"We reached out to our employees via sensing calls to check on their wellbeing and get feedback on how the company can support them," Cindy Chua, Head of HR, APAC, Check Point Software Technologies, shares.
At the Employee Experience Awards 2021, Singapore, Check Point Software Technologies received the silver award for Best In-House Certification Programmes.
In this interview, Cindy Chua, Head of HR, APAC, Check Point Software Technologies, shares the secrets behind this win - how the organisation adapted and expanded its business strategies to suit the current pandemic climate and the needs of its workforce, all while protecting governments and businesses from the dangers of the digital realm.
Q Congratulations on bagging this award! What is your award-winning employee experience strategy that led to this win?
As a cyber security company, we are at the forefront in the fight to make the world a safer place online, and we believe our employees are central to keeping governments and businesses protected. This is why we continuously invest as much as we can in them so that they not only continue to grow professionally, but also have a positive experience at every stage of their journey with us. The pandemic has resulted in huge changes for everyone both professionally and personally.
Our strategy is focused on:
- Helping our employees transition to the new normal of working remotely from home;
- Equipping our employees with the tools and knowledge they needed to continue in their role of meeting the cybersecurity needs of our customers, and
- Providing employees opportunities to upskill and reskill.
Q How did you and your team conceptualise and adapt this strategy to suit evolving workforce needs in the past year?
Check Point has adhered, from day one, to local, national, and international health directives. We remain fully committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our employees while ensuring ongoing support for our customers and partners. While the past year has been a challenge, it also presented us with a unique opportunity to recalibrate and redesign our employee experience strategy to adapt to the dynamic market environment and evolving needs of our employees.
Our objective was to ensure our employees remained engaged and developed while being supported by the trifecta of managers, tools, and processes.
- Meeting employee needs: We reached out to our employees via sensing calls to check on their wellbeing and get feedback on how the company can support them. We worked closely with our people managers to understand the changing business needs versus our employees’ needs and adapted our HR initiatives to work better even without the physical, face-to-face element.
- Key initiatives delivered online: Most of our initiatives moved online, including new employee onboarding, as well as our buddy and mentorship programs. In addition, we held weekly sessions known as “Cyber Mondays” to update our salesforce with knowledge and information that would aid them in their work. This key initiatives such as remote onboarding journey, buddy and mentorship system, “Cyber Mondays”.
- Upskilling online: As we worked to ensure our workforce remained future-ready, we launched various in-house certification programs online, e.g. Cloud Ninja, to ensure our employees still had the opportunity to upskill and reskill to meet the evolving needs of the organization and market.
Q What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?
With the onset of the pandemic, we had to reinvent the way that we worked and learned.
Change management became critical as we worked relentlessly to support our employees as they transitioned to the new normal.
Everything moved online, and while it may have lessened face-to-face interactions, ultimately we found that were able to benefit from the new approach as it lowered the barrier to entry for our employees.
For example, in the past, people had to travel to attend events and training workshops in an appointed country. This required employees to set aside a huge portion of their schedules to travel in person. This was difficult especially for our sales professionals, whose schedules varied widely. By having events and training workshops fully online, it made it easier for employees to participate and for us to plan and carry out cross-country events.
We also collaborated with various internal functions, e.g. information system, facilities, etc. to ensure our employees were equipped with the necessary tools to work and collaborate with one another regardless their location.
Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience in your organisation, in terms of ROI?
We found that our organisation was no longer confined by barriers such as geographical locations or time zones. We saw an increase in employee participation across events and workshops. The strategy also opened doors for us to kickstart new initiatives in talent development and recruitment. One of the key ROIs was better collaboration among our employees regardless of location. For example, our security engineers were able to better support our sales professionals, and this had a positive impacton our sales pipeline and revenue.
Q What is the most exciting and valuable thing about being part of (and winning at!) the debut Employee Experience Awards?
Receiving the award validates our efforts towards ensuring a positive employee experience for our employees and encourages us to continue our efforts in ensuring that our employees have the support they need to be at the forefront of the industry.
Q Looking ahead, what else do you have planned as you continue to enhance the overall employee experience?
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we remain ready to adapt and are always looking out for ways to better ensure that we are providing our employees the support they need.
Asia-Pacific is a key region for Check Point and as we continue to grow rapidly especially in this part of the world, employees remain at the core of everything we do and we will continue to focus and invest in our employee where possible with various initiatives, including on their wellbeing and continuous development for the future.
Q Do share some tips to inspire your peers who are working on their EX strategies and would love to participate in the awards next year.
The first tip from us will be about the “what”. Always ask yourself “what is required to help the team win”.
It is not about what agenda HR wants to drive or what is easy for the organisation to do. It is about what’s matter the most to the team and what will enable them to “win the game”.
A second tip from us would be about the “how”. Here we recommend you to enjoy the process! By keeping the end goal in mind, our team was able to enjoy putting together the information and write-up. Attending the finals ceremony online was also fun and truly a memorable opportunity.
Q Lastly, to end on a fun note – if you could describe the employee experience at your organisation in one sentence, what would that be?
In line with our vision: 'new world, new opportunities', #LifeAtCheckPoint is always full of exciting and innovative experiences, where we get to pursue our passions in a holistic manner!
Image / 123RF
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!