14 Jan 2019 01:00:00 PM

LIFE AT WORK 2018 Award Winners share their secrets to success

These are the champions who prioritise the creation of a more meaningful and flexible workplace.

Over 86 companies, large and small, showcased their best diversity and inclusion practices in their organisations — in line with the demands of the Future of Work, Workplace, and Workforce — for a chance to win recognition at the annual LIFE AT WORK 2018 Awards (LAWA) on 26 November 2018.

There were 10 categories, including the new categories which were Best New Entrant, Best Small and Medium Organisation, Best Non-Profit Organisation and Best Leadership Team. LAWA aims to recognise and celebrate employers with leading workplace strategies that demonstrate drive, commitment and tenacity to champion diversity and inclusion.

It was enhanced in 2017 to embrace the Future of Work which impacts the diversity and inclusion landscape of organisations in the area of:

WORK: Diversity and Inclusion, learning and development and health benefits

WORKPLACE: Benefits to employees, flexible work arrangements, employer/family-friendly facilities and work-life benefits

WORKFORCE: Automation, digitalisation, the gig economy, usage of online mediums for learning and development, usage of social media and digital channels

In 2018, 16 winners received recognition for their work in creating a more progressive workplace.

From Left: Raymond Phan, Sangeeta Matu from Lean In Malaysia, Noor Mohd Helmi Nong Hadzmi from IX Telecom, Nyon Kam Yew from Shell Business Operations Kuala Lumpur, Nora Abdul Manaf from Maybank, YB M Kula Segaran, Sivakumeren A Narayanan from TalentCorp, YB Hannah Yeoh, Hajah Mahuran Saro Sariki from TalentCorp, Kho Jia Ying from Lean In Malaysia, Mohamad Fahmi Abdul Rahim from EPF, Malisse Tan from Lean In Malaysia

Maybank Bhd
Best Malaysian Organisation

“We have always been an organisation grounded on a strong value system and we constantly invest in our people. After all, an organisation is a collective capacity of people creating value. So, we invest in creating an environment that is equitable, diverse, inclusive, creative and innovative — a nurturing environment where our employees learn, develop, lead and find solutions effectively and responsibly. Our values drive positive behaviour, individual and team growth, good decision-making. They challenge us, guiding us and making us stronger and keeping us relevant ―future-proofing the company.” — Nora Abdul Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer

Shell Malaysia
Best International Organisation

“The key is in being creative when looking for the right balance of work-life practices that resonate with the company’s values and culture. These practices need to be sustainable as this will ensure a dynamic workforce that is ready to take on the future.” — Nyon Kam Yew, General Manager Business Operations

IX Telecom Sdn Bhd
Best Small and Medium Organisation

“There is no single work-life practice formula that will fit all companies. What works for IX Telecom might not work for you. But do reach out to us so we can share what we have tried successfully and unsuccessfully in cultivating a great working environment for the team. We encourage company leaders to have trust in the team in order to have flexibility at work. Without integrity and trust, it is impossible to successfully implement work-life practice.” — Noor Mohd Helmi Bin Nong Hadzmi, Group CEO

Employees Provident Fund
Best Public Sector Organisation

“When your work’s purpose is about creating a better life, then there is nothing more noble than that. We also offer our employees a real chance to make a real difference for Malaysians. Why count the hours at work when you are doing something that you are fired up about?” — Tunku Alizakri Alias, CEO

Lean in Malaysia
Best Non-Profit Organisation

“Consult with a focus group of employees and work out which flexible work-life practices are most relevant and beneficial. Pilot the practice within a team or function that is up for change. Learn from your pilot, tweak it. Be courageous and offer the practice to employees, irrespective of age, gender and disability status. Without flexible work-life arrangements, organisations such as ours — which operate without a physical office — would not exist. We all have professional and commitments outside of Lean In Malaysia, so technology, applications and digital media enable us to work from separate locations and at our convenience. We are able to maintain a high level of quality and professionalism because of the flexible working culture” — Sangeeta Matu, Head of Partnerships
When your work’s purpose is about creating a better life, then there is nothing more noble than that. 
The LIFE AT WORK 2018 winners standing proudly on stage.

CEO Champions 

Tunku Alizakri Alias – Employees Provident Fund 

CEO Champion (Public Sector Organisation)

“It is more about not categorising people into convenient labels such as Gen-Y and Gen-Z because at the end of the day, they are all people. They might be motivated differently, do their work in their own unique way but we have to treat all of them like people. To a certain extend, we as leaders have to be able to transport ourselves into their shoes.” — Tunku Alizakri Alias, CEO

Noor Mohd Helmi Nong Hadzmi – IX Telecom Sdn Bhd
CEO Champion (Small and Medium Organisation)

“At IX, we look at worklife practices differently. IX encourages our teams to have as much life in their work as they can — as long as their performances are intact.” — Noor Mohd Helmi Bin Nong Hadzmi, Group CEO

Datuk Abdul Farid Alias – Maybank
CEO Champion (Malaysian Organisation)

“We know there is no one-size fits- all when it comes to work-life practices, but by relooking the ways of working — finding the right fit for each of our employees and what works best for their teams — work-life practices can have vast benefits and be a true win-win for the business and the people. The bottom line is to do it now, learn from the implementation and strengthen quickly in response to learning.” — Nora Abdul Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer

Chua Chai Ping  – Experian (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
CEO Champion (International Organisation)

“I firmly believe that people are at the centre of any organisation’s success, and a leader’s role is to provide the advocacy and sponsorship for diverse talent to shine. In the push for results, we must endeavour to bring everyone along.”— Chua Chai Ping, Site Leader and Human Resources Director
From Left: David Azzuddin Buxton from DRB-HICOM Berhad, Sivakumeren A Narayanan from TalentCorp, YB M Kula Segaran, YB Hannah Yeoh, Hajah Mahuran Saro Sariki from TalentCorp, Mohamad Fahmi Abdul Rahim from EPF, Kelvin Tong from British American Tobacco Malaysia

Best Leadership Team 
Dell Global Business Center Malaysia

“It is important for companies to invest in employee well-being. We need to consistently listen to employee feedback and act on it. When employees are happy, customers will likewise be happy.” — Pang Yee Beng, Managing Director, Dell Malaysia and Senior Vice-President, South Asia and Korea Dell EMC

Outstanding Practice 

Employees Provident Fund
Outstanding Practice: Workplace

“When a culture of good communication is established in a team or workplace — which includes listening actively and encouraging constructive feedback with regard to the workplace, challenges and opportunities for continuous improvement — the organisation will grow and learn where its employees want to go and help them find the path.” — Mohamad Fahmi Abdul Rahim, Head, People Matters Department (HR) 

Outstanding Practice: Workforce

“There should be decorum, with elements of fun in the workplace. Fun is essential to creating healthier, happier and more productive employees. Our coworkers are like our second family. Striking a balance between a fun environment and decorum will create far-reaching benefits for both the business and employees.” — Vila Raja, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition 

British American Tobacco Malaysia (BAT)
Outstanding Practice: Work

“Two of our four BAT guiding principles, ‘Strength From Diversity’ and ‘Open Minded’ means that we value what makes each of our people unique. We respect and celebrate each other’s differences and enjoy working together. We listen and are open to new ways of doing things.” — Kelvin Tong, Senior Manager, IT Transformation and Lead Diversity and Inclusion Advocate

From Left: Mohd Yusuri Yusof from KISMEC, Neeti Mahajan from HSBC Global Service Centre Malaysia, Fiona Fong from Hong Leong Bank Berhad, YB Hannah Yeoh, Hajah Mahuran Saro Sariki from TalentCorp

Best New Entrants and Special Mention 

Hong Leong Bank Bhd
Best New Entrant: Malaysian Organisation

“Different generations working together are a common occurrence in today’s workplace, with each having its own preferred work-life practices. A common theme within this diverse setting is in seeking a dynamic and conducive working environment. Promoting good work-life practices help companies recognise and address these needs, breaks silos and allows them to better engage with these various age groups as a cohesive and progressive team.” — Fiona Fong, Head of Human Resources

HSBC Global Service Centre Malaysia
Best New Entrant: International Organisation

“We encourage all our colleagues, male and female, to achieve a good work-life balance so they can balance their work and family commitments and perform at their best. HSBC is proud to have an inclusive culture where everyone can be their true self, regardless of gender or any other difference.” — Neeti Mahajan, Global Service Centre Director, HSBC Malaysia

Kedah Industrial Skills and Management Development Centre (KISMEC)
Special Mention

“Each company is unique. Make everyone understand the purpose of the company and how each and everyone has their special way of contributing. Understand that our people are part of our corporate family. With diversity comes a variety of ideas, attitudes, capabilities and capacities. Respect each other, focus on one’s strength and minimise the weakness. Only then will you get the most efficient and productive team.” — Mohd Yusuri Yusof, Executive Director
To learn more about work-life practices visit https://www.talentcorp.com.my/wlp or contact our team at worklifepractices@talentcorp.com.my. To find out more about the LIFE AT WORK Awards visit http://lifeatwork.my

This article was originally published in The Edge Weekly on 3 December 2018. It has been edited for clarity.