Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Winning Secrets: Prudential Assurance Malaysia celebrates employees as the real heroes behind its success

Winning Secrets: Prudential Assurance Malaysia celebrates employees as the real heroes behind its success

Karen Ow, CHRO, PAMB, advocates flexible ways of working, sharing of ideas and views, as well as open conversations across all levels of people.

Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad (PAMB) serves the savings, protection, and investment needs of Malaysians by offering a full range of financial solutions through its branches, agency force, and bancassurance distribution partners network nationwide.

PAMB was established in Malaysia in 1924, with the purpose of helping people get the most out of life by making healthcare affordable and accessible.

At the 10th annual edition of HR Excellence Awards, Malaysia in 2022, PAMB took home several awards, namely, the gold for ‘Excellence in Workplace Culture’, silver for ‘Excellence in the Use of HR Tech’, and the hugely-coveted gold for ‘Best HR Team (MNC)’.

In view of this achievement, we catch up with Karen Ow, Chief Human Resources Officer, PAMB, on bringing the company’s five values to life through ‘PRUHeroes’, which are personas that embody these values.

Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs and lows of your people strategy?

At Prudential, our people have always been the key to our success. Which is why we strive to make good on our pledge to make Prudential a place for our employees to connect, grow, and succeed. To achieve this, we foster an environment that energises and empowers our people to realise their individual career aspirations and helps them grow so that our people can be the best versions of themselves, and ultimately, deliver on the company’s growth ambitions.

Our purpose, is to help people get the most out of life. In these uncertain, ever-changing times, having a clear view of this purpose, one that motivates our people is particularly important. We bear the responsibility of using Prudential’s unique capabilities to meaningfully improve the wellbeing of our customers and wider communities including our employees. We do this by making healthcare accessible and affordable, protecting customers’ wealth and growing their assets, and empowering people to save for their goals.

Our purpose inspires our people and drives everything we do. Our success is enabled by our values, which represent the best of who we are – ambitious, curious, empathetic, courageous, and nimble.

Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft this perfect solution?

We ensure that our people can bring their authentic selves to work in a diverse and inclusive environment where we enable new and flexible ways of working and collaboration, encourage and value the sharing of ideas and views, as well as drive open conversations across all levels of our people.

We bring our values to life through ‘PRUHeroes’, which are personas that embody the five values, to celebrate our employees as the real heroes behind Prudential’s success.

They are named PRUHeroes because they constantly show extraordinary initiative and commitment, living out the organisation’s purpose and values.

Prudential provides various platforms to celebrate diversity of thinking, skills, identity, and experience where everyone feels a sense of inclusion and freedom to flourish. For example, our people’s input on company culture is regularly sought through employee engagement surveys and our organisation’s ‘Collaboration Jams’. Our people can connect with other colleagues around shared identities, interests, and ideas through ‘PruCommunities’. We create opportunities for our people to grow and develop through a workplace culture that encourages them to challenge themselves and be equipped with new, future-ready skills.

Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side?

We aim to create a more diverse and inclusive work environment, where our people feel belonged and empowered to voice out and make a difference in Prudential. Our employee engagement survey in end-2021 generated a 99% response rate. We also leveraged a group-wide 72-hour Collaboration Jam where our employees from different nations, came together online as ‘One Prudential’ to share our thoughts and sense of belonging at Prudential. The jam was a success as it created enthusiasm, boost engagement, and encouraged interaction between colleagues from Asia and Africa.

We also enable our people to take charge of their career development and have launched a platform that invites them to participate in gig/project opportunities, group-wide collaboration, and new skills training. One example is our ‘Future-of-Work Challenge’ platform where employees are inspired to share breakthrough ideas and working methods to transform how we work. Our ‘Prudential Toastmasters Club’ has also displayed excellence by achieving several outstanding recognitions from Toastmasters International organisation.

We built a young team of ‘Prudential Youth Influencers’ this year to represent the voice of our Millennials and Gen Z - empowered to bring in new insights, develop fresh ideas, and provide different perspectives to management.

As a proponent towards supporting young families and women at work and providing peace of mind to parents with regards to the development of their children, we established ‘PRUKidz’. This is the first childcare centre in the Malaysian insurance industry and the Prudential group that provides childcare facilities for our employees.

Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?

Our greatest and proudest assets are our people. Every employee is a stakeholder in this journey. They are our everyday PruHeroes with ‘superpower’ behaviours, living the purpose to help people get the most out of life, embodying Prudential values to deliver extraordinary outcome in an ordinary day.

Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?

We are most excited to maximise our people experience by leveraging on technology, machine learning, and AI data insights & analytics. This will help us drive innovation in addition to preparing the workforce with future work skills for better business outcomes and personal development. We also look forward to the continued modernisation of HR services so these are available anytime, anywhere at the convenience of our people.

Image / Provided 

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

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!  


Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

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