Aniza Akmar Abdul Rahim: Creating a Working Environment of High Employee Engagement
As the HR Manager of ASW Malaysia, Aniza is at the top of her game in delivering strategies and adopting practices to support the continuity of the business. She shares her perspectives about the challenges in HR, keeping employees motivated, the qualities of an ideal ASW employee, and more inspiring insights.
1. Hi Aniza, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love exploring the city (my husband does the driving, of course) without any agenda. The only rule is to pay attention to what piques your interest. Because that’ll likely point you in the right direction. Nowadays, apps like TikTok are the best tourist guide/reference for exploration.
2. Can you tell us more about your role and your responsibilities at ASW?
The primary responsibility of an HR function is to provide continuity to the business. HR should identify warning signs to curb attrition. However, in the current scenario, it becomes imperative for HR teams to strategize efficient efforts to retain the employees.
This can be made possible through adopting various practices. HR managers support employees during challenges that occur at work and outside of work. This requires creating an environment in which all employees feel comfortable communicating problems and concerns.
- Training: This helps employees to learn something new and add to their skills and competencies. This also inspires them to improve their performance and be recognized for their efforts.
- Growth Opportunities: Employees should have the option to explore opportunities within the organisation. Better career options or profiles should be created within the organisation itself.
- Challenging tasks: Career cycle for employees should be meaningful. The KPIs should hold importance and bring about added value to the business.
- Appreciation: Performance should be recognized in terms of incentives, appraisals, package, honours, etc. This initiative will develop loyalty towards the organisation.
To win over the competition and keep up with the trends, we have to fight the obstacles and innovate. Skilled and trained talents are our biggest strength. This, in addition to technology, will help HR to deliver the next generation of services and solutions and rise up the value chain.
3. How would you describe your career journey leading up to your current role at ASW?
I was fortunate to grow in each organization that I’ve worked for. I began my journey as an HR Assistant up to my last position as Senior HR Executive. I gained much experience during those 8 years. Then I was given the right opportunity in another company to grow from Junior HR Manager managing a single-entity organisation, up to being a Group HR Manager handling 3 separate organisations for 8 years. I had a great CEO who believed in me, nurtured me with exposure to fast-paced training to help me grow in my career development.
Now, as HR Manager in ASW MY for almost 3 years, I’m fortunate again to have a great GM and a CEO that have given me more exposure to work for an organisation that provides offshore services to an international market which is a niche business here in Malaysia.
4. What are the challenges that you encounter at work and how do you overcome them?
With the cut-throat competition in today’s corporate world, we keep up by offering other attractive benefits such as Learning and Development programs. Here at ASW, Personal and Continuous Development is always being prioritised. ASW provides the appropriate resources and training platforms to its employees as a return on investment.
HR must also be agile enough to adapt all its practices to the changing laws. It is extremely important not just for HR but also for each employee to understand the laws governing employment and its related benefits and aspects, and this can be made possible through regular awareness drives around these topics.
5. How would you describe the team you’re working with?
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – quote by Andrew Carnegie.
This quote truly reflects Joe Fussell (ASW Founder and CEO) and especially to Gizelle Evangelista (ASW GM for People & Capability), who have never failed to lead us in the right direction.
6. What inspires you in your work and in your life?
As a Muslim, this is what I believe and what inspires me: “Turn to Allah and you will find His Mercy heal every aching part of your heart and soul. Allah will guide you; He will bring clarity to your eyes, make soft your heart and make firm your soul.”
7. Can you share with us your most significant contributions at ASW?
HR’s presence in ASW MY has significantly resolved loads of issues and has become better at people management. Facilitating external training programmes such as ASW MY Leadership Training for current and junior managers have helped them to prepare for their upcoming roles.
My initial steps in conducting HR Workshops throughout ASW MY have really helped everyone in understanding the required approaches that ASW needs to take, such as performance reviews and assessments. Engagement approaches that I took upon includes conducting mental health talks and calligraphy activities.
8. Aside from skills and experience, what particular qualities do you look for among candidates who want to work for ASW?
After working several years with ASW and understanding its business requirements, these are some of the qualities in a candidate who could become an ideal employee of ASW: being a problem solver, reliable and trustworthy, having a positive attitude, a multi-tasker and have great communication skills because it also involves other skills, such as listening and empathising.
9. How do you keep the ASW MY team engaged at work?
Employees become more engaged and motivated when they feel that they’re working with a team where their voices are heard. Strengthen employees’ sense of belonging by communicating with them on a regular basis. Listen to them – their opinions, their great ideas, their concerns. They just want someone to hear them out.
10. What advice would you give to those who are still looking for a job?
Don’t always follow your passion. If you study people who end up loving their work and becoming successful, most of them did not follow a pre-existing passion. Instead, their passion for the work developed over time as they got better at what they did and took more control over their career.
11. Thanks for your time! Do you have any special message or advice that you’d like to share with your fellow ASW colleagues?
Since the day I joined ASW, I’ve always received continuous support. That is the one thing I can always count on. They have shown me patience, guidance, and motivated me whenever challenging situations arose. Thanks for supporting me wholeheartedly. Even during dreadful days, my colleagues always make my work life easier, and I consider them as my good friends. Thank you for sticking by me. I couldn’t appreciate