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A culture of learning at Li & Fung

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Li & Fung is a Hong Kong-headquartered supply chain solutions company that’s been around since 1906. Over that time, it has instilled a robust workplace environment for its employees, and a healthy learning culture.

At this year’s HR Distinction Awards, Li & Fung was nominated for Excellence in Learning & Development and Excellence in Workplace Culture, and was an award winner for Excellence in Organisation Development.

The company’s L&D strategy for employees is one of the key HR initiatives behind its success. Unlike traditional L&D models, Li & Fung’s L&D strategy is not focused solely on training. It partners with business units to use a blended strategy of in-person workshops, micro learning and e-learning to build relevant and critical skills that focus exclusively on improving business performance from a holistic perspective.

Its strategy aims to promote a learning culture where colleagues actively desire continued education and are provided with the tools to increase knowledge, foster ability, and reinforce skills and competencies.

Creative learning solutions for all

Li & Fung’s L&D programme has continued to evolve rapidly. The company approaches initiatives with an agile mindset, constantly prototyping and reiterating to come up with the best possible solutions.

Within the organisation, gamification and digitisation are used as a means to foster a culture of sharing and collaboration that is not restricted by geographical locations – of which there are many. At the same time, it offers learning programmes which are laser-focused on specific business needs.

This results in more sustainable learning that can be easily translated from the classroom to the workplace. The supply chain management business is a dynamic one, and rising to the challenge of change isn’t always easy, especially for a company with more than 16,000 employees worldwide.

Embracing change

The team at Li & Fung has taken great strides in expanding beyond just knowledge and training by turning its attention towards change management and growth mindsets.

It has brought in standardised change management methodologies and approaches for all of its colleagues to guide them through the people side of change during substantial business transformation projects. Li & Fung’s commitment and adherence to these methods ensures its workforce is not left behind while it forges ahead with new innovations.

The company continues to instill a growth mindset and problem-solving capabilities to create a workforce of proactive, customer-centric service professionals. As a result, its colleagues save customers’ money with creativity, and often digitalised solutions that are speedier and more on-point than even before.

Another area in which Li & Fung has concentrated its energies on is in the area of organisational development. This has boosted the company’s overall performance by disrupting the way its colleagues have historically worked, and placed a new emphasis on their role in adding value to customers and vendors.

The philosophy

Li & Fung’s philosophy is based on a workplace culture of humility, family and entrepreneurship. A culture that lives by these tenets is a culture that not only values diversity and inclusion, but also remains nimble when faced with changing business environments, and enables it to stay competitive and effective.

Li & Fung’s work ethic is encapsulated by the statement: “Humility reminds us that we have much to learn, family keeps us connected and inclusive, and our entrepreneurial spirit encourages innovation and risk-taking.”

The journey of building and sustaining a successful workplace culture is an ongoing one. The team at Li & Fung continues to embrace new learning technologies and methodologies that give its employees opportunities for situational learning.

It hopes to be able to create real-life scenarios for colleagues to practise and master, ultimately helping them to deduce the best ways to apply their skills and make a positive impact.

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