TAFEP Hero 2023 June
Winning Secrets: How Mulia Industry Group is transforming HR to a strategic role & partnership

Winning Secrets: How Mulia Industry Group is transforming HR to a strategic role & partnership

MIG’s HR worked closely with business leaders to thoroughly gather workforce data, build a robust understanding of workforce and business needs, and draft the blueprint of its integrated talent management, shares HR Director Yussy Santoso.

At the HR Excellence Awards 2020, Indonesia, Yussy Santoso, Human Resources Director, Mulia Industry Group (MIG)  received the silver award for HR Leader of the Year 2020, even as the organisation took home the silver for Excellence in Talent Management.

In this interview, Yussy Santoso, Human Resources Director, Mulia Industry Group shares the secrets behind this win - how he helped the company and its workforce cope with the challenges presented by the pandemic, changed the role of the HR department, and more.

Q How would you describe your winning HR strategy, and what are some key milestones you’ve accomplished thus far?

Many businesses, globally and in Indonesia, are concerned about workforce management, and are facing multi-dimensional issues, such as the dwindling number of skilled new workers amid a wave of Baby-Boomers’ retirements, the mapping of required competencies and ways to fulfill the gaps in a timely way, and the maintaining of potential talents through proper retention and career planning.

This situation is imperative and unavoidable in a labour-intensive manufacturing business such as MIG. The HR team has its plate full, looking to fulfill gaps in qualified workforce at every level.

Effective talent management begins with top management’s commitment, and a strong human resources team to implement and deliver the results. In addition, a carefully planned talent management strategy will facilitate the development of talent pipelines.

MIG’s HR worked closely with business leaders to thoroughly gather workforce data, build a robust understanding of workforce and business needs, and draft the blueprint of our integrated talent management. 

This solution covers:

  • Needs identification
  • Gaining top management commitment
  • Setting the fundamentals: policies, procedures, and guidelines
  • Talent review
  • Internal development
  • Recruiting and nurturing young talent
  • External recruitment for competencies adoption

Our next focus lies in bringing more business-oriented partnership for HR through four key initiatives:

  1. Transforming HR: strategic role, strategic partnership: Mulia Industry companies are looking to transform their HR functions into true drivers of business success — going beyond the functional (administrative and operational) roles to a strategic one. The conversation surrounds how best to go about transforming HR to be real business partners to our business leaders.

  2. Talent management: the future-ready talent makers: Many businesses, globally and in Indonesia, are concerned about workforce management, given they are facing the multi-dimensional issues listed above. As such, the HR team has got its hands full in preparing a qualified workforce at all levels.

  3. Industrial peace and highly engaged people: Realising our business nature as labour-intensive, industrial peace is becoming a key fundamental in our HR practices. Meanwhile, the company also expects to get people to be highly engaged; in the sense of not only being attached to the company, but also being encouraged and facilitated to reveal their potentials and highest contribution to the business in Mulia Industry.

  4. HR digitalisation: Across all industries, HR is one of the organisation's core functions most affected by digitalisation. While digitalisation presents many challenges in our organisation, it also provides HR with the exceptional opportunity to strategically reshape and reinforce our role within the organisation by enhancing our employees’ experience, increasing efficiency, and empowering HR to mine employee data for insights to deliver organisational purpose and key initiatives more effectively.

Q What role has your leadership team played in supporting your HR priorities? How does your HR team collaborate closely with senior management to achieve business goals?

Human resources transformation under our leadership delivered the strong message of “Stay aware to adapt, stay relevant to win”. This shows HR's commitment to help the company to adapt and stay relevant under VUCA conditions by becoming real partner.

During 2019-2020, we changed the structure of HR to extend into business partnership by business units, whilst building our HR expertise team (such as talent acquisition, training & development, organisation development, compensation & benefits, employee services, HRIS, etc).

The main theme for HR transformation was about looking at HR as a business transaction — how to make it more efficient, less costly, and provide a great user experience, while moving the HR business partners and subject matter experts to business-facing, impactful roles.

During this time of changes, we managed to implement a winning strategy consisting of 4Ps:

  1. People: To equip people with the right understanding; encourage them to take part in the changes, and give all the people the right media to deliver for their aspirations during the change.
  2. Process: To have my team really understand and master the processes within HR and specific business units (as our clients). When processes are changed, it might drive people to change as well. This change aims to increase the service level for our users, and enhance the efficiency. Even small things can bring impact and gain more trust from users.
  3. Partnership: To emphasise the notion “involve people in the change, let them grow together". This will bring transparency that will lead us to their trust. This partnership goes beyond personal success to create collective success.
  4. Productivity: We all believe that even small results can boost stakeholders' trust. To keep productivity as our end goal during change management, we undertook a lot of initiatives to maintain employee costs whilst increasing their contribution to the company and engagement levels. For instance, between 2019 and 2020, we created a business-HR dashboard to maintain our productivity metrics, implemented talent management, rejuvenated our recruitment process and branding, implemented performance management (by objectives and setting up KPI library), etc.

Q The pandemic has caused many business plans to be upended. What was the greatest challenge you faced this year and how did you manage to pivot your HR model/framework?

First, as we all agree that health is our utmost concern in this rough time, MIG has formed an emergency response team (ERT) whose task is to study and follow all protocols issued by the government, as well as compile and implement health protocols in the company environment. This can be seen from the communication of leaders in all lines who continue to echo health education, as well as the ERT getting stricter in implementing the 3T strategy (test, trace, and treat)

Second, the work-from-home (WFH) mechanism is applied only to certain positions. Every industry has its own challenges. We are in manufacturing, a labour-intensive industry, for sure we cannot implement it optimally, because the production process requires physical presence.

Third, technology also continues to play an important role. We applied a geolocation-based time attendance system for those who are WFH or are in self-isolation. Our employees have also changed the way they conduct meetings, from face-to-face to online meetings and video conferences. HR facilitates online training, using Moodle and conferencing applications such as Zoom and Google Meet.

Q What was your game plan for measuring ROI in talent management? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

The number of internal fulfilments has increased from an average of 49% in 2019 to 56% in 2020, while external hiring declined during this period. Internal hiring in MI and MKIR significantly increased during this period, while MG has well maintained most of the fulfilment from within in 2019 following the establishment of a new factory (Container-5/C5) in early 2020.

We are delighted to have a sizable number of relatively young managers (<40 years old) as compared to MIG's manager pool in the past. Moreover, MT graduates are well-recognised by their quality of work and we can see that our leaders (from Manager to GM) have been dedicated in nurturing and developing these young talents.

Q Given that the world of work has essentially been overturned, how do you expect the talent management function to evolve one-two years down the line? How is your organisation preparing to keep up with this evolution?

HR should be equipped with the latest competencies to compete and perform in the era of Industrial Revolution 4.0, and even in the post-pandemic era. We have a plan to give wider exposure to our team members to create more generalist expertise whilst strengthening the expertise that has been deeply developed. This might allow further career movement and progress to our talent in the HR team.

In our business, reskilling and upskilling are very important, alongside robust competency management. Our business consists of various business lines and business functions, that surely can be an opportunity for us to standardise the competencies required for the present and future.

For the long run, we also have a chance to develop our Lembaga Sertifikasi Profesi (LSP) in glass and ceramics manufacturing, which are very limited qualifications in Indonesia. Therefore, there’s a push to establish our technical training centre to answer the business needs of highly capable talents, and equip them with winning leadership competencies and in-depth technical expertise.

Our HR also focuses on creating a meaningful journey in every single employee’s touchpoint in the form of life-changing moments. We are planning to have employee experience mapping, including 'moments that matter', and looking at how we can increase our employee’s happiness through this process.

Photo / Provided [Pictured: Yussy Santoso, Human Resources Director, Mulia Industry Group]

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window