How Savvycom excels at human management

Corporate culture has always been one of Savvycom’s pride. With an average employee retention rate of 90% annually, the company positioned itself as a home for every creative and techy and guarantee to deliver the finest values to all stakeholders. Thanks to the relentless endeavour of our people, the company has gradually made it to the top. Therefore, ever since the company establishment, HR has been the investment we never regret making.


A grasp of Savvycom milestones in 2019 alone

Such cultural success was a result of 10 years relentlessly looking beyond employee cognitive needs to find out their hidden demand and serve them right: Right people, at the right time, in the right place. The recipe was simple, but also required a lot of strategic moves to create a consistent system throughout the company.
In this article, we are going to share our 4 best HR strategies, the keys to our last 10 years of excellence – and still counting. Take your pen out, cause’ there will be some good insights to note down!

Goal-setting is not solely board of director’s task

Many people have a misconception that goals must be top-down instead of bottom-up. Although it’s not wrong, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Traditional goal setting, where goals are set at the top level of the organization and then broken into subgoals for each level of the organization, might be convenient and easy to execute – yet it lacks transparency and unity among different levels in the company. 
Also, because traditional goal-setting fixates on the assumption that top managers know what is best because of their ability to see the “big picture”, it passes on the dimensionality of the problem. Therefore, the top management fails to engage everyone with the same motivation, hence, result in the increasing resistance as the goals pass down.


Source: Pearson

In order to prevent the germ of collapse resulted from the ineffective corporation goal-setting, Savvycom has switched from the traditional strategy to MBO (Management by Objectives), where specific performance goals are jointly determined by employees, in association with  BSC (Balance scorecards) to maximise the efficiency of company goal accomplishments. 
That being said, employees are then allowed to contribute to the overall wealthiness of the company – directly. This leads to 3 major impacts to both employees and the company, which happens to lie in 10 most important reasons why employees will stay, as per Nielsen research:

  1. Transparency of strategy from upper sits to lower-level positions.
  2. A sense of leadership, a feeling of inclusion, a deeper level of commitment.
  3. Empowerment.

Right after applying MBO, Savvycom’s employee satisfaction, as recorded and reviewed by internal surveys, recognised a new record of 83%. The speed towards goal achievement was also 18% faster than that of traditional goal-setting. The figures continue to improve up til’ today, after 10 years of development and 4 years since goal-setting strategy alteration.

Off-the-job behaviours are of concern

There is always a blur, grey line between work and life. Lots of psychological research has pointed out the link of behaviour among different circumstances – that includes workplace ones as well. For example, a woman who tends to binge eating at home has a high possibility to also binge eating at work, regardless of how she argues that she only overeating at home because she has nothing to do since her habit is probably bound to be. Therefore, managers shall also roll their eyes to employee’s off-the-job behaviours in order to create a comfortable working environment and smarter task allocation, to which their daily habit may align. 
Understanding such a connection, Savvycom encourages managers from all departments to care more about the off-the-job behaviours with an aim to generate more values to the employees. 
Still, we keep in mind that caring about their out-of-office convention and sneaking into their personal life are two different stories. A tactful manager knows how to analyze normal office gossips and combine them with employees’ behaviours at work to derive essential information without causing them a sense of being overcontrolled. Therefore, Savvycom managers always try to show that we truly care about our employees instead of caging them to give them senses of comfort.
After applying the tactics, Savvycom employees’ task completion rate shows a significant improvement as they finished the tasks faster and more precisely.

Learning – together

Knowledge and skills are, by figurativeness, food for our souls. Humans need foods to survive, and know-how to grow. However, they are also social creatures that depend heavily on their community to act actively and efficiently. According to research, nearly 70% of people show more impressive results at work under “group learning”, which proves the power of learning together in corporative contexts. 
Given the finding, Savvycom HR team started to engage employees with weekly workshops, where they are encouraged to share their knowledge, discuss multiple technological trends in the world and learn new skills in order to broaden their views. The company also focuses on organising in-depth supplementary classes with an updated syllabus and recent intelligence – using group discussion and mock projects as the main teaching method – for employees to co-learn and compete with each other to excel new skills. 


Savvycom focuses on building a co-learning hub for employees

It’s also a good activity to improve employees’ ability to confront and absorb new ideas – even the opposing ones, as well as to accept that their solid beliefs could be wrong and welcome intellectual humility. Those skills will eventually benefit them in communicating and negotiating with our clients, who often pose contrary opinions against development teams. The partnership will, therefore, be strengthened and later result in excellent product delivery.

“The most impressive thing about Savvycom is that they satisfied all requirements we expected our outsource company to be: skillsets, culture, communication and the desired partnership. It’s collaboration. I really don’t look at it as I’m dealing with a vendor but a partner.”

David Cheng – iHeart Local founder

Physique and intelligence are equally prioritised

Finding that software development is somewhat the “unhealthy” type of work that requires intense focus and extensive hours of working, Savvycom applies the philosophy that “Physical stamina is the energy to reduce the toxin of the hard work” into building the company culture. Savvycom upholds not only a tradition of “brain sharpening” as manifested by weekly workshops and learning subsidiaries, but also a culture of physical wellness.
As such, Savvycom spares a large amount of budget in organizing gym activities in order to create a “physical training” commotion within the company. The activities include periodic outing days, sponsoring gym membership and weekly “happy Friday” where employees are regaled with fruits and clean food. By doing so, Savvycom expects all employees to be healthy – inside and out, therefore, contribute more to their jobs and the development of the whole company. 


Savvycom holds periodic wellness events to improve employees’ physical and mental health

Up til’ today, more than 50 outing events have been organized, each delivered different health-improving games that satisfied over 95% of employees as recorded by internal satisfaction surveys. The “gym club” of Savvycom, after running for 4 years, has attracted more than 60% of employees to register and training together on the company subsidiary. A reward system is also developed in order to recognise people who actively engaged in the company’s wellness movement, so that they have the motivation to commit more.
Savvycom keeps the faith that humans are the one thing leading the company to sustainability. No matter how many times the products may fail, how many crises the business may be snowed under – as long as our people are there, we can always see the light. Therefore, treasuring our talents and nurture them through proper “watering” to solve complex problems for clients will always be our doctrine for excellence.
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