How CSL helps employees embrace new identity |
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How CSL helps employees embrace new identity

Published on Friday, 14 Oct 2011
Rita Chan
Executive vice-president, human resources, CSL
Photo: Nora Tam


The telecom industry has always been very sales-driven and revenue is seen as the most important aspect of the business. However, for us, customer service plays an equally important part to the success of a company. We believe that delivering outstanding customer experience will differentiate CSL from other telecom companies.

Notwithstanding our nearly 30 years of history, we are rebranding to position ourselves as a customer-centric mobile services operator. The new brand identity reflects our new vision and will be used to distinguish CSL as the corporate company brand with a unique proposition, from its existing service brands, such as 1010, one2free and New World Mobility. The new identity is also targeted to attract digital natives and young graduates to join the company mission, working in a team focused on displaying its core values. 

Communicating our new vision to staff  

In order to pass on the ideology behind the rebranding to our employees, we organised a half-day 'Vision mission value' workshop which all staff, from the chief executive officer to the tea lady, had to attend. During the workshop, we explained to our staff how we perceive our business, including our long-term vision - to connect people is the reason we exist as a company and it is also our mission for the next three years.

The company has identified innovation, respect and trustworthiness as its three corporate values. We encourage staff to make small continuous improvements, come up with great ideas and develop them into innovations. They have to understand that respecting customers, colleagues, the community, as well as the environment are what we cherish most. The way we build relationships - making sure customers' questions get answered - is key to being trustworthy. 

HR's role in the rebranding process  

Our new logo captures the essence of what CSL means to our customers, staff and business partners. We acknowledge our customers' different requirements and we have to innovate to meet their needs. So we have to start by thinking about who our future clients are - namely, the digital drivers who use mobile phones, Facebook and Twitter to communicate. As such, we need a rebranding, to appeal to them by being more youthful.

Our job is to make sure our staff understand why a rebranding was necessary. So during the launch, we communicated to them the kinds of changes they need to make. They are reminded of our new identity by the new design on the mugs and name cards we use, as well as on our walls. 

We believe strongly that 'stories will stick', so we gathered stories from our staff and spread them around. We tell stories about people demonstrating our corporate values on a daily basis at work. While we tell successful stories about our staff, we also recognise and motivate them to embrace the three values of the company. 

Giving recognition  

In terms of employee rewards and fulfilment, a lot of people regard money as the sole reward at work, but there is more to it. We also stress the need for recognition. We recognise all outperforming projects by giving out quarterly and annual awards to the best teams.

We are also planning to prepare 'Thank You' cards for staff, so they can give them to their colleagues, including their bosses, to show their appreciation at any time. We believe in celebrating success as a group.

We recently had a sales team that exceeded its sales target, and we rewarded the team members with a trip to Phuket. There is no need to wait until the end of the year or a particular special occasion to recognise teamwork. That said, we are currently commissioning Towers Watson to conduct a comprehensive review on market positioning and create salary and compensation benchmarking for the company. 

Retail immersion  

We believe in servant leadership and leading by example. All of the executive leadership team, including the CEO, directors, executive VPs and managers, are obliged to work a half day at our retail stores, several times a year, every year. We call it retail immersion. The aim of it is for participants to understand the stress factors faced by frontline staff. Our senior staff are also asked to listen to recordings from our call centres. In so doing, they evaluate staff performance and the effectiveness of the system, and experience the difficulties facing those on the customer frontline. 


We have received positive feedback from our staff. According to our latest bi-annual employee survey, we scored very high on staff engagement - seven points out of a total of 10. On staff satisfaction, we scored 7.1 points. Following our rebranding, we added a new category on 'change readiness'.

We asked our staff five questions about the rebranding, including the extent to which they understand it, the reasons for it, and the confidence they have in our achieving success with it.

We are delighted to have received a very positive average score of 7.69, which shows that staff have a good understanding of what is expected from them. It is worth noting that the highest score of all - 8.1 points for confidence in the rebranding process - indicates that most of us are on the same page.

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