Man­ag­ing peo­ple

> CIMB Group Chief Peo­ple Of­fi­cer Hami­dah Naziadin shares her thoughts on the sub­ject

The Sun (Malaysia) - - CAREERS -

10 months of on-the-job train­ing across var­i­ous busi­ness units, and a one-year place­ment based on strengths and busi­ness re­quire­ments. Op­por­tu­ni­ties may also open up for ca­reer-en­hanc­ing ex­po­sure and ex­pe­ri­ence via as­sign­ments or post­ings across CIMB’s ASEAN-wide net­work.

Last but not least, you do need to be cre­ative and in­no­va­tive. We also value di­ver­sity as an as­set.

Do post­grad­u­ate stu­dents have an ad­van­tage com­pared to those who have a diploma or a de­gree when they are be­ing con­sid­ered for em­ploy­ment?

Yes and no. Grad­u­ates who are un­able to trans­late their learn­ing into ac­tion do not have any added ad­van­tage. But as­sum­ing that post­grad­u­ates are bet­ter equipped and are able to show how they can con­trib­ute bet­ter, they would have an ad­van­tage, of course. It de­pends very much on the role. CIMB is al­ways on the look­out for tal­ent that can con­trib­ute to the bank’s growth and mar­ket lead­er­ship po­si­tion.

In re­turn, can­di­dates should ex­pect a stim­u­lat­ing en­vi­ron­ment, work­ing along­side other top tal­ents, lever­ag­ing the most cur­rent in­dus­try trends and know-how, as well as op­por­tu­ni­ties to work on teams spear­head­ing ma­jor mar­ket deals and projects, and pro­vid­ing in­no­va­tion and thought lead­er­ship in the mar­ket­place.

Is the group con­cerned about re­tain­ing work­ers or let­ting them go in favour­ing for bet­ter ones?

Like all em­ploy­ers, we want to re­tain our high per­form­ers. We en­sure that the vi­sion, mis­sion and strate­gies of the group are clearly and con­tin­u­ously com­mu­ni­cated to the staff.

We also en­sure that we pro­vide ev­ery op­por­tu­nity for them to learn and de­velop ei­ther through train­ing or ca­reer pro­gres­sion. We also need to pro­vide a com­pet­i­tive re­mu­ner­a­tion pack­age, ben­e­fits and ac­tiv­i­ties to keep the staff en­gaged.

There’s never a good time to let go of em­ploy­ees. How­ever, any de­ci­sion to let go an em­ployee has to be re­lated to the needs of the busi­ness, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion fac­tors like their per­for­mance and fu­ture po­ten­tial.

Does the group en­cour­age its cur­rent em­ploy­ees to fur­ther their stud­ies?

In­deed. We have spon­sor­ship pro­grammes for our em­ploy­ees to fur­ther their stud­ies that would ben­e­fit their work per­for­mance – be it a diploma, bach­e­lor’s de­gree or a master’s de­gree.

We have also tied up with var­i­ous pro­fes­sional bod­ies and in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing to pro­vide such op­por­tu­ni­ties.

As a woman, what do you think are the chal­lenges faced by fe­male em­ploy­ees cur­rently com­pared to those in the 90s?

I should think the chal­lenges are fewer to­day with greater gen­der aware­ness in the work­place.

Gen­er­ally, I be­lieve with higher ed­u­ca­tion and a more pos­i­tive mind­set, an in­creas­ing num­ber of women have be­come more em­pow­ered and are bet­ter equipped to take on the chal­lenges of build­ing both a fam­ily and a ca­reer. Em­ploy­ers are also start­ing to pro­vide more ben­e­fits to work­ing mothers.

For ex­am­ple, more and more work­places now have bet­ter ma­ter­nity ben­e­fits. Our main of­fices in Me­nara CIMB and Me­nara Bu­mipu­tra-Com­merce in Kuala Lumpur, for ex­am­ple, are equipped with child­care cen­tres and nurs­ing rooms.

We also have a Staff Re­ju­ve­na­tion Pro­gramme that al­lows staff to go on leave with­out pay for one to six months to man­age per­sonal com­mit­ments. For ex­am­ple, car­ing for fam­ily mem­bers who are un­well, or to pur­sue per­sonal goals. HAMI­DAH also has some ad­vice for new grad­u­ates, es­pe­cially those who have just grad­u­ated and are keen on en­ter­ing the bank­ing in­dus­try.

"I would say, 'keep an open mind and learn as much as you can'. Con­trary to most peo­ple’s per­cep­tion, I think bank­ing is both chal­leng­ing and ex­cit­ing," she said.

Not­ing her 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the bank­ing in­dus­try, Hami­dah said she has seen how bank­ing has evolved over the years, which has come a long way and it has evolved in line with to­day’s tech­nol­ogy-driven world.

"For ex­am­ple, in the past, cus­tomers had to go to the branches to get their busi­ness done but nowa­days, you can do your bank­ing from any­where, at any time, with your mo­bile phone.

"Tech­nol­ogy has dis­rupted and is con­tin­u­ing to dis­rupt busi­ness mod­els like bank­ing and the ques­tion al­ways at the top of our mind is, 'How can we con­tinue to serve our cus­tomers bet­ter and faster?'” she said.

Hami­dah pointed out that tech­nol­ogy has also cre­ated job op­por­tu­ni­ties within the bank­ing in­dus­try, like data an­a­lyt­ics, to bet­ter un­der­stand cus­tomer be­hav­iour and needs, and im­prove the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

"To that end, we also or­gan­ise com­pe­ti­tions for university stu­dents like the an­nual CIMB Data Science Chal­lenge, which is all about mak­ing use of big data, to un­earth young tal­ent for the firm," she said.

With CIMB Group be­ing an ASEAN uni­ver­sal bank and present in 16 coun­tries, Hami­dah said the group re­quires em­ploy­ees with var­i­ous dif­fer­ent skills and tal­ents as well as a more global mind­set.

"One way for us to achieve this is by hav­ing the award-win­ning CIMB-Fu­sion pro­gramme, which is the only grad­u­ate man­age­ment pro­gramme that of­fers ex­po­sure to two industries at sign up.

“Upon com­ple­tion, the staff can choose to work with ei­ther CIMB or the Fu­sion part­ner (which in­cludes PwC, Ac­cen­ture, FCBKL, HP En­ter­prise, ZICOlaw and Teach For Malaysia)," she added.

As bank­ing has also be­come an in­creas­ingly reg­u­lated in­dus­try, jobs in Com­pli­ance have also be­come much more im­por­tant to­day than a few years ago.

She noted that bank­ing has be­come more ex­cit­ing and chal­leng­ing as a ca­reer for to­day’s work­force par­tic­u­larly as CIMB em­braces a cul­ture of learn­ing and sup­port that tal­ented young pro­fes­sion­als will find re­ward­ing.

"For those of you who are con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer in bank­ing, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that in­tegrity is key.

“You are deal­ing with other peo­ple's money (and trust) so you need to main­tain the high­est level of in­tegrity and ethics," she stressed.

Hami­dah noted that bank­ing has be­come more ex­cit­ing and chal­leng­ing as a ca­reer for to­day’s work­force.

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