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The price of a happy workforce

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As Malaysia’s cost of living increases, C&B is high on HR leaders’ agendas. Often, a broader mix of total rewards will help manage costs while keeping staff happy, say Ngoh Siaw Ling, HR director at TNT. 

Compensation and benefits, or as we call it at TNT Express Malaysia, Total Rewards, is designed and used as a strategy to attract and retain employees. Total Rewards’ strength lies within one of our company’s corporate pillars, and that is our ability to create a great place to work. We pride ourselves on providing fun and rewarding careers where we equip, empower and engage employees, through the perpetual focus on nurturing exponential growth.

This is instrumental in supporting a very crucial part of our people strategy – inculcating an awareness to encourage staff engagement in corporate social responsibility, specifically, TNT’s Work for the World (W4W) initiatives. It is through this support that employee involvement helps fulfil social obligations as well as for some, achieving lifelong dreams – with that, we are not only stirring up a fun workplace, but also – and equally important, we are building a well-balanced group of employees.

Balancing C&B with non-monetary benefits

Striking a perfect balance between cash compensation and non-monetary benefits is never easy. Every year, TNT allocates a big portion dedicated to cash compensation. We ensure that what has been set is benchmarked according to the standards of the general market in order to remain competitive based on market practice.

As for benefits, a major component will be the coverage offered for our employees’ insurance and medical. In addition to this, we also allocate a substantial amount for each employee to claim usage for their own basic needs such as groceries, children’s tuition fees and school books. We understand one size doesn’t fit all.

Tariffs and price hikes

As is with everybody, we are well-aware and concerned in this area. Being in the transportation and logistics industry, half of our employees are blue collar workers with a lower pay bracket, and the rise in living costs in Malaysia will inevitably impact them the most.

With reference to fixed cash terms, every year we benchmark our pay structure to match that of the market. We ensure that our pay structure upholds a competitive advantage. Over the years, we have also implemented benefits in whatever ways possible to help ease the cost of living burden.

Furthermore, we support employees who suffer from critical illness. Although they may be physically unfit for work, they will remain on the company’s payroll for a period of time. With this, we hope to ease the burden of our employees and their families during this trying time.

The inception of the Flexi Scheme in 2010, which we commonly refer to as the Total Wellness Programme, allows employees to pick and choose items that are more inclined to their needs within the budget allocated, whereby they are able to claim for the usage of their own basic needs.

We also provide financial educational assistance for those who would like to pursue or further their tertiary education while working. This encourages employees to excel and grow.

Key factors for a total rewards programme

Total Rewards management is used as a mechanism to attract, retain, and motivate our employees to achieve our company’s business objectives. In order to do that, a holistic approach will comprise the intrinsic and extrinsic components.

The intrinsic component drives the internal value and motivation, providing staff with emotional rewards. It involves encouragement and support in lifestyle, a social environment, work life balance as well as career growth, learning, development and employability.

The extrinsic component deals with encouraging and managing performance and quality of work, achievements, and rewarding and recognition. This refers to:

  • Things that could be assigned a dollar value such as cars and club memberships
  • Benefits such as health and welfare, leave/time off, retirement
  • Base pay in terms of cash, incentives, and bonuses

As the cost of running a business increases, maintaining the cost to meet business demands proves to be a challenge. It also becomes increasingly difficult to balance the demand of employees due to the rise in cost of living and company profitability.

C&B to engage and retain staff

Over the last 10 years, our attrition rate lies below the market while our productivity and business has seen a steady and upward climb. We do consider that we are doing pretty well and we have a consistently high score in our Company Employee Engagement Survey – VOICE.

The success of a rewards system relies on having a holistic approach intrinsically and extrinsically.



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