In the waves of turbulence and uncertainty, how can confidence and resilience of the associates facilitate organization moving forward?

After three years under the pandemic and boarder restrictions, last month, I had the chance to visit my colleagues in Asia Pacific for the first time. I joined the current company during the pandemic; it was not easy or comfortable to shift a life and career from a place to another under all the uncertainty. From that time on, every company and every personnel tried all means to be connected virtually with a hope that the teamwork and resilience could be as strong as was before the outbreak. Hybrid working model since then became popular and ubiquitous, and we are all still learning how to live and work with this new normal world.

Structural review could be a good help to the company 

Before joining the company, I had supported many international companies to be well-organized through structural review as a consultant or in-house COE role. This practice can facilitate companies to systematically check the health of the organization structure, over layering, position inflation, etc., these organization development symptoms can be ignored easily.

We try to have this structural practice by leveraging data and visualization platform to draw the attention from the top management team, to help team recognize the structural pain points, and to support them to introduce some interventions in their countries. These digitization tools can empower HR management and provide strategic direction.

Process-wise standardization and benchmarking could be a stimulus for a team to learn from each other

One of key role as an APAC HR lead is to create, deliver, and drive people agenda for the company. For both business operation and support functions, an adequate and solid foundation can stabilize the team to run with fewer gaps and frictions. Teamwork and synergy play a key role to facilitate functional professionals to collaborate as a team.  People working in a company with more than 100 years of history and most of their tenure is long, as you could imagine, people in charge of certain tasks is not because of the role and responsibility but is due to their enriched experience. Those tacit knowledge embedded within experience is an asset, however, it may gradually become a liability especially in this fast moving and everything digital era.

“For both business operation and support functions, an adequate and solid foundation can stabilize the team to run with fewer gaps and frictions. Teamwork and synergy play a key role to facilitate functional professionals to collaborate as a team.”  

We got committed supports from knowledgeable and experienced colleagues to clarify the role and responsibility of different tasks, streamline main workflows, and recreate basic guidelines and resources that aim to be easy to use and applied to APAC countries. The iterative process formulation, continuous improvement, and cross-country benchmarking are carried out by leveraging the effectiveness and transparence of digital co-working platform. These practices and knowledge sharing do help many team players across different APAC countries to learn from each other, to avoid pitfalls that other countries have been suffered, and utilize the good practices or ideas in their local implementation.

People’s good interaction and life journey sharing put us together with strong motivation and energetic momentum to move forward 

“We don’t build a business; we build people, and the people build the business” once said by Zig Ziglar. Having our people to be trained to get things done is important, but having our people to be motivated and surprise you with how work could be accomplished would be extraordinary. Our associates live out the company philosophy of “this company exists because of its people”, everyone have this mindset to encourage all the people around and to value team members who partner with you to move the needle.

Having this core philosophy in mind of our associates, there is nothing better than to let them share fun and cool moments during their journey together with the colleagues. We intentionally hold some events to let more than 10 countries’ associates to share their life moments on social media. Surprisingly, many joyful and innovative life moments are shared proactively and proudly, and we are thrilled to witness these happiness and confidence from our team and associates. More importantly, it’s about the mindset change and the progress is ongoing.

Furthermore, the “Psychological safety” that is  interwoven by trust and interaction among the associates reinforce the openness of speaking up and discussion, and these in return contribute to the positivity of organizational development. Back to the on-site visit in my business trip, the obvious change is that they are more willing to contact me for issue discussion. More impressively, some practices and resources that we have talked and introduced is now being leveraged and transformed by integrating local experiences and new perspectives.

Undoubtedly, we went through some tough challenges that usually happen during the change journey, the denial, objection, or unwillingness are what we had expected and tried to deal with. We are still on the transformation journey and believe that the change journey will be there forever in order to move on in this uncertain and turbulent world. What we believe and pursue, “this company exists because of its people” and "people doing business with people", will definitely back up the strategic initiatives and HR action on the basis of the original intention and our people. As forecasted, we indeed did a great job and witnessed the confidence and resilience of our associates to stimulate the business growth around double digits these years. That is the amazing achievement by our people.