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Cultivating a High-Performance Culture that Thrives in Today’s Dynamic Landscape

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Speaking To.. | 0 comments

In the dynamic landscape of modern business, fostering a culture of high performance has become not just a competitive edge, but a necessity. At the heart of this endeavour lies Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Berhad (KPS), a trailblazing conglomerate that has consistently demonstrated its commitment to achieving excellence. In an exclusive interview, we delve into the strategies, values, and insights that have propelled KPS towards cultivating a culture that fuels growth, innovation, and continuous improvement.

En. Ahmad Fariz, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of KPS Berhad, unravels the intricate threads that weave the fabric of KPS’s high-performance culture and reveals how it positions them for sustainable success in an ever-evolving business landscape. Read on to discover and understand the ethos that drives KPS Berhad to reach new heights of achievement and set benchmarks for organisational excellence.

  • KPS Berhad places a strong emphasis on high-performance culture within the organisation, can you tell us a bit about how the company has built this?

Building a high-performance work culture is a journey that requires ongoing dedication and commitment. At KPS Berhad, we emphasise the importance of aligning our employees’ beliefs with the organisation’s mission and values.

We also emphasise individual accountability, encouraging each employee to take ownership of their work and play a vital role in our overall success. Our culture revolves around nurturing a sense of personal responsibility, empowering each team member to excel and create a significant impact on our corporate objectives. This commitment to accountability fosters a unified and motivated workforce that propels the Group in today’s dynamic landscape.

To drive the Group’s performance, we set high standards and goals, challenging our employees to continuously improve and surpass expectations. Our performance management system helps to ensure that employees are held accountable for their performance and that they are given regular feedback. The regular feedback and recognition help us identify each employee’s strengths and areas for growth, empowering our team members to reach their full potential.

By providing the necessary resources, training, and support, we enable our employees to excel in their roles and contribute to the organisation’s long-term success.

Through the integration of these elements, we are certain that we can establish a culture that promotes excellence and fosters a spirit of achievement. We believe that by continuously nurturing and evolving our high-performance work culture, we can overcome challenges and thrive in a competitive landscape.

  • Tell us briefly about the people who have been instrumental in instilling a high-performance culture at KPS Berhad and how they contribute through their respective roles.

Our high-performance culture thrives through the collective effort and contributions of every individual. We believe in empowering our employees, granting them ownership of their decisions and actions. This fosters a sense of accountability throughout the organisation. By aligning individual performances with our corporate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), we establish a clear connection between each employee’s contribution and the overall success of KPS Berhad. This ensures that every department and individual understands how their efforts directly impact our corporate goals.

  • What are the key components in your opinion of building a high-performance culture?

To cultivate a high-performance culture, organisations should emphasise factors beyond benefits and incentives, focusing on opportunities for advancement, appreciation, transparency, and supportive leadership. Empowering employees is also essential, providing the required training, communicating the company’s vision clearly, practising an open-door policy, and granting independence within reason. These factors promote a culture of trust, cooperation, and autonomy.

  • Tell us about some of the tangible initiatives that KPS Berhad has implemented to this end.

We have implemented several initiatives to build and sustain a high-performance culture. These initiatives are designed to enhance employee engagement, promote personal and professional growth, and foster a collaborative work environment.

Some examples of the initiatives we have put in place include;

  1. Employee health and well-being: We prioritise the physical and mental well-being of our employees. This involves providing resources and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, such as annual wellness challenges which are led by our Sports and Recreational Club. Earlier this year we organised KPS Strava and Weight Loss Challenge. At the end of the 10-week competition, all participants covered an impressive total of 15,555KM – that’s travelling to Plaza Perangsang, Shah Alam to Amsterdam. Our Weight Loss Winners also made some amazing progress towards their fitness goals. Our organisation is currently participating in the Activ@Work Challenge 2023 organised by PERKESO. It is a 3-month challenge starting from 1 July 2023 to 30 September 2023. I am proud to share that our team has been consistently demonstrating exceptional performance in the challenge, securing the number one position for the past few weeks!
  2. Work-life balance: We understand the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life. Through flexible work arrangements, supportive policies, and encouragement of time off, we empower our employees to manage their professional commitments while enjoying fulfilling personal lives. This focus on work-life balance enhances employee satisfaction and contributes to a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  3. Staff training and development: We strongly believe in nurturing the growth and advancement of our employees. Through our Leadership Development Programmes and sponsorships via Tabung Pendidikan Anak-anak Syarikat dan Badan Berkanun Selangor (“TPASB”), we offer lifelong learning opportunities – encouraging our employees to pursue Professional Certifications, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective roles. Recently, KPS Berhad was honoured to receive the ACCA Approved Employer awards for both Professional Development and Trainee Development (Platinum). This recognition serves as a testament to our unwavering dedication to supporting ACCA members and aspiring members on their professional journey. Our commitment to cultivating a culture of continuous learning empowers our employees to unlock their full potential, thereby contributing not only to their personal success but also to the overall success of our organisation.
  4. Team-building activities: We recognise the importance of fostering strong teamwork and collaboration within our organisation. Regular team-building activities and volunteering programmes, provide opportunities for employees within the Group to bond, build trust, and enhance their communication skills. These activities promote a positive work environment and strengthen relationships, ultimately enhancing teamwork and productivity.
  • How does the environment at KPS Berhad encourage high-performance culture?

We have implemented several strategies that contribute to this environment to drive excellence among our employees.

  1. Lean organisational structure: We have embraced a lean organisational structure that promotes efficiency, agility, and accountability. By streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, we empower employees to make informed decisions and take ownership of their work. This lean structure encourages faster communication, effective problem-solving, and a focus on delivering results, ultimately fostering a culture of high performance.
  2. Strong and transparent leadership: Our leaders play a critical role in cultivating a high-performance culture. They provide direction, communicate expectations, and inspire employees to excel. Through transparent communication, our leaders create an environment of trust and openness, ensuring that employees understand the vision, goals, and strategies of the organisation. They lead by example, demonstrating the behaviours and values that promote high performance.
  3. Reward programmes: We believe in recognising and rewarding exceptional performance. We have implemented reward programmes that incentivise and acknowledge employees who consistently go above and beyond in their work. These programmes include monetary incentives, bonuses, or non-monetary rewards like public recognition and career development opportunities. By recognising and appreciating outstanding contributions, we motivate employees to strive for excellence and sustain a high-level performance.
  4. Anti-Corruption Plan: Recognising integrity’s pivotal role in a high-performance culture, we are currently developing a comprehensive 3-year anti-corruption framework that aims to foster a culture of integrity among our employees. The anti-corruption plan focuses on initiatives in three key areas namely procurement, governance, and human capital. This comprehensive and inclusive plan is developed in line with the formulation of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (“NACP”) 2019-2023 and is also in line with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) Adequate Procedures requirement.

In summary, these elements create an atmosphere of efficiency, accountability, and recognition, inspiring employees to unleash their full potential and drive the organisation’s success while upholding ethical standards and values.

  • What are some of the challenges you have come across in trying to build this culture?

Building a high-performance culture comes with its share of challenges, and two key areas that we identified are internal communication and recruitment practices.

Effective internal communication is essential for fostering a high-performance culture. It ensures that employees have a clear understanding of organisational goals, expectations, and changes within the company. By enhancing our communication channels and processes, we overcome barriers such as information silos, misalignment, and lack of transparency. Improvements in internal communication promote engagement, alignment, and a shared sense of purpose among employees.

Recruiting the right talent is also crucial in building a high-performance culture. We strive to improve our recruitment process to not only focus on candidates’ skills and experience but also on their values, mindset, and potential for growth. Investing in quality recruitment practices ensures that high-potential individuals are onboarded, bringing fresh perspectives, innovation, and a drive for success.

  • How does KPS Berhad stay on top in a landscape that demands change and adaptability?

We have taken significant steps to align our business aspirations and foster a cultural shift. One notable action taken just last year was the unveiling of our new logo, symbolising KPS Berhad’s transformation over our 40-year journey. This visual representation reflects the company’s commitment to embracing change and adapting to the evolving expectations of our stakeholders, ultimately aiming to establish stronger brand equity in the market.

To ensure the successful implementation of this cultural shift and to build a high-performance culture, we have employed various strategies:

  1. Constant delivery of messaging from the top: Effective communication plays a vital role in driving culture change. KPS Berhad’s leadership consistently delivers clear and consistent messages to employees, outlining the vision, values, and expectations of the organisation. By aligning messaging from the top, employees gain a deeper understanding of the desired cultural transformation and the role they play in achieving it.

A cornerstone of our approach to developing an informed, motivated, and dynamic workforce is regular, two-way communication with employees. These engagements range from physical interactions such as during town halls, written communications such as newsletters, social activities such as annual dinners, team building, and sports activities organised by our communications unit, human resource department and sports club, held specifically for staff.

  1. Culture change training: We recognise that changing the organisational culture requires equipping employees with the necessary knowledge, skills, and mindset. Therefore, we have implemented culture change training to educate employees on the new values, behaviours, and expectations. These trainings promote awareness, facilitate behavioural shifts, and provide tools for employees to embody the desired high-performance culture.
  2. Team-building activities: Fostering a collaborative and cohesive work environment is crucial for a high-performance culture. We organise team-building activities that encourage teamwork,

communication, and trust among employees. These activities are aimed at strengthening relationships, enhancing collaboration, and aligning teams towards common goals.

  1. Higher achievement targets: To drive performance and create a high-performance culture, we set higher achievement targets for our employees. By challenging individuals and teams to reach new levels of excellence, the organisation promotes a culture of continuous improvement and pushes employees to go beyond their comfort zones. Setting ambitious goals encourages employees to innovate, take ownership, and strive for exceptional results.

Through these initiatives, we aim to facilitate a cultural shift towards a high-performance culture that embraces change, encourages collaboration, and drives success. By consistently delivering messaging, providing culture change training, organising team-building activities, and setting higher achievements and targets, we are actively shaping our workforce and creating an environment that supports the organisation’s transformation and future growth.

  • What are some key findings you’ve learned about people in your journey to build a high-performance culture?

Throughout our journey to build a high-performance culture, several key learnings have emerged regarding the role of people in this process. Here are the key learnings:

  1. Hiring people who share the same values: We have recognised the importance of hiring individuals who align with our organisation’s values. When employees share the same core values, it creates a strong foundation for a high-performance culture. By prioritising values alignment during the recruitment process, we ensure that new hires can integrate seamlessly into our culture and contribute positively to our collective goals.
  2. Recognising the value of diverse viewpoints: We have come to appreciate that everyone brings a unique perspective and contribution to the table. Embracing diverse viewpoints fosters innovation, creativity, and problem-solving within our teams. While individuals may have differing opinions, we understand that diversity of thought is a valuable asset in driving a high-performance culture. Encouraging open dialogue and respectful exchange of ideas allows us to harness the full potential of our workforce.
  3. Acknowledging the value of inclusivity: Through our observations, we have found that having a dynamic mix of individuals from various age groups can enrich our collective perspectives and enhance our problem-solving approaches. Each age group brings unique experiences and insights, contributing to a well-rounded environment where knowledge is shared, mentorship flourishes, and collaboration transcends generational boundaries, resulting in a more vibrant and adaptable organisation that thrives on the strengths of its diverse workforce.

These insights have reinforced our belief in the importance of values alignment, diversity of thought, and the recognition of individual contributions regardless of age. By hiring people who share our values, embracing diverse viewpoints, and fostering an inclusive work environment, we have been able to cultivate a high-performance culture that promotes collaboration, innovation, and continuous growth.

  • How does KPS Berhad maintain its established standards and what are the areas the company is looking to grow in?

Talent management is a critical area of focus for us as we strive to maintain the high standards we have established. We recognise that nurturing and retaining top talent is vital for sustaining a high-performance culture. To achieve this, we are committed to continuously enhancing our talent development programmes and implementing robust succession planning strategies.

Talent development programmes: We understand that investing in the development of our employees is crucial for their growth and our organisational success. We will continue to enhance our talent development programmes, which include training sessions, mentoring, coaching, and leadership programmes. These initiatives aim to equip our employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies to excel in their roles and prepare them for future leadership positions.

Succession planning: To ensure a smooth transition and sustainability of our high-performance culture, we recognise the importance of effective succession planning. We will continue to focus on identifying and nurturing high-potential individuals within our organisation. By identifying successors for key roles and creating personalised development plans, we can groom our future leaders and ensure a seamless leadership transition. This proactive approach to succession planning mitigates potential talent gaps and strengthens our ability to sustain our high-performance culture in the long term.

  • Where do you see KPS Berhad in the next ten years?

KPS Berhad already established its presence in several countries globally. I believe that the company will continue to expand its operations into new markets. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, our vision is to establish a strong global presence as a top-tier investment house and become an employer of choice – a preferred choice by top talents from various backgrounds. To realise this vision, we have developed a comprehensive 10-year HR plan that encompasses key strategies and initiatives. This plan aims to align our HR practices with our long-term organisational goals and ensure that our workforce remains competitive, motivated, and equipped with the necessary skills and capabilities.

 

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