Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (ThaiBev) took home the silver award for 'Excellence in HR Innovation' at the inaugural HR Excellence Awards 2021, Thailand.
In this interview, Dr Agapol Na Songkhla, Chief People Officer, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (pictured below), affirms how ‘limitless opportunities’ is defined as ThaiBev’s employer value proposition to give people abundant opportunities to build capabilities and grow within the organisation.
Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?
Our human capital strategy is built on the mission of creating and sharing the value of growth. The key outcome is to uplift employee engagement, proactively support business success, create a sense of oneness, while promoting inclusiveness and wellness to ensure long-term sustainability.
Apart from the mission, ‘limitless opportunities’ was defined as ThaiBev’s employer value proposition to give our people abundant opportunities to build capabilities and grow within the organisation.
'My Career' is one of our key milestones to offer limitless opportunities to employees. My Career is an integrated and interactive career navigation platform that helps employees to explore career opportunities within ThaiBev Group and to design their own career paths.
My Career builds upon our foundation of career-based people development which defines and communicates comprehensive opportunities for our employees to strive for.
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?
Led by our mission of creating and sharing the value of growth, we emphasise that when the company grows, employees also grow. That is why we are passionate about providing limitless opportunities for our employees.
During the development of My Career, massive information was required to create this framework and platform, such as the design of over 1,400 standardised job roles, predefined career paths containing the matrix for 138x138 career streams within and across job families, and also hundreds of functional competencies.
However, among all the challenges that went into creating My Career, we received full support and alignment from our Group CEO and all executive management as they would equally like to provide rich career opportunities to employees. They also support us to encourage management and line managers in their business units to take full action and support to make My Career achieve its mission.
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?
The challenges we faced are on both the digital and people sides. On the digital side, since the platforms were newly implemented, the challenge was to increase employees' and line managers' digital readiness to use the platforms effectively, to support them to explore careers, develop, and grow. Also, we have been collecting feedback from users and addressing the feedback to improve the user experience.
Additionally, data quality is paramount to the success of implementation. We spent a significant amount of time cleaning, integrating, and ensuring accuracy of the data.
This is critical to delivering a consistent and reliable system with accurate information, as well as one that provides valuable insights to enable employees, line managers, and HR to apply them effectively.
On the people side, in addition to firmly establishing the policies, processes, and systems, we must also ensure that our employees and line managers have gained awareness and understanding of career development. Even though it is time consuming, communication must be made that resonates to all levels and on the quality of training delivery to educate them what we have been focusing on.
The main objectives include to encourage employees to take ownership to plan their careers, reinforce line managers' efforts in supporting their team’s development, and drive career growth of the team.
Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your gameplan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?
We are most proud of promoting our company mission of creating and sharing the value of growth to give employees limitless opportunities to explore careers, develop capabilities, and truly grow within the organisation.
While creating a good employee experience through our holistic digital career platforms, the aim was for employees to feel more motivated and dedicated to one's own career. The positive impact for employees is that we drove engagement and employee willingness to develop and grow their careers. Also, employees are more likely to stay in their roles for a longer time, meaning lower staff turnover.
Moreover, we set up a feedback mechanism to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the platforms. The result and improvement plan have been reported to the executive committee.
Ultimately, employee career growth will be the measure of our key success.
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?
Nowadays, the role of CHRO is not only that of developing people but also strategically driving organisational success through people development. The first skill needed for the CHRO is to drive transformation.
A CHRO must be able to drive organisational change while dealing with difficulties and complexity of stakeholders to ensure that results happen.
The second is to create an inspirational culture”, making culture the strength of the organisation by harnessing the positive elements from the unique culture. The culture should be able to inspire employees across generations and geographies as well as embrace diversity as a source of strength.
The third critical skill is to enable personal and organisational growth. The key to building organisational growth is to make people grow with positive results that will contribute back to the organisation. The CHRO needs to enable people such that they are able to translate every opportunity into the progression of growth, while the CHRO sets up an environment that values employees' growth as top priority.
Photos / Provided
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!