All about ACQUISITION, RETENTION and TALENT DEVELOPMENT
by Herbert Vongpusanachai - Managing Director, DHL Singapore
In Singapore, the greatest HR challenges are acquisition, retention and development of talents. Singapore has a low unemployment rate of 2.2%, which is close to zero unemployment in the country. Thus, the HR field is highly competitive and makes acquiring, retaining, and developing talents challenging. This generally applies across all industries in Singapore and not just the logistics industry alone.
One of our key thrusts is talent development through internal promotion and international experience for employees who continue to deliver solid performance year-on-year, and demonstrate the right competencies and behaviours required for their respective roles. What companies can do is to offer employees competitive remuneration, career growth and development opportunities according to their career aspirations, recognition as well as encourage regular engagements with members of the senior leadership team. In DHL, we also have our annual Employee of the Year awards programme which honours staff who has made a significant contribution to their department or company’s growth, and for excellent customer service. At DHL, we look at the retention rate of high-potential and high-performing employees, internal promotion and succession rates, as well as results from our annual Employee Opinion Survey.
by Clifton Chua - Managing Director, FedEx Express Singapore
The top HR challenges for the logistics industry are talent acquisition and retention especially in Singapore’s volatile job market and tight talent pool situation. We are focused on cultivating a work environment that rewards individuals and fosters a strong team spirit, creating an environment conducive to employee retention and development.
First, we emphasise on employee engagement. We have an extensive range of workplace practices designed to engage employees at every level of the organisation and ensure that they consider themselves an integral and important asset to the company. We strongly promote open and two-way communication between management and employees. This gives employees the opportunity to communicate with management regarding all aspects of the company and to take ownership of their work responsibilities. FedEx conducts employee surveys to determine the attitudes, preferences and opinions of employees about working at FedEx. Whatever their role, the company actively seeks feedback from staff via Survey – Feedback – Action (SFA) form. In addition, town hall-style meetings bring everyone in the department - from the managing director to frontline employees - together in an environment that is conducive to two-way communication.
Second, FedEx has a strong promotion-from-within culture. Our career progression policies lay the groundwork for career paths up through top management and laterally into new areas. Many of our managers started in front-line roles like couriers and they have developed themselves through various training opportunities both internally and externally, with the full support of the company. More than half of our global management team has risen through the ranks of the company. For example, David Cunningham, FedEx Asia Pacific President, began his career sorting and loading packages in the company’s Memphis hub. In Asia Pacific, 70% of our management team is promoted from within. In Singapore, 64% of our management team is promoted from within.
We provide a development programme that prepares employees for promotion so that they have a clear, concise career path. Frontline employees receive approximately 50 hours of training per year; management and professional employees receive approximately 40 hours a year. Another initiative is the GOLD (Growth, Opportunity, Leadership and Development) programme, which is a pre-management training programme that provides all employees with the opportunity to advance into management. Third, FedEx also has a range of awards which recognises employee contributions, champion and reward excellence.
by Eunice Goh - HR Manager, UPS Singapore
The two biggest issues facing the logistics industry are staffing and retention. This is probably more evident in Singapore because of its tight labour market. Broadly speaking, many roles in the logistics sector require certain skills and talents. UPS adopts a rigorous hiring process to ensure that the company hires talents with the right qualifications and experience and who fit into UPS’ corporate culture which focuses on nurturing its people. With the growing need for logistic professionals, retention has also become an issue with headhunters who are always on the lookout for experienced individuals within the logistics industry. UPS has a rotation programme that enables employees to move into different roles in order to learn different skills and capabilities and challenge them to improve themselves. This programme has helped UPS retain its staff. One of UPS’ key values has been to practice diversity in its corporate culture. UPS hires a mix of foreign talents for various positions and ensures that the company’s compensation remains competitive.
Additionally, the company has implemented an extensive Employee Relations Initiative which allows the company to engage the employees early on, should they have any issues or concerns. Such engagement has been helpful in understanding staff challenges and do contribute to retaining employees. As a retention strategy, we also believe in promoting from within. We have discussions with our employees to ensure that they have a clear career development path in the company, depending on their interests and skill sets. UPS measures its success in dealing with HR challenges by its turnaround time for recruitment as well as ensuring that turnover rates are kept to a minimum.