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HRUnplugged: How to better embrace diversity in the workplace



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Lim Chee Gay, Chief Human Resource Officer, Teledirect Telecommerce, shares his experience on helping to build a workforce of which just over half comprise women.

Q Employee relations is one vital part of the HR function. What is the key to building powerful relationships?

I believe the key to building powerful relationships among employees is communication and engagement. At Teledirect, we have a structured engagement framework and programmes to provide an optimal employee experience on the three key pillars of fun, wellness and corporate social responsibility.

This is further strengthened by recognition and a mindset change towards collaboration, using tools such as staff appreciation, management walking the floor, cross-functional team-building and integration with our core values.

Q Within Teledirect Telecommerce, what is the biggest change technology has brought about, and how did your organisation address it?

To support and delight our clients better in all aspects from HR to business, we have launched several digital transformations tools which include a chatbot that allows employees to engage and reach out to HR for their inquiries on digital platforms such as web and mobile.

Other initiatives include a HR portal, where we are going for a 100% HR paperless initiative by end of this year. Within recruitment, we have also successfully implemented Facebooth, Teledirect’s internal online assessment which allows us to evaluate candidates’ ability to manoeuvre technology through language assessment, personality assessment, resilience assessment, culture fit assessment and behavioural assessment.

This initiative allows the recruiters to not only efficiently track candidates’ progress, but to also cut down manual screening times. We are also looking forward to improving all the above initiatives into AI face and voice recognitions and unlocking new technological advancements in the near future.

At Teledirect, 51% of our workforce is female, 49% of our management team comprises women, 58% of our high performers are women and 30% of our engagement champions are female.

Q Where do we, in Asia, stand in embracing diversity in the workplace, and what can we do better?

Companies must realise that both diversity and inclusion are necessary pieces to foster an equitable workplace. As a multinational company with over 18 nationalities, D&I has been integrated into the business life cycle to attract and retain diverse talent within Teledirect. At Teledirect, 51% of our workforce is female, 49% of our management team comprises women, 58% of our high performers are women and 30% of our engagement champions are female.

Besides, it is also vital that organisational leaders are trained on how to effectively create an environment where employees feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work. This will cultivate sustainable progress towards becoming a diverse and inclusive organisation.

Q What do you believe is the one thing HR can do without?

I would say that the one thing HR can do without is the collection of documents and controlling of approvals. To evolve from transactional to transformational, HR no longer needs to be involved in administrative duties such as the primary activities of the end-to-end recruitment process.


Vital stats: Lim Chee Gay has more than 23 years of experience in HR, manufacturing, IT and supply chain, and this varied experience has enabled him to reinvent and transform HR outside-in during his career. Before joining Teledirect, he was with AIA, Samsung, T-System/T-Mobile, Astro and Intel, where one of his greatest achievements was to drive Samsung’s HR team to win the Best HR Team award across 82 Samsung subsidiaries.

He has held management and board positions at a country and regional level over the years, and is also a well-known global speaker.


This interview is part of our CHRO 4.0 special edition where we we introduce you to Human Resources’ Advisory Panel 2019, and pick their brains on the burning questions the function is facing.

Read more here: CHRO 4.0: Decoding the HR skills of the future

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