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Andrew Tan: HR at the business core yields better performance

INTERVIEW: Rarely do business leaders focus on manpower development. Usually, they leave it in the hands of the HR lead. However, that is not the case for Silverlake Axis (SAL).

Its group managing director, Andrew Tan, treats HR as the core of the business. In the second of a four-part interview, Chief of Staff Asia spoke to Tan about the IT firm’s HR priorities and his aspirations for its people.

COS Asia: Why is HR your priority as the Group Managing Director?

Tan: We should never view good HR as a “nice-to-have”. Instead, it is a vital aspect that directly affects performance and results. There is no resource more important than the people working in our company. That’s not rhetoric but rather an evidence-based observation. We could have the most advanced technologies and the best business plans, but to get things moving, we need to ensure everyone on the team is performing at their best.

Investing in the well-being and development of our employees will make us stand out from the crowd. As a solutions provider, it is a competitive world out there. Everyone has access to similar resources and ideas. A constant interaction with external stakeholders and partners means being strong-footed internally.

COS Asia: In learning and development, what area did you have to double time with your people following the effects of the pandemic? How were the learning process and productivity back then?

Tan: We implemented a major online educational platform for our employees’ learning. We deemed it necessary as the pandemic disabled access to face-to-face training. People can get demotivated as learning new skills would be placed on the back burner. The convenience of access empowers our employees to learn anytime and anywhere while letting them curate their learning journey. This initiative is still ongoing as we understand the need for our employees to have flexibility in their development.

COS Asia: Who are the “right people" for SAL?

Tan: I think of hiring people that fit the role, skills, and goals that align with the company’s overall plans. In addition, we look for diversity in gender, ethnicity, and thought process, too. Variety adds synergy in achieving results as people learn so much from colleagues. We train them in many different ways from classroom to on-the-job training and buddy system. Those who adapt to our culture, working environment, processes, and values would usually stay with SAL for the long haul.

COS Asia: What are your aspirations for SAL employees?

Tan: For anyone who has worked at SAL, we hope that you carry our DNA, use the knowledge gained from SAL, and apply it wisely in your career advancement.

Another aspiration is for us to be able to create a great culture together that we can be proud of. Organisations tend to have different cultures due to different needs. But we look forward to evolving our own culture for the better so that employees would feel a sense of belonging and achievement.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Andrew Tan, Group Managing Director of Silverlake Axis. For further coverage please see the below link:

Andrew Tan invests in Silverlake Axis' people profitably

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