Winning Secrets: Medco Energi Internasional's business transformation strategy

Medco Energi Internasional took home the silver award for 'Excellence in Business Transformation' at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Indonesia.

In this interview, we speak to Iwan Prajogi, VP for Human Resources, Medco Energi Internasional, on the initiatives implemented that spurred the organisation forward in the growth of the business, as well as the growth of the workforce.

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

Driven by a growth strategy that focuses on merger & acquisition (M&A), among others the successful acquisition of South Natuna Sea Block B (in 2016) and Ophir Energy (in 2019), we started building our capability in business transformation.

The integration started with system integration (SAP & BPM) with our human resources, finance, supply chain management, and plant maintenance areas, and continued with the integration of Ophir and the alignment of human resource policies and programmes.

A critical factor in the success of the integration was the structured approach & framework driven by the integration management office (IMO). The IMO team developed a robust integration management plan and drove the implementation. Another critical success factor was change management, which engaged all personnel involved in the integration. It involved leadership meetings, change agents, informal forums, town hall meetings, organisation announcements, small team meetings, job handover socialisation & training, and the regular newsletter.

The most important aspects of the integration process were:

  • Ensuring minimum business disruption during the transition phase;
  • Executing the integration of both Medco Energi and acquired assets  to optimise business performance, and
  • Performing continuous improvement to maximise synergy from the M&A.

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

Despite the industry challenges, we continuously invested in the training & development of our people (in 2020 we invested USD2.4mn in training and education). We established three employee-led taskforces and put in place various programmes in anticipating the impacts of the pandemic: prioritising the health and safety of our workforce, their families and communities; maintaining staff wellbeing from remote working, and sustaining our business and managing socio-economic risks.

Medco Energi keeps enhancing sound industrial and employee relations through proactive engagement programmes and activities among others, by conducting quarterly bipartite meetings and industrial relations forums to reinforce industrial peace to ensure a proper and conducive work environment.

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 biggest learning?

Capability development of our people: In the challenging situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price drop, we had to think creatively to deliver our capability development programmes, by adjusting the approach from face-to-face to virtual. We successfully strengthened the talent pipeline, developed future leaders through Medco's senior leadership development programme, implemented an acceleration development programme, drove a structured mentoring programme, conducted "lead & inspire" webinars that intended to strengthen the leadership qualities in navigating the interim new normal, as well as to provide insights and motivation in coping with the challenges.

Integrate different cultures driven by Medco Energi acquisition: Our focus on integrating different cultures is by promoting open communication (e.g. through regular town-halls, training programmes), enhancing leadership (mentoring, and coaching), and aligning systems (policies, process, and procedures). We need process and time to address the challenges, establish a structured approach, and continuously measure the impacts and effectiveness of our programmes.

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

From 2022 onwards, it is important for Medco Energi to invest in the development of organisational capability, both leadership and technical, among others, by engaging world-class institutions; maintaining a harmonious industrial relation; as well as continuously looking for improvement opportunities in the performance of our organisation. We continue our commitment to diversity by creating an inclusive and discrimination-free working environment and respecting human rights. We manage our employees based on skills, competency, and performance, regardless of ethnicity, race, skin colour, religion, gender, age, marital status, and nationality.

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

We will continue to rely on virtual collaboration and ad-hoc teams to run critical projects to sustain our business by:

  • Driving more wellbeing and employee engagement programmes in response to uncertain circumstances (pandemic, business volatile, etc.);
  • Focusing on analytics and automation in HR business processes, and
  • Boosting equality, such as by involving more women in leadership and talent programmes.

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