S P Setia, growing the company from within
S P Setia, Malaysia’s leading property developer, is a familiar name in the property industry. Its vision of excellence and commitment to product and service quality is the cornerstone of its success, with many remarkable achievements attributed to its dedicated Team Setia.
Currently at 1,800 employees and counting, S P Setia aspires to sustain its leadership positions, while inspiring passion and continuous team spirit in its people.
With strong belief in its human capital as the pillar of the company, S P Setia has, over the years, embarked on various talent development and recognition initiatives.
S P Setia was named Best Employers in Malaysia by Aon Hewitt for six times in 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013 and most recently in 2015. It was also the two-time recipient of the prestigious Best of the Best Employer Award Malaysia in 2011 and 2013 respectively on top of being the only Malaysian property developer to be listed as one of the Best Employers in Asia in 2011.
This recognition creates a sense of pride among employees and further strengthens the level of employee engagement within the company.
Datuk Khor Chap Jen, acting president and chief executive officer (CEO) of S P Setia says:
“S P Setia participates in Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Malaysia programme over the years because the award serves as a credible industry benchmark, among others, for the human resource (HR) initiatives which we have implemented. The recognition has helped to strengthen S P Setia’s brand positioning in the market as an organisation that lives, learns, works and plays well with its communities, especially through our employees, known as Team Setia. People know that we work hard but at the same time, we learn and grow together as a team and we also make time to play.”
Inspiring a culture of excellence
To be a part of Team Setia, which employees of S P Setia are fondly known, every staff member in the company is inducted into the culture of excellence from the very first day at the company.
This is in line with the company’s vision “to be the BEST in all we do”. A big part of the company’s positive brand image is built on the foundation of a united Team Setia, which is made up of motivated people with high team spirit, and who are willing to go the extra mile for their colleagues and the company’s stakeholders.
S P Setia also administers the People Pulse survey on a yearly basis, which provides valuable insights into its people issues and engagement level. Information from the survey helps the company innovate initiatives which target the core of people issues within the organisation.
Team Setia starts out every working day with a Good Morning Setia or GMS session, where employees within their respective divisions gather to express their concerns, place suggestions for work improvement and share industry updates among colleagues.
This not only improves employees’ knowledge of the industry, but also creates healthy engagement between colleagues and the organisation.
Another good practice within S P Setia is its bi-annual CEO’s dialogue session where discussions about the company’s current performance, plans for the year, planned changes and face-to-face consultation with employees on issues they might be facing take place.
In its quest to drive a high performance work culture, S P Setia sets transparent and merit-based reward systems to drive engagement. One such reward system is the Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP), which aims at rewarding S P Setia employees with company shares in addition to yearly performance bonus and increments.
The LTIP was designed to ensure that employees’ contribution and performance towards the development, growth and success of the company would be recognised and rewarded accordingly.
It is also highly-rewarding to be a part of Team Setia, as over the past few years, the company has spread its wings to countries such as Vietnam, China, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.
As the company goes global, it is intent on embracing the diversity of its workforce. Although costly, the company often ensures that employees are given international assignments in order to get cross-border exposure.
The importance of growing internationally savvy talents, especially in future leaders of the company, is aligned with the company’s people initiatives – which is to produce competencies such as being visionary, passionate, inspiring, as well as the ability to think strategically.
Team Setia is encouraged to attend training sessions, which are included in their Key Performance Index (KPI). A comprehensive yearly training calendar focusing on various competencies such as strategic planning, property insights and business communications is made available to all employees at the beginning of every year.
True to S P Setia’s philosophy of “LiveLearnWorkPlay”, the company encourages Team Setia to include “Play” in their lives.
Festive gatherings, family days as well as sports and team building activities are organised year round.
S P Setia’s annual dinner is regarded as the highlight of the year.
During this special event, employees from its offices in Penang, Johor, Sabah, and Klang Valley, as well as the international team from Vietnam, China, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom gather for a fun-packed evening with performances by Team Setia from various business divisions.
It is a good platform for all employees to put faces to names they might only have come across via email.
In 2013, the company organised its first expedition with over 80 members of Team Setia to conquer Mount Kinabalu. The objective of this initiative was to enhance confidence, drive the power of execution and promote teamwork amongst team members.
Led by key senior management of the company, members of Team Setia has been conquering the mountain on a yearly basis ever since.
With a strong team in place and culture of excellence, S P Setia is poised to grow from strength to strength. Employees can look forward to continuously enhanced initiatives and improvement within the organisation for a sustainable career growth.
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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.