Clara Ngan Director of group human resources and administration, The Miramar Group
As a caring company, the Miramar Group aims to provide an environment which encourages innovation and allows for work-life balance. There is an entrepreneurial spirit among employees, whom we regard as the building blocks of our success. In particular, we see the promotion of employee wellness as a key aspect of corporate social responsibility.
In recent years, we have made sustained efforts to improve various employee-benefit programmes. For example, since 2007, we have been part of the YMCA corporate membership scheme, so that everyone in our team has the chance to exercise in the sports centre during lunch breaks or after work.
At the group level, we make it a point to promote cross-departmental communication wherever possible. One way is by organising gatherings for internal award winners and people in different departments who have their birthdays that month. There are games, a lucky draw and prizes.
Within individual hotels, we have formed "play groups" to organise smaller social events such as mahjong competitions, hiking trips and singing contests.
When we started to renovate The Mira Hong Kong in 2008, we added facilities to help staff maintain their work-life balance, such as a "sleeping room" with bunk beds where they can rest during breaks and a "play room" with a pool table, internet access, television and video games.
Feedback from staff
The feedback is very positive and team members do socialise with each other outside of work. They like the facilities and definitely enjoy relaxing in the "play room". One idea we are acting on is to organise a sports tournament this year.
Amy Lo Regional market manager and chairperson of ‘All Bar None’, UBS Wealth Management
"All Bar None" (ABN) is the umbrella network that UBS uses to reinforce its concept that each employee is important to the organisation. Its three primary objectives are to enhance career development and communication skills; to educate staff in maintaining a healthy work-life balance; and to support them in dealing with family responsibilities. The first ABN network in Hong Kong was set up in 2006.
Activities are in line with the three broad categories outlined above. For example, a recent event focusing on career development took the form of an exclusive dialogue with Cherie Blair, the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair. She explained to employees how she strikes a balance between having a high-powered career and being a mother of four.
We also arrange an annual wellness fair designed to help employees alleviate stress, and improve their health and well-being. It includes demonstrations and advice on fitness. Experts are there to talk about alternative medicine, spiritual healing, massage therapy and the benefits of outdoor sports.
Thirdly, the aim of our family friendly series is to help employees manage the various responsibilities they have at home.
Feedback from staff
The response from employees has been universally positive. ABN initiatives not only enhance perceptions of UBS in the community, but also reinforce the firm's reputation as an employer of choice.
To complement the programme, we have an active diversity strategy. In Hong Kong, where talent is at a premium, a strong diversity strategy can help attract and retain high-quality employees.