Carrie Mak Senior human resources manager, Otis Elevator (HK)
At Otis, we have 1,100 professionals providing installation and maintenance services for customers. Retaining high performers helps us to drive business performance and ensure the stability of the organisation. More importantly, we believe that good customer service starts with happy staff. What we see is that employees who are committed to pursuing excellence, enthusiastic and in tune with the goals and values of the company will go the extra mile to delight customers by offering exceptional service.
We retain employees through transparent management policies and staff empowerment. There is also a strong emphasis on recognition and rewards, and learning and development. The trust fostered between management and employees serves as the foundation. Our principle is to value every member of staff, regardless of rank, and we use various management communication initiatives to promote a culture of trust, respect and integrity.
Besides that, we have unveiled our "front-able" programme, which empowers staff in the field, giving them greater authority to make independent decisions. We also offer financial support for employees to take degree or associate degree courses.
Improved employee engagement has a direct impact in terms of better productivity. It helps to generate profits and improve other business outcomes. We focus on staff engagement because we see it as a natural and powerful driver of performance and results. Reflecting this, we won industry-wide recognition with the "People Management Award 2008" in the large enterprise category, and our employee turnover rate was only 5 per cent in June this year.
Lo Wong Learning and development specialist, Eaton Hotel Hong Kong
Staff retention is a big factor in the hospitality industry. It is important for returning guests to see familiar faces in the hotel as it gives them a sense of being "at home", which is a vital element in creating guest loyalty. Seen another way, employees are the essence of the company and its most valuable asset. When we lose someone, there is an impact in terms of recruitment costs, training, the workload of support staff and general team morale.
Eaton believes in promoting from within when possible. Staff are encouraged to develop their skills with different training courses, challenging assignments and taking on additional responsibilities. This definitely helps us to minimise employee turnover.
We also provide annual feedback on performance and recognise outstanding efforts by nominating an employee of the month. Continuous training opportunities, cross-exposure in different departments and job rotations in other properties are other ways for us to boost retention. These methods allow team members to develop new skills, and we are constantly surprised to see how flexible and talented they are.
Of our more than 380 staff, we have promoted 50 in the past 12 months and another 20-plus had the opportunity to transfer to other properties within the group.
Nearly 40 per cent on the present payroll have been with Eaton for more than five years and, therefore, have received long-term service awards. Last year, our turnover rate was 5 per cent lower than the average recorded among our industry competitors and, so far, we are 11 per cent below the average this year.