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When LF Logistics was in contract negotiation with a major client two years ago, it was crucial to exceed expectations in order to retain the business. One of the “wow” factors that won over the trust of the client came from an unexpected mean – the human resources team.
Looking back at a two-year journey, which saw the company develop its talent management strategies, Eva Wong, vice president of human resources at LF Logistics, recalled how she transformed the human resources team from a back-end department to a key contributor in strategically engaging customers for the company.
“We decided that uplifting the talent capability was going to be a key in how we could enhance our customer experience. With support from our top management and the customer, we rolled out a competency project to align the employee’s career aspiration with our company goals,” she said.
To identify the critical success factors for each job role, the project team shadowed roles of critical front line positions and conducted interviews with senior leaders on their expectations in strengthening organisational and individual capabilities,” said Annie Suen, general manager – learning & organisational development at LF Logistics.
Suen emphasised that communication with front-line staff was very important in making the project a success.
“We began engaging our key stakeholders at an early stage, especially our operations managers and supervisors. From focus group discussions to competency assessment briefing, and development planning, I wanted to make them feel like a part of the team in driving this people initiative,” she said.
“We had to get them to understand that this was not a review to evaluate their performance. It is a project that can help them get better at what they do and to achieve what they want in their career ,” she said.
After months of preparation, the project team presented a customised and comprehensive competency profile, complete with behaviour descriptions, the expected proficiency for each job role, competency assessment results and recommendations. It was very well-received by the customer, and the HR team was given the green-light to implement the plan.
In this journey of transformation, the HR team had successfully applied the competency model to different stages of the employee life cycle – from hiring and onboarding to performance reviews, talent reviews and development.
The story did not end there. The LF Logistics team developed a mobile competency profile app, a nod to the company upcoming plans to focus on digitalisation.
As the company continues to grow in size and complexity, the app allows managers and colleagues to quickly search for required competency details and proficiency level at any given time. It can be useful when preparing for interviews, conducting orientation, creating development plans, and assessing online learning resources.
Implementing of the new competency model resulted in a significant improvement in staff turnover and having all vacant positions in 2015/2016 filled up by internal colleagues.
The division who adopted this new competency model achieved one of the highest engagement scores in LF Logistics’ 2016 employee engagement survey.
The company was awarded the bronze prize for Excellence in Organisation Development at the HR Innovation Awards 2016, Hong Kong. The company also recently won the Excellent Service Provider Award at their client’s Supplier Summit 2016.
Caption: Annie Suen, general manager – learning & organisational development (left) and Eva Wong, vice president of human resources.
“Our top management never expected the level of innovation HR could bring to the table. These awards have proven that if HR professionals are dedicated to doing something innovative, we can inspire greatness,” Wong said.
Looking into the future, LF Logistics has solid plans to roll out this competency project covering businesses in Greater China by the end of 2016 and expanding to Southeast Asia in 2017.
This article was brought to you by LF Logistics.