Clinching the gold award in Excellence in Business Transformation, silver award in Excellence in Digital Transformation and bronze award in Excellence in Women Empowerment Strategy at the HR Excellence Awards 2020, Indonesia is Wipro Unza Indonesia. Adi Sumarno, Head of HR at Wipro Unza Indonesia shares how the company built a digital culture mindset to support its sustainability programme.

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

People, Process, and System (PPS) are three keywords that have always been our main focus in developing and creating innovative HR strategies to transform our workplace not only as a great place to work for, but also a great place to belong.

From the People aspect, we always place people at the centre of purposes where we prioritise communication and dialogue to create a co-creation program so that it can meet the company's vision and employees' expectations.

On the Process front, we always encourage and foster a culture of innovation in every business process and daily operation so that the transformation in terms of service speed, quality, cost-saving, and speed of decision making can be realised.

From the System aspect, we encourage the integration of People and Processes that are bridged through a mechanism, tools and technology that simplify, standardises, and digitalises, so not only business results are fulfilled but also business sustainability are met.

To ensure that the 3 focuses are running well, HR plays a role as an initiator. Some milestones we have implemented include women's empowerment programmes that focus on Equality, Empowerment and Protection (EEP), which are well planned, structured, sustainable and well institutionalised. This is because a majority (77% - direct and indirect) of our workers are women.

The goal is to put women workers in a strategic position, get fair treatment, focus on development, as well as protection and access. Furthermore, this initiative can maximise our female employees’ potential, raise employee engagement levels and increase productivity.

Additionally, we transformed HR business processes from manual to digital through a web-based system that we developed ourselves together with IT. This is in line with the spirit of our sustainability program which we call "Go Green Go Digital". This HR management process transformation includes performance reviews, recruitment, and training and development. In addition, it helps simplify HR processes, good administration, open access, real-time and transparency.

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?

Leadership Qualities characters (Leading Change, Strategic Perspective, Client Centricity, Execution Excellence and Passion for Result) are there and shown by the leaders themselves. A culture of openness, mutual respect, open for feedback, collaboration and a passion for success is embedded in our DNA. The Leadership Team also understands that every role, regardless of level, can contribute to the company according to their respective portions.

We also build a structured communication platform that is strategic (top-down) such as leadership meetings, business reviews, and performance and talent reviews, town hall meetings, CEO messages as well as tactical (are lateral and focused on alignment) such as cross function meetings, committee meetings, and also cultural (bottom-up) such as employee aspiration survey, questionnaire, employee experiences feedback.

We use all these to connect the company's vision and mission with the aspirations and expectations of employees as well as synergising collective steps.

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

There are three biggest challenges we faced during this pandemic and I believe most organisations are experiencing the same.

The first is Navigating Uncertainty where we have been together for almost a year against the COVID-19 and until now we cannot predict when it will end.

The second is Employee Advocacy. Employees are faced with two conditions at once, namely stress due to a pandemic and stress due to limited activities. Although most companies have started doing working from the office or a combination of both, if employees are asked about the level of anxiety the average is still in the range of 40% -60%.

The third is Resilience and Agility. The pandemic has forced us to change rapidly, not only in terms of lifestyle but also social interactions, ways of working, communication patterns up to workplace models. Therefore, it is necessary to adapt and adopt quickly to respond to this situation so business continuity will run.

To answer these three challenges, here are the three things that have become our priority in HR:

Wellbeing and wellness: The focus is on physical, mental and financial. From a physical point of view, we want to ensure that the safety and health of employees is a top priority in addition to ensuring that the workplace is a safe place. We made a guideline called PCTC (Prevent, Control, Treatment and Campaign) in addition to the C-19 management committee. Supplement and swab tests for all employees are part of this effort. We also created an online clinic in collaboration with third parties that provide 24-hour telemedicine services and drug delivery. On the mental side, we also provide counselling and consulting services with psychologists. While from the financial side, we provide consulting services with financial planners.

Employee communication: During this pandemic, communication plays a pivotal role to connect employees and avoid alienation, so that they can remain productive and achieve the milestone. Every two weeks we have "Finally Friday", which is an internal webcast that invites all employees to discuss whatever it is and relevant topics from health, mental, financial, to company policy, product knowledge and policy updates. This also allows employees to convey their aspirations related to the condition at hand.

Upskilling and reskilling: The pandemic has provided us with many lessons, including pushing us to increase our capability and capacity. Businesses are currently contracted to be more agile, effective, efficient, simple and digitalised. Many positions will be restructured or frozen, creating the need for employees to be prepared and able to adjust based on needs. The training that we provide includes courses on managing a team remotely, managing crisis, design thinking and innovation, and creative selling skills.

Q What was your game plan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us?

We would like to convey that business transformation is not always constrained by a budget. It is true that having a large budget will make it easier, but what is more important is the behaviour and mindset to continue to create innovation and change as well as a commitment to execution and also the ability to collaborate on resources. So the keywords are Innovation, Collaboration and Execution.

Our business transformation involves building a digital culture mindset and culture to support our sustainability program (eco-eye at the office). The steps we took were: campaign, monitor, and transform. Then how did we measure that? Apart from the campaign, every month we monitor the use of paper and encourage continuous innovation to minimise its use.

Prior to 2019, all process management in HR was done manually, starting from the hiring process, onboarding / joining formalities, performance appraisals, training, promotions, transfers, to the resignation process. Of all the HR processes above, performance appraisal is the process that requires the most paper apart from the complexity and implementation time. The average paper consumption per month at HR is 11.6 reams or 0.9 reams per person and HR contributes 11% of the total company.

After moving to a system, the impact can be felt in various ways, one of which was the lead time process.

Previously, the total time needed to complete the appraisal process manually was 57 days or almost two months and it was close to increment payday, now it is less than 1 month (only 18 days).

Another impact was seen in documentation and administration where it has become tidier and better managed, evidenced by the results of the HR audit conducted by the regional team.

In 2016 the results of the HR audit were at the average level or it can be said to be normal and needed a lot of improvement. While the results released last year for 2019, was at the reasonable level, meaning that the procedures were going very well and the documentation was also well controlled.

Finally, paper consumption decreased by 27%.

Currently, the HR transformation process towards digitisation is 60% and there are several things still in the works, especially those processes that are based on claims such as medical and General Affair expenses. For those, we are developing e-claims and application-based operational claims so that 100% of HR processes can run online.

Q What are the biggest business drivers or game-changers that have pushed you towards this business transformation?

As an aggressive company, transformation is a must. For us, digital transformation is part of learning and organisation agility, and HR must take a role as an initiator and catalyst in making change. What we can do is to start encouraging digital mindset and growth mindset behaviour for every employee and if this is done together and consistently, this will have a significant impact on the company.

Moreover, we are currently in an unpredictable situation, businesses are under pressure, interactions and work styles are changing, and the market is more volatile. So technology is a crucial tool to accelerate and integrate business exponentially. On the other hand, we are aware that current data is an important point for companies in making more reliable analysis, projections and policymaking. Therefore, this success is strongly supported by a strong digitalisation system foundation. 

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

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