Grooming new talent the Lenovo way
The personal computer (PC) market is fast-paced and ever-changing. To thrive in the industry, innovative individuals who excel in different areas are highly in demand. “You’ve probably heard of the term ‘fast fashion’ for the clothing design industry, but in fact, the PC industry has always been a fast-cycle one,” says Alice Ong, Hong Kong and Macau general manager for Lenovo.
“This calls for innovativeness, versatility and people who are multi-skilled. And because competition in the PC industry is so fierce, the sky’s the limit for our innovation. We need people who aspire to help take the company to the next level,” she adds.
Being innovative and having global vision are two of the key qualities Lenovo looks for in staff. “Hong Kong people are multi-lingual and multi-cultural, which fits in nicely with our talent demand,” says Ong. “I regard Hong Kong as one of Lenovo’s talent pools. Our offices on the mainland, and in other emerging markets, are aiming to recruit talent from Hong Kong.”
Lenovo is dedicated to cultivating talent. Its university internship programme encourages innovative ideas from students. “We have just completed our second university internship programme with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,” says Ong. “Students are hired in different departments, such as sales, marketing and operations for three months, with experienced staff acting as mentors to provide guidance and work closely with the interns throughout the programme.
“We also offer the Lenovo Executive Programme to train employees with high potential to take on leadership roles,” Ong says. “This offers opportunities to meet senior executives and receive mentoring. Employees from emerging, mainland and international markets meet up to learn from one another, to get a clear picture of the company’s development around the globe.”
Lenovo staff often switch locations, so the company provides an “Exportable Talent Development Programme” for employees posted on overseas assignments. Staff receive training in culture and language skills to prepare for their new environment.
At Lenovo, being able to live up to promises is a core value up held and shared by all the staff. “We have what we call the ‘Lenovo Way’, a set of shared values and priorities that focuses employees on delivery and accountability,” Ong says. “We do what we say, we own what we do. In other words, we walk the talk, and then we take pride in it.”
The Lenovo Way consists of the four “Ps”, Ong says. “We plan before we pledge. We perform as we promised. We prioritise the company first and we practise improving every day.
“We train our employee in these four values and it has been intrinsic to guiding how employees conduct themselves. It is a competitive advantage for the company and instrumental in unifying its 26,000 employees,” Ong says.
To live up to the company’s motto of walking the talk, Lenovo has rolled out a campaign, called “For Those Who Do”, last August to build on the concept that it is a company that creates “technology for those who do”.
“Through this campaign, Lenovo wants to communicate to the world that we are a company of doers,” says Ong. “We are obsessed with making ‘Do’ machines for people who get out there and make things happen – people with the ‘Do’ mindset.”