Offering Employees An Inclusive And Transformative Workplace

The pandemic has transformed the way we work and the choices we make in choosing the right place to work at. And with changing times, workplace environment matters more than ever for many potential employees.

Dr James J Govindasamy, General Manager of Alcon Johor speaks to BusinessToday on what makes the company an employer of choice.

Alcon Johor, an affiliate of the largest eye care device company in the world with 75 years heritage, present in over 70 countries and serving patients in more than 140 countries by over 23,000 associates, has been recently recognized as one of the best places to work for in Malaysia.

During the assessment, the company received outstanding scores across several aspects of their workplace, going beyond the norm fostering a workplace environment built on employee commitment, teamwork, integrity, corporate citizenship, and the pursuit of excellence.

“An employer of choice is one that attracts the best-in-class talents with comprehensive career development and growth, competitive compensation and benefit packages as well as a friendly and approachable leadership,” he says.

Dr James also highlights a well-rounded company will also include wide-ranging wellness programmes which includes diversity and inclusion considerations. 

At Alcon Johor, Dr James says, the company has structured Engagement Programmes with a robust communication strategy and plan, put into place, which are carried out both by face-to-face and virtually to connect to the employees who are on site and working from home.

This includes Engagement Programmes like Project Ceria which consists of festivities, celebrations, talent shows, sport and recreation, charity works, companywide bonding and cross-site regional games to boost the engagement among the associates.

Additionally, the company also celebrates successes at work through its eRecognisation platforms such as eTQ Cards, eBadges, Star and Gold Awards, Star Maker Award and project completion recognitions.

“We have our employees’ pictures on our Wall of Fame and digital platforms as a recognition of their invaluable efforts. We also hold Bi-annual cross department bonding sessions to enhance the teamwork and collaboration between the various divisions,” Dr James says.

To recognise the loyalty of the employees, the Long Service Award will be given to those who have shown a long service to the company.

Furthermore, digital and physical platforms are available for continuous improvement ideas to be deposited while the Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) council meetings shares important information that caters for the associates’ safety, wellbeing and compliance needs.

The company also has in place communication platforms that are created for employees’ feedback such as HSE Feedback Net, Ethics Helpline, Global Townhalls, Management Walkabouts and Daily Toolbox meetings, among others.

Giving Back To The Community 

“As part of ALCON’s mission statement, we enhance people’s quality of life, as when people see brilliantly, they live brilliantly. We thrive on this passion to improve people’s lives, hence giving is our vocation,” Dr James says.

Some of the notable efforts include the annual World Sight Day sponsorship in optical assessment, treatment, consultation and refractive correction to help people see brilliantly. The company also commits to yearly community service through the Alcon in Action (AiA) to help the marginalized with much needed assistance such as dry provision, medical equipment and supplies, sponsorship in medical expenses and home makeover programmes.

“We also proactively consider environmental risks and impacts across the entire life-cycle of our activities and products; from research and product design to sourcing. We implemented recycling programs and water and energy conservation projects, such as renewal energy program using solar energy and landfill waste reduction programmes,” Dr James tells BusinessToday.

Some of the notable key initiatives include annual solar energy output of an approximately 4.5MW, which is equivalent to 15,640GJ. This is a reduction of CO2 emission of 57,269 metric tons CO2e and harvesting rainwater for landscaping and cleaning of exterior of building.

Others include treating all their wastewater to ensure it safe before discharging to the drains, extensive use of energy saving bulbs and energy saving devices and recycling of raw materials used in production, where funds obtained for these recycling efforts are channeled back to community service activities.

“These are just a few of what we do, to give back to our community and we hope to continue to find other means to help and give in any way we can.”

“In Alcon, we believe in developing our associates to enable them to excel in their career to drive the business forward. As the saying goes, “when we’re always learning, we’re always growing”. We emphasize on the 70/20/10 Model for learning and development ensuring a positive return on training investment, for both our employees and the company,” he highlights

Alcon Johor also has an education assistance program (EAP) for those who want to further their studies, a cross-site or inter-department employee exchange program (EEP), professional certification programs, mentoring and coaching sessions, overseas on-job training and external training sponsorship are also included in the plan.

This is to ensure all the different development needs are being addressed.

Lastly, they show their appreciation for the continuous support from the participants, trainers, facilitators, organizers, supervisors and management team in our BUILD SKILLS efforts for our associates’ growth, whenever we have a chance!

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