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  • Subject area(s): Business
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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First of all, we have to appreciate one of the insurance company in Malaysia - “Sun Life Malaysia” for giving our team a golden opportunity to conduct an interview and have a look around their company. We decided to choose this company as we would like to increase our knowledge about how a company runs well by motivating the employees. Sun Life Malaysia is an insurance company located at Level 11,338, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur. As we know insurance is very important for all of us in our life. Why is it so important? Because when you purchasing insurance, it means you are buying a promise. It's a promise in case if something catastrophic happens to you or your family members, there is some compensation to aid your problems or as an emergency backup plan.

Sun Life Malaysia (Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad and Sun Life Malaysia Takaful Berhad) is a joint venture by Sun Life Financial Inc. and Avicennia Capital Sdn. Bhd., a fully owned Khazanah Nasional Berhad investment holding company, specializing in Insurance and Family Takaful. This company offers a comprehensive range of life insurance and Family Takaful products and services to Malaysians across the country and is focused on helping Clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives. Besides that, it partners have operated in a number of markets worldwide including Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia and etc. Their company is a public listed company. The public shares of Sun Life Financial group of companies, trade on the Toronto (TRX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchange under the ticker symbol SLF. As at 30 September of 2017, they had total assets under management of CA$934 billion in total.

The purpose of the company is helping their clients achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives and the ambition is to be one of the best insurance and asset management companies in the world. Datuk Dr. Syed Muhamad bin Syed Abdul Kadir, a Malaysian aged 68 is the Chairman of Sun Life Malaysia. He is an Independent Non-Executive Chairman of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad and he was appointed to the Board on 28 May 2005. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in the University of Malaya in 1971. After that, he pursued the Ph.D. in Business Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA and was conferred Ph.D. in 1986. He started his career in 1973 as Senior Project Officer, School of Financial Management at the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) and held various positions before his final appointment as Deputy Director. The Chief Executive Officer and President of Sun Life Malaysia is Raymond Lew. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Honors) and started his career in life insurance with a large conglomerate in Malaysia. He has more than 25 years of experience in this pathway. In 2013, Raymond Lew joined Sun Life Malaysia as CEO. Prior to Sun Life Malaysia, he held senior leadership positions in RHB Insurance and RHB Banking Group where he was instrumental in building the Group’s instrumental in building the Group’s insurance.

One of our interviewee is the head of department, named Fidya Saleh. She has been working in this company for more than 5 years. As a head of human resources department, she told us the duties and responsibilities within the department are to develop and implement continuous improvement in the service industry, and improved outcomes in Client Services and Complaint. They have to fulfill the customer's needs by providing the suitable solution for them. She enforces high-performance corporate culture in her team. Company culture is the set of behaviors that determine how things get done at the company. When company cultures are particularly high-performing, they can impact all corners of the organization. For instance, increasing the engagement, productivity, and retention are all the outcomes of a high-performance corporate culture. A study shows that job turnover in organizations with a strong culture is 14%, compared with 48% in companies with poor cultures. Workforces would be more efficient in their work when the team stress on high-performance corporate culture.

  What is a job title? A job title is a term that describes in a few words or less; the position held by an employee. Employers use job titles to categorize work positions in their organization. That is why a company's organization chart will clearly show the jobs by categorizing it in variety job title. A job description is a summary of the most important features of a job. So, it should have focused on the job itself and not the person who fills the job. Usually all the new or updated job descriptions must be reviewed by the Human Resources Department. Typically, managers are classified into three levels: Top-level management, Middle-management, Supervisors. The top-level management are usually responsible for charting the company's path. After that, they will convey the path to all employees. Middle managers required strong problems solving skills as they work to implement the strategy outlined by senior management. Direct supervisors manage employees. Their job is to make sure all the task is done on time and correctly. When all of the positions and management can cooperate with each member, all the tasks can be done efficiently and easily even though it is a difficult task. After the visit to Sun Life Malaysia, we can clearly see that the company has a good management to solve and accomplish all the tasks step by step in order to achieve their company goals.

One of the initiatives done by the company to motivate their employee is by communicating with the employee. Managers can't learn about ideas, attitude or concerns of team members without constant communication. Always seize the opportunity to interact with them and discover hundreds of new ways of organizing activities more successfully. Besides that, the company supports new ideas from anyone in the company. Each team member will feel empowered by the opportunity to not only implement day to day tasks but as well as suggest new ideas and make them a reality. Give people a chance to take initiative and you will be amazed by their ability to create brilliant ideas. Sun life Insurances encourages creativity among employees. Supervising doesn't mean controlling each and every step. It means making sure that all the organizational activities are being implemented at the highest level. Give people the freedom to find their own unique ways of solving issues. Challenge them to think out of the box. Empower each individual on their work. Most of the time people need just a little encouragement to believe in themselves and to realize that they have a greater potential within. Sun Life Insurance always practice showing confidence in the unique abilities and potential of team members. Being supportive is always an important trait for employees and manager to have in this company. Even if people in your organization are self-disciplined and creative enough for finding solutions to various problems, anyway they are always in need of your guidance. Support them as much as you can, and they will be inspired to do the same for you and for the organization. Managers in this particular company manage each individual individually when needed to motivate them and achieve greatness. Every person has their strengths and weaknesses. Someone may be amazing at public speaking, while the other one has great writing skills. Give people a chance to operate in the frames of their strengths, and they will be more confident and motivated in their activities. Lastly, create and maintain a team spirit. A team is like a family, where mutual support and trust are the most important values. Organize team activities both during working time and after. This is how the company maintain a powerful team spirit by enforcing teamwork in the workplace.  

Motivation theory is basically how a manager motivates their employees in order to achieve goals. By using motivation theory, the employee could have performed better in the organization. To illustrate, in the workplace, motivation is very crucial because it motivates an employee to finish their job efficiently and effectively. Besides, it also increases productivity and achieves higher levels of output. Based on our interview for Sun Life Enterprise, I'm sure that Sun life Enterprise has successfully achieved their initiative.

First of all, Sun life Enterprise focuses on the communication with the staff. This is extremely important for an organization to focus on communication because, without communication, problems might happen, for example, unable to finish work on given time. Sun life Enterprise keeps a good relationship with their employees even though they are from different races. They respect each other and work together for so many years. Not only that, they even provide flexible hours for the employee by allowing them to participate in a charity and give them the replacement holidays. This may lead to a good relationship with managers and the employees.

Besides that, the motivation used by Sun Life enterprise has successfully encouraged their employees in create and maintain a team spirit. Team spirit is important in the workplace for employees because they can get the job done faster by giving mutual support and trust. For example, each employee in Sun Life enterprise has mutual trust like they respect each other well and helping each other when they face difficulties in their company. Not only that, by creating and maintain a team spirit, Sun Life enterprise can easily reach their goal because team spirit created a golden opportunity for the company to be successful.

Furthermore, Sun Life Enterprise also support new ideas and encourage creativity from the employee by giving the opportunity to the employee to create their own ideas. Supporting employees' idea by giving chance is definitely a good motivation for the employee as who knows a brilliant idea might create by anyone in the company. Thus, a brilliant idea could bring a company to become famous and successful. Next, Sun Life enterprise also encourage the creativity of their employees. Having said that, the senior manager of Sun Life enterprise gives the employee freedom to find their own unique way of solving issues. The manager also encouraged them to think outside of the box. Thus, I personally think that Sun Life enterprise has successfully developed the initiative for the company.

Lastly, the initiative taken by Sun Life enterprise is successful because all the employees in the company are responsible and discipline in working. This is due to the fact that the manager of the company gives as much support as she can. To illustrate, even though the employees are self-discipline, however, they also need guidance from the manager. When it comes to guidance, a manager is definitely the one who plays an important role in giving guidance. Through our interview, the manager told us that she supports them so that they will be inspired to do their tasks even better. Through our interview and understanding of Sun Life enterprise, we get to know that they are improving themselves to be more successful.

As we talked about the company's progress and growth, the conversation led to many ways organizations can reward and encourage their staffs in different ways depending on an individual want. We then narrowed down a few improvements that can be made to improve motivation among staff. Being a leader is a great responsibility. It is vital to make a right choice for your team and to grab opportunities when it is given. For an effective and healthy organization, they should feel like they want to be part of it, and it all starts with a proactive leader. Every member of the group should feel comfortable working with an appointed leader in their respective workspace. They should be confident with sharing new ideas to the group or to propose a change for the greater good. As an effective leader new ideas proposed should be welcomed at all times and make an effort to encourage the staffs to share more in the future.

As easy as it sounds things does not always go as planned. There will be staffs who are not team players and does not cooperate in projects. A well-known CEO once said: “It is amazing to watch one bad attitude affect one’s daily performance. It is sometimes a wise choice to let poisonous staffs go. It is a difficult thing to do but it impacts the working environment, which sometimes can also be felt by the customers. A good leader will maintain good communication skills and provide clear information to staffs. The leader should also involve the whole team in crucial decision-making process so that they feel valued thus increase the overall performance. Gratitude should also be shown to team members when a great job is done. It ignites interest, increases productivity and builds trust between colleagues. Sometimes a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way.

Working in a clean and neat environment can have a big impact on staffs’ overall performance. A recent study by The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment shows that 24% of people in the workforce suggested that the office environment was responsible for their job motivation. Usually, the first step in designing a suitable workplace is determining what's a company goal. Once the main mission is clear, teamwork and staff motivation and be improved. Make it easy for staffs to acquire stress relieve objects like stress balls and ergonomic chairs. When staffs have a comfortable workplace, give them some freedom to customize in their own liking as every individual work differently.

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