Samsung Malaysia Electronics

Samsung Malaysia Electronics bagged a slew of awards at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Malaysia, namely:

  • Silver for 'Excellence in Employer Branding'
  • Gold for 'Excellence in Graduate Recruitment' 
  • Bronze for 'Excellence in HR Communication'
  • Gold for 'Excellence in Leadership Development'
  • Gold for 'Excellence in Talent Acquisition' 
  • Gold for 'Excellence in Total Rewards'

In this interview, Pauline Ng, Head of Human Resources & General Affairs, Samsung Malaysia Electronics, shares that the company's HR strategy rides on its EVP, which is ‘Do What You Can’t’ – and how this refrain enables the creation of human-driven innovations that defy barriers to progress. 

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

Our HR strategy rides on Samsung’s employer value proposition (EVP), which is ‘Do What You Can’t’ – to create human-driven innovations that defy barriers to progress. We focus on establishing our brand as the preferred employer, and strengthening employee engagement.

With the EVP at heart, we have responded to the current challenges with timely interventions and communication.

We also prioritise the wellbeing of our staff, and endeavour to provide employees with resources to create a conducive home workspace with daily communications about the current situation through e-mail, virtual townhalls, as well as on-the-go interactive digital learning platforms that provide our employees with development opportunities. By putting our people first, we also strengthen our employer brand. This has had a positive ripple effect on graduate recruitment, leadership development, talent acquisition and total rewards.

Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

This HR strategy has helped us accomplish many positive outcomes in 2021, one of which is an increase in our overall employee engagement score by 11% compared to the year before. This was made possible with the tremendous support given by our President who is a fervent believer of ‘making the workplace great’ through seamless collaboration among all departments, utmost care amongst colleagues, and ensuring a good and respectful work environment.

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?

The lockdowns and movement controls we experienced had an immense impact on both internal and external engagement activities. This, coupled with the constant change of national SOPs, called for quick and effective HR initiatives.

Despite the roadblocks, we kept engagement by taking practical safety measures to empower employees to work from home (WFH).

We sought to equip our employees with the necessary work tools, like a private network SVPN, in order for them to work with peace of mind whilst also keeping the company’s data safe. Moreover, to support their WFH lifestyle and increase productivity, we provided our employees with the option to choose from an array of our top-notch products such as monitors, tablets, phones, and even other household electronics at subsidised purchase prices. By being uncompromising in our EVP – ‘Do What You Can’t’, we overcame the hurdles.

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 have customised ROIs in place that are specific to focus areas such as graduate recruitment and leadership development with the goal of meeting business objectives. These are some of our achievements:

  • 95% of new Samsung Management Associate Programme take-up rate,
  • RM2.8mn increase in productivity levels, and
  • Increase of employee engagement score from 67% in 2020 to 78% in 2021. 

Q We’re now seeing HR manage portfolios that were previously considered far from their job description. In your view, what are the top three skills and attributes of today’s successful CHRO?

In my opinion, these are the top three skills and attributes of today’s successful CHRO:

  1. Communication: The pandemic has solidified HR’s role in managing employee challenges during a crisis, and communication is key to quick implementation of SOPs and for continuous engagement with employees.
  2. Result orientation: A CHRO will need to constantly align HR strategies with business results.
  3. Collaboration: Collaboration is imperative for any CHRO to lead the team through complexities caused by the fast changes in the work environment.

Image / 123RF

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

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