Investing in people


  • Columns
  • Monday, 28 Nov 2016

Feruni logo for SMEbiz paid-content series

Feruni has an informal inhouse ‘university’ to train staff to help take them to the next level, writes MEK ZHIN.

THE key to building an internal community within the workplace is making sure your employees are emotionally invested.

“The world is changing and many emotional factors are affecting the way employees work. Things such as self-belonging and recognition are becoming increasingly important to them,” said Feruni Ceramiche managing director Datuk C.C. Ngei.

Previously, Ngei has said that community is one of Feruni’s core pillars upon which its brand value, delivering happiness, is built.

“Community starts within ourselves, the internal community. Here at Feruni, we call ourselves Ferunians which means that we are part of a bigger family. It is meant to instil a sense of belonging, that one is more than just an employee or co-worker,” he said.

At the premium tile manufacturer and retailer, Feruni’s purpose forms the foundation upon which the company culture is built on.

Ferunians perform their daily tasks and make decisions based on the company’s 10 core values.

To get staff invested in the company, the company also has to invest in them. There are several things which Feruni has implemented towards this end, including setting up a modern office featuring an open concept equipped with various facilities, including a gym, game room and library.

Joining Feruni means subscribing to something larger than oneself as an employee.
Joining Feruni means subscribing to something larger than oneself as an employee.

“It’s like physical evidence of our values which an employee can touch, feel and see. The working environment is also meant to encourage lots of discussion,” he said, adding that decisions are made through group discussions and brainstorming sessions rather than a dictatorial method.

The company places a heavy emphasis on cultivating “talents”, which is what employees are called, through the provision of a platform for job opportunities.

“We encourage internal job transfers and promotions. We believe that if the staff are passionate about their work, it will definitely take them to the next level. It has always been our driving force to allow the staff to do what they love and we do it together like a family,” Ngei said.

Feruni provides avenues for learning including internal training, and even use the MBTI personality test and SII career interest test to help staff along this journey.

“We have an ‘internal university’ which is by Ferunians for Ferunians. Basically, well-versed Ferunians prepare instructive and informative material which are then compiled into proper chapters. These become the tool for new recruits and internal transfer for Ferunians to use as a guide,” he said, adding that this also serves to ensure all Ferunians have the same knowledge about the job and company.

This programme is known as Feruniversity and is a way to create a sustainable in-house training programme.

As part of the believe that every Ferunian is unique and special, world-recognised physiological assessments are also used.

“Two certified practitioners will look into each individual’s test result for further analysis for use in our follow-up programme – the Career Transformation Plan. In it, we craft a unique career plan for that Ferunian, taking into account their interests and capabilities. If they lack certain skills or knowledge needed, we will help develop it,” Ngei said, adding that skills and knowledge is something that cannot be cloned by others and this becomes an asset to Ferunians.

He adds that all these tests and career plan programmes are free for Ferunians.

In the upcoming column, Feruni will highlight ways in which it creates a world-class experience for its customers.

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