01 Jul 2019 12:00:00 AM

Hong Leong Bank: Ask and you shall receive

For LIFE AT WORK Awards 2018 winner Hong Leong Bank, listening to employees’ needs paves road to success.

Hong Leong Bank employees enjoying a day out together at the bowling alley as part of HLB Games. — Picture courtesy of Hong Leong Bank

“Ask questions, listen to the answers, and act.”

This is the advice from Hong Leong Bank (HLB) human resources head Fiona Fong when it comes to successfully implementing Work-Life Practices (WLPs).

Becoming better listeners was a key part of incorporating WLPs effectively at HLB where 8,000 employees now enjoy benefits like family-friendly initiatives and a completely revamped workspace.

Since winning the Best New Entrant (Malaysian Organisation) title at the LIFE AT WORK Awards 2018, the company has continued to engage their workers through surveys to stay in tune with their individual needs.

“The survey results enabled us to refine our key initiatives, offering our people better work-life integration and to help shape our desired work culture.

“An example of this key initiative is the creation of our own HLB Games, where our people simply sign themselves up and head to the nearest bowling alley on selected days, helping them forge closer bonds amongst themselves,” said Fong.

While it took time for managers and supervisors to adjust to the new routine, HLB group managing director and chief executive officer Domenic Fuda said that upper management is now more accepting towards WLPs by keeping the company’s objectives in mind.
Female Hong Leong Bank employees in Melaka were gifted with flowers in conjunction with this year’s International Women’s Day. — Picture courtesy of Hong Leong Bank
“We are seeing a greater willingness on the part of supervisors and managers to be more receptive to new ideas and feedback from our own people, and perhaps more importantly, to act on what matters most to them while driving collective alignment and overall business goals,” said Fuda.

He added that the company has seen tangible improvements since putting WLPs into place.

“We are now more cohesive in our conduct and actions as an organisation. With more than 8,000 employees nationwide, our culture of trust, integrity and high performance is firmly taking shape, guided by our deep-rooted entrepreneurial heritage.”

Hard work is always recognised at HLB through celebrations like International Women’s Day where every female employee is surprised with a floral arrangement, and the uniquely-titled Apple-ciation Day which saw employees receiving an apple and a heartfelt note as a token of appreciation.

Every HLB employee received an apple with a personal note from Fuda on Apple-ciation Day, April 30. — Picture courtesy of Hong Leong Bank

Such events encourage employees to interact with each other on the company’s internal communications platform where workers posted pictures of their gifts and built stronger bonds with their colleagues through digital engagement.

Diversity and inclusion are also important factors driving HLB’s initiatives to better serve their customers, employees, and the communities around them.

Activities like HLB Games allow workers from different age groups and teams to mingle with one another and foster stronger working relationships.

Through these projects, the company stays committed to engaging and addressing the needs of their 8,000-strong workforce to retain staff, increase productivity, and attract top talent to strengthen their competitive edge in the market.

Hong Leong Bank won the Best New Entrant (Malaysian Organisation) title at TalentCorp’s LIFE AT WORK Awards 2018. Submissions for LIFE AT WORK Awards 2019 are now open until 5 July 2019. For more information, visit www.lifeatwork.my.

The article was originally published in The Malay Mail on 27 June 2019.

The LIFE AT WORK Awards is the most comprehensive Diversity & Inclusion award framework in Malaysia. It recognises organisations that have championed the Diversity & Inclusion agenda. For more information, visit https://lifeatwork.my