Marriage of Heart and Mind

Celebrating Because iCare Award winners’ heartfelt efforts to speak up, listen and respond for the benefit of company and colleagues

Issue: Mar 2013

(Standing, 2nd from left) Siew Kim with her team at CapitaLand Annual Dinner 2012; She is one of the 52 winners of the Because iCare Awards 2012
(Standing, 2nd from left) Siew Kim with her team at CapitaLand Annual Dinner 2012; She is one of the 52 winners of the Because iCare Awards 2012

CapitaLand is an organisation that values people, in the spirit of its credo, ‘Building for People to Build People’. To further its commitment to be a company with a heart, it initiated the Because iCare (BiC) campaign in 2011. BiC encourages the Group to engage staff and stakeholders alike, encouraging them to speak up, listen and respond unreservedly to improve the work, and the workplace.

Alongside BiC, the BiC Awards were introduced in August the next year to recognise employees who personify the BiC spirit.

Meet three of the winners who have successfully brought soul to the corporate world by not only doing their job, but doing it with heart.

Listening with Heart

Financial Controller, CapitaLand China (CLC) Beh Siew Kim is a leader who lives the “listen” aspect of BiC daily. At meetings, she is respectful of differing opinions and is known to patiently let others speak their minds without interrupting or cutting them off even if there are misperceptions. For Siew Kim, the people are as important as the tasks they perform.

“The only way to understand a person or a problem is by listening. It is good to gather the information first, then I can understand the person or problem better. Listening builds relationships and this motivates me to always listen first,” she maintained.

She showed her mettle as a true mentor when one of her staff who had been particularly good at her job wanted to try something different and asked for a transfer, Siew Kim put the staff’s career development ahead of her Strategic Business Unit’s (SBU) needs and was fully supportive even though it meant losing a valued colleague.

“I always put myself in my staff’s shoes and think of what they want, and not what I want,” Siew Kim explained.

“It’s when colleagues help each, regardless of which SBU they are from, then the bigger Group will benefit.”

Chun Lei (4th from left) with his colleagues at Raffles City Shanghai
Chun Lei (4th from left) with his colleagues at Raffles City Shanghai

Serving with Heart

Xin Chun Lei, Senior Executive of Finance Shared Services at CapitaMalls Asia (China) is the embodiment of willingness to speak up that BiC encourages.

He takes the initiative to organise meetings for his department to brainstorm ideas to make their work more efficient, and constantly contributes enthusiastically.

Together with Chun Lei, the team was able to come up with a more effective way of sorting out work passes by automating the process. It saved two whole working days and 12,000 pieces of paper a year. They also managed to enhance the proficiency of the AMOS operating system they were working on and improve the performance of the clearance of history cache function.

“I am always on the lookout for ways to make processes better. Because I am a straight forward person, I tend not to be afraid of speaking up. My aim is always to come up with ways to make the work of my colleagues smoother,” said Chun Lei.

As one of the project leaders of Rocket, a financial system created with accountancy firm, Ernst &Young, to support CMA’s future business growth in China, Chun Lei took it upon himself to communicate and coordinate with departments across different regions. His willingness to raise problems has inspired his colleagues to strive to improve their work environment.

“I am happy that my hard work has helped to make things better for my colleagues and has been recognised,” he said of his BiC Award.

Alice Goupil (1st from right) with colleagues from the Service Excellence and Procurement team
Alice Goupil (1st from right) with colleagues from the Service Excellence and Procurement team

Involvement with Heart

Alice Goupil, Operations Manager, The Ascott Limited (France), truly takes the spirit of responsiveness that is BiC to heart. Her colleagues who nominated her praise her for her total devotion to her job as she often goes beyond the call of duty.

She participated actively in the setting-up of an internal newsletter for Ascott’s European cluster to improve communication. Working with people from several departments including Service Excellence, Marketing, Communication and Human Resource, Goupil helped to launch L’Insider. She also contributes articles to the publication.

Another of Alice’s projects is the launch and follow-up of “SEXCI Idea of the Month” presentation. SEXCI (Service EXCellence Idea) is an electronic mailbox created by Europe Service Excellence Department for people to share their ideas or best practices.

“Every month, we receive so many ideas that are interesting. So I suggested that we create a presentation every month with all the ideas of that month so we can all be inspired and encouraged,” explained Goupil.

Because of her gregarious personality and her people skills, she is often the one others turn to organise special activities and team-building exercises. She organised the Marathon La Parisienne in which 23 women from Ascott Limited ran to raise funds for breast cancer. And she went one step further.

Alice (1st row, 2nd from right) with fellow runners of the Marathon La Parisienne for breast cancer
Alice (1st row, 2nd from right) with fellow runners of the Marathon La Parisienne for breast cancer

“Usually, by paying the registration fee, we would be given a free tee-shirt. But I suggested making personalised tee-shirts for our team with our logo and the first name of each runner so that we can all have a souvenir of this very special day. What was really nice was the camaraderie we felt that day.

Everybody was really proud to run for Ascott no matter what position we hold in the office.”

As these three people have shown, the corporate world need not be a jungle; success need not come at the price of the soul. These BiC Award winners have married matters of the heart with matters of the mind, and done so with tremendous success.

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