A number of initiatives have been put in place to ensure the workforce is guided by a sense of belonging and engagement, as well as substantial career prospects.
This article is brought to you by Hongkong Land
Founded in 1889, Hongkong Land (HKL) is a major listed property investment, management, and development group. Its business is built on the values of excellence, integrity, and partnership, with a vision “to be the best-in-class property company that inspires and builds value for Asian cities” – a mantra that helps HKL attract and retain suitable talents.
This, in fact, is the biggest challenge for HR professionals in Hong Kong currently. This is why HKL believes that having a good workplace with career prospects can help attract and retain talents. Heavy investments have been made in technology for learning and development to cultivate a learning culture among all levels of staff, to equip them with hard and soft skills that help facilitate their work, and climb the career ladder.
A talent pool of high-potential staff has been established to fill key roles when leaders or key employees step down. Meanwhile, structured learning programmes are provided to these talents to equip them with necessary skills of a leader to pave their path to more senior positions.
And of course, recognising that a lot of employees, especially the Millennials, are looking for agility, flexibility, and wellness, HKL launched agile work arrangements in August 2022, to allow staff to work from home for one day per week, and to avail flexible working hours.
What really caught the eyes of jury members at this year’s HR Distinction Awards, however, was HKL’s structured talent development programme.
To this purpose, a one-stop online learning solution, ‘CONNECT Platform’, has been launched for all staff, giving them access to learning anytime, anywhere via web and the mobile app, enabling them to find the learning resources which best suit them. Over 1,000 modules are available, including work-related programmes, personal development, and industry-related learning resources. Yolice Wu, Executive Director, Human Resources, Hongkong Land (pictured below), affirms: “Our staff is empowered to develop themselves to ascend the career ladder through self-initiated learning.”
Another unique initiative that helped HKL bag the gold award for ‘Excellence in Retention Strategy’ is the ‘Healthy Land Happy Land’ Employee Wellness Programme. As part of this initiative, regular wellness activities are organised to promote the importance of wellness to staff. There are three pillars under this programme:
- The ‘Fitness Plan and Exercise Class Sponsorship Scheme’ subsidises the monthly fee of any fitness plans and exercise classes attended by staff to foster the habit of regular exercise.
- ‘Sports Interest Groups’ unite staff with common interests for a particular sport activity. Seven such Groups have already been established, namely, badminton, basketball, football, snooker, bowling, tennis, and golf. Each interest group is supported by a Convenor who, on a voluntary basis, organises regular training and playing sessions for the group members.
- Wellness activities are organised by HKL, including but not limited to handicraft workshops, exercise class, health talks, etc.
Just like the process of building a solid foundation for a beautiful structure, Hongkong Land’s focus on its workforce has built the base for a successful employee retention strategy. While the developer has a long-standing history and is seen as a reputable yet prudent organisation, it did face its own set of challenges, such as a market perception of lacking an innovative mindset and progress in technology. The employee-focused programmes described previously have, however, turned the tide on this perception, and allowed HKL to maintain its competitiveness in attracting talents despite the fierce competition for talents in the property market.
As a people leader in such a dynamic organisation, Wu believes the key to leading a company to navigate the future of work is to implement a series of strategic initiatives that address changes and advancements in technology, workforce demographics, and the evolving nature of work itself.
To start with, it is important to invest in advanced technology that enables employees to learn and develop, work smarter and more collaboratively. This includes tools for e-learning, task management, project tracking, and employee communication and engagement.
Wu highlights that as important as it is to invest in people infrastructure, it is equally important to avoid outdated and inefficient practices, such as manual data entry and manual recruitment processes. “Instead, automation and AI should be used to streamline workflows and reduce the time it takes to make decisions,” she clarified.
Finally, she urges fellow HR leaders to recognise and embrace the needs and preferences of a diverse workforce. This includes creating flexible work arrangements, offering customised training and development programmes, and providing opportunities for employees to collaborate. She adds: “Additionally, HR leaders should prioritise employee wellbeing and mental health, making resources available to employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.”
With this foundation in place, HKL is inspiring the workforce to dream and to aspire to a better tomorrow.
Photos / Hongkong Land