Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Winning Secrets: How RHB Singapore empowers staff with a sense of ownership over its internal initiatives

Winning Secrets: How RHB Singapore empowers staff with a sense of ownership over its internal initiatives

One thing leaders have learnt is that internal employee engagement is imperative for better collaboration and a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to the firm, Jenson Tng, Head of Human Resources, RHB Singapore, reflects.

Established in Malaysia in the early 1900s as Kwong Yik Bank, RHB made its foray into Singapore in 1961 as UMBC Bank. Following a series of expansions and strategic mergers, the Bank took on the name RHB Singapore, and through its decades in the country, has grown to cater to a cross-section of clients with requirements ranging from personal banking to corporate financing, offering solutions and growing wealth for people and businesses.

At the HR Excellence Awards 2022 in Singapore, RHB Singapore won a silver award for Excellence in CSR Strategy. In this interview, Jenson Tng, Head of Human Resources, RHB Singapore, delves into how he and his team have been driving a culture of engagement and service excellence within the organisation, leading to this win.

Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs and lows of your people strategy?

One of the highs is definitely winning an HR Excellence Award! This is a testament to the groundwork we have been doing internally, and we are now seeing the fruits of our labour. Beyond being recognised at the industry level, what we are most proud of is the internal employee culture we have cultivated with our strategy. With the RHB Culture campaign, we can see internal unity amongst our staff, and a positive and warm workplace that makes coming to work such a pleasant experience.

Of course, it was a long journey getting here. One of the challenges includes getting everyone on board our strategy – from the management at the very top, to all our employees, including our frontliners on the ground. To inculcate a culture of service excellence throughout the organisation takes time and small efforts that add up to the big picture. Despite the challenges we faced, it is rewarding to be recognised for our efforts and to know we are on the right track.

Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft out this perfect solution?

Our people are our greatest assets. We knew from the start that we needed to harness the collective intelligence and ideas of our people. Thus, we began our journey with co-creation sessions with our employees to identify our strengths, areas for improvement, and how we can go about improving our processes and our service culture. With co-creation sessions, we were also able to empower our colleagues with a sense of ownership of the arising initiatives which we implemented subsequently.

What we have learnt is that internal employee engagement is imperative for better collaboration and a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to the organisation, which are the key ingredients for our success.

Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side?

Based on our annual employee engagement survey, our engagement score within the organisation improved from 82 to 86. We also saw a double-digit improvement in areas such as career development, and leadership and risk culture, which is an encouragement to us. Moving forward, we will broaden our scope to strive for sustainable engagement instead of simply employee engagement. This will enable us to look at how we can better engage, enable, and energise our people over the longer term.

On the business front, our Net Promoter Score, which is a testament to our service excellence, scored a 22-point improvement within a year. We are confident our multi-year strategy will continue to materialise progressively over time as our service culture becomes even more ingrained as a result of our ongoing efforts.

Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?

We could not have done this without everyone’s participation, contribution, and commitment. As cliché as it sounds, this truly is a team effort – from the senior management, the various departments including the HR team and the brand marketing & communications team, and of course, all our staff including our frontliners, who are our RHB Culture ambassadors to all our customers. They are the ones who exemplify our RHB Culture and translate all that we do internally to the business results we see. We are thankful for everyone who played their part. This award is a win for all of us here at RHB Singapore.

Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?

The role of HR is evolving and growing, as we have seen in the recent pandemic. The excitement is in innovating and coming up with creative solutions to meet the needs of your organisation. With HR, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and it is up to the HR team to explore new ideas to adapt to changes internal and external to the organisation. Around the world, hybrid and remote work arrangements are gradually becoming the dominant work structure. There are also recent research and studies being done on the four-day work week. These are examples of how HR is changing with the times and there are always new opportunities to tap into to improve the organisation.


Photo / Provided (Featuring interviewee Jenson Tng)

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