Considered a “natural phenomenon” in Vietnam, the month of March is known as the “ship-jumping season” in the labor market. This is when employees tend to evaluate their careers and search for a greener pasture elsewhere. As a result, employers are left with the same dilemma year after year: recruiting and retention.
According to Decision Lab’s analysis about what Gen Z’s perfect working environment is like, a beautifully designed office or a decent paycheck isn’t enough to make a company desirable and prevent their employees from quitting. In fact, an ideal workplace should be able to optimize productivity, connection, creativity, and inspiration; where employees feel content and willing to keep on contributing to their company.
Vietcetera spoke with Sakshi Jawa, Chief People Officer at Tiki — HR Asia Awards' best place to work in Asia in 2019, and Zoee Nguyen, Member Experience Director of Dreamplex as they share their thoughts on how to create a happy working environment.
How would you define an ideal workplace?
Sakshi Jawa: I believe, first and foremost, it should be a place where employees feel content as they are being taken care of in all aspects. For Tiki, we have been on the journey of building it. We want our employees not to be bothered about minor concerns like where they should park their motorbikes, or where they can have lunch. Beyond that, we also want them to focus on their personal growth as a member of Tiki, as well as the company’s vision and future. We want to create an environment where our people feel secure, happy, and proud of where they spend a big part of their day working.
Zoee Nguyen: Each individual has their own wants and needs. Some people look for space and flexibility, some specifically ask for state-of-the-art equipment, while others emphasize communication and networking. For Dreamplex, an ideal workplace is one that meets everyone’s needs. On top of that, due to the long pause for business generally caused by COVID-19, a more flexible office that can be down or upscaled easily is definitely a very appealing solution for business owners. That’s why Dreamplex’s collection of different locations with unique designs and diverse concepts are able to provide our clients more varieties and experiences that fit their needs.
Why did Tiki decide to pick a Dreamplex office as its new “home” in Hanoi?
Sakshi Jawa: Looking for our new office in Hanoi, we knew that we need to keep our employees happy and want to make sure that they’re able to focus on their work rather than logistics issues. We looked at a few offices and then the current Dreamplex office we’re moving into, you know, it gives us everything that we want — big meeting room, very creative, beautifully done office, very central and frugal enough for a tech company like us.
I was very impressed with everything, from how it is designed to the furniture, it just exudes a positive vibe. Dreamplex services and connectivity also make the day of work here more enjoyable, engaging, and efficient — a comprehensive experience model I want for my employees.
Zoee Nguyen: Dreamplex team fully understands that Tiki aims to build their business culture as their personal brand, and their top priority is to create an environment where their employees are free to collaborate and grow. This appears to be Dreamplex's central value as well. In addition to physical workspaces, we deliver experiences and strategies to companies who wish to keep their talents around and make them feel fully connected. Sharing a matching vision, Tiki and Dreamplex together came up with many ideas and created unique experiences specially tailored for Tiki.
Up to 80% of Tiki’s workforce are Gen Z people. Is there any difference when creating a working environment for this particular group of employees?
Sakshi Jawa: Gen Z is way more open to experimenting with new things. Compared to the other groups, they are more willing to innovate, take risks, and do things that they have never done before. Because these young people are all about being creative, and breaking the norm. They are likely to say “We’ve never done this before in Vietnam but it’s ok, we’ll give it a try”.
In a team, you always have to find a way to balance these two trends. If you consider only the Millennial employees, it would be difficult to innovate so quickly. On the contrary, Gen Z also needs to learn a lot from the experience gained after many years of working with Millennials. Ideally, in a Gen Z team, you have a Millennials leader who believes in what Gen Z does, understands their operations without micro-management, who will let people experiment things, and trust that Gen Z can do what they’re bound to do, but someone who also has the courage to tell them to stop or say no to their ideas when they’re really not working.
Zoee Nguyen: The first thing that helps Gen Z employees stand out is their willingness to share, to speak up their minds, and express their needs. We have received really detailed and specific feedback, which helps us a lot when it comes to operating events or activities that satisfy our Gen Z clients.
Since Gen Z is a group of people moving forward at a very fast pace and are fascinated with trends, they also get bored of things very quickly. That’s why it is a challenge for us since we always need to be up-to-the-minute, to be aware and ready for the next chic things.
This group of clients tends to appreciate personalized, versatile, modern, and comfortable working spaces. In order to cross out these requirements and make sure our clients are happy as they can be, a Dreamplex office should be a pleasant, hi-tech, modern environment, a location that provides its users with a sense of comfort while also enhancing their creativity.
Can you walk us through the process of designing this “happy experience”?
Zoee Nguyen: For Tiki’s office, what we needed to create is a thorough solution for a business, not just an office plan or design. Both teams sat down together and discussed Tiki’s quarter and annual goals, as well as activities specially designed for Tiki. Lots of surveys have been conducted in order to get to know each of Tiki member’s needs. And, despite working in an IT and e-commerce-focused business, we noticed that everyone here has such a diverse set of interests. Based on the details we gathered, we came up with a strategy of four distinct sections:
- Play@Dreamplex: simple yet entertaining games at work for relaxation and reconnection.
- Work.Well: well-being-focused activities such as yoga, meditation, health check-up, etc.
- Future.Co: Supporting HR teams and company leaders to build more forward-looking, employee-centric companies.
- Dreamplex Academy: work-performance boosting courses including networking, time management, personal brand values, etc.
What does this new office mean to the evolution of Tiki and Dreamplex?
Sakshi Jawa: According to the roadmap, this is the first step for us to create an environment that would attract the best Talents. Currently, in Hanoi, we have about 70 people but we have plans to expand. We want to look for people who want to join the Tiki team to speed up, so we moved to a wider office, to expand the scale of Tiki's staff in Hanoi.
We’re not new in Hanoi, but now it’s time to be more aggressive here. The most important thing while operating an office outside of headquarters is to ensure that we consistently communicate with them, and make sure that they are a part of Tiki's overall vision.
Zoee Nguyen: As our clients' needs differ by region, strategies also differ. Our future goal is to successfully convince Hanoian clients to try the new concept of working experience. With that being said, we are confident that they’re going to be our valued long-term business partners once we earn their trust through the top-notch experiences we offer, especially in combination with the 6 locations we expect to have in Ho Chi Minh City by the end of 2021.
Adapted by L A M