope that their families will be proud to have one of their family members working here,” Ahmad says.
Training the young
Continental provides training and development programmes to its employees. One of the many initiatives that stands out is the Trainee Pool programmes, where young people are trained for one year.
“During their first six months, they will be sent to Germany,” he said.
The trainee pool programmes are sponsored by Continental.
“After the six months, they will go back to the market for plant stay where they rotate between different roles to gain an overview of Continental.
“Upon completion of the programme they will be placed based on their performances.
“We are looking for the best candidates in the market – young, fresh graduates – to join this training programme,” he says.
With many exciting things ahead of them, Ahmad shares that the company’s main aim is creating a better platform to engage with its employees.
The initiatives are the Mission Directed Work Teams (MDWT) programme and employee exchange sessions.
The first stage of the MDWT is held between the shop floor operators and their team leaders or shift managers.
The second meeting is held between team leaders and heads of departments, where they bring out issues which couldn’t be resolved in the first stage of the activity.
In the employee dialogue sessions, a small group of employees get a chance to meet with the heads of departments to discuss various issues.
“We are open to criticisms or negative input,” Ahmad says. “That’s the kind of culture that we would like to have.”
For more information about the organisation, check out www.conti-online.com
Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 6 December 2014
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