"To empathise, we have three practices—asking them, observing them, and being them," says Krid Suwanwalaikorn, People Growth & Experience, Learn Corporation.
At the Employee Experience Awards 2021, Singapore, Learn Corporation was a finalist for three categories: Best HR Communication Strategy, Best Organisational Upskilling and Reskilling Strategy, and Most Innovative and Sustainable Office Design.
In this interview, Krid Suwanwalaikorn, People Growth & Experience, Learn Corporation, shares the secrets behind its achievements - how the organisation focuses on empathy, learning, and listening (through feedback) to serve its employees and help them reach their individual potential.
Q Congratulations on becoming a finalist at this inaugural edition of the award! What is your employee experience strategy that led to this achievement?
At Learn Corporation, one of the elements of our culture is 'empathy first' which is the key to the way we work from the very beginning. Before anything, we need to empathise with our employees on what is best to fulfil their needs.
Hence, our main strategy to deliver employee experience is to empathise with them and encourage them to co-design their own experience. This achievement is not just acquired by HR, but all of Learn's employees are a part of it.
Q How did you and your team conceptualise and adapt this strategy to suit evolving workforce needs in the past year?
To empathise, we have three practices—asking them, observing them, and being them. For example, with regard to 'asking', in upskilling and reskilling projects, we have interviewed all stakeholders one by one to individually co-design digital roles for all positions in Learn Corporation, from leading to design project-based roles.
For 'observing', we look at the office design. We noticed that our employees need more space to collaborate as they are currently using a pantry to brainstorm and hold meetings whereas some used the meeting room as a noise-free working area. For these reasons, we decided to renovate and add a collaborative working area, such as private corners designed like phone booths in the office.
As for 'being', before launching a new communication platform, we did several pilot sessions to make sure we are ready to create a community through internal social media channels.
Q What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?
The main challenge of building employee experience is low-level involvement, although Learn Corporation's office activities were usually arranged to fit their needs. However, tight working schedules, for instance, have brought about a low participation rate; or the amount of workload made employees focus more on finishing their work rather than post/comment on internal social media, one of Learn Corporation's office activities.
We tried to overcome this by using another cultural element at Learn Corporation—'feedback'. Along the way, we were open to all feedback from employees, and have been ready to proficiently adjust to ensure that excellence (in terms of office culture and environment) is delivered to our employees.
Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience in your organisation, in terms of ROI? Any achievements you’d like to share?
Every initiative was proposed along with expected results. We analysed the desired result by evaluating four different types of targets: input, output, outcome, and business outcome.
To achieve tangible business outcomes, for instance, Learn Corporation's 'Digital Transformation', an upskilling and reskilling learning programme, included a mandatory project implementation on their job. We support our participants to apply the digital skills that they have learned on their job with a tangible expectation. This led to interesting outcomes, such as an increase of NPS score from students on digital marketing campaigns by 10% and more than 50% cost reduction by using digital activities instead of physical ones.
Q What is the most exciting and valuable thing about being part of the debut Employee Experience Awards?
Every moment has been exciting and valuable. This award is our first stage to explore and get feedback from external professional judges. We have focused and built new employee experiences for just over a year and it was a huge experience transformation. The results were great feedback for us to learn and develop our employee experience in the future.
Q Looking ahead, what else do you have planned as you continue to enhance the overall employee experience?
Aiming to be one of the top desirable companies, we keep improving our employee experience. We focus on building unique and customised experiences for our team.
Each division or department has their unique needs and characters in which we will need to adjust to make the experience worthwhile. Our employee experience must be strong from inside, then expand it to the outside.
Q Do share some tips to inspire your peers who are working on their EX strategies and would love to participate in the awards next year.
We believe in authenticity. Thus, 'be yourself' is the first key to creating a customised experience for an individual company. The second key is to have a growth mindset in learning. We can find opportunities to learn from your experience of either success or failure. Moreover, we are also encouraged to learn from others. You can see that everything can be learned. Just be yourself and keep learning (plus improving).
Q Lastly, to end on a fun note – if you could describe the employee experience at your organisation in one sentence, what would that be?
Once a Learn-er, always a Learn-er is one true statement at Learn Corporation. It interprets both experiences at Learn and also to keep learning new things. We hope you all enjoy learning from Learn Corporation.
Image / Provided
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!