HR Excellence Awards 2023 Singapore
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Love consumers, grow every day, do what’s right: Mondelēz Malaysia's leadership pillars

In Malaysia alone, this FMCG major has a diverse talent pool of 800 employees representing 10 nationalities. Take a bite out of the secrets shared by Charlene Phang, Human Resources Lead, Mondelēz International (Malaysia), in this conversation with Jerene Ang.

Some of the world’s most loved snack brands such as Cadbury, Twisties, Oreo, and others are managed by snacking powerhouse, Mondelēz International. To reinforce and build upon this image, the company has embarked on the 'snacking made right campaign' by empowering consumers to snack right, with the right snack, at right moment, and made the right way.

In the midst of this change journey, Charlene Phang, Human Resources Lead, Mondelēz International (Malaysia), shares how the organisation is shifting towards a winning growth mindset and successfully attracting and retaining Millennials and women leaders.

Q How does HR play an important role in supporting the purpose of 'snacking made right'?

'Snacking made right' is our promise to place consumers at the focal point of our initiatives, by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.

Our key strategy to achieve this philosophy is to build a winning growth culture internally by investing in the development of key growth skills and capabilities that allow our teams to succeed in what they do, make quick decisions, and be agile in responding to market conditions.

Q What does a winning growth culture look like, when it flows down the hierarchy to the various levels?

Winning growth culture is about each employee having a growth mindset, feeling empowered and being agile. To achieve this, we have developed a leadership framework focusing on three values: love our consumers & brands, grow every day, and do what’s right. Each value has corresponding commitments and behaviours needed to support this culture, which in turn helps us lead the future of snacking and sets us apart from our competition.

Q How does this culture contribute towards creating future talent within Mondelēz?

We believe our purpose and culture resonates strongly with talents and contributes to our success in many ways. Under one of our key values of ‘grow every day’, we have a number of initiatives to support talent development, encourage performance and enhance careers.

We are committed to growing our people by investing and developing their capabilities and ensuring each person has the right skills to thrive, even in the most challenging environment. Through the use of the 70-20-10 learning principle, we help employees achieve their progression goals by providing opportunities, coaching and structured assistance.

On top of that, we are also committed towards helping the next generation build a fulfilling career with us. We are firm believers in creating an environment where our colleagues are able to achieve greater things through collaborative working, bold actions and individual ownership.

We believe in having fun at work, by celebrating everyday joys and achievements with each other.

As an organisation, we have a Diversity & Inclusion Committee that is sponsored by the global leadership team which is actively promoting this agenda.

Q What is your strategy for attracting Millennials and grooming them to be future leaders?

We have been particularly successful in attracting Millennials and nurturing them to be future leaders by empowering them to take control of their experience.

Through our employer branding proposition, ‘Make it’, we emphasise on the quality of experience at Mondelez and bring this to life in different ways from ‘Make it with pride’, ‘Make it possible’ to ‘Make it matter’ and ‘Make it uniquely yours’.

To be effective in communicating this to the talent across all generations and career stages, we engage with them where they are spending most of their time, learning about employers, and consuming content.

Furthermore, we have specialised programmes, like our Graduate Trainee Programme, that are tailored towards helping young graduates accelerate their learning and progression in the FMCG industry.

Q How does the company celebrate diversity and give equal opportunity to its people?

We place great emphasis on diversity and inclusion and are committed to creating a level playing field where everyone can grow and be at their best. In Malaysia alone, we have a fairly diverse pool of employees consisting of 800 employees representing 10 nationalities.

As an organisation, we have a Diversity & Inclusion Committee that is sponsored by the global leadership team which is actively promoting this agenda.

Over the last few years, we have introduced several policy changes that allows for greater flexibility, including flexible working arrangement, working from home, and extended parental leave (primary care giver and secondary care giver).

These initiatives have supported our organisation dynamic that comprises about 50% of female employees, regional roles supporting different time zones, and multi-generation employees.

Additionally, we enjoy great success in gender equality, with up to 45% of our female employees holding leadership positions.

Q We understand that women make up 45% of the leadership positions; can you explain how Mondelēz has been able to achieve this?

Gender equality is really important to us. To achieve this, we introduced several initiatives to professionals that offer greater flexibility, such as a revised parental leave to 90 days (30 days more than the government standard of 60 days), with an additional 90 days of ‘work from home’ (WFH) option for new mothers after the maternity leave ends.

Employees who choose to work from home may also define their own set of working hours if needed, as we have technology that allows team members to stay connected regardless of location.

This helped us improve retention, job satisfaction, productivity, and engagement by helping women employees to balance work and family commitments.

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