People are central to all that CapitaLand does. From staff to stakeholders, the real estate giant has made caring for people part of its corporate culture. As proof of how serious it is about its “Building People” philosophy, the company launched the Because iCare campaign in 2011. The Group-wide initiative aims to encourage employees to speak up without fear of repercussion, listen with an open mind, and respond with passion to effect positive change within the organisation.
The next year, to recognise those who have imbibed the spirit of BiC, the BiC Awards were introduced. 52 winners from 267 nominees were selected as representative of those who embodied the open culture and the willingness to embrace change that is BiC. At CapitaLand’s 12 th anniversary in November 2012, they were presented their awards. Here are some of their stories.
Building Relations Within
Phuong Hoa Vu, Ascott Host, Somerset Hoa Binh, Vietnam, is always eager to enhance communication and relations within the company and has no reservations about speaking up.
She is continually looking for ways to improve communication within the serviced residence. One idea that was implemented was the Suggestion Box into which staff can drop their ideas and opinions for the management to consider.
“I came up with this idea to serve as a platform for making suggestions for improvement. This is also a good opportunity for management to engage the staff and encourage them to speak up,” said Hoa.
Hoa’s ingenuity did not stop there. In yet another effort to enhance communication and relations within the serviced residence, she took it upon herself to breathe new life to an old communication board.
“We have a staff notice board that no one bothers to look at. So I decided to spruce it up. I collected good comments from the residents about their stay and the service, and “thank you notes” my colleagues received and posted them on the board. I also updated it with news from our human resource department and the latest about our serviced residence.”
The board is now a feel-good point where fellow workers can read about each other’s efforts and be encouraged.
Building Team Spirit
Wang Jian Jun, Engineering Manager, Ascott Beijing, China is another CapitaLand employee who is a firm advocate of camaraderie and team work.
“I am more of a consultative leader. I believe in mentoring and guiding my staff and providing them the support and guidance they need to do their job effectively,” said Wang.
Recently, in an effort to get his staff to quit smoking and lead a healthy lifestyle, he took them on a cycling trip to the outskirts of the city.
“I think caring for their health is one concrete way of showing we care. Healthy staff are also more productive, which would benefit the company,” said Wang.
Because of his nurturing bent, he is inclined to take newcomers under his wing.
“Being new, they are naturally uneasy and may not fit in initially. So I try to integrate them into the corporate culture and give them one-on-one training.”
For senior members of his team, Wang takes care to map out their career advancement. He is unstinting in his recommendations for them to take up supervisory or even managerial positions in other Ascott properties.
“A good leader should never be afraid of being superseded by his subordinate. If my staff does well, it is also a reflection of my department and myself as a leader,” said Wang.
Going The Extra Mile
Xiu Chun Ying, Senior Executive, Marketing Communication, CapitaMall Taiyanggong, CapitaMalls Asia is someone who can always be counted on to think ahead for the company, and channel her knack for public relations into a value-adding endeavour.
“I noticed that the outdoor plaza was under-utilised. It was used as a car park for staff but not many of us drive. So I convinced my colleagues to park at the other parking lots outside the mall and converted the area into leasable land. We found a partner and rented the space out to them,” shared Xiu.
During the warmer months, the area is a beer garden, adding buzz to the mall. When the weather is cooler, the area is converted into a carnival with rides for children. Over two years, this project has earned the mall RMB 600, 000 in rent.
Her natural charisma has helped her to work effectively with other stakeholders as well.
When she found out that the Civil Affairs Branch wanted to help the needy, she got them to support two underprivileged families that she got know from CapitaLand’s Community and Social Responsibilities (CSR) events.
Asked why she is always coming up with ways to make things better, Xiu said, “I love my job. This is a great company. So I want to do my best to make it better.”
When a company invests in its people, it grows employees who think about people as well. This has been the formula for CapitaLand’s success and one that will be likely to help it achieve sustained growth in the years to come.