How Best Workplaces across ASEAN build a culture of innovation By All

GREAT PLACE TO WORK ASEAN AND ANZ

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Our fifth blog in this series on how Best Workplaces™ in ASEAN build a high-trust workplace culture covers the topic of Innovation By All. In today’s environment marked by constant change, an organization’s ability to build a high-trust culture and maximize human potential across all levels of the organization is critical for employee innovation to enable it to stay ahead of its competition.

Innovation By All

The traditional approach to organizational innovation, where only certain teams or departments are involved, is still important but no longer sufficient in today’s workplace. To succeed, companies need to seek “the wisdom of the crowd”. The insights and ideas of employees from every level of the organization must be tapped. Only when everyone’s intelligence, skills, and passion systematically generate more high-quality ideas, realize greater speed in implementation, and achieve greater agility that companies achieve a culture called Innovation By All.

Leaders play a critical role in encouraging employees to participate and contribute their unique ideas, regardless of their roles in the organization. Collaboration between leaders and their team is key. This happens when leaders genuinely seek ideas and suggestions, and involve people in decision-making — particularly around decisions that impact their jobs. Recognition is important to reinforce these behaviors, and leaders at best workplaces celebrate people who try new and better ways of doing things, regardless of the outcome.

These leaders also provide room for honest mistakes, recognizing that these are part of doing business. When employees feel that they make a difference and are treated as full members of their team regardless of their position, they become active drivers of change and innovation. They seek to continuously improve, adapt more quickly, and create game-changing opportunities. It is imperative for companies to pay attention to their employees’ innovation experiences because our research shows that companies who perform well on these metrics earn three times more than the year-on-year revenue of their peers.1

Insights across ASEAN

To assess innovation across ASEAN, we analyzed employee responses to three statements from the Trust Index™ Employee Survey. The percentage reflects the proportion of employees who have positive experiences.

We also analyzed responses to the question “Over the last year, how many meaningful opportunities have you had to develop new and better ways of doing things at work?” Responses were categorized as:

  • A lot
  • Some
  • Just a few
  • None

Across ASEAN, data showed that there was a significant gap between the positive response of employees who felt they had “a lot” of meaningful opportunities to innovate vs those with fewer/no opportunities. Where there were greater innovation opportunities, employees also had a consistently more positive response to the statement “Taking everything into account, I would say this is a great place to work”; conversely, where there were fewer of such opportunities, employees had poorer and more inconsistent responses.

Country Insights

Across the different countries*, employee experiences varied:

*Countries included: Indonesia (IDN), Malaysia (MY), Philippines (PH), Singapore (SG), Thailand (TH), and Vietnam (VN).

Based on the information shared in Culture Audit submissions, we found that Best Workplaces leveraged both formal platforms (e.g. hackathons and competitions) and informal platforms (e.g. employee surveys, focus groups and regular idea generation efforts) to seek employee suggestions and ideas on areas for improvement, ways to enhance existing workflow and processes, and to recognize employees for their innovation contributions and efforts. Many embedded innovation into employees’ day-to-day work by creating safe spaces to raise feedback, be curious and experiment with new and better ways of doing things; they also intentionally provided resources and training to cultivate an innovation mindset. Leaders played an active role by dedicating time and effort to give feedback on ideas and proposals raised, mentor employees in developing solutions and overseeing ideas as they progress to fruition. In a number of cases, the end result of these innovation efforts become part of the company’s product and service offerings as well.

Innovation is at the heart of Avery Dennison’s strategy – it believes that an enabling and empowering culture is key to innovation, and embeds this into its products, offerings and everything it does. In fact, Innovation is one of its core values and DNA, and it continuously works toward breaking new ground and exceeding expectations. It strives to combine imagination and intellect in the bold pursuit of solving big problems.

The company has an Innovation Playbook which describes the way Avery Dennison defines the innovation mindset and the capabilities that each employee must demonstrate at any level in the organization. At Avery Dennison Vietnam, the “Innovation energy” is cascaded across the organization through a variety of communication channels to reinforce the importance of innovation for the company; the company also offers relevant e-learning courses and targeted learning programs, and designs activities for employees to put knowledge into practice to achieve this. It also develops tools to enable teams to challenge the status quo for improvement, and cultivates a mindset where failure is regarded as a way to learn and grow stronger. Employees have access to an Innovation Dropbox to highlight problems and provide innovative ideas and solutions. These ideas are further filtered, calibrated and explored by a ground up Innovation Council, which will work with internal experts to land on an execution plan and materialize these ideas for the benefit of the company.

Avery Dennison recognizes and incentivizes innovation through awards such as the Leadership Excellence Award, APAC Awards for Innovation & Sustainability, ASEAN Circle of Excellence Awards, etc. where individuals and teams meet the relevant criteria. This conscious and holistic approach to cultivating, developing and reinforcing innovation within the workplace has resulted in a culture where innovation happens across the whole organization, in both big and small ways.

Given the nature of Cisco’s business, it is no surprise that this technology leader’s approach to innovation is based on intentional action, investing in systematic practices with dedicated resources, driven by supportive leaders, and enhanced by appropriate incentives.

Its Innovate Everywhere credo enables employees at every level to participate in a wide variety of innovation challenges with attractive rewards. This has not only generated innovative products, but has also created opportunities for Cisco’s talent to grow, as explained by one employee who participated in Hack@Home during the pandemic, “It was not only about making a new innovation or a product, but also about expanding our views, learning new technologies, collaborating and learning from each other during the time when human interactions are sparse and so cherished”.

Cisco incentivized ideas that positively impact the world by adding a new track to its Innovate Everywhere Challenge for submissions addressing social and environmental issues. The company’s reverse mentoring approach, which paired younger employees with executive team members to mentor them on various topics of strategic and cultural relevance, offers opportunities for multi-domain knowledge sharing and creates meaningful change through problem-based mentoring.

Its Women’s Inventor Network program was created to increase the number of female inventors gaining patents for unique ideas. Each team is assigned a mentor with substantial experience in innovation and patent applications who can encourage, validate and help refine their ideas. The ultimate goal is to submit a patent proposal into the Cisco Patents Online system for review by subject matter experts in the various patent committees. Regardless of the outcome, all participants are given valuable feedback on their proposals on why they were accepted or the reasons why they were rejected. This program has allowed participants to journey outside of their comfort zones to move the needle in innovation while having the opportunity to work with experts they may otherwise not have engaged with.

Its commitment to an innovation mindset extends beyond its employees, as it invests in and nurtures new business ideas from early-stage entrepreneurs. This investment has seen over USD$2 million being awarded as prize money to more than 60 startups worldwide.

At Best Workplaces in ASEAN, organizations intentionally maximize human potential through effective leadership, meaningful values, and by building a foundation of trust. This enables them to enjoy a variety of invaluable benefits, including the ability to drive innovation by generating more high-quality ideas, achieving greater agility and creating a culture of Innovation By All.

Next up… Our final installment of this series will cover what we found to be special and unique about organizations’ practices and programs in Best Workplaces™ among the different countries.

Reference:

1 A Great Place to Work For All, by Michael C. Bush. Great Place to Work®. https://www.greatplacetowork.com/book

GREAT PLACE TO WORK ASEAN AND ANZ

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Our mission is to help every place become a great place to work for all. We give leaders and organizations the recognition and tools to create a consistently and overwhelmingly positive employee experience, fostering cultures that are proven to drive business, improve lives, and better society. Our recognition is the most coveted and respected in the world for elevating employer brands to attract the right people. Our proprietary methodology and platform enables organizations to truly capture, analyze, and understand the experience of all employees. Our groundbreaking research empowers organizations to build cultures that retain talent and unlock the potential of every employee. Our coaches, content, and community connect the boldest leaders, ideas, and innovations in employee experience. Since 1992, our Certification™, Best Workplaces™ Lists, and global benchmarks have become the industry standard, built on data from more than 100 million employees in 150 countries around the world.

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.

The data science behind this list from Great Place To Work®

Great Place To Work® has been surveying employees around the world about their workplace experiences for 30 years. We have developed a set of themes and metrics that not only predict whether employees feel their workplace is great, but predict retention, agility, and overall business success.  

Using our proprietary Trust Index™ survey, we measure the core of what we know creates great workplaces — key behaviors that drive trust in management, connection with colleagues, and loyalty to the company.  

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a five-point scale and answering two open-ended questions.

Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute. They tell us whether they believe their company is fair related to pay, profits, promotions, recognition, favoritism and opportunities. They tell us if they are proud of their work, their team, and their company, and if they feel they make a difference and their work is meaningful. And they tell us whether they enjoy the people they work with, feel cared for and can be themselves.  

List rankings are based on this employee feedback, which we analyze to determine the extent to which this experience is shared by the full workforce. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience. Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. 

The best companies create great work experiences not just for management, but also for their part-time employees on the front lines, for those who’ve just joined and those who’ve spent their whole career there, for every race and ethnicity, gender, neurotype, or other demographic in the organization – we look at it all. Companies with the broadest set of employees who report positive workplace experience receive the highest rankings on lists.

In addition to analyzing employee feedback, for National List’s for companies in the Medium and Large size categories, we also consider what a company can tell us about their programs and workplace strategy. Each company also answers six essay questions that provide greater insight into how, and why the organization is great for all people. Responses are rigorously evaluated and cross-reviewed according to Great Place To Work’s research-driven criteria. From what companies share in datapoints and essays, we identify the organizations that offer the most generous, caring and innovative cultures that reflect a genuine commitment to meet the diversity of their people’s needs inside and outside the workplace as validated by what employees themselves report in survey results.
Where an industry list is being revealed (i.e. Healthcare, Technology) additional information provided from an organization in the form of a culture audit will not be considered; rather we analyze employee feedback from the Trust Index survey with the above methodology.

Because employee feedback drives these rankings, surveys must meet strict requirements for how they are distributed and the percentage of employees who respond to ensure they accurately represent honest feedback from the company’s full population. To be eligible for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™, have 10 or more employees in the country they are being Certified, and be operating in the industry relevant to a specific Industry list if applicable (i.e. Healthcare, Technology). If categories are being listed within a National list, category break downs are as follows: Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category. Some lists in certain countries may combine categories in which case that will be specified in the list breakdown.
While essay responses provide important context for rankings, only survey data can garner a list placement.