The importance of culture in a crisis

Charlene Tan, Regional HR lead at Motorola Solutions, reveals what makes their strategy so utterly unique

The importance of culture in a crisis

How do you define an authentic, wholesome, culture?

For some employers, it’s about inclusivity, for others reward takes precedence – at Motorola Solutions, it revolves around a set of all-encompassing values.

HRD spoke to Charlene Tan, Regional HR lead at Motorola Solutions (MSI), Asia Pacific, who revealed exactly what makes their culture so utterly unique.

“At Motorola Solutions, we strive to create an environment where every employee can contribute to his or her fullest potential,” she told HRD.

“We do this through a set of common values - ‘We Are Innovative, Passionate, Driven, Accountable and Partners’ - which bind us together.

“Our values are based on a foundation of respect, uncompromising integrity and ethics that influence everything we do. They represent not just what we believe but how we will behave towards each other, our customers, our suppliers, and all of our stakeholders.

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“By focusing on our values and PeopleFirst leadership principles, MSI strives to create an inclusive environment where every individual has the opportunity to make an impact. We also engage the organization in promoting a culture that values diversity of thought. 

“This gives each of us the chance to contribute to the best of our ability and is a driving force behind the strength of our business and the success of our employees individually, providing motivation in pushing us to raise the bar continuously.”

And this commitment to culture certainly shines through – so much so that MSI recently won HRD Asia’s Employer of Choice Award.

“It’s great to be recognised in this way,” added Tan. “Winning this award certainly motivates us to continuously raise the bar and make MSI a great place to work for our employees. 

“Furthermore, it allows us to do more with employment branding and enables us to attract the very best of the best.

“We’re especially proud of our leadership development programs, which strengthen our talent pipeline and future-proof our organization. Forthcoming, we’re looking to launch our regional Employee Mental Wellbeing program to build optimism and resilience- as well as continuing to enhance our D&I initiatives in the region.”

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The marker of a truly great company is how they manage disruption – especially when it’s completely unprecedented. COVID-19 threw many leaders for a loop this year – however, for organizations which were already exceptional, the chaos proved manageable.

“We have a robust suite of workplace digital tools,” continued Tan. “This allows us to connect seamlessly with one another - communicating and collaborating with employees working remotely.

“Things have definitely changed as we adapt ourselves to the new normal, but we are all doing our part to keep each other safe and to stay united as a team.

“The pandemic also gave us an opportunity to rethink and reinvent ourselves to the new norm of work. For us, this meant a greater use of technology to facilitate virtual meetings, training and employee engagement activities, further flexibility at work for employees and, of course, taking care of mental wellbeing.”

The old adage of turning a crisis into an opportunity has never been more apt than in the case of COVID-19. HR leaders have been critical in not only surviving this storm but thriving through it.

As for MSI, Tan believes that a flexible approach to remote work has allowed them to adjust well.

“Here at Motorola Solutions, we’re continuing to closely monitor the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she told HRD.

“The safety and well-being of our employees, customers, partners and suppliers remains our top priority. With this in mind, we have business continuity plans in place as we adjust ourselves to the ever-changing environment.  As such, most of our employees continue to work from home.”

“I believe the new normal of work post pandemic, most companies will adopt a blended work model allowing employees the flexibility to work remotely from home as well as in the office as deemed appropriate.”

Looking to the future, nothing is certain. However, as we approach 2021, there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel – and senior leadership is looking upwards.

“Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, HR will continue to play a critical role in helping organizations adapt to the ever-changing business requirements,” continued Tan.

“As such, we’ll need to rethink and reinvent the way we work. From upskilling employees in the new digitized economy to redesigning organizational flow – HR will act as the ultimate agent of change throughout 2021.”

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