These pillars – talent attraction, talent engagement, talent development, and talent retention, each have a unique identity in providing the ultimate employee experience, Benjamin Dorsch, MD, says.
At Arvato Systems Malaysia, the HR team plays an important role in bridging strong relationships between employees and the organisation.
Particularly, the team's strategy is to ensure structured planning even before the new year starts. In its four pillars of guiding principles, each with its own unique identity in providing the ultimate employee experience, the group empowers employees to be agile, creative, and strive for excellence.
The team has since emerged as champions at the HR Excellence Awards 2023 in Malaysia, winning gold for 'Best HR Team (SME)'. Not only that, the team's very own Peggy Soo Pooi Ye also walked away with a bronze win for 'Young HR Talent of the Year'.
Speaking on the achievement, Benjamin Dorsch, Managing Director of Arvato Systems Malaysia, expressed: “Winning the Best HR Team (SME) at this year’s HR Excellence Awards is absolutely rewarding to the team but most importantly, as an organisation who is people-centric, this is very much a shared success. We are in an organisation that allows our employees to thrive and grow collectively."
Read on as he shares how the organisation remains committed to supporting both the company's strategies and the people agenda.
Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?
For starters, Arvato Systems Malaysia’s HR team is an integral part of the organisation and plays an important role in building and bridging strong relationships with the employees and the organisation.
Being honored with the Best HR Team (SME) at this year's HR Excellence Awards is genuinely gratifying for both the HR team and the entire organisation. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to bringing the best HR initiatives and strategies that enable the organisation to grow, flourish, and champions our employees’ best capabilities. Our strategy in ensuring that we are always at the top of the game is to have very structured planning even before the new year starts. This allows us to deep dive into areas of improvement and take the opportunity to incorporate new initiatives that are favourable to both the employees and organisation.
Aligning with the group’s core values which is ‘creativity’ and ‘entrepreneurship’, the HR team has proven that they have an abundance of creativity in ideating and actualising company-level initiatives and strategies. Undoubtedly, the HR role comes with many hats including supporting employees’ professional career journey, their overall wellbeing, and all while ensuring everything aligns with HR practices. All these initiatives and strategies are designed to align with the organisation’s direction and business growth.
Ultimately, in our organisation, 'people experience' holds significant importance, and we remain committed to supporting both the company's strategies and the agenda related to people. This approach empowers our employees to express their thoughts and ideas collaboratively, fostering a non-restricted and inclusive environment.
Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?
We take pride in each of our HR initiatives because it brings significant values to the employees and organisation. It doesn’t do justice to just pick one or two initiatives that we are most proud of in the last one year. Some of the following initiatives are part of what makes Arvato Systems Malaysia a workplace that empowers our employees to be agile, creative, and strive for excellence. For instance, we take pride in our four pillars of guiding principles which include – talent attraction, talent engagement, talent development, and talent retention. Each of it has a unique identity in providing the ultimate employee experience.
It’s more than just a portrayal of how we want the best experiences for our employees, but on a deeper level, every strategy that we initiate and carry out prioritises our employees’ benefits and wellbeing.
When it comes to our rewards and recognition, for the year 2023, we have increased our retirement benefits tier, flexi benefits, to name a few. As an organisation that champions continuous learning, we have solid learning and engagement initiatives such as wellness day, sports & recreational activities, movie night, coaching culture etc. One of our highlights for this year’s engagement is the company trip and annual dinner. It is one of those activities whereby we get to gather a large group of people to build better relationships with one another. As a company, we are committed to supporting good working relationships and an environment where they can thrive.
Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?
When faced with obstacles, we used it to our advantage to learn how to execute and plan out our initiatives better. We speak to our employees and also understand that the technology industry is constantly moving at an accelerated pace. Therefore, we have employees who are eager to build their career and look for ways to fast track their development. By understanding this, we have curated in-house tailored talent/career development programmes such as the Technical Development Programme and Leadership Development Programme.
We pride ourselves as an organisation who has found the recipe in providing our employees with good work-life balance. We saw the value in employees exploring non-work-related interest and thus the creation of social groups came about. The variety of social groups in Arvato Systems Malaysia encourages employees to participate in different activities organised internally for the employees itself.
Over the years, we have borne witness in seeing how these social groups have acted as a catalyst in empowering our people to step out of their comfort zone, developing their personal communication and soft skills through activities planning to leadership. Our well-structured social groups come with defined roles and responsibilities, to an extent whereby we have quarterly themes which aids in synchronising activities and by default, supports the organisation’s ecosystem.
As a HR team, we understand that challenges are bound to surface, but we are agile and flexible in coming up with solutions. We believe the strong teamwork in the team plays an important role for the success of our HR initiatives.
Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?
We look at two measurements to identify how successful our HR initiatives; quantitative and qualitative.
For our quantitative measurement, we look at the productivity rate vs retention rate and gather data through surveys. Our surveys include topics on engagement, workplace culture, office improvements etc. From localised surveys to company group wide-level surveys, we cover all grounds and ensure each survey result is published/presented to all the employees. Following from there, we include action items on what are some of the items which we can improve on, any new initiatives that will be implemented, and an insight into the company’s direction as we move forward.
When it comes to qualitative measurements, it brings us a lot of pride and happiness when our employees share testimonials or stories on the social media organically. This shows our employees are responding positively to the company’s culture and are proud to share with the public. In addition to these factors, another valuable metric for gauging the success of our initiatives is securing prestigious HR awards. This achievement serves as a testament to our ability to benchmark ourselves against the industry's finest, showcasing the impact and excellence of our efforts within the market.
Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?
We believe that change comes from within, and a collaborative effort can drive this change to a positive outlook. Another aspect of how our HR functions may change is with the integration of AI and digitalisation. These are trends that we continuously see growing and being talked about a lot.We have started incorporating some form of digitalisation to our processes and it has helped us to reduce the use of paper (which inadvertently supports our go-green mission), streamline our processes (increases efficiency and productivity), and gets us in the forefront as a strong technological company.
By following closely, the footsteps of our corporate group’s mission and objectives in DEI and ESG, we can continue to strengthen our pathways in creating a positive work environment fit for all.
The HR team will continue identify areas of opportunity in various HR processes and policies that are in support of DEI and ESG. For instance, we want to continue to cultivate an office environment that has a strong sense of equality, diversity, and inclusivity. This includes equality in hiring talents from a diverse background, career growth that values employees’ talent, benefit packages that is well-rounded etc.
At Arvato Systems Malaysia, the fundamental part of our workplace culture is to ensure there is gender equality and inclusivity. We are committed to strengthening our efforts in this area and to do so, it starts by acknowledging we need to be inclusive in our communications with our employees. Every day, we continue to learn, to take on challenges with stride, and to embrace emerging trends because we understand that being in HR, we have a responsibility to the people in the organisation to bring out everyone’s best qualities and create a workplace that is conducive, empowering, and forward-thinking.
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!
Lead image / Provided