How is your experience in the HR space as you were the Head of Human Resources in the Agriculture division and now you are the Head of Human Resources for Downstream Operations?

When I started working for JAPFA in 2017, it was in a different sector than the prior companies I had worked for. This corporation is an industrial, locally based agro-food company that incorporates certain local customs and culture from Indonesia and has operations throughout Asia, primarily in Vietnam, China, India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

I oversee the downstream operations at JAPFA, and the climate and culture are extremely different. One thing that's crucial in this organization is that HR practices were more concerned with administrative and general business issues than HR processes. It was my main challenge because we needed to shift our focus to core HR and then administrative matters and transform the structure. Most of the people and teams were working hard, but few of them had the understanding of core processes such as recruitment, training, time management, and performance management. 

How did you work differently in each domain?

There is an already existing core HR expertise, where we maintain efficiency and effectiveness to support the administration process. In this effort, we built the core team step by step creating a better structure compared to five years ago, including a team for current acquisition, management, development, and industrial relations. At the same time, by trying to give more value to the company, we started to look into the communication and engagement team. We have started a team working to convey all the information and process the invoices of the company, which increases the engagement of everyone and they start to understand the functions of the company. Later on, the work engagement begins to transform into better positioning. We are now working on various aspects of external communications in addition to internal communication.

We launch successful HR communication workshops and programs to engage all the people, especially the managers and senior employees. We started an initiative to work on the 2020 roadmap, with certain HR expertise to engage employees to transform behavior and have a uniform understanding of the business operations, so that at the end of the day, we can win against our business competitors. While we also try to achieve the goals of 2020 by adding value and sharing knowledge about the importance of the company. Overall, as part of the goals that we are trying to achieve, 70% of the parameters relate to aquaculture in Java, as it is the leader in Indonesia.

Elaborate on how you are improving the communication internally and externally and what methods are you to engage with your workforces and your external partners?

Currently, JAPFA has operations in more than 30 locations in Indonesia and most of the locations are in the rural areas. Due to the nature of our industry, there is a limitation in terms of the technology that applies and it creates a challenge for connectivity with cities. Since there are people working in Aquaculture that take many different forms depending on the industry, including food, poultry, artificial hatcheries, and fish farms, we are attempting to include them in the HR communications.

We are working to ensure that everyone is aware of the full scope of our aquaculture operations, as well as the various operations we do as a firm in Indonesia's Java province. As a result, we organize activities to understand the business operations in different cities and try to build an ease in communication to reach wide-range of people. Sports events are one of the community building exercises where participants gather in one main location. For instance, when we first launched the HR communication initiative in one of the cities, all of the representatives from the various units gathered, and we had this special competition. It continued in new locations with the purpose to ensure everyone performs as a single team and as a single business.

We also have magazine publications where customers from various parts of our business subscribe to our internal magazines to learn about the content and the things we do with the staff. In addition, this kind of HR communication is that it is more active in terms of sharing information via all media channels, including emails. We also attempt to create some materials to share via various social media apps, for example, information from various groups, so they can easily access and share it. At the same time, we organize an online town hall meeting to connect with all the locations in Indonesia. The meeting includes about all the performance of teams and an update about the progress. We also organize some social activities with the intention to make sure that people can engage and take pride in expressing their ideas, opinions, and innovation that will bring people to understand the aim and goals of the company which will help in the progress for the company.

Ground us with a very good understanding about the HR processes that you employ. For an ending note, share any advice for your peers in the industry in the HR space?

Each individual can contribute to the operations in a variety of ways. I tell my HR colleagues that we need to understand and be aware of various skills in HR today, our roles, our contributions, and how the land manager perceives these things. At the same time, we need to look at our HR team internally to check the culture and capability. We need to be aware of the land manager perspective in terms of the way they're implementing the HR processes before we try to set up any strategic plan. We are still attempting to support the operation in such a way that a land manager can implement our attempts. At the same time, add value to them in the operation.

As a conclusion, let me emphasize that we need to assess our scope and journey, and define the intermediary, and our goals to achieve in the next year or two, all at the same time. We then attempt to ensure that employees can participate and based on it, we essentially introduce the best techniques and practices into our business. In the process, we're attempting to understand our organization and our firm so that we can build up the essential initiatives and better prepare for it.