The team is the heart of Setia Haruman
By KHOR HUI MIN
Home to multi-nationals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, Cyberjaya is Malaysia’s global technology hub. Adjacent to Putrajaya, the administration capital of the government, Cyberjaya is the result of strategic planning, careful execution and hard work to turn this Capital of Creation into a reality.
Cyberjaya is the country’s first technology-driven city, offering world-class technology infrastructure to meet the fast-changing requirements of multi-national companies. Ultimately the goal is to move Malaysia up the value chain into a value-added knowledge economy and help solve the brain drain issue.
Have you ever wondered who built the technology capital of Malaysia?
Building Malaysia’s technology hub
Established in 1997, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd stands as the pillar of Cyberjaya, holding the responsibility to ensure its successful development throughout the city.
As the master developer of Cyberjaya, Setia Haruman planned and developed Cyberjaya with world-class infrastructure and amenities to make it an attractive location for multi-national companies (MNCs) and start-ups to locate their businesses.
Setia Haruman also sells parcels of land to developers and private companies, as well as collaborates with other stakeholders and local communities to achieve the common vision of making Cyberjaya a global, liveable and technology city.
In addition, the company has constructed office buildings, retail spaces and apartment suites to meet the market demand for its thriving community.
A timely transformation
Setia Haruman has always been a company that is future-focused and willing to make the necessary changes to remain relevant. In 2015, a rebranding exercise was initiated by the executive chairman, Tuan Haji Ahmad Khalif Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal.
“As the company journeyed on this transformation, it was a collective decision of the senior management team to engage a global creative agency and we started with the designing of a new company logo, which would embody the company’s behaviours, core capabilities and values,” says Wendy Li, chief operating officer.
“We looked at the behaviours that we wanted to develop in the team, which are agile, future focused, balanced and customer-centric.
“But it would just be words if we didn’t do anything about it. So, we integrated these values into all the activities we organised,” she added.
“Just as in any transformation journey, we were faced with resistance to change and complacency, but we handled it through our Strategic Leadership Training (SLT) sessions, as we were able to gauge the acceptance levels of our team members which made it possible to implement many new processes within the company.
“SLT sessions are carried out every quarter where team members are given the opportunity to propose ideas that could be implemented company-wide,” reveals Li.
SLT proved to be a success where junior team members are exposed to new experiences and opportunities that allow them to upskill and expand their knowledge, making them more confident and better prepared in facing any given scenario. It enabled and encouraged inter-department interaction as team members would work together and solve issues.
“The transformation also saw the positive shift of sharing responsibility for the common good of the company in property sales. Sales has always been the responsibility of the sales team, however to further boost our sales targets, a campaign was initiated to encourage non-sales team members to participate and assist in promoting and selling property units.
“Each of the department heads were given a target to hit. This created greater awareness about our products and led to some creative outcomes. For example, the head of asset management and his team approached their customers and tenants to do roadshows with them.”
“We have also introduced the Ambassador Programme, where 30-40 team members from various departments and from various levels assisted in key handovers for our completed units – 400 units for Centrus SOHO and 350 units for CERIA Residen.”
Li further added, “One of the key projects that we are exceptionally proud of is the Employer Of Choice (EOC) Rangers where team members who are manager level and below are encouraged to initiate ideas to make the work environment better.”
The company then moved on to implement ‘climate’ surveys to assess the confidence of team members with the company’s direction and their level of happiness. This survey was conducted over a period of two years and we are proud to reveal that results indicated an increase of 45% and 20% respectively in these two parameters and this can only materialise through open communication.
The evolution of HR development
In its mission to revamp the company, it was important that human resources (HR) strategies were aligned with the company’s business strategies by adopting a structured talent management approach.
“During the transformation, there was more evolution within the work environment,” says Ar Siti Mariam Mohd Desa, head of corporate affairs and governance division, who manages the HR team.
“Emphasising the crucial role that HR plays in the development of a strong workforce, we looked into even the smallest details, for example addressing the employees as ‘team members’ instead of ‘staff’ as we found this strengthens the team spirit amongst the team members.”
Besides the current initiatives, HR continues to look into innovative ways to keep team members energised.
Ar Siti Mariam added, “We also took our traditional business into the 21st century through digitalisation. We equipped team members with technology assisted systems, which allows administrative chores to be completed more efficiently. So, they have more time to think strategically and engage with innovative projects.”
“We use document-sharing in cloud. Team members can also apply for leave online (e-leave). We also have attendance monitoring (e-attendance) and access HR documents (e-documents) through the online portal that is readily available. In the future, we will be looking into using e-claim and e-PMS to increase convenience for our team members.”
We have also implemented a customer relationship management (CRM) system and vigorously engage with our customers via social media platforms.”
An EPIC (Excellence, Pride, Integrity and Care) upgrade
“We always believed that success is driven by our values, and in Setia Haruman, we emulate the EPIC values in our everyday responsibilities,” says Ar Siti Mariam.
“We strive for excellence in everything we do. We instil pride in our team on our contribution to the country. We have integrity in always doing the right thing. We always care for our team members and customers.”
“In our SLT every quarter, 40 team members (including top executives) are given a task to solve. They are divided into four teams, each headed by a division head.”
“One of the SLT sessions produced the EOC rangers, where team members find ways to make the work environment better. For example, flexible hours, parking for pregnant mums, community club room, staff pantry, and medical benefits which include optical and dental benefits.”
“In our Teh Tarik sessions every Monday, we have conversations with team members, and they give suggestions and comments.”
“The Honesty Box, located at the reception area, allows team members to drop in suggestions and comments anonymously. These notes will then be read out during the town hall sessions,” says Ar Siti Mariam.
“The chairman and management team will respond to the questions dropped into the box, and consider suggestions that will add value to the company. Examples of implemented suggestions include an air-conditioner for the prayer room, and 360 feedback to management.”
Setia Haruman is always on the lookout for ways to improve the way it does things, including introducing practices that benefit team members, and keeping them happy, energised and engaged.
The company has its own, or as they call it, ‘Big Hairy Audacious’ goals for Cyberjaya, namely to reach a total population of 500,000 by 2035, to be the preferred leading global liveable tech city, and last but not least, to be a leading hub for education and innovation.
With its positive, open, dynamic and fluid approach, the sky is the limit for Setia Haruman, and it is an exemplary model for those looking into transforming their own companies.