Bosch Southeast Asia’s long-term investment in talent
Be sure to check out the first part of our exclusive HR Insider interview with Jane Tham, HR Director for Bosch Southeast Asia.
Bosch’s talent development focus is one of its strengths – but it can also cause the engineering and appliances company to become a victim of its own success.
“Our competitors often try to poach our people, because we’ve been able to work with them and help them realise their potential. So our competitors can just bring them in and have a ‘plug-and-play’ situation because our employees would just be able to hit the ground running,” says Tham.
A person would be well within their rights to shift over for that US$50 per month extra in Vietnam, of course, but Bosch continuously looks at the small pressure points that can strike an emotional chord, and contribute to talent retention in that way.
Nonetheless, it is inevitable that in a disruptive process such as transformation, there will be casualties.
“Logically, from a business standpoint, it’s about becoming more efficient, and providing more value. Unfortunately, that sometimes means people will not be needed, and will thus have to be dropped from the overall game plan. It’s not all rosy stories, unfortunately – that’s just the reality of any business,” Tham admits.
“But one thing I’ll say about Bosch is that even in such situations, our family-oriented, family-owned values really come through,” she adds.
“Myself, I actually come from the oil and gas industry, where people were just bumped up and down along with how the business went. Everything was about productivity.
“But Bosch is actually the longest I’ve stayed at any organisation, and I have seen for myself that they truly value their people. As long as you’re willing to get along with the change, they will find a use for you. There is great amount of empathy.”
Indeed, this philosophy has led the company to persist even in loss-making markets.
“The books may not look very good, but it’s all about the long-term investment in our talent, and the business,” Tham says.
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