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Winning Secrets: What 'leader as a people manager' means to everyone at LEARN Corporation

Winning Secrets: What 'leader as a people manager' means to everyone at LEARN Corporation

This approach, which affirms that people issues are not just HR's responsibility, has doubled the organisation's high performer count, Krid Suwanwalaikorn, LEARN Corporation's Senior Head of People Growth & Experience, tells us.

LEARN Corporation was established in 2006 with the vision to reduce educational inequality and distribute quality lessons to people across Thailand.

Fast forward to today, the company's learning ecosystem has reached millions of people across the country, through its four business segments:

  • tutoring and educational guidance,
  • private school management,
  • future professional skills development and learning platforms, and
  • media and content production to support teaching in schools.

The above are driven by a workforce that is empowered by equality and a culture of communication, as part of the company's HR and people strategy, as Krid Suwanwalaikorn, Senior Head of People Growth & Experience, LEARN Corporation, shares. 

Krid and his team won the bronze award for 'Best HR Team (SME)' at the HR Excellence Awards 2023, Thailand — let's take a look at the efforts that led to this win, in this interview with the leader.

Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?

Our HR and people strategy has been a game-changer. Instead of thinking only HR can handle people's issues, we've made everyone a 'Leader as a people manager'. This means that every five to 10 employees have someone looking out for them. It's like having a personal guide at work. This approach has been our secret to success this year. We believe in including and empowering everyone, and that's what sets us apart.

Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?

Our 'Monthly Hero' and 'Most Valuable Player (MVP)' recognition programmes stand out as our proudest HR achievements. We focus on five key areas: key members, performance, culture, communication, and processes. These programmes help team leaders become better 'key members' as people managers by frequently praising and rewarding outstanding team members. It's like encouraging high performing and giving a pat on the back every month to top performers.

At the same time, this boosts our company culture through better communication and smoother recognition processes, strengthening our core values. These initiatives mean a lot to us because they've created a culture where appreciation thrives.

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Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?

On our HR journey, we encountered a common challenge: shifting the mindset to understand that people issues involve everyone, not just HR. Many believed HR was solely responsible for these matters. To overcome this, we embraced a 'data benchmarking' approach. This strategy fostered healthy competition among teams, transparently showcasing their focus on people-related issues. It's like a friendly race to see who takes care of their team the best. This shift in perspective helped us excel in our HR endeavours.

Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?

We measure the success and impact of our HR initiatives through the 'People manager' concept. This approach fosters employee development, coaching, retention, and engagement.

The results are impressive: our high performer count has doubled compared to last year.

Additionally, this ecosystem empowers our HR team to initiate and execute numerous projects, tackle nearly 50 important issues raised by employees, and create 12 applications and dashboards to enhance the employee experience. It's a testament to our dedication to nurturing talent and improving our workplace.

Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?

Looking ahead, the HR and people function is poised for a transformation driven by two key factors: the way we work, and technology. We envision a future with less emphasis on traditional HR structures and a stronger focus on business outcomes. It's about finding quick-win solutions to tackle challenges, and working in a more agile, cross-functional manner. HR and people teams will become a blend of generalist and project management roles, complemented by specialised expertise.

Furthermore, technology will be integral to our daily operations. HR and people professionals will need to upskill in technology, working smarter rather than harder. These shifts will not only reshape our culture but also drive rapid growth in our organisation, aligning us with evolving work dynamics and leveraging the power of technology for a brighter future.

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Photo: Provided

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