Right From The Heart
Engaging the hearts of all at CapitaLand with the launch of "Because iCare" programme
Issue: Jun 2011
Right from the heart – that's the beginning of every human, every good deed and every lasting organisation and nation. Without a heartbeat, the fetus cannot survive. Without a heart that feels for the needy, a good deed will not be done. And without a heart for its people, no organisation or nation can truly last.
Because i Care
And CapitaLand knows this well. Beyond its scale of operations, the Group knows that in order to continue to build a lasting company, it needs to stay engaged with its stakeholders, right from the heart.
It has launched an exciting engagement programme aptly named, "Because iCare". This programme is all about enhancing the reciprocal relationship between CapitaLand and its stakeholders.
"We want to show our staff, tenants, community, shareholders, customers and contractors that we care for them and in turn we win their hearts for the company as well," says Mr Tan Seng Chai, CapitaLand Deputy Chief Corporate Officer. "This initiative is to build a positive working environment and our staff can share their views, ideas, feedback or suggestions more freely and more readily. They will speak up more on things that can help the company to progress, because they care," added Seng Chai.
The programme was launched on 20 May 2011 or "520". The numbers "5-2-0" are a common net lingo to symbolise "我爱你" or "I love you" among the netizens in China as the numbers read out in Shanghainese sounds like "我爱你".The choice of the date thus incidentally gels in well with the essence of the "Because iCare" programme, making it a date to be easily remembered as CapitaLand begins its transformational journey.
CapitaLand is committed to winning the hearts of both its internal and external stakeholders.
At the launch of the "Because iCare" campaign, Mr Yip Hoong Mun, Deputy CEO (Vietnam) of CapitaValue Homes, a strong advocator of this campaign, shared a common saying, "Win the hearts, you shall win the war. Bind the hearts, you shall have a lasting dynasty." Using an analogy from The Three Kingdoms (Wei, Shu and Wu) period in Chinese history, Mr Yip explained the importance of having hearts as the foundation of the company. The Three Kingdoms period is famous for having an abundance of talents. Statesmen Guan Yu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei as well as strategist Zhu Ge Liang lived during this period from 220–265 BCE. Within this period, technology also advanced significantly. For example, Shu chancellor Zhu Ge Liang invented the wooden ox (an early form of the wheelbarrow), Wei mechanical engineer Ma Jun invented a hydraulic-powered, mechanical puppet theatre, a square-pallet chain pumps for irrigation of gardens as well as the ingenious design of the non-magnetic directional compass operated by differential gears. Still this Three Kingdoms period in Chinese history lasted only a mere 46 years.
"Even though The Three Kingdoms had a lot of talent, they didn't last long. We can learn from this. We cannot rely on talents alone. We want to build a lasting organisation by winning the hearts of our people," explained Mr Yip.
Mr Yip alludes this to the foundation of a lasting marriage. He shared an advice his mother gave him about finding a wife. "She said that I must choose a wife not based on body or looks but choose one with a good heart. So in the same way, when we communicate from our hearts, a stronger and long-lasting foundation for the company is built."
Mr Liew Mun Leong, President and CEO of CapitaLand Group, quoted an ancient saying in one of his Sunday emails to the staff: "Words are the voice of the heart." By speaking up what is in the heart, it will come across as sincere and caring.
"We encourage our staff, our tenants, our stakeholders and our community to speak to us from their hearts, share with us their views, suggestions on any concerns in relation to their work with us. This is so that we can progress and build a long-lasting company together," Mr Liew elaborated at the launch.
"We want to build a more open culture of staff speaking up but it is also important to note that not all the things spoken will be acted upon or adopted. The leaders in the company are expected to consider ideas or proposals and decide to do or not to do based on what makes sense for the business," added Mr Liew.
The "Because iCare" Journey
The "Because iCare" journey promises to be an exciting one with many activities and platforms for people and management to engage each other and share openly.
Skip level sessions (conversations between management and two levels below), managerial training sessions on emphatic listening and communication skills will be organised. Senior executives should practice more of ‘management by walking around' (MBWA) to enable more informal conversations or ‘corridor talks' with staff. At the CapitaLand's Anniversary Dinner in November this year, there will also be the launch of the "Hearts Awards" to reward staff who have shown exemplary behaviour of putting their hearts into their work.
So as CapitaLand moves into the next lap, be prepared for a rejuvenating and inspiring journey because the company and the staff care.