winning secrets

"We want to ensure all employees, regardless of their job functions and levels are given equal opportunities for their self-development," Lee Yu Chuan, Director, Country Human Resource, DKSH Singapore said.

At the Employee Experience Awards 2021, Singapore, DKSH Singapore received the gold award for Best In-House Learning Academy.

In this interview, Lee Yu Chuan, Director, Country Human Resource, DKSH Singapore shares the secrets behind this win - how the firm overcame the challenges brought upon by the pandemic, and developed its employees across markets so that as the firm progresses, no employee will be left behind.

Q Congratulations on bagging this award! What is your award-winning employee experience strategy that led to this win?

Our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) at DKSH is “Drive growth. Be the difference” and it provides the opportunities for employees to enjoy a world of learning and development.

Furthermore, this year DKSH launched our new culture cascade which comprises three elements: our purpose, our values, and our people DNA.

  • Our purpose: “Enriching people’s lives” defines why we get out of bed every morning, eager to get to work.
  • Our values: express the standards we adhere to. They guide our decisions and shape our mindset and behaviours.
  • Our people DNA: defines our norms and behaviours that each of us should demonstrate every day. Our behaviours are literally what we do each day.

These DKSH culture elements are being implemented and used in all our people-related processes (hiring, training, promoting, recognition, performance management, etc.) as a guiding anchor for our people strategy as a whole.

Q How did you and your team conceptualise and adapt this strategy to suit evolving workforce needs in the past year?

At DKSH Fantree Academy (the firm's in-house learning academy), we aim to ensure all our employees have learning opportunities through various platforms. In line with that strategy, we launched our online Learning Management System (LMS) which accords our employees learning access from anywhere. This was profoundly relevant and impactful as we experienced the COVID-19 pandemic challenges and pivoting our employee population’s work arrangements from onsite to work-from-home or hybrid.

We were able to successfully make available our development and learning courses of over 700 modules which provides essential skills, leadership skills, and functional skills programmes to all our colleagues at their convenience anywhere, anytime!

It also supports compliance and health, safety and environment (HSE) functions for learnings and trainings. Fantree Academy is further supported by a community of subject matter experts popularly known as our Associate Trainers (AT). These experts deliver trainings to develop our people, embracing the role of “leaders as developers” and sharing their knowledge with passion and pride. They add to the human touch and much-needed connection element to our fellow colleagues.

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Structure of Fantree Academy

Q What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?

Employees’ learning opportunities were challenged in 2020 due to COVID-19. Back then, DKSH Singapore mainly focused on face-to-face learning opportunities; that was when COVID-19 hit Singapore, the entire nation was in a lockdown.

Keeping the challenge in mind, Fantree Academy acted quickly to overcome this and ensure learning opportunities were not disrupted for employees in Singapore and in other markets.

In December 2019, Fantree Academy launched its LMS called Maya. Although Maya was launched before the pandemic, training delivery was still face-to-face as Maya was only available to online employees (also known as management employees). However, as the pandemic hit, Fantree Academy had three objectives in mind to overcome the situation faced:

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Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience in your organisation, in terms of ROI? Any achievements you’d like to show off?

Despite the pandemic, Fantree Academy aims to ensure employees have learning opportunities regardless of platforms used. It is expected to provide 100% access to learning for all employees globally using the Learning Management System (LMS).

Today, we have 627 e-learnings in various languages and topics available globally. Additionally, Fantree Academy saw the need to not limit employees’ learnings with e-learnings alone but to also revamp traditional classroom sessions into bite-sized webinars.

In totality, Fantree Academy now offers 1,061 learning items – e-learnings, programmes, curricula, webinars, classroom, and on-the-job learning for employees globally.

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Summary of available items in Maya based on learning category.

We have also successfully launched our new DKSH culture campaign via our online system, MAYA with 81% of employees being trained in these areas of our culture at our very own Fantree Academy aimed at their continuous learning and development.

The initial rollout of Maya to offline employees had some pushback due to usage of technology. However, with the guidance of managers and HR, today, all employees in DKSH Singapore have access to Maya to complete their learning. Globally, we had over 34,000 users accessing Maya in 2020!

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Number of employees who have logged into Maya at least once in 2020 to complete learnings.

DKSH Singapore had 81% of employees who logged into Maya at least twice or more to complete learnings.

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An overview of percentage of employees who logged into Maya multiple times, by market in 2020.

The key ROI was to ensure all employees, regardless of their job functions and levels are given equal opportunities for their self-development. Often, blue-collar employees are neglected from learning opportunities due to the language barrier and technical proficiency. Fantree Academy took such obstacles as challenges and succeeded our goal in providing learning opportunities to all employees even while catering to language translations.

Q What is the most exciting and valuable thing about being part of (and winning at!) the debut Employee Experience Awards?

We are extremely happy and excited to clinch this award at the debut Employee Experience Awards as it is the first time that DKSH Singapore has participated.

More importantly, we are appreciative that we are able to meet our employee value proposition (EVP) to “Drive growth. Be the difference” and this provides the opportunity for employees to enjoy a world of learning and development, as well as enrich their lives as they grow and contribute at DKSH.

Q Looking ahead, what else do you have planned as you continue to enhance the overall employee experience?

Exciting training modules are in the pipeline and will be introduced to employees later this year. Fantree Academy has also incorporated external content such as TED Talks, educational videos, and articles. This gives a wider range of learning opportunities and experiences.

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Examples of external content available in Maya

Fantree Academy is currently working with our Shared Services team to introduce a user learning experience function in Maya. The user learning experience function will suggest learning items in Maya that are the most suitable for employees based on their job function and learning history.

Q Do share some tips to inspire your peers who are working on their EX strategies and would love to participate in the awards next year.

One tip to share would be to look internally at existing resources to see what can be improved and slowly build your learning strategy from there.

It also helps to have the end goal in mind and plan with your people strategy. Every organisation and culture are different, and you will need to focus on your own and build your EX strategies from there.

Q Lastly, to end on a fun note – if you could describe the employee experience at your organisation in one sentence, what would that be?

Living up to our DKSH culture elements of collaboration, empowerment, and act with purpose!


Image / Provided

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