By tackling high stress levels in employees, the team has not only seen a reduced turnover rate, but also a rise in the employee engagement index, Jinjutha Chavengsub, HR Director, EY Thailand, shares.
In a world that’s changing faster than ever, EY's purpose acts as its 'North Star' guiding its more than 300,000 people — providing the context and meaning for the work the team does every day.
Through its four integrated service lines — Assurance, consulting, strategy and transactions, and tax — and a deep sector knowledge, the team helps its clients to capitalise on new opportunities and assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth; and fulfill regulatory requirements, keep investors informed, and meet stakeholder needs.
EY's Thai arm, EY Thailand, won of the gold award for 'Excellence in Work-Life Harmony' at the HR Excellence Awards 2023, Thailand. In this interview, Jinjutha Chavengsub, HR Director, EY Thailand, talks about how she and her team have tackled high stress levels among employees, ensuring a well-balanced workplace environment where flexibility, wellbeing, and engagement reign.
Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?
Amidst the tumble of the global health crisis, our journey through 2022 and 2023 has been anything but easy. Our employees have faced a multitude of challenges posed by the pandemic. Not only has the impact been felt throughout the overall business aspect, but it has also affected the way we work.
As a result, stress levels among our employees have been on the rise, leading to social burnout and quiet quitting. In response, we have taken pre-emptive action to tackle these issues, ranging from strengthening our employees’ sense of community to prioritising their physical and mental wellbeing to ensure a well-balanced workplace environment that propels higher levels of productivity and service excellence.
Thanks to these initiatives, we have witnessed a reduction in turnover rate, with rising employee engagement index. While we still have a long way to go, we believe that we are on the right track, and our people have placed their trust in us!
Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?
We have been refocusing on creating and nurturing authentic relationships with our employees. To this end, we have put in place a wide array of initiatives, from different types of activity to policy redesign.
'Team Spirit' days, Appreciation Day, and a 'thank you' party, to name a few, are a case-in-point of what we strive for. We aim to foster a sense of belonging among our employees and help them feel connected to their team. Furthermore, we have enhanced our so-called wellbeing benefits programme in comparison with that of the previous year to better suit our employees’ specific needs and lifestyles.
It's no stretch to say that these initiatives have garnered positive feedback from both employees and the management. We are convinced that they have had a positive impact on employee morale and productivity.
However, we are always looking for ways to further improve and continue developing new initiatives in the future to optimise personalised experiences.
Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?
After the situation returned to normal, we continued to embrace the hybrid working culture as it offers our employees greater flexibility and promote a sense of ownership without compromising on business results.
However, maintaining a sense of connection and a high level of employee morale among our workforce proved to be a daunting task because many employees have become acclimatised to, and prefer, remote work and telecommunications.
To mitigate the reluctance of returning to the office, we are giving priority to the frequent implementation of on-site events and activities, providing our employees with opportunities for in-person interactions and socialising. We believe that these initiatives have enabled our employees to achieve a harmonious blend of flexibility around where and when they work and bolster a sense of solidarity among team members and the organisation as a whole.
Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?
Firstly, the decreasing turnover rate bears testament to the positive impact of HR initiatives on employee satisfaction and engagement. This is further supported by our people experience surveys, which show an uptick in both our engagement index and wellbeing experience, suggesting that employees are now less inclined to leave EY.
In addition to the numerical data, we have also received positive feedback from both employees and the management team regarding the initiatives and activities we have implemented.
While there are prominent areas for improvement that have been suggested, overall, most employees are eagerly anticipating their participation in upcoming HR activities and initiatives.
Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?
We believe that challenges lie ahead of us due to emerging trends, ranging from AI disruption to the demand for a whole new set of skills. However, our strategic direction remains in focus to ensure seamless alignment with the company’s mission, “Building a Better Working World”, to stay in tune with these emerging trends.
Given the evolving circumstances, our core values will play a pivotal role in catalysing result-driven strategies to attain the desired goals. Firstly, ‘Better Me’ puts greater emphasis on upskilling and reskilling our talent to stay relevant with these trends. ‘Better Us’ underscores the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration and teamwork. Lastly, ‘Better Working World’ aims to drive business growth and success by keeping up with the trends and reinforcing a sense of unity within our community.
Not only has the HR function evolved, but the way we do business has also drastically been altered. We believe that what matters most is how we embrace them and effectively lead our people to success in both their professional and personal lives.