The core values of culture are never compromised, neither for convenience nor for short-term economic gain, affirms Evelyn Sin, Senior Director HR APAC, Teleflex.

With a gold win for Excellence in Crisis Management and Recovery at HR Excellence Awards 2020, Singapore, Evelyn Sin, Senior Director HR APAC at Teleflex remains committed to focusing on both the corporate and personal excellence in the backdrop of the pandemic.

In this interview with Priya Veeriah, find out how the team at Teleflex overcame mindset, behaviour and culture challenges through strong collaboration with the senior leadership team. 

Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

Teleflex is a company that thrives on shared values, with people at the centre of all we do. Teleflex’s true strength is its culture and our ability to be agile and dynamic as the world evolves around us. Nothing has illustrated this more than the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every single decision has been made with the focus on our employees as the starting point.

How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

At Teleflex, core values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all company’s actions; they serve as our cultural cornerstones. They are never compromised, neither for convenience nor for short-term economic gain.

Our senior leadership team is imperative in driving a culture of engagement through living up to our core values. We have an open-door policy which means all senior individuals in the organisation are easily accessible to all employees. This greatly assists us in driving a culture of open communication and engagement that is in line with our core values. That helps our workforce to adapt to a changing environment.

Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?

Some of the obstacles we faced could be due to individuals, leadership, or even country norms. They include:

  • Mindsets – Underlying, often unstated assumptions that may or may not always be helpful or simply just being resistant to change.
  • Behaviours – Leadership or employees' behaviours and/or norms which may not bring about the desired results.
  • Culture - 'The way we do things around here' wherein the way may not be helpful or may even be counterproductive.

The HR team worked closely with senior leadership team to identify and articulate positive behaviours and underlying mindsets that will shape our workplace environment; and lead to fostering high performance culture across the organisation. This encourages employees and managers not to be complacent, to be innovative and to produce desired results.

Our leadership teams walk the talk and take time and energy to see that any deviation or non-compliance is promptly addressed.

As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your gameplan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

We conduct extensive surveys at all levels and across all countries in the region. These include barometers that tell us how well the desired behaviours or objectives have been attained. These surveys also help us solicit feedback from employees, effectively becoming a channel to engage and empower them. As a result, the behaviour of the employees consistently improves and culminates in responsible outcomes, ultimately driving high performance and business growth.

Another measurement is using ‘Best Places to Work’ as a criteria, connecting employees to opportunities for community involvement and advancing our environmental scorecard methodology.

Against the backdrop of COVID-19, where employees are fully entrusted to work from home for a substantial period (easily six to seven months and counting), adoption of companywide programmes and initiatives are clearly evident. We have seen stronger collaboration and support for one another across countries, business units and functions. We have also seen employees taking ownership and actions to digitise processes, especially during this pandemic.

The results are encouraging and reflect our efforts in reinforcing the Teleflex core values through the successful roll out of the desired mindsets and behavioural trainings.

What’s your secret to gaining stakeholder buy-in for your workplace culture initiative? How are you aligning this with your business goals?

We engage our stakeholders on various levels and through different stages.

Through the processes mentioned above, our stakeholders such as business leaders and employees, take ownership of the issues at hand. They know they have a direct impact on the outcome and senior leadership team will support the right initiatives and decisions.

We target communication and training that persuade them to understand, believe in the right things to do, as well as to be competent and effective. Additionally, we focus on both corporate and personal excellence.

We look at our employees as a key source of competitive advantage. This will help us in promoting Teleflex as an employer of choice, which is a formal recognition of Teleflex’s commitment to our people by putting them at the centre of our activities, and by bringing our core values to life.

Photo / Provided

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

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