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Active engagement boosts motivation
Published on Friday, 15 Apr 2011
Clara Ngan, Director, Group Human Resources, Miramar Hotel and Investment

A high-performing company like us attracts great talent. Our focus is how to bring new hires onboard and to promote new staff engagement. Retaining top performers is one of our key objectives. We start by taking a comprehensive and strategic approach towards integrating new employees into their jobs and ultimately the organisation.

Programmes and policies

Our new team members go through a structured onboarding programme in which we communicate the company's mission and vision, and provide tours to different operations such as hotels, service apartments and food and beverages outlets. We put special emphasis on the Miramar Guiding Principles that sum up our collective beliefs and values, and set out the behaviour and interaction that are encouraged within our organisation. The training is a good opportunity for all new team members to connect and to better integrate in the organisation by gaining good understanding of our culture in addition to our background and profiles.

Effective onboarding is a continuous effort and beginning this year, we dedicate key resources towards learning and development for new team members in their first year, as set out under the principal guidelines in "S.E.E. Approach", which stands for Stages of Employee's Experience and Exposure. We are also committed to creating an environment where staff would want to participate on their own initiative.

Another component under the structured programme is the interdepartmental team-building exercises that are offered to all team members, including new hires. "Creating Change" and "Leading Change" programmes are launched for senior and middle management. "Transformational Change" programmes are scheduled throughout the year on a regular basis.

Feedback and results

On its own, the onboarding programme is no silver bullet. The success of any initiative requires the input and support of all team members. To this end, structured feedback systems are developed to include surveys in order to gather comments on their onboarding experience, training programmes and needs for further training. We took note of the positive response towards the introduction of the survey and the results so far have been encouraging. In fact, we are now undergoing an organisation-wide employee engagement survey to identify those areas where we can further engage our team, the key to exceptional performances.

Communication is vital for staff engagement. At the group level, we make it a point to promote cross-departmental communication wherever possible. Monthly gatherings are organised to provide a more relaxed environment that allows team members to openly express and exchange ideas and thoughts. "Star of Miramar Guiding Principles" awards are given out to those who illustrate best practice at work. Monthly birthday celebrations are held to inject fun into the workplace and make the event very much a part of the team members' work life.

Motivation is an art and its success depends a lot on aligning the goals and values between the organisation and individuals, and finding the right chemistry between management and staff.

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