Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Winning Secrets: How Central Retail Corporation embodies its EX vision of mentorship, growth, diversity, and more

Winning Secrets: How Central Retail Corporation embodies its EX vision of mentorship, growth, diversity, and more

"These components are crucial in ensuring our team's readiness for evolving challenges in the fast-paced retail sector, where adaptability and resilience are key", CPO Panchalee Weeratammawat affirms.

The inaugural Employee Experience Awards in Thailand, held on 15 March 2024, saw the HR team at Central Retail Corporation, a leading multi-format and multi-category retailing platform in Thailand, taking home a total of 10 awards across the pillars.

The team achieved three gold, one silver, and six bronze wins:

  • Gold:
    • Best Employee Wellness Strategy,
    • Best Learning and Development Programme, and
    • Most Inspiring Leader (Panchalee Weeratammawat).
  • Silver: Best HR Communication Strategy
  • Bronze:
    • Best Employer Branding,
    • Best Graduate Training Programme,  
    • Best ESG Programme,  
    • Best In-House Learning Academy,  
    • Best Capability Development Programme for the HR team, and 
    • Best Career Development Programme. 

    In lieu of these wins, Panchalee Weeratammawat, Chief People Officer, Central Retail Corporation, tells HRO how the organisation's holistic vision lies in nurturing consistency and beauty in the employee experience through a “steadfast commitment” to its core values and a culture of continuous improvement.

    Q How would you describe the pillars of your employee experience strategy, and what are the principles you have taken into account to develop this?

    Central Retail, as an expansive organisation with nearly 60,000 employees and encompassing over 12 distinct business units, recognises the inherent challenges of fostering a cohesive employee experience strategy. Nonetheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to realising the vision of becoming 'A Great Place to Work' and cultivating a ‘Winning Team'.

    This vision focuses on creating a challenging yet supportive work environment, nurturing people development, enriching growth opportunities, facilitating career mobility, advancing holistic wellness, fostering One-Team spirit, and embracing diversity.

    These components are crucial in ensuring our team's readiness for evolving challenges in the fast-paced retail sector, where adaptability and resilience are key. By securing the gold awards in both learning and development and employee wellness, we have proven our commitment to arming our workforce with the necessary tools for both personal and professional development, as well as to actively cultivating a unified team spirit, connecting our diverse employees under shared goals and deepening their sense of belonging and engagement within the organisation.

    Q In a world propelled by rapid change, what measures do you have in place to maintain a people-centric, human approach to your EX as it evolves?

    As the retail sector experiences rapid evolution and technology continues to reshape the landscape, we respond with strategic agility to ensure our employee experience remains both people-centric and technologically adept. We aim to leverage AI to streamline the entire HR workflows, from recruitment and onboarding to performance management, learning and development, talent management, and last but not least, to separation management. By automating repetitive tasks and analysing data to identify trends, AI enables our HR team to focus on strategic initiatives and provide more personalised support to employees, such as AI-powered chatbots to offer real-time assistance and enhance responsiveness for employees.

    It is our goal to harness AI as a complementary tool that fosters personalised, efficient, and supportive experiences tailored to employee needs, contributing to a seamless and enriching employee experience across our organisation.

    What initiatives do you undertake such that the delivery of employee experience is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders in the organisation?

    At Central Retail, we actively promote a one-team spirit with over 12 diverse business units, all playing a unique role in our collective success. Recognising the distinctive challenges and opportunities within each business unit, we tailor our employee experience initiatives to meet their specific needs while aligning with our organisation's overarching objectives. This strategy ensures that every stakeholder, from frontline staff to management, is empowered to play a vital part as an instrumental member of a 'Winning team'.

    By instilling a culture of collaboration within their respective units, our HR leaders in each business unit play an indispensable role in facilitating communication and ensuring sustainable implementation of the aligned strategies to create a cohesive and supportive environment conducive to 'A great place to work’.

    Q Do you have words of wisdom to share with others in the industry on the best ways to keep your employee experience consistent and beautiful?

    Consistency and beauty in employee experience at Central Retail are nurtured through a steadfast commitment to our core values and a culture of continuous improvement.

    We prioritise amplifying the employee voice as a cornerstone of this effort and actively encourage our diverse workforce to share their unique perspectives and needs. This approach involves not only listening to their voice but also acting upon their feedback to drive meaningful change and enhance their overall experience.

    Through systematic and consistent employee feedback collection, we gather both quantitative metrics and qualitative insights that inform our strategies to enhance holistic employee wellbeing and experience. Our comprehensive surveys and engagement sessions actively promote trust and empower employees to openly express their viewpoints and concerns, facilitating an environment where our employee experience remains adaptable and responsive to the evolving needs and aspirations of our ‘Winning team.'

    It is imperative to gain the support from our leadership team so that our HR leaders can work alongside them to deliver our strategies and make our plans become reality.

    Q Finally, what is the positive impact of employee experience that you’ve seen on the business as well as the workforce?

    The positive impact of our employee experience initiatives resonates profoundly across both our business and workforce. By prioritising employee wellbeing and professional growth, we have witnessed heightened levels of productivity, creativity, and collaboration among our team members. This experience directly translates into enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty, driving sustainable business growth and profitability.

    Our commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture has resulted in higher employee engagement, retention, and talent attraction, all while our strategic focus on developing employee skills also empowers individuals to excel in their roles. This creates a resilient and high-performing workforce capable of navigating challenges and seizing emerging opportunities in the dynamic retail landscape.

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

    Lead image + article images / Provided

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