Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Winning Secrets: How Avnet Asia has actively cultivated a 'work hard, play hard' culture

Winning Secrets: How Avnet Asia has actively cultivated a 'work hard, play hard' culture

This has been made possible through acknowledging and rewarding the success of employees, says James Tan, SVP – HR, Asia Pacific & Japan, Avnet Asia.

Avnet Asia has adapted to wave after wave of technological change to provide the engineering and supply chain expertise that its customers need to accelerate, scale. and extend the lifecycle of their designs.

At the 11th annual edition of HR Excellence Awards - Singapore in 2023, Avnet Asia won the silver award for 'Excellence in Total Rewards Strategy'.

To celebrate this milestone, we catch up with James Tan, Senior Vice President – Human Resources, Asia Pacific & Japan, Avnet Asia, on the commitment to amplify the voice of employees by fostering a culture of open and honest feedback for continuous improvement. 

Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?

In our rapidly evolving society, the needs and preferences of individuals are constantly transforming. At Avnet, one of our overarching goals is to maintain a motivated workforce, inspiring our high-potential employees while maintaining competitiveness in the market in attracting fresh talents.

Our meticulously constructed total rewards strategy revolves around fostering positive working relationships with our internal key business leaders, employees as well as our external service providers, allowing us to gain profound insights to the dynamic market movements. Our commitment to these valuable principles enables us to successfully facilitate an enriching experience for our stakeholders and our working partners while solidifying our outstanding position in the electronic component solutions industry.

Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?

The attainment of the silver award for 'HR Excellence in Total Rewards Strategy' holds significant importance for us as it demonstrates to the business and HR communities Avnet’s standard and our strive for excellence, which will surely strengthen our employer branding in the Singapore marketplace.

One of the various total rewards strategies which fill our heart with pride and joy is our successful journey to effectively design and implement a fair and comprehensive measurement guideline for both bonus and recognition programmes. Furthermore, our transparent sharing with business leaders on the calculation methodology enables us to cultivate a motivating and engaging workforce, ultimately leading to success.

Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?

One of the key challenges that we encountered was change management. People often expressed a high level of anxiety during periods of uncertainty, resulting in them being reluctant to embrace changes and accepting the challenges ahead.

We might be forced to embrace changes at an accelerated speed. However, it’s crucial for us to understand and acknowledge that change is not something to be feared or avoided but rather a part of life which enables us to improve/progress for the better.

We need to embrace change with a growth mindset which involves open communication as well as encourage our employees to welcome and accept change positively. 

Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?

In Avnet, we have actively cultivated a 'work hard, play hard' culture through acknowledging and rewarding the success of our employees. Over the last few years, we are pleased to witness a commendable low employee attrition rate in Avnet. Furthermore, Avnet remains committed to amplifying the voice of our employees by fostering a culture of open and honest feedback for continuous improvement. And this in turn, has resulted in remarkable gains in our productivity and business growth. 

In our recent people engagement survey conducted this year, our employees have strongly expressed that they are contented and happy with the work they are doing at Avnet and would endorse Avnet as an excellent and caring company to work for. 

Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?

Digital transformation and AI

In the age of digital transformation, leveraging a good balance of integrating both predictive and generative AI could be regarded as one of the emerging trends for gaining insights into employees’ preferences and perspective across all functions. Doing so would not only help organisations better prepare for any potential challenges in the future but also to excel in their long and short-term business goals. 

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion are part of an evolving trend where they help to shape up the businesses by fostering a wider range of viewpoints and thereby enhancing decision-making and innovative problem-solving. 

Flexible benefits

The needs and preferences of employees differ from one another. Flexible benefits allow employees to have the ability to select the benefits that suit their individual needs instead of a one-size-fits-all benefits approach.


Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!


Lead image / Provided by Avnet Asia

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