Our associates always remember how companies and their managers treat them, even more so when the times are difficult, says Cheeman Mendonca, HR Business Partner – APAC, EMEA Growth & LATAM, Mölnlycke Health Care.

In response to COVID-19, what were some of the key changes made to your total rewards programme?

At Mölnlycke Health care, we have continued to support clinicians and health care professionals through the supply of high quality personal protective equipment. This has helped us mitigate some of the business impact for our wound care products due to the elective surgeries being cancelled.

To motivate our teams, we made several changes to our rewards and recognition programmes. In Q2 we announced that all our sales associates on quarterly incentive plans would receive at least 50% of their target incentives irrespective of their achievements. For Q3 and Q4, we have rejigged our incentive payout curves and come up with additional incentives and spot awards for stretch performances.

To recognise specific individuals and teams that have gone above and beyond, we launched a special COVID-19 recognition with three distinct categories – the Extra Mile Award, Leadership Award and the Executive Award. There is a clear criterion for each award category and a well laid out nomination process with timelines. The winners are announced in the global and regional town halls.

In Singapore, we tied up with HeyAlly (Doctor Anywhere), allowing our associates to see doctors online and have the medication delivered to their home address. We also extended our insurance coverage to spouses who are working but do not have insurance coverage in their work.

Our associates always remember how companies and their managers treat them, even more so when times are difficult.

As we emerge into a new normal, what are some of the marked changes you expect to see?

Pre-COVID-19 or post-COVID-19, there will be a demand for talent and that will continue to be the competitive edge for organisations.

I believe there are two types of people – ones who are proactive and make things happen and then the rest who follow. Organisations need to hold on to the first category and that will not happen only through monetary rewards, but with a holistic focus on career, culture, contribution and learning. Line leaders will continue to play a crucial role in retaining talent.

A lot of organisations have already done away with annual performance ratings and are focusing on ongoing, real-time development conversations. Shorter cycles with more autonomy for managers to take fast, analytics-backed decisions on rewards is going to be the way forward. There will be a lot more focus on the health and mental wellbeing of associates. With COVID, the locational constraints of a job reduce significantly. That will help to build a diverse workplace, but also keep compensation experts busy designing equitable packages.

In line with the change, how do you expect your role to evolve?

Being agile and proactive is key. Anticipating how things will evolve and making decisions without having all the information will differentiate the best from the rest. I believe the core to a great HR professional is how well one understands the business landscape and uses that to advise leaders to make informed decisions about business and people.

Empathy, authenticity, and vulnerability are the core virtues that have stood apart in the crisis for leaders; being comfortable around not having all the information and letting go of our tendency to control; and understanding that emotions are an integral part of an individual and making efforts to build deeper connections – these will be important as we get into the new normal.


This interview has been published exclusively in the Jul-Aug 2020 issue of Human Resources. Read this edition of Human Resources, Singapore:

hrsg jul aug20


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