With less face-to-face meetings due to COVID-19, it is all the more important to reward and recognise good performance, says Michael Haberzettl, Head of HR, Siemens ASEAN.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, did your organisation make any adjustments to the rewards and recognition programme?

We’ve not replaced any programme, but are in the process of launching a programme that both complements existing feedback and performance management practices as well as encourages a culture of appreciation and recognition.

With this programme, peers and global colleagues are able to send ‘thank you’ cards and words of appreciation to each other; and managers are able to award ‘points’ to employees. Accumulated points can be used to exchange for prizes. We feel that during the current situation when there are less face-to-face meetings, it is all the more important to reward and recognise good performance, and this needs to come from the employer, managers, and co-workers. We believe this will help keep morale high.

With many employees continuing to work remotely across Southeast Asia, has your organisation adjusted your benefits and perks programme to better support remote workers?

We are looking into how we can adapt our benefits and perks programme to better support remote workers. Besides benefits, we are also looking into insurance, workplace safety, and more

The new normal is expected to be a hybrid of office and home working. This means we will need to have a compensation and benefits programme that can be customised for employees, depending on their workplace.

As we emerge into a new normal, what are some of the marked changes you expect to see, when compared with pre-COVID-19 times?

The new normal is expected to be a hybrid of office and home working. This means we will need to have a compensation and benefits programme that can be customised for employees, depending on their workplace. Some benefits may fall into grey areas – for example, employees may expect to have the same ergonomic office setup at home as they do in the office. We will have to balance that kind of expectation with practical provisions.

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

The C&B role will likely become even more consultative than it is today, requiring more consultations with managers and employees on their needs and requirements. The C&B professional will have to be more creative in developing propositions that accommodate both cost and impact arguments.


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

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