Bank Sumitomo Mitsui Indonesia

"Managing Diversity Through Cultivating Common Language Within the Organization"


Business growth cannot be realized without talents of the organization leveraging on their strengths to create unique value to the market. The story is the same for Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Indonesia (SMBCI). In this session, Ms. Jane Yurico as the Head of Learning People and Development Department shares her thoughts on Human Resources initiatives and how it has shaped the organizational growth so far.

1. The Importance of Human Resources for Organizational Growth

"Talents play the important roles of not only improving business performance but they are
the living brand of the company itself".

However, as time passed by, the market appetite for banking industries offered SMBCI the opportunity to grow. During this phase of introduction, elevating the brand awareness of SMBCI in the market was a crucial issue as SMBCI was not well known by the Indonesian market.
To take on this challenge, SMBCI first established an initiative to pool high caliber talents by recruiting from the market. At the end of the day, improving the brand can only be done through the people that work in the company. The years of 2012-2014 was the period of search and preparation. We were able to recruit the right talents to face the challenge ahead. To take on the phase of expansion.

2. The Challenges of the Expansion

"When our business started to grow rapidly, we faced several challenges. Most of which came
from how to manage diversity.”

In this phase of expansion, we saw diversity in many areas of the organization. One example is how to leverage the millennial talents. The generation gap between the younger and the older generation was a recipe for either innovation or a disaster depending on how to manage it.
Another example of diversity was between existing and mid-career staffs recruited. The recruited mid-career staffs were destined to bring their previous working culture into SMBCI. Since SMBCI has its own culture as well, the clash of culture was inevitable.
In an era where customer needs are “diversified”, a “diversified workforce” to capture those “diversified needs” is critically important. As such, managing the diversity in a way that can leverage the differences was the key to business success. Our approach was to try and create a common language within the organization so that even under such diversity, people can be united in the way they communicate, creating unity and sense of belonging.


3. About Partnership with Precena Indonesia

"Basically, what we see in Precena is the unique learning methodology and professionalism in taking on the journey together to establish this common language.”

We have partnered with Precena for years. We must say, it is not easy to find a partner that really understands the culture of a company at a deep level. That is what Precena was able to do. Through the journey of establishing a common language, our goal was to take away obstacles and fears that is borne when facing differences (diversity) and also for everyone to respect each other. For this reason, we targeted the section chiefs as the main participants of Precena training. Section Chief is a very strategic layer in the organization. They must work in line with their leaders’ direction, and at the same time, lead their team effectively. They are the bridge that unite the company from top to bottom. By equipping them with the ability to utilize the fundamental business languages and the capacity to exercise effective leadership through collaboration with Precena, SMBCI became a stronger company as a whole.
The journey, of course, is still on-going.