Upon joining the organisation, newest MindChampions will attend a MindChamps Way Culture Training which will further align them to the brand's culture and values, and immerse them in the history, philosophy and culture of MindChamps. 

Michelle Peh, Chief Brand Officer and Global Group General Manager, MindChamps PreSchool shares more on the organisation's approach to building culture, which earned it a silver win for Excellence in Workplace Culture at HR Excellence Awards 2020, Singapore.

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

Our HR strategy includes focusing on attracting, selecting and hiring candidates that have the right skills, mindset and share our unique culture and values. Potential candidates learn about the MindChamps story and business as well as its corporate culture and values at the hiring stage, through a corporate presentation and videos about our corporate culture and values.

Once with us, our newest MindChampions will attend our MindChamps Way Culture Training which will further align them to our culture and values. This programme will immerse our new MindChampions in the history, philosophy and culture of who we are at MindChamps. The 3-Minds (Champion, Learning and Creative Minds) are an integral part of the MindChamps education model, and it is also essential that MindChampions embody them. The MindChamps Way Culture Training emphasises our shared values and focuses on understanding the vision, mission, values and attributes that drive MindChamps towards excellence.

The MindChamps culture is continuously reiterated and inculcated through the quarterly employee meetings we call 'Pow Wow' meetings. Aside from updates and recognising excellence at these meetings, MindChampions from different departments are assigned to groups to create and perform short skits exemplifying The MindChamps Way culture and values. These skit competitions also encourage bonding and facilitate smoother work interactions between different departments.

To this end, MindChamps has been recognised as the Top Employer Brand for the second year running by Influential Brands, for our efforts and initiatives to engage employees. We scored above the national benchmarks to achieve this accolade. We were named among The Straits Times' and Germany-based global research firm, Statista's list of Singapore's Best Employers 2020. We are the only preschool to be ranked on the list!

Q What role has MindChamps' leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

At MindChamps, strong leadership is critical. This importance is underscored by our Founder CEO and Executive Chairman, David Chiem, who developed the MindChamps Leadership Training programme.

The MindChamps Leadership Training is attended by MindChamps' leaders and is personally delivered by David. The MindChamps Leadership Training is an immersion into MindChamps' unique model of leadership development – The Trinity of Leadership (Self, Thinking and Strategy).

Through this training, the leadership team is well placed to drive the MindChamps culture in their teams and create a workplace culture of likeminded individuals working towards achieving the same goals.

Q 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?

As MindChampions, we believe in, and live out, 10 aspirational statements that encapsulate the attributes of who we are as an organisation. These attributes include, embracing 'Setbacks as Setups', valuing feedback as a 'Seed for Growth' and focusing on the 'Beauty in Others'.

For instance, one of the challenges arose during this global pandemic. Due to restrictions on gathering physically for training, the team with their Champion Mindset, tackled the challenges at hand. They embraced it as a setup as they pivoted and transitioned into conducting the MindChamps Way Culture Training online.

With the short lead time, the team was able to have all participants on a conducive online platform while recalibrating how best to keep everyone engaged and excited during these online sessions. The team leveraged each other's strengths and addressed feedback they were receiving. With this, our team was able to restructure the one-day programme into four modules of live online sessions and successfully trained our MindChampions in Singapore and our other global centres.

Q 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 measure how well workplace culture is inculcated among our MindChampions with a two-pronged approach.

  1. Employee engagement surveys - We conduct annual surveys among our MindChampions to better understand issues and assess if our desired culture and values are displayed. The surveys found that 89% of our MindChampions do agree that the MindChamps values and culture are displayed.
  2. Parents survey - When each MindChamps teacher embodies the MindChamps culture and values, we get excellent feedback from parents. 96% of MindChamps parents in Singapore rated our teachers as 'Excellent' or 'Good'.

With this two-pronged approach, we are able to assess holistically how MindChampions are engaged and inspired as well as address areas of concerns that may arise.

Q Given just how quickly the external business environment is adapting, how do you ensure that your team keeps pace in workplace culture and is constantly upskilled to manage newer HR scenarios?

Like I mentioned earlier, at MindChamps, strong leadership, the 3-Minds (Champion, Learning and Creative Minds) as well as the 10 attributes we live out are essential for MindChamps to move forward and adapt regardless of the changing business environment. Our team are encouraged to not only have the 3 Minds, but also very importantly, the entrepreneurial mind where they are constantly looking for innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve.

We also identify learning and training opportunities to develop individuals’ skills so each MindChampion is able to continuously upskill and stay relevant in a constantly changing operating environment. This will allow them to be versatile and manage newer HR concerns and scenarios.

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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