edotco Group

It was this strategy that came particularly into the spotlight during the pandemic lockdown, which made it difficult to reach out to the employee base and keep them engaged. Ramon A. Chelva, CPO, edotco Group shares more.

At the Employee Experience Awards 2021, Malaysia, edotco Group took home prizes in several categories, namely:

  • Gold - Best Soft Skills Training Programme
  • Silver - Most Inspiring Leader | Best HR Digital Transformation Strategy
  • Bronze - Best Succession Planning Strategy

In this interview, Ramon A. Chelva, Chief People Officer, edotco Group shares the secrets behind this win - a conscious effort to shift focus from employee experience to a more holistic 'people experience', while adopting a human-centric and outside-in approach.

Q Congratulations on bagging this award! What is your award-winning employee experience strategy that led to this win?

In edotco Group, we took a conscious effort to shift our focus from employee experience to a more holistic “people experience” (internally and externally), while adopting a human-centric and outside-in approach.

We define people experience as our people and organisation working together to co-create personalised, authentic experiences that ignite passion and purpose in the workplace.

Our key tenets for an enriching people experience include:

  1. An environment that embraces diversity and inclusion
  2. Purpose-driven and meaningful work
  3. Multidimensional (mosaic) growth opportunities
  4. Inspiring and authentic leadership

Q How did you and your team conceptualise and adapt this strategy to suit evolving workforce needs in the past year?

We started with an end-in-mind, reimagining what we wanted our people experience to look like in the next 3-5 years across our talent lifecycle and working backwards to achieve the goals. We spoke to leading HR consulting organizations globally to understand key macro trends, while seeking feedback from our employees to co-create our people experience.

During the pandemic lockdown, which made it difficult to reach out to our employee base and keeping them engaged, we empowered our people managers who act as an extension of HR to provide personalised employee experience for their team. Being a cloud and digital-native organization enabled us to stay connected to our employees, thus keeping engagement rates and staff morale high.

Q What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?

2020 was an exceptionally challenging year for us due to a multitude of factors:

  1. Business uncertainty from COVID-19: Given that we operate across 8 countries with differing COVID-19 infection rates, we had to be agile in tailoring our strategies and decision making
  2. Attrition in our Senior Management team resulting in further levels of uncertainty across our employee base
  3. In May 2020, one of our footprints was impacted by a major typhoon, resulting in collapse of our infrastructure
  4. As we were part of the essential services, we were required to work round the clock to maintain our SLAs while keeping our on-field employees safe

To cater to these uncertainties, we worked collaboratively to develop a nimble cross-functional COVID-19 taskforce, empowered to make decisions to optimise response time. Open and honest communication from our Leadership team also helped to instil confidence in our people to navigate through the pandemic.

Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience in your organisation, in terms of ROI? Any achievements you’d like to show off?

Based on our experience, we found that having a clear and compelling people experience strategy in edotco Group helped us to navigate through the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) landscape more effectively.

During the height of the lockdown, we ran a pulse check survey to assess how we were doing as an organization. To our surprise, we obtained a 98% positive response from our employees (across 8 countries) from an employee engagement perspective. Employees felt that wellbeing was a top priority at edotco and they are able to work productively remotely with minimal disruption. Our yearly Employee Engagement Survey also reached an all-time high despite being a lockdown year. Our attrition rate was also at an all-time low (5%).

Q What is the most exciting and valuable thing about being part of (and winning at!) the debut Employee Experience Awards?

The most valuable thing about being part of the Employee Experience Awards is the sense of camaraderie among the HR community. Personally, the Employee Experience Awards helped us network and connect with other organizations, while learning good practices from them.

It is also reassuring to know that our unwavering resilience and hard work paid off and we are moving in the right direction.

Q Looking ahead, what else do you have planned as you continue to enhance the overall employee experience?

Our key focus would be infusing more digital tools and gamification as part of our people experience journey without compromising on human-centered design at the core.

As part of our global Top 5 TowerCo strategy, we are focused on “Humanising the Bionic Organization” (helping edotco become Fitter, Faster and Far Better without compromising on the human soul) over the next 5 years to drive highest levels of emotional collaboration.

Contrary to popular belief,digital is not about cold efficiency doing away with the human touch. We believe digital can help make our people experience more democratic, more networked and more human.

Q Do share 1-2 tips to inspire your peers who are working on their EX strategies and would love to participate in the awards next year.

If we had to distil our key learnings into 1-2 key points, it would be:

While it is crucial to have an end-in-mind while developing your EX strategies, do not lose sight on the process as well. It is a common misconception that what you need to attain success is to focus on results and use these results to measure your progress. However, what we learnt was, that approach can sometimes cloud our judgement and breeds complacency. 

Focusing on the process helped us to concentrate on the task at hand, not lose sight of the true essence and spot opportunities for continuous improvement. Focusing on things within our control gives us the freedom to dig in and make real progress, thus creating the ultimate people experience.

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?

If I had to describe our employee experience in edotco in one sentence, it would have to be the following tagline:

“Engaging the hearts, minds and hands of our people is the most sustainable source of competitive advantage to win in the marketplace”. 

Image / Provided

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!

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