Building a future-ready workforce in a digital era

Natalia Navin, CHRO for Maxis, discusses the strategies the telco has implemented to empower employees to attain greater success in their work.
By: | September 13, 2022

A workforce that is prepared for the future will have the necessary knowledge, abilities, and access to technology to not only meet and overcome today’s challenges but also seize tomorrow’s chances.  

Elaborating on how employers can support employees to be future-ready, Natalia Navin, CHRO of Maxis, said, “The role that employers will play is to identify and assess the skillsets and capabilities that their employees would require, and importantly, build learning programmes and opportunities to arm them with the competencies that they would require in the coming months or years.”  

Speaking with HRM Asia, Navin also emphasised that every organisation relies on its employees to contribute to the best of their abilities, and Maxis is no exception. As part of its efforts to become an effective and efficient organisation, the Malaysian telco has accelerated its workforce competency in critical business, technology, and innovation skills. This comprises a diverse network and IT capabilities, integrated solutions, and digital technologies.  

“An important goal when we hire people is to contribute positively to the nation by creating more jobs for Malaysians and building a pool of talented individuals,” she said. “We contribute to build capabilities and invest in talent so that they can, in turn, contribute to the country’s digital agenda.”  

Maxis developed several programmes to attract talent, including a scholarship programme aimed at building a talent pool of future female leaders and top tech talent in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capabilities, as well as training young business leaders. Furthermore, the Maxis Graduate Programme was launched to provide young Malaysian talent with the opportunity to gain experience in a dynamic environment that fosters creativity and innovation.  

Maxis also held its first virtual career fair in June 2022, with over 640 participants in attendance. The objective, Navin noted, was to connect potential talents in a future-oriented, virtual space to enhance candidate experience and engagement, leading to a better professional fit and more successful hires. Throughout the five-day event which placed more emphasis on tech-related opportunities, participants had access to the virtual platform where they could browse for jobs, attend webinars, and interact with the Maxis Talent Acquisition teams.

“We achieved more than 640 platform registrations, which attests to an evolving workforce mindset where more Malaysians are embracing a virtual world in an increasingly digital age. We wanted to be able to identify suitable talents for our future talent pipeline and we are currently in the midst of selecting the candidates to move to the next stage in the application process,” she said.  

Maxis’ top priorities continue to be capabilities building and people development, according to Navin. As such, the company created the I GROW agenda, which encourages conversations about professional development and aspirations in Maxis, and to empower employees to upskill and reskill.  

“Each individual has different learning needs, whether to enable them to perform their jobs or to fuel personal and development growth. With that in mind, we assess the needs of the different business areas and employees around the company and conduct tailored development programmes,” she explained.  

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“Each individual has different learning needs, whether to enable them to perform their jobs or to fuel personal development and growth. With that in mind, we assess the needs of the different business areas and employees around the company and conduct tailored development programmes.” – Natalia Navin, CHRO, Maxis. 

Besides offering leadership programmes for its senior management team, the company also organises workshops for its leaders to raise awareness around biases and how to minimise them to support its inclusion and diversity efforts. Programmes are available on Maxis Academy, a virtual learning and development platform that focuses on four key areas in
Leadership, Business, Technology and Compliance. Navin revealed that in 2021, Maxis employees participated in over 135,000 hours of training in these four key areas.  

She continued, “We encourage internal movements within the company to provide growth and development opportunities. To close the feedback loop and further elevate the performance of our talents, we conduct regular performance and career development reviews with our employees.”  

Despite having extensive retention programmes in place, Navin acknowledged that, like other organisations, Maxis still faces the same challenges in the war for talent. 

This has prompted Maxis to make employee wellness a key organisational priority. An initiative Maxis has developed to support this is the Maxis Pillar of Support (POSITIVE) programme, which provides physical and mental health support to employees, such as access to digital consultation services, health coaching and other services by medical professionals.  

Maxis also established the MaxisWay culture, which shapes the company and the interaction between employees, while being aligned with its position as one of Malaysia’s leading providers of converged solutions. In July 2020, a refreshed MaxisWay 2.0 was launched to make Maxis “the best place to work, with a growth mentality, and building new capabilities to support the new digital Maxis,” Navin said.  

At the heart of MaxisWay 2.0 is to foster an “I am Maxis” mindset among employees, encouraging them to take pride in their work and commitment to one another, and move forward together with urgency in this fast-paced digital environment.  

“We continue to invest heavily in skills and accreditations of our people, encouraging them to embrace agile ways of working and enable talent to always be ahead with critical skills, not only for today’s environment but also in building a future-ready talent force. Ultimately, we believe that the most sustainable human capital strategy is one in which our employees can grow both professionally and personally,” Navin concluded.