From a relatively task-focused and reactive approach, see why Biomed Global took time to embark on a brand transformation journey, as well as a workplace redesign, in Priya Sunil's interview with Dr. Loo Leap Han, Group Head of Talent Management (Malaysia & Singapore), Biomed Global.

Over two decades ago, Biomed Global, a channel partner for world-renowned brands in the biomedical and life sciences industry, was launched with a passion to make a difference to the lives of patients, researchers, and academics. Spanning a presence across Southeast Asia - namely in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, the firm specialises in providing solutions in pathology services, blood banks and transfusion and lifesciences, and most recently contributed towards fighting COVID-19.

"Our mission is to empower our partners and to enrich lives. This is what inspires us every day. Therefore, Biomed is more than just a business, it is our passion and our life blood," shares Dr. Loo Leap Han, Group Head of Talent Management (Malaysia & Singapore), Biomed Global.

In its continued passion to provide the best for its clients, the firm recently embarked on a brand transformation journey - while re-branding its HR team in the process. Dr. Loo tells Priya Sunil more about this move and the exciting plans ahead, in this exclusive.

Q Tell us more about the re-branding that Biomed Global has just undergone – what drove this move? Talk us through it.  

In the past, when the three companies (Biomarketing Services, BMS Diagnostic, and Biomed Diagnostics) used to function independently, there was confusion among the internal and external stakeholders about our identity. We were relatively task-focused, reactive and ad-hoc. We decided to take a time-out to embark on the brand transformation journey. We needed a clear long-term strategic direction, positioning and roadmap. In other words, together we wanted to become better, not just merely bigger - a mission-focused organisation that demonstrates our commitment to enriching lives, empowering partners, and contributing to society through our expertise and leadership to make a difference in what we do.    

Talent is our greatest asset in Biomed Global. We realised the significance of values and cultures of an organisation, and the difference between attracting and engaging outstanding talent that aligned with our brand, and just hiring people for a job. We also reckoned the great importance of growing; and empowering and inspiring talent when we continue our journey.

We (thus) rebranded our HR Department to Talent Management, to strategise and align the entire framework to achieve our ultimate organisational goals - to be the Goal Standard brand and platform for healthcare and lifesciences solutions in Asia.

Q Congratulations on your new role here! Do tell us more about the core responsibilities here. How is it different from what you were working on previously?  

As the Group Head of Talent Management (Malaysia and Singapore), my core responsibilities are as follow:

  1. Talent onboarding
    Foster a positive onboarding experience for new hires - their career path; roles and responsibilities, socialisation, etc.

  2. Talent acquisition
    Right hiring that matches to our seven Brand Behaviours, provide consultation to hiring managers on effective recruitment drives, identify new hiring and competency assessment, and employer and employee branding.

  3. Talent engagement
    Employees' goal alignments check-ins, rewards system, skillset development, performance management, employee wellbeing initiatives.

  4. Talent succession planning
    Talent mapping, leadership programmes, competency gap identification exercise, and talent bank framework.

My previous portfolio was toward 70% HR operations work and 30% HR collaboration partnership. In Biomed Global, it is the opposite. We are also going for HR digitalisation, talent leadership programmes, and talent engagement initiatives for this and the coming years. I am really looking forward to this exciting journey in Biomed Global.

Q In this role, what is your number one priority for this coming year?  

Identifying, developing and retaining in-house talent.

On a separate note, I understand you’re moving into a new office tower soon. It sounds like an exciting space! Tell us more about it.  

It is a nine-storey building which includes an auditorium (250 pax), a gym and yoga station, in-door swimming pool, jacuzzi, library, a fully set-up medical laboratory, multipurpose hall, open-plan office, and many more. The building is also situated right next to the MRT station, which is a bonus for us. The board of directors wants to provide a healthy, vibrant, and conducive workplace for the employees. Biomed Global aims for good employee experience and a fun working environment. We are excited and looking forward to moving to the new office tower in May 2021.

Q What spurred the company’s decision to design such an office concept? 

Business leaders have begun to see that there is a strong positive relationship between workplace design and the performance of the employees. Biomed Global realises that the new workplace needs to be more fluid and adaptable and one that is designed to create an atmosphere where employees can do their best work. We knew we wanted something that better reflected our new brand, and a space that will be both suitable for our business and future-proof.

We spent a lot of time studying our brand identity during the design of the office to ensure we did not lose sight of our identity, creating a space that meets all the various departmental needs.

Q How would this space reflect Biomed's seven Brand Behaviours?

    1. Passion – Our passion and commitment towards building a gold standard brand and platform is reflected in the quality of the design and the environment we created. We want our colleagues to feel the pride and dedication of working in a space that is recognised by our partners as a gold standard in working environment.  
    2. High performing team – We create an open working environment, while also ensuring sufficient rooms for people to have their quiet moments. The aim is increase visibility and interactions amongst one another and providing sufficient space to ensure we can still respect the privacy of those around us.  
    3. Efficiency – Our new space ensures easy access to all the departments, with spiral stairs to connect everybody.   
    4. Expertise – We have created many spaces for learning and development, including an auditorium, where we will invite world-leading experts to give seminars. With these facilities, we can not only develop our talent, but also create a platform for us to connect our customers with these thought leaders.  
    5. Innovation – The space has been designed with numerous collaborative areas, where our staff can have brainstorming sessions. We included many design elements that intend to challenge conventional thinking, ultimately asking ourselves how we can do things better. 
    6. Empowerment and growth – We created a space where all the leaders are easily accessible, and everybody is free to choose where they want to work. This is a method for us to encourage our staff to take initiative and ownership in what we do, helping us nurture independent thinking and a leadership culture.  
    7. Inspiration – We want to create a space which encourages people to take the next step. To inspire people to transform themselves through a positive environment, to make a positive impact on our partners, and to contribute to the wellbeing of society.

Q Overall, how would it contribute to driving the entire employee experience at Biomed? 

Basically, there are four main things that employees want: 1) individual spaces that have a functional layout, 2) adjustability that allows them to adapt their workspace to their current needs, 3) ergonomics management, and 4) access to the resources they need. 

We would have space for our staff to work effectively, great environments for talent development, and the facilities to encourage our staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Biomed Global believes that it is all about a diversity of spaces and giving employees choices in their workplace.

Q What do you see as the future of the office/the traditional workspace? 

The future of the workspace will become more flexible and integrated, where the focus will be how we can help to improve the efficiency of our staff. Future offices will be designed to not only allow our staff to do good work, but also provide facilities that are convenient for our staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

In sum, the key concept of the future workplace is 'be more comfortable'; a place where employees choose to spend more time without the pressures and formality of the traditional office setup.

Photo / Provided 

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