Nurturing talent at heart of Nestlé Vietnam’s success

November 21, 2022 | 08:00
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On November 16, the Best Enterprises for Workers Award ceremony took place in Hanoi. Truong Bich Dao, human resources director at Nestlé Vietnam – which picked up the award for the third time – talked to VIR’s Linh Le about the company’s fair and encouraging employment practices.

Nestlé Vietnam is known for its investment in human resources (HR) development and value creation for employees. What are some of the main pillars of the company’s HR policies?

Nurturing talent at heart of Nestlé Vietnam’s success
Truong Bich Dao, human resources director at Nestlé Vietnam

The Best Enterprises for Workers Award aims to encourage businesses to take care of employees’ lives, ensure an effective working environment, and help promote employees’ capacity.

Despite many challenges, we strive to protect and maintain our workers’ overall physical and mental health, through four main aspects of their lives. These are financial guarantee (including salary and welfare), ensuring their safety in both physical and mental health, strengthening recognition and reward activities, and promoting company’s activities that create human connections.

How are these aspects manifested in Nestlé Vietnam’s corporate culture, which consolidated the company’s position as the Best Enterprises for Workers as well as a leading recruiter?

Our core value is derived from the notion of Respect, in which Respect for individual differences is the most typical. An example would be gender equality. We are proud to be an enterprise with strong commitment and enforcement of the principles of women empowerment. Specifically, the percentage of women holding senior management positions is equal to, or at times even exceeds, the number of male colleagues. Women hold about half of management positions at other levels.

In Nestlé’s HR development policies and strategies, from recruitment and training to succession planning and promotion, gender equality has always been part of our DNA and a clear cultural norm.

Empowering young people and nurturing employees’ potential is another cultural characteristic in our nearly three-decade journey in Vietnam. The highlight of this policy is the opportunity for promotion no matter what seniority or rank. We promote a culture of experimentation and creativity that helps employees push themselves beyond their limits while offering intensive training and mentoring programs that combine cross category or departmental rotation plans and an international working environment.

Thanks to the above factors, Nestlé’s employees are generally proud to be alongside an excellent team with dedicated leadership and are inspired to rise. Along with the company’s optimal remuneration and welfare regime, a natural attraction is created, helping us strengthen our position as one of the best enterprises for workers and a leading recruiter.

Nurturing talent at heart of Nestlé Vietnam’s success
Nestlé Vietnam continues to pick up further accolades thanks to its modern corporate culture and labour practices

What is the key to attracting young employees and what are the company’s policies in terms of developing future leaders?

Nestlé’s management trainee programme is dedicated to fulfilling its commitment to nurturing the young generation. Every year, this programme has helped us attract about 25-30 talented newly graduates who have aspirations to develop themselves in a dynamic and learning organization like Nestle. These students would then gain skills both through training, coaching and experiment via their practical work, thereby improving their professional knowledge and readiness to take on key leadership roles in the future.

In addition, Nestlé Vietnam allocates over $700,000 annually for employees’ development and skill-building, including domestic and overseas training. Therefore, the opportunity for Vietnamese employees to work in senior management positions at the group’s headquarters or at Nestlé offices and factories in many countries is no longer a new concept. These workers would then return to Vietnam and hold key leadership positions, contributing to increasing the percentage of key Vietnamese leaders in the company.

One of the highlights for us is the opportunity for promotion regardless of seniority or rank, especially for local HR. This is because their contribution to the company would in turn create innovative products and healthcare solutions for Vietnamese people. “Lighting up Vietnamese talents” is one of the programmes dedicated to this endeavour. Since last year, Nestlé Vietnam has cooperated with more than 19 universities in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as other organisations, to provide knowledge on branding and product positioning, as well as hold online career-sharing sessions for more than 10,000 students.

Nurturing talent at heart of Nestlé Vietnam’s success

How does the company retain experienced and skilled workers when the working environment is increasingly competitive?

In any field, talent is always the source of competitive strength. Attracting and retaining talent have always been the priority for global businesses. We believe that the optimal way to keep employees attracted is to create the safest and most favourable environment, as well as an optimal welfare regime for them.

While we value autonomy and individual competency, we also need to ensure connection and cooperation of teamwork. Therefore, we have developed a working model on the basis of finance, spirit, sentiment and physical wellbeing.

For finance, we offer competitive salaries and bonuses based on performance, ensuring that employees and their loved ones have a good life. The sentiment component means building a culture of transparency and trust, with the spirit of “one team - one goal” and the attitude of positive feedback, quick agreement, and unanimous implementation. Regarding spirit, a diverse and inclusive environment and respect for diversity are highlighted. As for physical wellbeing, the staff is supported with knowledge about nutrition and sports to build a healthy lifestyle.

How does Nestlé plan to expand investment and production in Vietnam in 2023, and how will that affect you recruitment plan?

Since we entered Vietnam, we have been consistent with our commitment to long-term investment and sustainable development in Vietnam. For nearly 30 years, Nestlé Vietnam has continuously expanded its investment and diversified products to serve the nutritional needs of Vietnamese people, at the same time increasing investment in the development of sustainable raw materials and boosting exports. We have created jobs for more than 2,000 direct workers, nearly 10,000 indirect workers, and supported tens of thousands of farmers in the Nescafé Plan project.

With the goal of turning Vietnam into a global and regional manufacturing hub, Nestlé Vietnam has recently announced an additional investment of $132 million to double its production capacity of high-quality coffee lines at Nestlé Tri An factory in the southern province of Dong Nai. This investment has brought the total foreign investment value of Nestlé Vietnam Co., Ltd. to nearly $730 million.

At Nestlé, people are the company’s most valuable asset and a key factor for sustainable development. Investing in human resources development and expanding our long-term and sustainable investment in production are our long-term commitments in Vietnam, and we will continue to do so in the future. Besides recruiting and developing experienced workers fit to the current business requirements, we will continue to offer our management trainee programme for grooming the fresh graduates. These are the two key sources to help us create thehigh-quality workforce as well as the pipeline for the potential senior leaders for the company needs - now and future.

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By Linh Le

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