Fostering a Caring Environment with People Who Care
CapitaLand employees exhibit the Because iCare spirit within and outside the company
Issue: Feb 2012
Exemplifying the Because iCare spirit is Sun Yan (7th from the left) who not only listens to her staff but knows when to act accordingly
Listening to staff, being courageous to act on convictions, mentoring new recruits, looking out for the interests of the company and its reputation - all these are examples of CapitaLand’s employees not only doing their job, but doing it with heart.
Such behaviours are central to the Because iCare (BiC) programme launched by CapitaLand last May to encourage its employees to speak up constructively, listen actively and respond accordingly in an environment of acceptance. Through this initiative, CapitaLand seeks to create an engaging workplace where inspired employees care enough to share ideas freely. Following last issue’s feature on the inaugural BiC Awards presented in November (read Speak Up, Listen and Respond Because iCare), INSIDE brings you the other award winners who embody the BiC spirit.
Leaders Who Care to Guide
In Beijing, MarCom Manager from CapitaMalls Asia (China), Sun Yan, is a superior who shows her care for others through action. In 2009, even though she was busy preparing for a Market Research certification test, she made time to mentor a new colleague who had been assigned to do a customer shopping habits survey. Her detailed explanation and guidance not only ensured the successful completion of the project, it also became an invaluable learning experience for the young colleague.
On what inspires her mentoring style, Sun commented, “In my six years with CapitaLand, I have met many bosses who have set great examples by imparting their knowledge and skills to me, which in turn created a fair and enjoyable work environment. So I feel that whenever it is within my power, I should do the same.”
Lew Yen Ping (in yellow apron) at a Because iCare tea reception interacting with the staff
Lew Yen Ping, Area Manager for Hanoi, Ascott International Management (Vietnam), makes it a point to personally welcome new employees. When Nguyen Thi Thu Nga first joined the company, Lew was quick to drop a welcome e-mail, the first person in the company to do that apart from the Human Resource Director. In the days that followed, Lew was never without a warm greeting when she met the newcomer.
“I always believe employees are like our customers. We need to gather feedback from them to improve ourselves and the organisation, especially since they are local and know the ground better,” said Lew. “The open-door concept is how I work. We have a sign on every department head’s door that says, ‘Please come in. I want to hear your voice’.”
Lew’s encouraging spirit and willingness to mentor younger employees has certainly inspired those who work with her. Lew has taught them not to look down on their jobs and learnt that everyone has an important role to play in the company. Hence, they are heartened to continue learning and be caring to other people.
Jane Leo (second from the left) shows she cares by mentoring new colleagues
At CapitaLand Limited in Singapore, those who work with Jane Leo, Manager for Organizational Development & ICE Programme, Human Resource, CapitaLand Limited can attest to the fact that she is a mentor at heart. She takes new colleagues under her wing and guides them daily in their work and career. Her patience and willingness to listen to her subordinates, and her genuine concern for their well-being are evident of the BiC spirit.
“Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, I believe and embrace the Chinese saying,
“施比受更有福”. It is a blessing to give, to care for others and to help colleagues grow on their jobs. My working philosophy is to provide mentorship and guidance to our team and to emphasise on close working relationships and co-operation among stakeholders,” said Leo.
Xu Qian is one who is not afraid to engage stakeholders for the sake of the company while maintaining a genuine connection with all
A Leader Who Speaks Up for the Company
Even in the way they deal with external parties, the award winners exhibit the BiC spirit of speaking up, listening and responding. Xu Qian, General Manager of CapitaMall ShaWan, CapitaMalls Asia (China) in Sichuan, has been known to build relationships with stakeholders, investors, authorities and the media on behalf of the company.
To garner support for her projects, Xu has been actively engaging local authorities such as the Chengdu Industrial and Commercial Bureau, the Jinniu District Government and the Fuqin Sub-District Office. Of her ability to communicate successfully with just about anyone, Xu explained, “To build a relationship with someone, we need to be sincere. It is the same when dealing with the government. Another key is to do things with integrity. Even if we have problems along the way, if I deal with it positively, I can defuse arguments.”
Her genuine connection with people and steadfast loyalty to CapitaLand saw her reject a higher-paying job offer and doubled mall traffic and sales.
An Example of Service Excellence
When Security Supervisor, Waswo from Ascott Jakarta, Indonesia, assisted in security issues following the 2009 Earthquake, he found himself caught between the work contractors had to do and the level of service and convenience guests had come to expect of the serviced residence. He would often speak up to the management to ensure the project would be completed on schedule and that guests would be comfortable. But he was also always thinking ahead to find solutions.
To keep guests in the loop and pre-empt complaints, he sought permission to inform guests ahead if the renovation would be particularly loud. When the service lift broke down delaying the contractors’ work, he was quick to allocate a guest lift for the contractors’ use and sensitive enough to manage guests who had been inconvenienced. Because of his warmth and sincerity in explaining the situation and apologising, most guests took the construction work in their stride.
“In my experience, good people skills start with us. We should have a healthy self-image and remain positive in order to communicate and share ideas and experiences. My love for my job and appreciation of our guests constantly motivates me to strive better,” said Waswo.
With employees already embracing the Because iCare spirit in their own unique ways regardless of designations and geographies, CapitaLand is making good progress in creating an engaging workplace that inspires and builds people.