GSK Indonesia

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Indonesia took home several awards at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Indonesia. Along with winning the silver for 'Excellence in Talent Acquisition', the team also took home the silver for 'Excellence in Workforce Mobility. 

In this interview, Saadat Perween Chohan, HR Director, GSK Indonesia, tells us why post pandemic, in the new normal, a variety of new ways of working which are more effective and can achieve better results are options for the team, and that they will not return to the 'traditional' way of working.

Q Tell us a bit of your journey reaching here – how did you get here, and what was most important to you during this process?

Our journey reaching here started with choosing and aligning categories, our core team collaborated with the wider related leadership team to write our submissions using facts, data, photos, and videos to support our submissions. Most important to us during this process was working in collaboration with the related teams.

Q What would you list as your company's most meaningful contribution to employees in the last 12-18 months?

Our company’s most meaningful contribution to employees in the last 12-18 months is that since pandemic started, we worked really hard to support all of them on COVID cure, prevention, and wellbeing support such as :

  • Employee support – Personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution for employees, and monetary support for head office employees to buy desk and chair to support work from home (WFH).
  • Flexible working arrangements – Working from home provision.
  • Medical support – Preventative medical support such as vitamin claim and health screening, 100% limitless medical COVID-19 medical coverage, full support of isolasi mandiri (isoman) COVID-19 with GSK insurance provider, telemedicine access, and more.
  • Mental and physical health that includes –
    • Employee assistance programme for mental health topics, including regular articles, webinars, and one-on-one consultation with psychologists.
    • Weekly virtual fitness activity from trained instructors, including for aerobics, yoga, and pilates.
    • Monthly virtual Health Talk from doctors and specialist, with various health topics, include healthy lifestyle, nutrition, diet, physical activity, mental health issues, stress at work.

Besides in areas of talent acquisition, we have also seen strong improvements in below areas:

  • Improvement from our 'voice of the customer' ratings. Our average rating for 'quality of candidate has increased by 20% in the past year.
  • Improved hew hire's satisfaction survey results. Improvement in candidate experience has resulted in a reduction of declined offers by over 40% from the previous year.
  • Significant savings in terms of both business time and costs (minimum disruption when there is any movement). Agency usage in 2020 is 1.7% and no agency usage in 2021.
  • Increase in the average proportion of women among total hires in Indonesia.
  • Through proactive talent pipelining, GSK now has ready successors for all of our key business roles. 

Q What are some challenges you've had to overcome, both as a CHRO and as a people leader, and how did you get past them? What was your most significant learning?

One challenge we've had to overcome, both as a CHRO and as a people leader is change management.

It is the biggest challenge especially in the pandemic situation, whether it is leadership and organisation change, or transformation (system change, culture change). And how we survive in the pandemic situation while also achieving business growth has been a real challenge.

In getting past this challenge, we also found our biggest learnings:

  • We need to see everything in a positive mindset,
  • Bring everyone to their space of resilience,
  • Strong collaboration and supporting each other is critical,
  • Go one step at a time and focus on what we can control.

And we continue to go on with this circle over and over again until we pass the challenges and changes, and see that we can be successful during the pandemic period.

Q Onwards and upwards! Can you share some highlights of your year ahead in 2022 and what your workforce can look forward to?

Some highlights of our year ahead in 2022, and what our workforce can look forward to will be that besides continuing to master digitalisation, the innovation we will pursue next is called 'performance with choice'. 

The objective of this is to have all employees who carry out office-based work do that work in a place and way that enables them to perform at their best, based on their role, team, and personal preferences and circumstances. We realised that post pandemic, in the new normal, a variety of new ways of working which are more effective and can achieve better results are options for us, and we should not return to the traditional way of working.

This initiative will explore the flexibility to work from home, remote office, or head office, with three aspects at the heart of performance with choice: helping people perform at their best, driving collective team performance, and supporting personal health & wellbeing.

Q Bring out your crystal ball - 10 years down the line, where do you see the future of HR?

Experts know more on these areas; however we predict that in the future, as we have already started looking at, more and more things will be standardised systematically and digitalised using AI.


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