How to build a business culture in Malaysia amidst MCO

business culture in Malaysia

Especially during this pandemic where individuals are working from home, fostering a business culture in Malaysia is extremely crucial. According to statistics, only 41% of respondents are experiencing being part of an organization that cares for employee wellbeing.

Some of the factors that form business culture are remote working hours and employee well-being. For example, agencies which have fast-paced working culture is more crucial to build a stronger culture, especially during the recent Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia.

How agencies think about business culture in Malaysia

Nizwani Shahar, chief executive of Ogilvy Malaysia said that a positive, strong, well-communicated and clearly defined culture attracts talent. Besides, it also leads to retention and engagement.

Besides the company’s vision and strategy, company or agency leaders have to define the culture and value system too. However, developing a culture is just one aspect. One of the most difficult aspects is following through with the plan and incorporate it, especially during the pandemic.

Talking about how Ogilvy evolved and adapted through the pandemic, a big part of it is through this shared culture and in ensuring it continues nurturing business values despite working from home, Nizwani explained.

Similarly, Mazuin Zin, MD of Edelman Malaysia said distance means organizations have to think out of the box about constructing and maintaining culture. She added that organizational culture is the real reflection of employee emotions and shared values.

Furthermore, Mazuin mentions 67% of employees expected their employer to have a better aim apart from the bottom line and for their job to have a meaningful societal impact.

Based on Hays’ Uncovering the DNA of the future workplace in Asia report, 85% of respondents in Malaysia believe that remote working options become more crucial to them after the pandemic. Meanwhile, a further 81% saying that flexible hours would be more important.

The ongoing pandemic has provided chances for leadership teams to engage, connect and reflect with individual employees. The agency has doubled down on external and internal professional resources to support the teams’ well-being. Moreover, it also focused on cross-team problem solving and cross-team care for each other.

Difficulties faced returning to the office post-MCO

For now, agencies are practicing caution from an organizational standpoint to keep its office closed down. As soon as the pandemic alleviates, it will open with 30% to provide flexibility for teams needing to work together for brainstorming. This flexibility means that agencies would have a hybrid mode in the future, where some employees are fully remote and others rotate their shifts.

The market is now driving towards speed, efficiency, and integration. Basically, a business can be simplified into three lines – creative, media, and CRM, in a bid to be fluid and interoperable.

Since this transformation is very hard work, it is important to have open conversations, transparency, and prioritize workloads and bandwidth.


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Opinion: How can Malaysian agencies build a culture amidst movement controls?

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