Acquiring knowledge, skills, and competencies to enhance professional growth and performance is inevitable in today’s life. Companies have been offering various training programs, workshops, mentoring, coaching, and educational opportunities, aimed at improving employees’ capabilities and fostering continuous learning within an organisation.
People Matters spoke to Dr Nattaya Chokekanoknapa, Group Human Capital Director, Chang Beer Co Ltd, (a subsidiary of Thai Beverage PLC), who was awarded at the CoachHub Top L&D Leaders Awards (SEA) 2023, on identifying skill gaps and ways to address them.
What opportunities for career growth and professional development does your company offer to its employees?
Career growth opportunities are limitless in our company because the business is expanding internationally. Moreover, one of the commitments of the company is to provide career opportunities to our people. Therefore, career rotation is one of the practices, which provide opportunities to employees to learn and explore their desired job functions.
In terms of professional development, we embrace the potential of our people. We see that on-the-job learning is the best way for employees’ development through practice and self-experience. We also provide coaching and buddying along the way of the professional development programs. Besides classroom training, we also provide other programs such as career counseling to the employees to ensure they succeed.
How does the company assess the training needs of employees and determine the skills and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed?
We normally review the training needs of the employees, both functional skills and soft skills by assessing their development areas stated in the IDP (Individual Development Plan). The employees will have their own KPIs which are reviewed with the line managers twice a year. The purpose of having IDP is to strengthen their strengths and reduce their development gaps in order to reach their professional career goal. Therefore, the trainings are planned based on the skill gaps that need to be strengthened or developed. We also believe that the success in development will not only be determined by the support of their line managers, but also by the employees’ commitment to their development plans.
Do you have any specific programs or initiatives in place to develop leadership skills within the organisation?
Yes, we have leadership development programs for middle manager, senior manager and executive levels, not only classroom trainings, but also field activities and on-the-job learning as well. We also have senior executives as our mentors and coaches to provide guidance, motivation, and support.
Does the company have a performance management system in place that aligns with learning and development goals? How are these goals measured and tracked?
As mentioned above, the learning and development goals must be aligned with IDP. Professional development is the commitment between the employees and line managers to assess, develop and monitor the development progress. In our company, we use a performance management system (PMS) as a tool to support learning and development, by having an individual KPI called “people KPI” which is linked to the learning and development plan. The PMS is used for tracking and monitoring the progress of development at least twice a year.
What measures does the company take to ensure a healthy work-life balance and the safety and well-being of employees, considering the nature of the industry?
Our company is accepted as a DJSI (Dow Jones Sustainability Indices) World member by S&P Global for six consecutive years, and for seven consecutive years as an Emerging Market member (as of December 2022). One of our commitments is to be ASEAN’s Stable and Sustainable Beverage Leader. According to S&P Global’s ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance), employee wellness is a part of the commitment. We believe that promoting ESG in the workplace can increase employee well-being and productivity. Moreover, it attracts and retains talents. We also set up wellness committee to ensure a healthy work-life balance and the safety and well-being of employees.
Can you describe the company's approach to promoting a safe and inclusive workplace culture that accommodates employees with different preferences?
As part of our company strategies, professionalism is a way to build and high-performance workforce leveraging cross-country synergies. Therefore, we embrace diversity. We have colleagues in many countries i.e., Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, Scotland etc. We also respect human rights including those of all stakeholders and comply with national and international laws by treating all business units equally, proactively manage human rights issues through the Human Rights due diligence process, and provide knowledge, training, and support for our employees, suppliers, and customers to strictly respect the Human Rights of all stakeholders in their businesses.
How does the company engage with its employees to gather feedback and address their concerns or suggestions regarding workplace policies and practices?
We conduct quarterly engagment surveys to know and address employees’ concerns. We also set up working committees’ that are comprised of executives, line managers and employees to solve and follow up on the issues raised by employees and to ensure all the issues have been addressed. Moreover, we also have townhall meetings and executive roadshows to communicate the policies and directions of the company.