- Speaking with four Sunway Group staff on what made Sunway tick as a successful conglomerate, one would expect the answers to revolve around employee initiatives or work benefits.
But it turns out, supportive and great leadership are the most prominent criterion in the hearts of Sunwayians. Employees relish having a superior who encourages them to pursue opportunities for career development and acknowledges their achievements. Being an employer of choice is all about instilling a positive corporate culture and establishing a healthy working ecosystem that employees would embrace.
Leaders who listen
Sunway Medical Centre nurse Electra How counts herself fortunate to have a manager that not only empowers the staff but is supportive. Currently in her second year of pursuing a Law degree, How said her manager is very supportive of her decision to further her studies despite it being in a field unrelated to nursing.
“Although she has been promoted to a higher position, the culture she created remains in our department, where we are given equal opportunity for growth and development. She is very helpful with my study and work schedule, finding ways for me to arrange my off days and long leave during examination period while considering the staffing required for each working shift,” said How, who joined the hospital in 2013.
The 29-year-old says Sunway is a place that is open to new ideas and creativity. Not only that, the company values feedback, and with the quarterly Employee Engagement Survey (EES) being proof of that.
“It doesn’t matter who suggested the idea, as long as it works, it will be implemented. Any dissatisfaction or complaint will not be put aside. The EES committee looks into issues and organises a public meeting involving the relevant parties to address those issues. It is important that the feedback from the staff is taken into consideration,” said How.
Opportunities to grow
Palestinian national Mohammed Dawoud was pursuing his MBA in Communications and Public Relations when he joined Sunway Resort for a two-month stint as an Arabic interpreter.
With the encouragement of his direct managers and senior management, the 31-year-old applied to join Sunway as a full-time Arabic interpreter in 2013, even though there was no such job position then.
“The management heard me and believed in me. I’m grateful that they created a new position to fit me in, under a six-month training contract as a guest relations executive (Middle East). They recognised my hard work and promoted me to a full-time guest relations manager (Middle East) in 2014,” said Dawoud.
Despite being a foreigner, Dawoud said he has never faced discrimination in the workplace. “Sunway is fair when it comes to my rights as a foreign employee. I believe it is easy to grow in Sunway if you have the ambition to grow. In every phase, I had people who stood by me and assisted me in achieving my goals,” he said.
Positive corporate culture
Gobinathan enjoys being able to walk around the theme park whenever he needs a break from the office. “Our department is full of fun and cheerful people. When we work, we take work seriously but have our equal share of fun too,” he said.
Throughout his time in the company, Sunway Lagoon Inventory Officer, Gobinathan Annamalai is able to develop his career thanks to the support of his superior and a great team. He was also able to pursue a degree in taxation.
“At the theme park, we encourage the 3R principle of reduce, reuse and recycle. We have banned the use of plastic bottles and encourage staff to use their own water tumblers, and use rainwater harvesting. I now bring my own water tumbler whenever I go out,” said Gobinathan.
“We are a conglomerate that gives back to society and the environment. That is what makes us Sunwayians different and unique in our own way,” he added.
“Sunway has taught me that we can start off as a nobody and develop into a somebody one day through continuous hard work, like our founder Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO who turned a wasteland into a wonderland. This has taught me that everyone can dream and make it a reality through hard work,” he said.
Sunway’s commitment towards sustainability has influenced employees to embrace sustainable efforts in their own ways.
The corporate culture at Sunway Paving Solutions makes designer Noor Sofieana Binti Ihsan proud to be part of the Sunway workforce.
“There is a community spirit and mutual respect instilled by our CEO that makes us feel like we are part of a family, allowing us to communicate and work together well. Our CEO is a critical thinker and a creative person who never fails to amaze me whenever he openly shares his ideas and opinions with us,” said Sofieana.