The number of internal trainers has been growing and Ultra Clean is constantly engaging new trainers, including 20 internal trainers who have been certified in 2020.

With a silver win for Excellence in Learning and Development Strategy at HR Excellence Awards 2020, Singapore, Ultra Clean Asia Pacific’s Chief Operating Officer, Vijayan S Chinnasami emphasises on building an employee-centric culture to champion upskilling and reskilling.

Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

The secret lies in teamwork – a UCT value. The HR team works very closely, not just within HR, but with all UCT employees especially the people managers.

One of the greatest milestones I would like to share would be the fact that we have internal certified trainers, wherein some are even sent for external certifications for development. We have two exclusive broad categories, soft skills and technical skills, to upskill our employees professionally.

The number of internal trainers has been growing and Ultra Clean is constantly engaging new trainers, including 20 internal trainers who have been certified in 2020!

How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

Not only do we have the capabilities to train employees internally, we are also providing opportunities to our trainers to grow personally and professionally.

This is a branch of our larger HR priority that employees are our greatest asset and we strive to provide them with opportunities to learn and develop. This forms part of their career development plan with the organisation.

UCT has been supportive of many initiatives to enable the employment of locals as well as ensuring our employees can upskill their competencies through national level programmes such as the SGUnited Traineeship.

The strong support from the management team has enabled UCT to launch and roll out initiatives from HR. In addition, understanding the importance of constantly improving and shaping the UCT workforce from the management team helps to make this realisable.

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?

With the company growing and ramping up on operations, employees are busy with their core work priorities. Despite this, we are committed to employees’ development. Hence, we put in much effort in terms of branding and promoting our HR initiatives to ensure that participation is not compromised. We have also been tapping on technology to help us meet our objectives especially during the Covid-19 period.

This brings us back to our fundamentals on having the relentless drive to succeed and push us to constantly look for ideas in achieving our plans. We also have an incentive guideline to reward and recognise trainers for their time effort on top of their business-as-usual jobs!

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 focused on measuring our results and measuring the ROI for each programme. We are glad to share that results have been positive from the workplace observations of the applied learnings as we collect formal testimonials and feedback, while not forgetting informal comments from employees!

Prudent analysis on training needs on individual role and organisational requirements is conducted before sending and matching employees to the relevant courses.

Also, a list of compulsory courses has been thoughtfully curated for people managers to attend throughout their employment period.

Initiatives have been adopted by production sites in other regions where we operate, such as Taiwan, China and Cebu. These were pushed out from Singapore and the effectiveness has given us the confidence to launch these overseas.

What are the biggest business drivers or game changers that have pushed you to constantly come up with new ideas and raise the bar for learning and development?

It ties back to our company value on employees being our greatest assets. This is not just for the upskilling of the organisation, but also to bring out a learning culture within UCT itself. As we are in the landscape of reskilling and upskilling to stay relevant, we see learning and development initiatives as an important aspect of UCT’s culture. This will undeniably help in the retention strategy of our employees as part of the larger HR priority as employees realise that UCT wants to grow together with them.

We do continue to benchmark ourselves and collate feedback from employees and leaders to improve ourselves and our initiatives. The UCT relentless drive to succeed has pushed us to always think out of the box for new ideas!

Photo / Provided

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


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