Having gathered that health and family are focus areas for Bureau Veritas' employees, Eugene Tan, Manager HR, and his team, set out on a consistent effort to support these.
Bureau Veritas is a leader in testing, inspection, and certification services (TIC). In the Southeast Asia region, it has offices across all 10 member countries of the ASEAN states; Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, The Philippines, and Brunei Darussalam.
At the 10th annual edition of HR Excellence Awards, Singapore in 2022, Bureau Veritas won the gold award for 'Excellence in Work-life Harmony'.
In view of this achievement, we catch up with Eugene Tan, Manager, Human Resources, Bureau Veritas (pictured above, in centre, holding the award) on the importance of having supportive senior management to help address employee needs, as well as in providing various platforms for employees to voice out.
Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs-and-lows of your winning strategy?
There are, in fact, not many highs or lows, but it is more of a consistent effort put in by the management to try and incorporate employees’ personal lives with their work lives, to help them achieve their personal goals alongside their professional ones.
We have gathered from surveys that health and family are two of the focus areas in our employee population.
With that finding, we then prioritised those areas with complimentary health screening, cycling, and badminton events just to name a few, that are extended to their family members to take part in. Other initiatives such as aiding employees’ personal development by supporting further studies, and allowing flexible work for unique cases, are what we are proud of as well.
Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft out this perfect solution?
The senior management has all along been supportive in attempting to address employee needs to the best of their ability, and we have various platforms available for employees to voice out as and when they would like to. The openness from management to receive feedback has allowed HR to propose and execute initiatives with minimal fuss, and it is the harmony between different job functions at different levels that is key to the success we have achieved.
Similar to the previous year, we are heartened to have the support of both Christina Tan (Vice President of Human Resources for our CIF APM Region division) and Adrian Lo (Director, Country Chief Executive for our CIF Singapore division).
Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side?
We have witnessed a marked improvement in employee retention as the attrition rate has visibly dropped, although the current global economic situation may contribute to that as well, it can still be seen that employee satisfaction in most groups out of all our business units has increased. Absenteeism numbers have also decreased, in part due to the flexibility given to work from home on some days, as well as the programmes put in place to enhance employees' physical wellbeing. Engagement is also gradually rising as seen in the participation rate of surveys and events, which are common indicators to measure the effectiveness of things that we roll out.
Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?
A sincere thank-you firstly to all who have supported us on this journey, and that we would also like to keep up or better what we have achieved to date.
Business challenges will only get tougher, so the onus is also on us to adapt and see how we can still continue to develop what we have, yet not do it at the expense of the company’s financial health. To the employees, the Management and us will remain innovative and inclusive, to work towards having healthier and happier employees.
Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?
The focus areas are adjusting from time to time, and currently, we are pivoting towards needing to have a more holistic view of employee wellbeing. What is exciting will be how we can use technology, trends, and operational changes to shape the future of businesses and societies. We will need to be agile and highly adaptable to the constant changes to more effectively support employees moving forward. Only with engaged employees, can it then permeate across businesses and societies. Bureau Veritas is looking to contribute in shaping a better workplace, a better environment, and eventually, work towards our commitment – 'Shaping a Better World'.
Image / Bureau Veritas (featuring the interviewee, Eugene Tan, in centre, holding the award)
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!