Headquartered in the UK, Reckitt Benckiser (Reckitt) is home to approximately 40,000 culturally diverse employees worldwide. It is also an industry leader in discerning the crucial role that diverse talent development plays in a company’s strategic growth while navigating the ever-changing FMCG market.
Industry-leading endeavours in talent development
Inheriting the company’s human-centric approach to human resources management, Reckitt Hong Kong is renowned for its open, autonomous, and flexible work environment in alignment with the belief in everyone’s freedom to succeed. By offering employees the opportunity to co-create positive change, the company essentially empowers them to do the right thing always.
This dedicated investment in its people is duly acknowledged: last year, the company was crowned with two HR Distinction Awards by Human Resources Online, namely Gold in “Excellence in Employee Engagement” and Silver in “Excellence in Employee Development”.
Laudable is the fact that Reckitt Hong Kong did not compromise on its talent development effort even during the strenuous COVID
times. Fion Leung, Head of General Trade, Hong Kong & Macau, was amongst those selected to participate in the nine-month regional LEAP Programme, which was designed to unleash middle managers’ leadership potential and equip them for future managerial positions through a series of leadership seminars, online knowledge exchange, and a three-day overseas workshop.
“I’m grateful to the company for still investing resources in multinational employee training initiatives during the pandemic,” said Fion. “This is instrumental to our continuous career development.” Fion visited the mega factory in Indonesia to learn about the automated manufacturing process for Dettol products, before she teamed up with other colleagues in the APAC region to conduct market research and reporting.
To Fion, the trip was more than just an eye-opener – it also offered an occasion for self-discovery: “Meeting speakers, management coaches, and colleagues from all over the world has been a great source of inspiration and cause for reflection. I have learnt the power of learning and the importance of positive thinking. I hope to apply what I’ve learnt to the management of my team.”
When trust and flexibility lead to increase in productivity and corporate reputation
Since the COVID
-19 pandemic, Reckitt has gone beyond allowing employees to work from home for two days a week: it also launched the “Work from Anywhere” policy wherever legally permitted and adhered to company’s guidelines in local offices, believing that giving employees the freedom to choose where to work from can be beneficial to their wellbeing.
Among those who benefited from this global initiative is Communications Manager Rhonda Leung, who took a trip to Southeast Asia earlier, where she worked four of the 11 days she was travelling there. “I really wanted to take a trip away after the past years of the pandemic. With all the work documents accessible on the cloud and seamless team collaboration via online channels, I could easily work at a coffee shop or inside the hotel room on my phone or laptop.”
Thanks to the hands-off work culture and management approach, Rhonda was able to excel at time management and see an increase in productivity, which afforded her the time to continue her travel and to serve as one of the Give Time Champions of Reckitt’s volunteering initiative. “At Reckitt, the Give Time Programme gives employees two days of volunteer leave a year,” explained Rhonda. “While I already drive partnerships with non-profits in my line of work, aggregating the power of the entire company to help the people in need is a gratifying experience for me.” In 2021-2022, Reckitt Hong Kong’s employees have contributed a total of 214 hours to volunteering work.
Create a future for the company by helping employees see theirs
As corporates are increasingly pivoting their business model to walk their talk of stakeholder responsibility, Reckitt Hong Kong is an epitome in human-centricity.
Having majored in hotel management, Ashley Tong spent time working in hospitality, tourism, and human resources in Geneva and Tokyo after graduating from university. However, all that experience did not help her solidify her career path forward.
Unbeknownst to Ashley, her fate would change when she joined the company as the personal assistant of Boudewijn Feith, Reckitt General Manager of Hong Kong/Taiwan. Aware of her strengths and career expectations, Feith suggested she switch to a position in the Marketing Department. “Although I had never been trained in marketing, the on-the-job training and comprehensive online courses arranged by the company have enabled me to improve in my role continuously,” said Ashley.
In her new position, Ashley has been involved in e-commerce projects in mainland China and promotion initiatives in the local Hong Kong market. In addition, the marketing project for Vanish HK under her management has led to 15% year-on-year growth in penetration, a testament no less to her capability in the field.
Talent acquisition and retention is the new battlefield for corporates across industries. Reckitt’s investment in talent development attests to the notion that a company can only achieve sustainable growth by empowering its employees to grow and to gain the vision that they, too, have the freedom to succeed.