Walking into the offices of EcoWorld Development Group Berhad, one is greeted by clear signs that the vision of the organisation “Creating Tomorrow and Beyond” has been translated into action.
From developing a world class talent pool to building a culture of excellence, the entire team worked in unison to contribute towards EcoWorld earning the accolade of Best Employer Malaysia 2015 by Aon Hewitt.
EcoWorld CEO Datuk Chang (second from right) receives the award in their first year of participation
Datuk Chang Khim Wah, the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of EcoWorld said:
“Being recognised as one of the Aon Hewitt Best Employers Malaysia 2015 represents a significant milestone in EcoWorld’s quest in building a highly engaged talent pool who will go beyond the extra mile in delivering results. I want to thank every member of Team EcoWorld for their contributions which enabled EcoWorld to earn this accolade. It is the best testament to great teamwork in action!”
EcoWorld strongly believes in creating well-rounded and caring individuals who impact both the company and communities they serve. The wealth of experience of the respected industry players leading EcoWorld combined with the youthful energy and enthusiasm of its people powers EcoWorld to scale ever greater heights.
EcoWorld recognises every single employee as talent – and this acknowledgement brings a sense of pride throughout the organisation. Talent is nurtured and groomed to progress in their career path towards becoming empowered leaders in whatever position they hold.
The people development strategy at EcoWorld is owned and executed not just by the talent management team, but wholly supported by the senior leadership team, who also embrace the role of talent development through mentorships.
“One of the great things about our company is that everyone is engaged in talent development and building leaders of tomorrow,” says Chang.
During his development phase, Chang was privileged to be personally mentored by EcoWorld’s chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin. Liew identified the potential in the young man and gave him the many opportunities which have enabled him to take on the role of CEO today.
Today, Chang and his management team supports the people agenda at EcoWorld that not only builds future leaders, but prepares today’s leaders to gradually grow out of their existing portfolio of responsibilities so that they too can progressively assume more senior leadership roles.
And through this agenda, EcoWorld endeavours to build a pipeline of future leaders and create a legacy that will live on and continue to be elevated to set new industry benchmarks.
Setting high standards
In a complex network of interdependent teams, EcoWorld maintains its high standards due, in no small part, to having talent in sufficient numbers and with the right skill sets.
Angelin Low, divisional general manager of group talent management says:
“We look for individuals whose personal values are in alignment with EcoWorld’s values, which centre on Teamwork, Integrity and Commitment to Excellence. We believe when values are aligned and the attitude is right, there is definitely a better chance for these individuals to build a long-term career with the company.”
EcoWorld firmly believes in “home-grown” management, and as such, has committed to investing into building its talent pipeline.
With the business in full gear to expand and grow, EcoWorld is heavily dependent on a highly-engaged workforce to embrace the vision, mission and values of the company.
The vision, mission and values were created by the team to reflect the manner in which the team wanted to achieve the company’s objectives. Buy-in began at the very inception when the company was started.
Many organisations recognise the importance of an engaged workforce, however not all have found the right formula to achieve or sustain it. EcoWorld has an enviable engagement score that can be attributed to several factors.
On top of training and sharpening work skills, the personal wellbeing of the team is also prioritised. The lifesize posters reminding everyone that “looking good on the inside (clear lungs and a clean bill of health) is as important as looking good on the outside” is a health promotion effort with the interest of all employees at heart.
Impact of an engaged workforce
One key element of engagement at EcoWorld revolves around the encouragement of new ideas by any talent. This requires individuals to firstly be engaged, and ultimately also fuels better employee engagement.
At EcoWorld, talent are empowered to develop and propose ideas and innovations that help improve operations, systems, structures and processes. And these are not limited to only big breakthrough ideas, but any workable idea no matter how small, and even for other departments or divisions.
Ideas as well as WOW stories are shared during the weekly Good Morning EcoWorld (GMEW) sessions. To encourage others to emulate them, WOW stories include stories by talent who have raised the bar in their work like going the extra mile for customers and community around them.
Common goals is another way of fostering teamwork and continuously engaging the workforce. These goals – not necessarily business goals, include reaching peaks like Mount Kinabalu and running the annual KL Rat Race – bring the workforce closer as it involves training and enduring tough times and achieving the goals together as well.
Creating the talent to create tomorrow
As talent development tops the list of its people agenda, EcoWorld invests in learning and development initiatives to build future leaders towards realising its vision of “Creating Tomorrow and Beyond”.
With 60% of the workforce being Gen-Y, the talent management team has intentionally carved out formal and informal learning opportunities through various touchpoints with senior leaders including the chairman and CEO.
EcoWorld customises its learning and development programmes to groom high potential Gen-Y talents into its next-generation leaders.
Hard work and taking initiative pays off!
Encouraging younger employees to volunteer to manage company events and activities, is a means of spotting talents and engaging those who have demonstrated their leadership potential and resilience in taking challenges beyond their core role in the company. Due recognition is given to those who excel by fast tracking their career progression.
Talent spotting also extends to support teams at EcoWorld, which are given equal opportunity for leadership development. In her own team, Low has also identified several high potentials for leadership development.
Diversity – Building on our strengths and common goals
Engaging with such diverse groups requires insights into each generation’s needs, aspirations and expectations to have total buy-in.
As EcoWorld expands rapidly both domestically and internationally, the Group will continue to explore more innovative means and ways in embracing “Diversity at Work” in a more holistic manner.
“Engaging talent is a complex subject matter as it deals with matters of the mind and heart of people. While it sounds like a myth, embracing diversity and treating people with respect and humility are definitely big steps forward in demystifying it.”
“Engaging talent is a complex subject matter as it deals with matters of the mind and heart of people. While it sounds like a myth, embracing diversity and treating people with respect and humility are definitely big steps forward in demystifying it.” – Angelin Low
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Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 21 March 2015
Lay Hsuan is the content curator for Leaderonomics.com. She writes occasionally and is the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader’s Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.