The bank recognises the need to re-think how staff can best perform while working flexibly, and the need to future-proof them in today’s disruptive landscape," as Wong Keng Fye, Head, Human Capital, Singapore shares.
At Maybank, flexible work arrangements have been put in place even prior to the pandemic.
Since then, it has evolved along with the times — the mobile work arrangement policy has become the bank's work arrangement model. Complementing the policy, Maybank has also established rules of engagement to maintain productivity, the boundaries between their professional and private lives, and socialisation amongst colleagues. For example, the 'do not disturb' rule cautions employees from sending emails or setting meeting times outside office hours or over lunch.
Unsurprisingly, the mobile work arrangement saw an increase in the take-up rate. On top of that, the bank also arranged virtual lunch talks and other arranged HR-led programmes to ensure the larger community remains connected.
With these efforts, Maybank was awarded with Silver for Best Remote Work Strategy at the Employee Experience Awards 2023, Singapore.
Read on as, Wong Keng Fye, Head, Human Capital, Singapore shares how Maybank Singapore adopts a holistic life cycle approach when we look at the work-life needs of employees through different life stages.
Q How do you ensure your employee experience initiatives are aligned with your business objectives?
We align our HR strategy with the bank’s mission – 'Humanising financial services', which is driven by a people-first mindset. This ethos underpins how we provide an employee experience anchored on care, open communication and support towards our staff in all we do. It is also defined by our commitment be a relationship-driven organisation where we regard the Maybank workforce as the Maybank Family.
We adopt a holistic approach to address the needs of our people which includes physical and emotional wellness. We recognise the need to re-think how our staff can best perform in flexible work arrangement modes, and the need to future-proof our people in today’s disruptive landscape, ensuring they remain relevant, resilient and agile to learn and adapt.
Q Can you provide examples of how the organisation has invested in the employee experience?
We adopt a holistic life cycle approach when we look at the work-life needs of our employees through their different life stages, as we are a bank that does not believe in leaving anyone behind.
We also offer flexible work arrangements for our staff to manage their work demands and their personal or family needs. This was in place even before the pandemic, which evolved during the pandemic and rolled out the Mobile Work Arrangement (MWA) policy. The MWA has become the work arrangement model, which is part of redesigning the future of work in the workplace. We seek to ensure that our staff have the flexibility to work from home and office, while not compromising their productivity, mental wellness and social interactions with their colleagues.
Q What are some of the key challenges that you faced in implementing your EX initiatives, and how did you overcome them?
Despite the keen interest in remote work, staff were concerned that the ability to work from home or remotely will inevitably blur the boundaries between their professional and private lives. More importantly, there were concerns about the lack of socialisation with colleagues.
We hence developed the “rules of engagement” in the bank’s human resource policy to address this We communicated to staff how these engagement rules would help them such as respecting others’ time, adhering to the “do not disturb” rule and keeping in mind the “accommodate and collaborate” principle. The “do not disturb” rule sets to refrain staff from sending emails (unless urgent) or setting meeting times outside office hours or over lunch. We also undertook a series workplace wellness and employee well-being initiative and programmes. An example is the quarterly Step & Sleep Challenge where our staff are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle and get rewarded in turn with one day of well-being leave.
Q Do you have processes to measure the effectiveness of your EX initiatives, and what metrics do you use to evaluate success?
We saw an increase in the take-up rate of MWA. We are encouraged that our arranged virtual lunch talks and other arranged HR-led programmes for staff to stay connected to the larger Maybank community, were very well-received with high participation rates.
Our group-wide employee engagement survey (EES), a confidential internal climate survey conducted by an independent consultant appointed by the bank, served as a barometer of the culture, health and overall satisfaction and happiness of our staff across the Maybank Group. Positive trends identified from the EES during the pandemic saw the bank perform strongly against several benchmarks amongst global industry peers and other high performing global companies, as well as in Singapore. In particular, we achieved a higher score on the Sustainable Engagement Index compared to the result in the previous EES conducted.
Q Finally, what role do leaders and managers play in driving a beautiful employee experience, and how are they held accountable for the success of these initiatives?
Our leaders and managers are aligned with the bank’s mission of 'Humanising financial services'. Looking out for one another and caring for our people as an individual is ingrained in our bank’s DNA and also part of our bank’s core values. We always believe that a happy workforce makes a productive workforce. Having happy and motivated employees means that they will serve wholeheartedly, which in turn creates happy customers, thereby delivering happy results.
Our HR strategy prioritises providing support to staff at the workplace and beyond. We encourage our leaders and managers to have regular communications with their staff, and we arrange monthly engagement sessions with our CEO as well for staff to share their concerns and ask questions.
In this fast-changing dynamic world, we have to constantly monitor, reshape and realign the way we do things to stay relevant and keep up with what the business needs and what our employees need.
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