In the year of its 20th anniversary, Hong Kong SAR is celebrating by having more Great Workplaces than in 2016. These companies are showing the way for the rest and setting the pace in order to face the ever-growing complexity of today’s business environment.
Hong Kong employers are making progress toward the goal presented last year by Great Place to Work, in which we encouraged the evolution of all kinds of organisations towards being better workplaces.
Our society needs it. The competitive environment demands it. Our talents are hoping for it. And slowly but surely, our leaders are becoming more aware of this management evolution and culture change – a people focused way of doing sustainable and competitive business.
That was the message at the awards ceremony for the ‘Best Companies to Work for in Hong Kong 2017’ held on 14 June 2017 at W Hotel, Hong Kong. The night was given extra meaning by the presence of Stephen Sui, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare.
He spoke about the importance of these kinds of initiatives, and encouraged the attendees and awarded companies to keep it up and to continue raising the level of awareness for improvement as workplaces.
José Carlos Bezanilla, CEO of Great Place to Work in Greater China, welcomed the attendees and presented a series of initiatives to support the different challenges that present themselves on the road to building great workplaces for all, as he underlined in the presentation. He stressed the paramount importance of making changes to the leadership style, and highlighted how we can use trust to influence policies and practices for team members at the different organisations.
Additionally, Bezanilla reminded the attendees of the importance of more open and inclusive work schemes, in which management takes care of each and every individual; fostering inclusion and diversity, while enriching the collective thinking of the organisation and making it more innovative, agile, efficient and resilient.
He concluded by addressing the complications of asking people to step outside of the comfort zone, not only for managers, but even for employees, since in some cases, they just want to ‘ride the wave’ with the least possible effort, but the highest payment available.
The event’s spirit followed Great Place to Work’s message across the world where the organisation has offices and runs similar events. The focus lies with the importance of having the competitive edge while increasing the quality of life. Great Place to Work’s events also emphasise how many of its initiatives can influence how organisations retain and attract talent, therefore unleashing greater potential in your associates, and driving your organisation to become more innovative and competitive, achieving better results overall.
During the night, an innovative concept was launched by Elise Lee, Hong Kong executive director at Opportunity International, challenging organisations to participate more actively and deeply in CSR activities. She presented what is called: The CSR Challenge Award.
Based on the correlation between higher engagement in organisations and more active community and social activities, the six-month challenge invites organisations to engage with one of the rural home-based business projects supported by Opportunity International. Organisations are challenged to assign a team of employees to offer any kind of creative support to further develop the growth of the assigned project, and asked to present a plan, regular reports, and eventually results.
There will be acknowledgements for different achievements at the end of the challenge and a live vote at the Greater China event of Great Place to Work in December will decide the overall winner. The challenge aims to show in an exciting, innovative and disruptive way how CSR activities can be combined with teamwork in a productive way.
Attendees were updated on some improvements in the project of Best Practice Partners, as well as introduced to a new initiative aimed at reaching the small and medium companies in Hong Kong: the eCertification. It follows the same philosophy, but its simpler nature helps smaller companies focus on the process of building their own Great Workplace.
The event ended on a high note with the presentation of the awards and recognition of the ‘Best Companies to Work for in Hong Kong 2017’. One special company from Hong Kong, AIA MPF, made it for the first time onto any of the lists of Great Place to Work!
The awarded companies are (in alphabetical order):
- AIA MPF
- Cisco China Company Limited
- DHL Express Hong Kong
- Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
- Kiabi Asia
- NetApp Hong Kong
- Orbium Limited
- Smith & Nephew Ltd.
- W. L. Gore & Associates
*The business units in Hong Kong include Mars Foods, Inc. (Hong Kong), The Wrigley Company (H.K.) Ltd. and Royal Canin Hong Kong Limited
They are all contributing to making Hong Kong one of the world’s great workplaces. Congratulations!
This article was brought to you by Great Place to Work.