MyRepublic: Navigating teams with the ‘new values compass’

Updated: May 5

INTERVIEW: The pandemic is proving to be the ultimate workplace equaliser. Nobody has come out unscathed. Two years into it, many of our deeply-ingrained work practices, beliefs, and habits have been both shaken and stirred. Regardless of stature within their organisation, many people have felt a sense of loss at different levels. While others have found a deeper essence of work and life, in general, it was not without a stage of contemplating and questioning.

Chief of Staff Asia’s conversation with Deborah Woollard, Group Chief People Officer at telecoms player MyRepublic in Singapore, provides an insightful direction for HR leaders to navigate that mothership called “employee experience”, ensuring trust, empowerment, and inclusiveness at every stage. Woollard highlights the “new values compass” as the true north that MyRepublic abides by, giving employees more ownership over their careers and the company itself.

Follow Chief of Staff Asia’s exclusive story about this people navigator who has led global teams for over two decades for large scale acquisitions, integration, aggressive market expansion, and talent acceleration.

The workplace’s new values compass

COS Asia: Please tell us more about your ‘new values compass’ and operating model at MyRepublic.

Woollard: Our new values compass is our expression of the workplace culture we are aspiring to create. As a compass, it is designed to help all our team members navigate our path to success by articulating the ways of working and behavioural muscles we want to build to accelerate our growth in the new normal.

At MyRepublic, we are not looking to just make a few tweaks to processes here and there. Instead, we rethink and reimagine the entire concept of “work” based on the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic.

We started by looking at some gaps in our culture that arose as a result of people working in isolation. We also wanted to retain and broaden the benefits of working from home, and how it has amplified our existing values, including the high level of trust for each other.

Over time, this journey culminated in our new values framework and operating model centred on employee experience rather than cliche corporate slogans. It embodies new levels of trust, empowerment and inclusiveness by giving employees more ownership.

As our employees have become accustomed to doing great work remotely, we’ve taken the bold step to reimagine what “work” means in the years ahead. We need to keep ourselves agile and innovative, so we’re aware of our employees’ changing needs and priorities. “Work” now is not a place you go to, but what you deliver, how, when, and where you choose.

COS Asia: How have your employees responded to the model?

Woollard: Our team has wholeheartedly embraced the new operating model. Our employees have shared that they appreciate the flexibility that they are entrusted with, the empowerment to create their working patterns and the opportunities to recharge. Ninety-eight per cent of our employees have already taken advantage of the new quarterly Well-being Day, a day off to focus on themselves.

They have also told us they feel more respected and recognised as individual human beings through our recognition of their unique needs and passions beyond work.

COS Asia: For how long would you apply the model in the current, fast-changing environment? Do you think it will still be relevant, post-pandemic?

Woollard: This is only the beginning. Our new operating model and values compass were structured in direct response to the evolving world of work. We will commit to this model from here on. We look at more progressive and dynamic practices, further digitise the employee experience, and pilot innovative ways to work for our people to continue thriving.

COS Asia: Do you foresee any additions or modifications to the current model?

Woollard: Because our people are at the centre of these initiatives, we are listening closely to them to understand how they adapt to the current model. We ensure maintaining clear communication channels for prompt feedback. We will continue to explore creative ways to bring the human connection to our work practices and build on our employee communities. We will keep exploring technology for employee engagement and free up time and space to focus on the most important.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Deborah Woollard, MyRepublic’s Group Chief People Officer. For further coverage please see any of the below links:

MyRepublic: Navigating teams with the new values compass

MyRepublic: Building a holistic people strategy

Deborah Woollard shares her HR “north star” for MyRepublic

Getting to know: MyRepublic's HR leader Deborah Woollard

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