Central to all CapitaLand does is People. Whether it is its staff, stakeholders or people in the cities it operates in, the Group has made caring for people a big part of its corporate culture.
Since 2011, the company launched the Because iCare (BiC) campaign, a Group-wide initiative aimed at encouraging employees to speak up without fear, listen with an open mind, and respond with passion to effect positive change within the organisation.
To recognise those who have embraced 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. Here are two winners who have made caring for children and colleagues their way of life.
Making Caring for Others a Way of Life
Her colleagues affectionately call her ‘Angel Sister Liu’. Since 2005, Angela Liu, Senior Assistant, Human Resource, CapitaMalls Asia (China) has been encouraging her colleagues to donate their used clothes. She washes the old clothes and sends them to the orphans at a welfare institute in Huarou, Beijing. She deposits the bags of clothes without leaving her name each time and she has been doing that for the past seven years. “I have kids of my own so I hope that the orphans can be well cared for, too,” said the mother of one. She has visited the orphans and donated other things such as books and stationery.
Her selfless act so inspires her colleagues that they have joined her in her cause enthusiastically. “My colleagues have been very supportive. Whenever we have collected enough clean clothes, we would send them to the orphans,” beamed ‘Angel Sister Liu’ who joined CapitaLand in 2010. She is very pleased that CapitaLand has such a strong culture in helping and building up children who are underprivileged. “I identify with the company's culture. I have participated twice in the ‘My Schoolbag’ programme and I am so happy to be given the opportunity to help others,” she added.
Angela’s caring nature extends to looking out for her colleagues. When one of her team members is down and out, she encourages her team to call and comfort the sick colleague. She also helps out with the ill colleague’s task in his or her absence. “I hope that by doing little things like that, the work environment will be a happy place for people to come to work and feel belonged,” said Angela.
Serving with a Heart Full of Love
During Valentine's Day this year, Ivy Cheah, Housekeeping Manager at Somerset Bencoolen, organised a heartwarming breakfast for all staff and even for the in-house guests. Even though work usually begins at 8.30am for her, Cheah came in at seven that morning just to make a special breakfast for all. Her colleagues have praised her for her dedication as a manager and for showing appreciation to her staff. “I am a firm believer that a person works better and efficiently in a caring environment. We spend most of our time at work and if we are able to make our workplace like home, work gets done smoothly,” said Cheah, a two-time BiC winner.
She also honoured all the mothers in her team during Mothers’ Day by organising a special Mothers’ Day gathering and thanking them for their hard work. “When my staff and colleagues are happy, it will show in their work. Most of my staffs are non-Singaporeans working in Singapore and away from their own home. The little things I do are just my way of showing my appreciation to my staff for their hard work and sacrifices,” said Cheah.
They may be little things Cheah has done, but the attention to her staff’s needs is commendable. For instance, she had observed that all the housekeeping staff went about their duties in the apartment bare-footed. Fearing that staff might sustain injuries from stepping on small glass fragments or slipping on wet marble floors in the apartment, she urged the Management to provide safety shoes for the staff.
Another time, when Somerset Bencoolen faced a construction issue and high turnover for short stays, the room attendants had given feedback that they were exhausted from having to clean the rooms with short turnaround time. Cheah heard and saw how tired they were and proposed to the Management to present them with two bottles of Bird Nest each as a form of appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
Cheah says she is very appreciative of the caring culture in CapitaLand. “I am fortunate to be working in an environment where all staff can confide in one another in good times and bad times. No matter how bad your day is, if there’s just one person who can bring cheer to the team, it makes your day better. That’s what I always aim to achieve,” chimed Cheah.
Truly, these two ladies have shown what it means to live the “Building for people to build people” philosophy with grace.