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Building People for Better Business

What every company can do to build strong “people” pillars.


Building People for Better Business

It’s very seldom that you hear a CEO of a company refer to staff as a masterpiece. Yet this is exactly what Sherwin Tien Siregar, CEO of sound and vision lifestyle solutions company, Atlas Sound & Vision, constantly does.

“Our people are the pillars of our company’s success and our experience shows that prioritising staff training and development delivers good results and experiences to our customers,” he explains.

Mr Siregar feels the main way to achieve this is to have happy and driven staff.  He notes, “We look into each person’s individual success and not just our company’s success alone.”

It’s no surprise then that Atlas bagged the “SME Employer of the Year Award” at this year’s Annual HRM Awards, organised by publisher HRM Asia.

With about 100 employees in Singapore, Atlas applies its tried-and-tested principles to guide and drive it human resource strategies. Its recipe for human capital success includes:

1. Being clear about the company’s values, culture and vision
Atlas’ values – passion, excellence, integrity, innovation and respect – are incorporated into the company’s performance appraisals. Explaining this, Mr Siregar says that when the whole company is clear about its values, hiring and retaining people tends to work out well.

2. Adopting a strengths-based approach
The focus is on each individual’s unique talents and developing this further rather than focusing mainly on their weaknesses. Doing this allows for better deployment and ensures growth for both employees as well as the company. “This way, we can take the average performance to great and the great performance to super. It changes the type of conversations when it comes to improvement plans,” Mr Siregar says.

3. Believing that employees should be treated as multi-faceted people instead of just “workers”
Atlas has initiatives such as Flexi-Family Care Leave and performance conversations with employees to talk about their passions, progress and experiences at work as well as looking at opportunities to help them grow, all of which form part of the larger performance management process. The company also has a “bonding fund” strategy that encourages employees to initiate meaningful team bonding activities by providing additional funds when more departments are involved.

4. Building a talent pipeline through collaborations
Don’t force a square peg into a round hole. “Find the right hires whose values match the company’s,” Mr Siregar says. Atlas collaborates with Temasek Poly and hires interns from its Retail Management course to work in the company’s retail store project, Void, where real-world experience training and expertise are passed to students who manage the store. Some of these interns have even gone on to become permanent hires within the company.

5. Investing in people development, talent management and succession planning
Identify leaders and those with high potential in gaining greater competencies so the business can continue propelling forward. This is an area Atlas is focusing on this year and Mr Siregar says that they plan to tap on the Leadership Development Initiative by SPRING Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore1) to drive this.

6. Keeping a pulse on employee feedback and satisfaction
Atlas conducts an engagement pulse survey weekly where employees answer five to six questions a week. “It makes sure we are always engaged with our staff, listening, understanding as well as reacting to their feedback,” says Mr Siregar.

7. Engaging with an experienced mentor
Atlas has a one-to-one engagement with a SkillsFuture mentor who is helping to enhance its training and development plans, and coach its supervisors in the delivery of training. Mr Siregar says that they find this very valuable as their mentor engages with them specifically within the company’s context, helping it to address human resource issues and challenges faced.

8. Using software tools that help in human resource management and staff matters
“Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is great, especially for small companies, as it’s inexpensive if it’s on a small scale,” Mr Siregar explains. The company uses Gallup’s Strengths Finder – software that helps staff uncover and develop their talents, and enhance work engagement and motivation.

Visit https://spring.enterprisesg.gov.sg/HCD to discover government schemes that can help you develop your human capital.

 

1SPRING Singapore merged with IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore on 1 April 2018.

Last Modified Date: 05 Oct 2018