Fujifilm Business Innovation Singapore took home the Gold award for Excellence in Leadership Development at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Singapore.

In this interview, Jacely Voon, People, Culture & CSR General Manager, Fujifilm Business Innovations Singapore, shares the strategy behind this win – and how the organisation prioritises competency development to groom future leaders.

Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

Fujifilm Business Innovation's people, culture & corporate social responsibility (PCC) team has developed a strategy map focusing on four key strategic levers: leadership, talent, employee, and sales, to shape culture and behaviour towards a high-performance organisation.

Developing effective leaders is one of our key learning & development strategies that focuses on building competencies of our leaders to foster our organisational culture, and accelerate people’s potential and growth.

Our leadership development programmes have been designed and executed based on the 70:20:10 methodology to maximise learning effectiveness.

Our programmes focus on experiential learning, and offer the opportunity for social learning in addition to formal learning, such as instructor-led workshops and e-learning.

With strong endorsement from top management, we have made coaching an integral part of leadership development for all our people managers. We have established a platform where managers can share and learn experiences, brainstorm ideas to overcome challenges, and sharpen their leadership skills to accelerate business performance.

We have also designed and implemented a four-month intensive development programme for all our newly promoted people managers. The programme equips them with the essential leadership & management skills through the 70:20:10 approach.

Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

Our inward game strategy is to build a culture of trust, respect, team, and pride that serves as the solid foundation of people management to achieve high-performing culture.

Leaders play a crucial role in engaging, enabling, empowering, and energising our people to drive success in navigating change.

To make this initiative a reality, the commitment of the senior management team is essential. Leadership development involves heavy investment of time and resources, and will not be successful without senior-level support.

Every leader in FBSG should never stop learning and coaching—they have led by example in demonstrating their commitment to develop and nurture the new generation, and in their desire to constantly seek new knowledge.

Q Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?

Some leaders tended to focus more on performance issues than on the coaching and development of their team. They were unable to see the need for further personal growth, and did not prioritise development over their daily operational work. To executive our initiative effectively, we required our leaders to step out of their comfort zone to try new ways, and not all the leaders were ready or confident to do that in the beginning.

Effective and prolific communication is key to ensuring successful execution of any initiative. Clear communication on purpose and expectations from our top management helped to provide context on why this is important, and what success means to us. We continue to promote candid feedback and transparency so that we can address challenges and concerns immediately as they arise, and celebrate small wins to encourage positive change.

PCC actively collaborates and works alongside leaders to help them overcome barriers, and support them through the transformation journey. We provide tools, processes, and training on coaching & mentoring opportunities for senior leadership teams to help build skills and confidence to become better constantly.

Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your game plan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

To measure the effectiveness of our leadership development programme, we solicited feedback from senior leaders, people managers, and employees. An engagement survey was introduced to measure the effectiveness of the coaching programme in identifying and addressing the different development needs. We also regularly engage and follow up with people managers to understand their progress, and how the learnings have been applied to their daily activities.

In general, our employees felt a greater sense of respect and recognition. Through coaching, managers learnt and practised more empathy towards employees’ needs and emotional state.

With greater engagement and more regular 1:1 sessions, we observed a 26% improvement in performance management, setting a record high in performance results; and a 15% increase in collaboration across departments as seen from the employee survey result. A more engaged and motivated workforce has also contributed to a 9% improvement in quality and customer focus.

Overall, our leadership development programme has yielded both qualitative and quantitative outcomes to our organisation and business performance through increased employee engagement and productivity.

Q We’re now seeing HR manage portfolios that were previously considered far from their job description. In your view, what are the top three skills and attributes of today’s successful CHRO?

I would like to sum it up as hindsight, insight, foresight and oversight!

A successful CHRO is effective in leveraging hindsight to understand business and people situation, as well as learn from best practices and past experiences.

Developing the ability to draw insights can help organisations navigate the external environment, and capitalise on opportunities. Having foresight ensures that we stay abreast of trends, create values that build a stronger future, and propel ideas to move the organisation forward.

Oversight is about management. It is the mindful care of people through responsible stewardship and prudent decision-making. That is part of the success formula to execute a plan by leveraging the best potential of people and preserving the values of the organisation.


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