Transforming Human Resources: Approach of Irvandi Ferizal as a Strategic Business Partner

Irvandi Ferizal | Capital Director of PT Bank Maybank Indonesia, Tbk
Irvandi Ferizal | Capital Director of PT Bank Maybank Indonesia, Tbk

Standing as a trailblazer in redefining the role of HR, Irvandi Ferizal is showcasing how a strategic approach can not only contribute to the overall success of the organization but also earn accolades and recognition in the industry. Irvandi has been at the helm as the Human Capital Director of PT Bank Maybank Indonesia, Tbk, since December 1, 2015. In a career marked by a deep understanding of the strategic role of HR, Irvandi has consistently championed the idea that HR is not just a function unto itself but an integral part of the overall business.

Embracing the role of HR as a business partner, Irvandi has been a driving force in enhancing productivity and aligning HR initiatives with the organizational needs of the companies he has worked with. At Maybank Indonesia, he introduced a groundbreaking approach, positioning HR as a Business Player. This innovative perspective involves proactively utilizing HR channels and networks to actively support the company’s business objectives, acting as a key player in employer brand marketing, and providing industrial solutions.

Irvandi’s transformative approach to HR has not only reshaped the internal dynamics of Maybank Indonesia but has also gained widespread recognition in the market. In 2023, Maybank Indonesia received several prestigious awards under his leadership, including the Human Capital Resilience Award from First Indonesia, the Best Company to Work for from HR Asia (8th consecutive year), and multiple HR Excellence Indonesia Awards from Human Resources Online.

A Passion for People and HR Excellence

Irvandi’s passion for working with people has been evident since his early years. Starting in junior high school, he actively participated in student organizations and even took on the responsibility of publishing a printed student magazine. This engagement continued throughout high school and university, where he chaired student organizations. Majoring in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Irvandi honed his skills in understanding and managing people within an organizational context.

For Irvandi, Human Resources goes beyond the HR department itself; it’s about serving the business by developing talent, fostering the proper organizational structure, and nurturing leaders. After graduating from university, he began his career as a Management Trainee in HR at a leading pharmaceutical company. Since then, his journey has spanned five different industries, involving the management of diverse teams across multiple countries in C-suite positions at HR, including roles at TNT (a global logistics company), Nokia Siemens Network (a telecommunications industry), and Mondelez Indonesia (an FMCG).

This diverse range of experiences has only deepened Irvandi’s appreciation for the HR profession, inspiring him to continue learning and finding joy in his work.

Navigating Change

Irvandi believes that the banking industry has been significantly impacted by business movements and technological advances. In response, there is a need to formulate a strategy that addresses customer needs and business challenges while ensuring compliance with regulatory provisions and applicable laws. This involves creating an HR development policy strategy aligned with the bank’s overall strategies and those of its business units. The primary goal is to achieve optimal productivity and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Prioritizing the development of HR competencies is crucial, with a focus on fostering a self-learning culture through digital-learning platforms. The ongoing improvement of Future Ready skills is emphasized to ensure the bank’s sustainability in the digital era. Irvandi’s approach underscores the importance of adapting HR strategies to the evolving landscape of the banking industry and positioning the bank for success in the digital age.

Digital Mastery in HR

Irvandi shares that he spearheads various new initiatives and innovations in the field of HR development. The optimization of online channels is a key focus, involving the launch of an online learning platform with new features and campaigns, as well as the creation of bite-sized learning content. The digital transformation journey continues with the maximization of functions on platforms like MyHR2u for employment administrative purposes, MyCampus for employee development, and MyNet and Mayang2U as internal digital communication channels for employees.

The aim is to utilize these online channels and materials to enhance the skills and capabilities of the employees. Human Capital Maybank Indonesia, under Irvandi’s leadership, reinforces standards and competencies outlined in the Structured Learning Program and 6 Future Ready Skills. These skills encompass Digital Awareness, Data-Driven Decision Making, Human-Centered Design, Agile, Future Communication, and Risk and Governance in The Digital World. This strategic approach aligns with the bank’s focus on continuously increasing employee capabilities and staying relevant to the evolving needs of dynamic business competencies.

Ensuring HR Sustainability

At Maybank Indonesia, Irvandi focuses on the Bank’s HR development work directions to ensure Human Capital Sustainability (HR Sustainability). The outlined directions include:

  • Adopt a sustainability culture and capability, including encouraging sustainability initiatives in Human Capital.
  • Prepare successors to meet important, critical, and future positions.
  • Ensuring the readiness of the Bank’s HR through the implementation of succession planning and accelerated development for MCP and their successors to overcome existing competency gaps.
  • Implement knowledge management more broadly.
  • Promoting the implementation of Good Corporate Governance (GCG) and a culture of compliance, including preventive and mitigating actions, as part of the Maybankers’ way of life.
  • Preparing the Bank and the Bank’s HR for the next Employee Relations milestone.
  • Continuing the implementation of mandatory job rotation.
  • Prioritizing the fulfilment of mandatory training and certification programs as part of the Bank’s HR competency standards.

Maybank Indonesia, under Irvandi’s leadership, is committed to complying with labor law, recognizing people as the bank’s asset. The emphasis is on building a conducive industrial relationship through a harmonious and mutual relationship between the company and employees, fostering a shared spirit. The presence of multi-union organizations allows the establishment of a collective labor agreement in a positive spirit and climate, aiming to avoid disputes.

Digital Evolution in HR

Irvandi highlights that modern technology significantly impacts HR, extending beyond people’s capability, capacity, and culture to encompass HR processes. The shift towards automation, leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and digitalization across all HR functions, is essential for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness, ultimately influencing Employee Experience by reducing turnaround time and minimizing mistakes.

In leveraging technology in HR at Maybank Indonesia, Irvandi adheres to key principles:

  • In-House Development: Utilizing in-house development for easier customization.
  • Speed, Simplicity, and User-Friendly Design: Ensuring technology makes processes faster, simpler, and user-friendly, with a focus on Human-Centered Design critical for User Interface & User Experience (UI/UX).
  • Prioritizing Employee Experience and Impact: Emphasizing the importance of employee experience and impact over the budget, highlighting that expensive/branded technology is not the primary consideration.

Maybank Indonesia has implemented various platforms to streamline HR processes, including MyHR2U for employee access to HR matters, MyNet as an internal employee social media platform for effective communication, Mayang2U as a Chatbot for HR-related conversations, MyJourney for Recruitment Tracking, and MyCampus for a Learning Experience Platform (LXP). These initiatives align with the overarching goal of utilizing technology to enhance the overall HR experience for employees.

Strategic Change Management

Irvandi shares a significant shift in banking with 91% of transactions now conducted digitally. This transition to a cashless society represents a cultural transformation for both customers and bank employees. Overcoming initial concerns about fund security, job stability, and the perceived complexity of adapting to new technologies is a gradual process. To navigate this change, Irvandi employs a strategic approach. First, building awareness through campaigns, town hall meetings, and communication sessions to explain the need for change. Second, fostering acceptance through the introduction of new HR policies, training, and engagement with leadership. Finally, reinforcing the change by incorporating it into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), providing rewards, and sharing success stories. In the realm of HR, Irvandi plays a vital role in supporting individuals facing concerns about the digital transformation, ensuring a smooth transition for employees and customers alike.

Humanizing Financial Service

Irvandi emphasizes the importance of human connection and transparent communication in alignment with Maybank’s mission of ‘Humanizing Financial Service.’ He advocates for open and honest dialogue, discouraging political games and promoting trust-building with team members. When communicating, he stresses addressing the ‘What’s in it for me’ aspect to help individuals understand the relevance and impact of information on them personally. While technology facilitates faster communication, Irvandi believes that it cannot replace the responsibility of line managers to communicate in person. Omni channels can be used to disseminate messages, but it’s crucial to gather feedback and ensure comprehension.

In the HR team, Irvandi conducts bimonthly HR Leaders’ communication sessions to provide insights into business operations and Group HR initiatives. This approach aims to offer a holistic view beyond just HR considerations, emphasizing that HR exists not for its sake but to contribute to and support the broader business goals.

A Zero-Based Thinking Approach

Irvandi has brought about a transformation in Maybank Indonesia’s workforce planning strategy. Departing from the conventional method of adding a standard 10% to the previous year’s headcount, he introduced the zero-based thinking approach. This involves not starting with the current headcount and determining how many more can be added but rather asking, “How many people do we need to achieve a specific goal (XX)?” This approach encourages creative and out-of-the-box thinking to meet objectives.

In addition, Irvandi implemented a no auto backfill policy, challenging line managers to thoughtfully fill any vacant positions resulting from resignations or retirements. Line managers are encouraged to explore options such as expanding responsibilities, streamlining processes, merging roles, or reallocating tasks from other functions. This initiative reflects Maybank Indonesia’s commitment to achieving the right fit for the organization.

Future-Ready Skills and Talent Development

Maybank Indonesia adopts a holistic approach to HR management, emphasizing the interconnectedness of various processes. The strategy involves recruiting the right individuals, developing their skills, ensuring optimal performance, and then appropriately rewarding their contributions. This integrated approach prevents silos within HR processes and promotes a seamless flow.

With an eye on future needs, Maybank Indonesia identifies essential future-ready skills such as digital awareness, data-driven decision-making, human-centered design, future communication, and risk governance in the new digital world. The bank is proactive in talent development, providing programs like the Branch Manager Preparation Program (BMPP), Service Manager Preparation Program (SMPP), and BOSPP (Bank Operation’s Successor Preparation Program). These initiatives aim to prepare individuals for future roles aligned with the company’s long-term goals.

Strategic Goals in 2024

In 2024, Irvandi is enthusiastic about steering efforts to enhance employee productivity for business growth, focusing on future-ready skills and fostering human capital sustainability. The vision includes cultivating a bionic workforce, supported by advanced Digital Human Capital initiatives. The upcoming year will witness the implementation of artificial intelligence in areas such as fraud identification, learning gamification, and agility development.

The strategic goals for 2024 involve revitalizing the organization to be “Fit to Win.” This entails elevating Maybankers by upskilling and reskilling them with the right technological capabilities, aiming for a Bionic Workforce. The Digital Transformation of Human Capital practices will be intensified with a customer-centric approach. Additionally, efforts will be directed towards attracting, retaining, and engaging the younger generation, promoting a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, and envisioning the futurization of the workplace and workforce.

The overarching goal for 2024 is to position Maybank Indonesia as a value-driven platform powered by a bionic workforce that humanizes financial services. This involves infusing ethical banking principles such as inclusiveness, integrity, and sustainability as strategic differentiators. The focus is on orchestrating digital ecosystems, integrating customer offerings across the region, and providing hyper-personalized solutions to customers and communities throughout their life journeys.

A Decade of Recognition in HR Leadership

Irvandi has been honored with several prestigious recognitions and awards from the market and external organizations, highlighting a remarkable career in Human Resources:

  • Asia HRD Congress Award, 2006
  • World HRD Congress, 2009
  • HR Inspiratif, 2009
  • Top 100 Most Talented HR Leaders in Asia, 2015
  • Dave Ulrich Award for HR Leadership, 2016
  • Best Inspiring HC Director-IHCA 2016
  • Best of the Best HC Director – IHCA 2017
  • CHRO of the year 2017 & 2018
  • Best HC Director for Employee Engagement-IHCA 2018
  • Most Outstanding HC Director – IHCA 2019
  • Global HR Hero Award – 2019
  • HR Director Lifetime Achievement Award – IHCA 2020
  • Best Visionary HC Director – IHCA 2021
  • The 40 Most Influential HR Leaders across SEA – PeopleHum 2022
  • 100 Most Influential HR Leaders from SEA – HR Incons 2023
  • Best HC Director, IHCA 2023

In addition to these accolades, Irvandi is also an accomplished author, having written the book “Journey to be Employer of Choice” in 2016. Furthermore, he has co-authored four other books, showcasing his expertise and contributions to the field of Human Resources.