eNewsletter May 2013

Top Story:
Introducing the GAC New Employee Orientation (NEO)
Middle Management Training Initiative in APA with Lena Seah
Course Feature:
Personal and Professional Development course (PPD)
Course Feature:
The Global English Programme supports GAC as a multicultural organisation
Sights and Sounds:
Damien O’Donoghue represents GCA at the World Evolving Corporate Universities Forum
GAC New Employee
Orientation (GAC NEO)

GAC New Employee Orientation or GAC NEO is the Group’s initiative to induct all new employees joining GAC globally with a common universal foundation and understanding of the business.

“The intention of the GAC NEO initiative is to ensure new joiners quickly embrace the GAC culture and the approach of continuous learning as an important part of doing business.

It reinforces the GAC Spirit and GAC-to-GAC (G2G) philosophy, as well as the importance of attitude and competency in line with Vision Z – Global Performance.”

Patrik Halldén

Patrik Halldén, Group Vice President, Human Resources

The GAC Corporate Academy has been tasked with looking at New Employee Orientation (NEO) and its importance in ensuring that all new joiners to the GAC World experience the “GAC Way” from day one. It is important that new joiners build a strong psychological contract with GAC in their formative time in the organisation.

GAC NEO includes Introduction to the GAC World (IGW), Compliance and Ethics (CNE), Business Communication Competence Test (BCCT) and Health Safety Security and Environment (HSSE).

Our President has confirmed that the 30-day IGW and HSSE courses, as well as CNE are now mandatory for all new employees. IGW needs to be successfully completed within the probation period.

This will ensure new joiners are equipped with the foundation knowledge to support their new role, and at the same time allow the operating company to gauge the competency and attitude of new joiners. By looking at the performance of the individual in their foundation learning, line managers and GLOs can assess the potential of the employee in terms of their attitude and willingness to thrive in the GAC World.

GAC NEO also provides the opportunity to map out future learning and development pathways for employees based on specific job families and levels. For example in the case of a Sales Executive, after completing the mandatory induction courses, they can work with their manager to establish a personalised learning pathway to set them up for success – Fundamental Selling Skills (FSS), GAC Sales Handbook (GSH) and Profitable Customer Relations (PCR). This can be planned out over a set time period.

For more information about GAC NEO, contact Sherol Fernandes at GCA at sherol.fernandes@gac.com

Middle Management Training
Lena Seah

Lena Seah, Regional HR Manager APA

Lena Seah, Regional HR Manager in the Asia Pacific Region, is a strong believer that building the skills of middle management is essential to the success of GAC performance.

“Middle management have direct contact with the frontline staff for their daily work and as a result they are in a highly influential position” she says. “Our strategy is to improve middle management competences and we are planning to achieve that with our intra-regional middle management development programme Just as top management comes together to discuss business and strategy, middle management will also have this opportunity.”

Lena explained that the first batch of 15 middle management staff have already been selected and begun their training programme based on the GCA course portfolio. “They first completed the Team Based Leadership (TBL) workshop in January held in Kuala Lumpur. This gave the participants a great chance to meet in person and begin getting to know each other. Currently they are doing the Effective Business Writing (EBW) course together as a group, and this will be followed by the new GAC TIME (GTM) course in October and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).”

Once the trainings completed after one and a half years, the cycle will repeat for the next batch of middle management, giving others an opportunity to come on board this special programme.

A performance management system is also being developed in alignment with the middle management training programme. The first round of appraisals to be held in Aug/Sep will discuss the learning and development needs of each staff member, and a schedule of GCA courses will be developed according to each individual’s learning requirements. This will also generate a more accurate L&D forecast due in end Oct for GCA as well.

The second round of appraisals will then be conducted three months later in Dec/Jan. This will allow employees to demonstrate their performance improvements during this period and their bonus and adjustments determined.

Lena is confident that this strategic approach to Human Resources in the APA region represents a strong step towards better performance and motivation in their staff.

Course Feature: Personal and Professional Development (PPD)
New Life Vs Old Life

The Personal and Professional Development course is designed for everyone who wants to take control of their success. The course is a step by step eight-week eLearning programme that takes participants through the process of better understanding themselves, identifying their own goals, and creating a SMART action plan for the next five years.

In today’s competitive world, having a carefully developed personal and professional development plan is important for many reasons, including:

  • Assisting with career development by defining your desired career development path and helping you to stick to it.
  • Becoming the basis of your performance appraisals.
  • Ensuring you maintain a balance of personal and work time.
  • Setting you on the path of being an effective lifelong learner.
Nigel Jaisingh

“PPD was indeed a life changing course for me. It was always my intention to be promoted to manager and because of the PPD plan which I developed, I eventually did get the courage I needed to approach my boss with my plan. This eventually paved the way for my boss to agree with my thoughts and the result? I am now the company’s Operations Manager.”

Nigel Jaisingh, Operations Manager, GAC Trinidad and Tobago

Daniel Jenkins

“This PPD course, for me, was akin to what a lighthouse is to a sea captain on a stormy night. At the back of your mind you have a vague idea of what you need to do personally and professionally in your life but through this course you form a solid plan! You set your goals and map out how and when you will achieve them. Just like the lighthouse – this course serves as a reference point and guide to chart your course ahead.”

Daniel Jenkins, Assistant Manager IT, GAC Oman


“PPD is now a hugely important part of my life. Like many GAC’ers I tended to run at full sprint for extended periods of time, and years pass before I realize my life balance has spiralled out-of-control. With PPD’s foundational approach I re-discovered key parts of me that had been lost and I’m much more a complete individual because of it.”

Ian Meadows, Port Manager, GAC Shipping USA

Contact Sherol Fernandes at sherol.fernandes@gac.com or your GLO.

Course Feature: Global English Programme

Global English Programme

The GAC Group is proud of being a multinational organisation, with people from over 80 nationalities and 70 different languages.

One key challenge for an international organisation of this size is to establish a common business language. For GAC, English is the common communication link that allows us to speak the same language to achieve the company’s business objectives.

The Global English Programme (GEP) supports GAC employees to build their Business English skills for professional written and spoken communication.

In 2012/ 2013, a total of 188 GAC people have been through the one-year programme, which represents an increase of 71 people over the forecasted number. For the 2013/ 2014 year already 52 participants have begun GEP, with more set to join for the upcoming launch date in September.

The Global English Programme is a clear indication of GAC’s ongoing commitment to supporting employees from around the world, working together to ‘Deliver your Strategy’.

Evolving Corporate Universities Forum
World Evolving Corporate Universities orum

Damien O’Donoghue, GCA General Manager, was recently invited to speak about the GCA experience at the World Evolving Corporate Universities Forum. His paper ‘Building a Corporate Academy From Scratch’ outlined some of the main factors leading to the success of GCA as a best practice model amongst corporate universities, in both online and offline learning.

GCA Presentation

Alongside the many public and private corporate learning organisations represented at this international forum, it was clear that GCA is on the right path for the future. “Our alignment with the culture and strategy of the GAC Group is critical to our success, and our mission as the central transmission station for the GAC Spirit” said Damien.

The Forum highlighted the widespread transition amongst corporate universities towards competency-based eLearning. “This is exactly where we positioned GCA five years ago, and it’s exciting to see that we are now being regarded at the forefront of this movement” Damien commented.

There are many opportunities ahead for GCA. Firstly driving better integration and alignment with Human Resources, in particular ensuring our learning and development initiatives form part of the broader HR strategy that includes individual performance management, talent and succession, new employee orientation and recruitment. Secondly, it is important that leaders across the organisation own the results of learning and development, especially at the middle management level.

“It is opportunities like the Evolving Corporate Universities Forum that give us an international sense of perspective on what we are doing in GCA, and learn from and benchmark with others”, Damien concluded, “it is clear that GCA is highly regarded amongst its peers. We are excited to see what the future will bring!”

scarlett Yang

Scarlett Yang, accepts the 2012 GCA Award for Best Company on behalf of GAC Shanghai from Chairman Bjorn Engblom and Regional Vice President APA, Dan Hjalmarsson.