Winning Secrets: F&N's three steps to creating strong alignment between EX and business objectives

Winning Secrets: F&N's three steps to creating strong alignment between EX and business objectives

The steps manifest in many initiatives, including the Employee Self Service Kiosk, a tangible touchpoint for employees into its HRMS, shares Suhana Abdul Halim, Head of Human Capital, Fraser & Neave (F&N).

Fraser and Neave (F&N) got its origins more than a century ago, in the spirited decisions of two enterprising young men, John Fraser and David Neave, who diversified from their printing business to pioneer the aerated water business in Southeast Asia in 1883.

From a soft drinks base, F&N ventured into the businesses of beer in 1931, dairy in 1959, property development and management in 1990, and publishing & printing in 2000. Today, F&N is a leading Southeast Asian consumer group with expertise and prominent standing in the food & beverage and publishing & printing industries.

What goes on behind the scenes of the brand's journey? 

An engaged workforce. With three steps, F&N enhances its employee satisfaction while also contributing to the overall success of its organisation. 

The steps manifest in many initiatives, including the organisation's pioneering F&N Mobile Application called "Fraserians Connect", and the Employee Self Service Kiosk, a tangible touchpoint into its human resource management system (HRMS). 

Even in the face of engagement challenges and generational diversity, these efforts have resulted in F&N's two wins at the Employee Experience Awards 2023, Malaysia: Gold in 'Best HR Digital Transformation Strategy' and Silver for 'Best Onboarding Experience'. 

Read on as Suhana Abdul Halim, Head of Human Capital, Fraser & Neave (F&N), shares more. 

Q How do you ensure your employee experience initiatives are aligned with your business objectives?

Fraser & Neave (F&N) creates strong alignment between our employee experience and business objectives by integrating the following steps and principles into our approach. These measures are designed to not only enhance our employee satisfaction but also contribute to the overall success of our organisation:

Step 1: Define clear goals for our employee experience initiatives and align them to our business objectives. We develop these goals with the mindset that the engaged employees are more likely to deliver higher-quality products and services, which will lead to improved customer satisfaction and increased revenue.

Step 2: Gather feedback through surveys, focus groups, and performance evaluations to identify areas for improvement, as well as encouraging feedback channels where employees can share their insights and suggestions for improving their experience.

Step 3: Regularly monitor the progress of our initiatives and its impact on business objectives by using performance indicators, while maintaining the flexibility to adjust our strategies based on the information collected.

Q Can you provide examples of how the organisation has invested in the employee experience?

Demonstrating this unwavering commitment is the pioneering F&N Mobile Application named "Fraserians Connect." This revolutionary app serves as a testament to our devoted efforts, ensuring unfettered access to crucial information, anytime and anywhere.

Elevating our approach, we've introduced the Employee Self Service Kiosk — a tangible touchpoint that provides our employees direct entry into our HRMS, offering the convenience of leave application and claim submissions. Furthermore, our digital evolution encompasses a dynamic self-service web and mobile platform, a versatile channel for accessing payslips, undergoing performance appraisals and receiving e-letters.

Embedded at the core of our digital revolution is the sophisticated robotic process automation (RPA) system. Cleverly employed bots and automation now handle repetitive tasks, freeing our human team to concentrate on creative and innovative tasks. This smart allocation of work boosts efficiency and marks a new era of precision and effectiveness.

Q What are some of the key challenges that you faced in implementing your EX initiatives, and how did you overcome them?

Key challenges that we faced:

Generational Diversity: F&N's workforce spans multiple generations, and not everyone is equally comfortable with advanced technology. Adapting to new ways of work takes longer for those less familiar with technology.

Engagement Challenge: The success of HR digital transformation relies on strong commitment and support from various departments. Some stakeholders in other departments hesitated to fully embrace the new ways-of-work.

Infrastructure Limitations: Technical infrastructure inconsistencies posed obstacles for some employees using the systems. Issues like internet quality and aging hardware caused difficulties.

To maintain the progress of the HR digital transformation journey, the following steps have been implemented:

  • Regular reviews and feedback collection from stakeholders have been carried out.
  • Training and frequent briefing sessions are provided to aid employees unfamiliar with the latest technology.
  • Active engagement with other stakeholders and departments is ongoing to secure support and keep them informed about project progress and benefits.
  • Investments have been made in adopting new technologies.
  • Technical hardware infrastructures are periodically reviewed, upgraded, and maintained to minimise downtime.

Q Do you have processes to measure the effectiveness of your EX initiatives, and what metrics do you use to evaluate success?

To effectively manage this, we use performance metrics to closely monitor and measure movements, progress, as well as the effectiveness of our initiatives. We analyse key performance indicators (KPIs) such as productivity, employee engagement index (EEI) and employee turnover rate. By correlating performance metrics with employee experience initiatives, we can determine if there is a positive impact on our overall business outcomes.

Studying and tracking the performance metrics also provides valuable insights into areas that require attention within the company. By identifying these areas, our human capital team can focus on streamlining processes, eliminating bottlenecks, and investing in people development initiatives, thereby enhancing overall business efficiency and productivity opportunities, or other factors that may impact retention.

Q Finally, what role do leaders and managers play in driving a beautiful employee experience, and how are they held accountable for the success of these initiatives?

The role of leaders and managers is critical to the success and overall wellbeing of an organisation as they are responsible for setting direction, maintaining and boosting morale among employees, and developing the initiatives that allow for a ‘memorable employee experience’

High employee retention rates, positive recruitment, and the availability and accessibility of opportunities for internal growth are all indicators of a positive employee experience. Leaders and managers are ultimately responsible for creating an environment that encourages employees to stay and progress within the organisation and they are accountable over the employee retention rates.

Lead image / Provided 

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