New energy for Synergis
Synergis manages over 380 properties and facilities in Hong Kong and the mainland, including residential, commercial and factory units as well as parking lots, and employs more than 5,700 people. Due to the company's size and the competitive nature of the industry, Synergis is always on the lookout for new talent, according to managing director Dr C.H. Fan.
In particular, property managers and area managers are always in demand. The former is responsible for leading a team to manage around five property sites, while the latter heads a number of teams to manage around 20-plus property sites. Salaries for these positions range from HK$30,000 to HK$50,000 per month.
Fan says people in these posts play a vital role in ensuring that Synergis upholds high service standards. "We are committed to providing the best living environment to our customers in terms of safety, cleanliness, well-maintained facilities and creating a nice and friendly atmosphere. Service standards are established to ensure all these customer satisfaction areas are monitored."
Apart from hiring people with work experience in the field, Synergis also seeks new recruits from the hospitality and service industry, particularly those with good people skills who are pro-active in providing solutions to customers' needs. Fan says the company offers talented staff a rewarding career with many achieving two promotions within three years.
Facility managers and operations managers are also in great demand. Apart from having relevant qualifications, facility manager candidates need to demonstrate they can communicate, in both oral and written form, with corporate executives.
Facility management involves administering clients' workplaces and providing support for non-core activities such as mailing room management, customer services, energy management, and security and cleaning services, so that clients can focus on their key business objectives.
Fan emphasises that personnel in this area need to seek out creative and cost-saving solutions - similar to any business executive. They must also establish clear management and service standards and track performance delivery.
Established in Hong Kong in 1978, Synergis is a publicly listed company that counts some of the city's best-known organisations in its client list, including the Hong Kong Airport Authority, CLP Group, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, HKU SPACE, the Hong Kong Police Force, and MTR Corporation.
Since entering the mainland market in 2003, it has won contracts to manage prestigious properties in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.
Synergis takes particular pride in having been the facility manager for the Hong Kong Pavilion that welcomed over two million visitors at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
"It was Hong Kong's biggest and longest external publicity and promotional campaign for a single event," Fan says.
"We provided pre-expo service like recruitment and staff training, and day-to-day management, crowd and admission control, customer services and guided tour services during the exposition period."
As the company expands, hiring and retaining quality employees is high priority, Fan adds. To meet its goals, a competence-based talent management system has been developed with clear descriptions of all human resources activities and requirements, including recruitment, training and development programmes, performance and rewards and, finally, succession plans.
"It helps the company to identify the right people and helps candidates better understand if Synergis is right for them," Fan points out.
Career advancement and training opportunities also form part of the company's staff retention policies.
"We have developed a full learning curriculum consisting of more than 80 technical, process and management training programmes for all staff and manager levels," Fan says.
"Synergis is a learning organisation and therefore training participation is one criterion for career advancement. Junior staff can also participate in our Corporate University programme so that they can attain a proper academic qualification while working with the company," he adds.
Synergis also organises "Quality Circles" so that staff can freely make changes to their operations processes and service deliverables.
Senior management participates in making major decisions, and are invited to join and contribute their ideas in the yearly "visioning" and strategy workshop, and one focusing on five-year business planning.
Fan stresses that it is also vital that Synergis rewards its staff properly, so it company participates in a salary survey exercise and conducts salary benchmark studies.