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Nora Abd Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer/Group EXCO, Maybank, reveals four ways in which the bank is making the workplace of the future more people-centric.
Digitalisation is spreading rapidly. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence’s (AI) natural language generation and machine learning platforms are opening new windows of opportunities across business lines every day. Routine and repetitive jobs are gradually going to the machines. Automation will enhance human existence, leaving us with more time to sharpen our critical thinking, leadership, creativity to reengineer existing jobs or jobs that have yet to exist, ultimately to drive exponential outcomes―innovation, revenue growth, and market share.
This is the future of work and this world is more open, connected and moves faster than we have ever known or experienced. At the same time, it is a world that is far more intelligent, not from a technological standpoint but from a human one. With work-life integration, remote working, gig-economy, we have come to a realisation that balance truly is everything, and because of our search for it, organisations are more alive – no, we are more alive than we have ever been.
Digital upskilling: Helping employees adapt faster and easier
For Maybank, the workplace of the future is far more people-centric. No doubt the future workplace calls for unprecedented change due to the invasion of technology, but technology does not define the workplace, it enables it.
We believe people remain key to unlocking and charting new pathways, and in this role, skills are the ultimate game changer.
We commenced our digital upskilling journey in January 2018, making us the first Bank in the country to embark on this massive feat, where we brought employees onto a minimum level of digital language and comprehension. We also strengthened our current learning and development programmes by including digital skillsets that we know will help employees adapt faster and easier. We found this to be an incredible opportunity to change how people learn, work, and how we work as an organisation.
In order to get everyone on the same platform, our board members, group EXCO and senior management also invested time in strategy, artificial intelligence and machine learning sessions, where they picked up new skills such as coding and algorithms programming, and most importantly, understood how these skills can be developed in-house.
Other programmes were also implemented including:
- Group Data Science Centre of Excellence – where employees were able to develop their data analytics skills and data science expert areas.
- Computational Thinking Challenge – to inculcate a digital mindset and to embed digital thinking for everything that we do
- Agility@Work – which introduces alternative ways of working to encourage employees to be agile and quick to respond.
Workplace enablers: Taking charge to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world
To meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world, we all need to develop speed and resilience.
We introduced workplace enablers, like our GO Ahead. Take Charge! (TC) platform, made up of four pillars of Reskill & Redeploy, Flex In, Flex Out (Flexible work arrangements), and Entrepreneur, which helps our employees adapt and be agile in a changing digital workplace where the physical location and boundaries are no longer hindrances to effective communication, collaboration and productivity.
By reskilling and redeploying our current talent, we match our people’s aspirations with the Group’s resourcing needs and facilitate job rotations and inter-sector transfers. Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) are intended to create flexible conditions that will enable us to balance our objectives of achieving a highly productive, harmonious work environment that is responsive to the changing professional and personal needs of today’s workforce. We also offer sabbatical leave that enables our employees to take a formal break from their career for a minimum duration of two months and up to a maximum of 24 months, with the guarantee of remaining employed.
Maybank’s Humanising DNA: Helping people do their best work
We have a different expectation of work itself now; we have evolved. We are constantly figuring out how and where our people can do their best work, to collaborate, solution, communicate and achieve their personal and professional goals. This is part of who we are; our Humanising DNA.
Amidst all the policies, we place importance on our people taking ‘Time Out’ – our performance improvement conversations which provides real-time corrective feedback. Being an industry leader, our performance levels have always been of top most importance to us. To sustain our achievements, we have redesigned the way we enable breakthrough performance.
‘Time Out’ allows employees to improve, minimises work disruption, preserves company morale and protects our business.
It can take place anywhere and anytime and is no longer restricted to conventional mid-year reviews and year-end assessments. Immediate actions for improvement will therefore be agreed upon, acted on and tracked for the next performance conversations. This is also about giving a voice to all our people, to be heard and to encourage new ideas.
At Maybank, it truly is all about our people. Their well-being and success have a direct impact on the organisation’s competitive advantage. We have put in place a holistic wellness strategy that encourages a self-leadership approach – employees are empowered to take charge of their own well-being with support from peers, line managers and top management. By taking charge of their own state of well-being, we encourage our employees to maximise their potential – that would enable them to flourish, stay relevant and be productive at work and in life.
‘Crowdtivation’: Innovative solutions to everyday business problems
The workplace of the future for us is envisioned to be boundary-less and structure-less. Yet at the same time, it allows for human connection, letting people understand who they work for, what the core values and culture of Maybank are, and setting a stage for a more collaborative, transparent, respectful and responsible workplace. This is translated into our idea of “Crowdtivation”―a gig workforce space for Maybankers to learn, collaborate and experiment with innovative solutions to everyday business problems in a Sandbox environment (a testing environment). We hope we can extend this reach across the Maybank Group without being limited by country, sector, function or unit.
It’s said that it is not the tool that guarantees the quality of the craft, it’s the craftsmen that guarantees it.
This saying cannot be more apt in times of rapid technological change, and it’s a key reason why Maybank is doing its best to equip all Maybankers to be agile, responsive, and relevant for our people and our customers. We believe this value cannot be obtained from the likes of robots and artificial intelligence.
Photo / Maybank