Sim Cher Whee, Micron

Micron is so much more than a technology company, it's a place where its people are called 'team members', says Sim Cher Whee, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition, Mobility and Immigration.  

I often get asked why I have chosen to stay at Micron for more than 25 years. I always share the same response, that Micron is a great place to work, one that supports team members’ professional development, offering a wide variety of experiences that I have personally benefited from.

My years here have shown me that Micron often goes the extra mile to care for team members as individuals, reinforcing the company’s culture and values to put people first.

Don’t just take my word for it – check out the latest rankings for Singapore compiled by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Micron Singapore has been certified as a Great Place to Work for the second year in a row, moving up from ninth place in 2019 to seventh place in 2020.

A whopping 87% of team members attested that Micron in Singapore is a great place to work, and the company achieved a near-perfect score of 97% of responses that agreed Micron was a physically safe place to work, which was no small feat in a year that had many challenges from the pandemic.

Additionally, Micron was named one of the Best Workplaces in Asia™ for the first time in 2021, which is a strong testament to our consistent focus on team member wellbeing and a reflection of trust in the company. We are well-known for our leading-edge storage and memory solutions — but this recognition is special because it highlights that Micron is so much more than a technology company.

Micron’s values of people, innovation, tenacity, collaboration, and customer focus act as the foundation for how we operate and contribute to a culture of creativity and respect for all.

Our people are integral to our mission which is why we prefer to call ourselves team members.

We are passionate about building a tight-knit work culture where all team members are heard, valued, and respected.

Because Micron’s primary focus has been the health and wellbeing of all team members and their families throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Micron team was extraordinarily generous in donating both their time and their money to address needs of the community.

Staying vigilant and caring

I believe that how a company acts during the pandemic is truly one of the revealing indicators of how it values its employees. A great workplace pays attention and adapts quickly to support its team members’ mental and physical health and helps them adjust and thrive with the “new normal.” Micron’s proactive initiatives further solidify my trust and reinforce the company’s values in putting team members first as a business priority. I hope that this helps other companies gain inspiration in finding tailored ways to look after their employees and contribute to a stronger, more resilient workforce.

We created a task force during Chinese New Year in 2020, bringing together team members from many departments within Micron to create a roadmap for the company to operate safely under the new pandemic rules, as well as ensuring the safety of essential staff in the crucial early months. We also understood that 2020 was a challenging year for all team members given the shift to the new normal. Therefore, we wanted to best assist them mentally and physically to navigate this global pandemic.

Since we realised the importance of having real-time feedback, my team quickly adapted to carry out frequent pulse surveys instead of our usual semi-annual ones to understand the wellbeing of team members and the resources they needed.

These pulse surveys were instrumental in helping us prioritise and roll out initiatives in an agile manner.

For example, with the shift to remote working, some of our team members faced difficulties in setting up and navigating their virtual workspaces. Through the pulse survey, we managed to identify that problem as our top priority and successfully taught them how to connect and access the networks from their homes to work effectively and productively.

Other initiatives included providing a spending allowance to cater to team members’ home office needs, as well as arranging regular virtual fitness classes and wellness talks to help team members maintain a healthy work-life balance and stay refreshed. In support of the Singapore government’s Test, Trace, and Vaccinate strategy to keep COVID-19 under control, we also invited doctors to give talks and share the importance of vaccination.

Supporting one another in times of need

In addition to helping team members adapt to the new normal, we wanted to ensure team members were supported financially should they be affected by the pandemic. Micron disbursed a one-time COVID-19 assistance payment in early 2020, where eligible team members in Singapore were given an assistance payment on top of their salaries.

The Micron Team Member Assistance Fund was also created to aid team members facing financial hardship immediately after an unforeseen personal hardship, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a technology leader, we are at the forefront of digitisation across the organisation, enabling our team members to adapt easily to this digital-led new normal. We have adopted new technologies and tools in our talent development and recruiting process, as well as onboarding and integrating our team members into the Micron family. At the same time, we are helping team members expand their mindsets on automating their workflow and improving productivity by digital means. I am proud of them and their accomplishments for continuously taking the initiative to look at new ways of working.

I am heartened to share that these efforts have led our team members in Singapore foster a more solid bond, grow stronger together while staying healthy mentally and physically. Our employee resource groups (ERGs) have doubled from three to five chapters, including chapters for LGBTQ+, multicultural communities and communities with different capabilities.

It proves that our team members are more engaged than ever as they come together and create communities of understanding. Our reaction to the pandemic as a company reflects the strong camaraderie that all the team members possess to pull through together. I am so proud to see this overwhelming love and care our people have for each other.

For all other HR professionals who are working towards keeping team members’ morale high during this period, let me share with you some key takeaways that I have acquired in the past year:

1. We define our new normal – How you choose to engage your employees during this period will re-establish your organisational culture.
2. Feedback is more essential than ever – it helps us understand how we can best provide for our employees so that they can be effective in their roles and ensure business continuity.
3. Let your company’s values guide your efforts in keeping the workforce engaged – People are one of our core values at Micron; hence all our initiatives are centered around team members and to provide an engaging work environment catering to their needs. When our people achieve, we all achieve.

Lead image / Provided (Sim Cher Whee, VP, Global Talent Acquisition, Mobility and Immigration, Micron)

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