Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Winning Secrets: How TM is cultivating a culture of learning & innovation in its workforce

Winning Secrets: How TM is cultivating a culture of learning & innovation in its workforce

Mohd Asril Idris, General Manager, Engagement and Culture, shares how TM adapts to new skill requirements and keeps its workforce up to date with the latest tech trends.

In supporting its journey from a telco to technology company, TM is building the skills of its people around the needs of the organisation. Particularly, it places great emphasis on strengthening the succession bench at all each critical level and job, and building a learning culture.

Being in a constant state of technological transformation, this means adapting to new skill requirements, fostering a culture of innovation, and keeping its workforce up to date with the latest tech trends.

Naturally, a learning culture has become key to the organisation.

Testament to its efforts, TM walked away with two awards at the the HR Excellence Awards 2023, Malaysia:

  • Silver - Excellence in CSR Strategy
  • Gold - Best HR Team (GLC)

Mohd Asril Idris, General Manager, Engagement and Culture, TM (pictured above), shares how TM cultivates a culture of innovation.

Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?

At TM, our HR and people strategy is closely aligned to our business strategy and driven by technological evolution. Throughout this year, we have been placing great emphasis into strengthening the succession bench at all each critical level and job, and building a learning culture in TM.

By building the skills of Warga TM around the needs of the organisation, we ensure that we can support TM’s transformation from a telco to a technology company. We embed learning as a KPI, and create hunger for learning by making learning easily accessible to all, anytime, anywhere. In addition, our strong focus on enhancing our way of working and overall wellbeing of Warga TM have contributed towards our success.

Under our Wellbeing360 umbrella, we offer health and wellness programmes, flexible and hybrid work arrangements, and a supportive work environment, fostering a healthy and happy workforce, which, in turn, enhances productivity.

Furthermore, our commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) has also played a vital role in our recognition. Winning awards in both HR and CSR categories motivates us to continue pushing the boundaries of excellence in these areas in the years ahead. Our strategies have improved employee satisfaction and overall company performance, underscoring our dedication to holistic talent development and CSR responsibilities.

Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?

When reflecting on our HR initiatives, what we're most proud of is our dedication to cultivating a culture of innovation within Telekom Malaysia. One of our key success the implementation of Agile at scale which has yielded clear benefits to the business. As we deploy this in unifi and TM One, we are removing the layers and empowering team members. The teams now work in squads, where roles are fungible, and this has led to a faster go-to-market. Another one is the automation and simplification via crowdsourcing where we provide the platforms and tools for Warga TM to participate and contribute to building solutions that addresses business challenges.

Another proud achievement is in building a learning culture. All our executives have access to LinkedIn Learning platform which enables them to learn anywhere, in any areas of interest. As a result, in June 2023, we celebrated a remarkable achievement - 100% activation of LinkedIn Learning with an average 3.4 hours of learning per staff, monthly. Through daily activation clinics and personalised guidance, we've transformed learning into an exciting journey for our valued Warga TM. Our unwavering dedication to excellence in service did not go unnoticed. LinkedIn recognised TM as one of the world's fastest activation in a large organisation, showcasing our commitment to learning and our role as an inspiration to other companies in Malaysia.

During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?

As the national digital provider championing technology, we are in a constant state of technological transformation. This meant adapting to new skill requirements, fostering a culture of innovation, and keeping our workforce up to date with the latest tech trends.

Here is where building a learning culture becomes key to TM. The most important steps before upskilling and reskilling our workforce is assessment of the right skillsets that are required by TM, followed by identifying the skills gap among our employees. This ensures that we know exactly what and who to upskill. By embedding learning as part of KPI, and making learning easily accessible through digital platforms, such as Coursera and LinkedIn Learning, we’re able to instill this learning culture.

How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?

We have a clear set of performance metrics for each of the strategic pillars. Apart from the typical measures such as manpower productivity and time-to-fill, we also use the Organisational Health Index (OHI) score, which is derived from a half-yearly survey of Warga TM into how the company aligns itself, executes with excellence, and renews itself to sustainably achieve performance aspirations.

We measure success of our Agile @ Scale implementation based on numbers of squads flipped and agile maturity rate, while our learning and development initiatives are measured against the percentage of staff trained and training effectiveness. These metrics ensure that HR efforts not only enhance efficiency and cultivate the performance culture among employees, but also contribute to the company's goals.

Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?

In the future, HR will increasingly leverage digital platforms to enhance employee experience, promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and make data-driven decisions.

At TM, we have been in an ongoing journey towards HR digitisation. We are building a talent marketplace to ease teams in searching for talents within the company. We believe that employees should not live in two worlds, getting different experience as a customer vs as an employee. Just as we place great emphasis into creating a pleasant customer experience, we also pay considerable attention into modernising and enhancing employee experience. Data analytics will play a crucial role in HR, with predictive analytics, AI-driven insights, and data-driven metrics guiding talent management and workforce planning.

HR will also become more agile and adaptable, reimagining performance management, workforce planning, and organisational structures to respond to rapid changes in the business environment. Moreover, HR will continue to support employee wellbeing and mental health, providing resources and programmes to address these concerns.

In summary, the future HR function will be characterised by its data-driven, people-centric, and adaptive approach, leveraging technology, promoting wellbeing, and contributing to organisational success in a dynamic landscape.

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

Lead image / Provided

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