Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance took home the following awards at the inaugural HR Excellence Awards 2021, Thailand:
- Gold for Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion, and
- Gold for Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing.
In this interview, Bubphawadee Owararinth, Chief People Officer, Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance, shares the strategy behind this win – and how the company strives to attract and retain talents across all demographics, and different stages of their career because it believes every employee is an asset.
Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?
At Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance (KTAXA), we realise the significance of our commitments and appreciate that our employees are our greatest asset.
To ensure we continue to build the very best company and retain excellence, we aim to focus on the following fundamentals for our employees, including investing in learning & development, engaging our staff, reward, and recognition, building a great culture, and inclusion and diversity.
A great milestone was the company’s most recent Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) was 71. This reflects how strongly employees would recommend the company to its friends and peers. Moreover, this score was the number three amongst all the 64 AXA entities worldwide.
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 strategy has helped KTAXA increase engagement and motivation year-on-year, embed inclusion and diversity throughout the organisation, digitise the HR function and ensure good mental health and wellbeing amongst our employees. The HR function is very much part of the executive team at KTAXA. The leadership team has ensured that the HR agenda is set from the top and incorporated in the overall corporate strategy so that is embraced by every department and manager.
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?
Attracting and retaining new talent, especially millennials, has been challenging due to the global war on talent, and, of course, compounding this issue has been the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has implemented a number of measures to ensure that graduates are not only attracted to the sector, but also stay in the sector. In terms of reaching out to potential candidates, KTAXA has been supplementing recruitment on college campuses, and at career fairs with social media outreach, virtual open house, a referral programme, and online talent communities—all of which have been very effective strategies. The company has also included flexible working hours, smart working to work-from-home, learning & development opportunities, and an appraisal system so that employees receive regular feedback from managers.
For existing employees and those close to retirement, KTAXA has focused on upskilling and reskilling and tailored wellness programmes, an inclusive working environment, and a hybrid way of working, in order to retain their knowledge, wisdom, and experience.
As part of its response to the pandemic, Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance is transitioning to ‘digital by default' to ensure that all our HR services are available online as it is the natural place for employees to go to. The company has also allowed employees to work from home and provided COVID-19 vaccination to all employees.
Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your game plan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?
At KTAXA, we measure our HR ROI by how satisfied, engaged, and motivated our employees are and of course our business growth. Over the last 12 months, employee loyalty and empowerment have increased, staff attrition has been reduced, and in the most recent employee survey, staff referenced KTAXA’s commitment to I&D as one of the top reasons that they value the company.
Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance was especially proud when the company won the Gold Awards of HR Excellence Awards 2021 in two categories including, Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing, and Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion.
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?
I would consider communication, resilience, and leadership as the top three essential attributes.
Communication is vital as all HR professionals must facilitate communication between employers and employees. This means that both your oral and written communication skills need to be sharp so that you can relay information clearly and effectively to employees at all levels. HR professionals must be resilient and adaptable to the fast-changing business landscape, which they must be proactive to the technological, social, and other disruptions.
Leadership is also a key attribute because employees very often look to the HR director for direction and advice. Leader must be able to turn vision into execution. A good leader must not have only good leadership skills, but he/she should be an empathetic Leader, which means he/she must be the leader who can understand and be sensitive to another person’s feelings, thoughts and actions. I’m going to add one more – digital proficiency. This is now critical with everything moving online during the last 18 months.
Image / 123RF
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!