Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Winning Secrets: How Exyte Singapore recognises the invaluable role employees play in business success

Winning Secrets: How Exyte Singapore recognises the invaluable role employees play in business success

Yap Han Chuan, VP, Human Resource (Regional Area), Exyte Singapore shares about developing a culture where employees can feel a sense of ownership, collaboration, and a strong sense of belonging.

Exyte is a global leader in the design, engineering, and delivery of major complex projects, ultra-clean and sustainable facilities for high-tech industries. With cutting-edge expertise developed over more than a century, the company serves clients in the sophisticated markets of semiconductors, battery cells, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and data centers.

Since 1991, Exyte in Singapore has successfully implemented EPC projects and billion-dollar investments in Singapore for international blue-chip companies.

At the 11th annual edition of HR Excellence Awards - Singapore in 2023, Exyte Singapore won the silver award for 'Best HR Team (MNC)'.

To celebrate this milestone, we catch up with Yap Han Chuan, Vice President, Human Resource (Regional Area), Exyte Singapore (pictured above, centre), on developing a culture where employees can feel a sense of ownership, collaboration, and a strong sense of belonging. 

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

Exyte’s global HR strategy is based around three important pillars: people, organisation, as well as culture & leadership. This strategy is aligned with the company’s ‘Next Level’ agenda and ‘Pathway to Ten’ goal, which is to have ten billion euros in sales and grow the global workforce to 15,000 people by 2027.

Culture is an important field of action to make this happen. It recognises the invaluable role employees play in the success of the business, and ways in which employees can feel a sense of ownership, collaboration, and a strong sense of belonging. 

The strategy has played an integral role in our success this year. By fostering and nurturing the needs of employees we have been able to build on initiatives, in line with Exyte’s values, core competencies, and employer branding, that have had direct and positive impacts on employees, while at the same time enabling them to work effectively and efficiently.

Exyte has always utilised a ‘People First’ approach that has helped employees to improve positive relations with human resources. This approach allows HR to be on the ground, hearing from the people directly about their needs to work efficiently. Through this, Exyte has been able to introduce welcomed and helpful initiatives including the ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ (EAP) and the ‘Learning Management System’ (LMS).

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

The team takes pride in the fact that the initiatives in place are helping to make a positive impact on our employees. Feedback has shown us that these initiatives have increased motivation and engagement at work. Some of these that we have made available to our employees include the communication platforms and the engagement surveys.

Our initiatives also link back to Exyte’s social responsibility to care about the health and wellbeing of employees. This can be seen through Exyte’s health initiatives like fitness classes (zumba, kickboxing) and our philanthropic excursions (walks with Society for the Physically Disabled and beach clean-up). This is a testament to our continued commitment to embracing the value of our people and work culture. The recognition of enabling our workforce truly motivated the team to pursue the work that we are passionate and proud of doing.

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

An obstacle that the team faced was the challenge of change when we introduced new initiatives such as the new all-in-one digital wellness resource that provides mental and physical health support for employees (eg counselling) or improvements for current services such as the online LMS which gives employees access to more than 35,000 online courses on a wide range of topics. It is understandable and human nature for people to feel this way towards initial change or transformation in a workplace.

To counteract this and build trust in the company’s new measures for employee development, the team spent time communicating the benefits and outcomes for employees, helping them embrace change and at the same time build trust and assurance.

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

In line with our ‘People First’ approach, Exyte measures the success and impact of our HR initiatives through various metrics: verbal and written feedback from stakeholders, the annual employee engagement survey, and through monthly discussions between the HR team and our employees.

In addition to feedback, we also measure the success and the impact of the team initiatives through observations of our employees. Through retention rates and observing positive change behaviours, we are able to witness how our initiatives have achieved their respective objectives (eg employees are better equipped in navigating mental health obstacles, and are physically healthier through health screening, health initiatives, and get-fit challenges).

The team is also able to measure through Exyte’s business success. Employees have significantly increased sales targets and exceeded expectations. This is largely due to the dedicated workforce, and Exyte’s ongoing commitment to find and nurture the best talent.

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

On a global scale, Exyte’s HR function is focused on operational excellence. This goes hand in hand with embracing digitalisation. As we move forward with this, we have implemented global processes and standards that ensure all employees and managers have the right tools, data, and information to feel supported and be successful.

However, it is also important to remember the importance of human interaction, which every employee needs. It’s about finding the balance between these to build a strong culture in line with Exyte’s ‘Next Level’ agenda.

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

Photo: Provided

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