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Posted on 2017-08-08 00:00:00

PayPal is big on nurturing and engaging its younger staff. It also walks the talk on diversity in its hiring policy.

“We find people who can fit our culture, our values of collaboration, inclusion and respect each other regardless of race and innovation.”

PayPal has a quirky sense of what makes good leaders. For starters, the management embraces a leadership style where seniors are encouraged to coach other employees. But it might require some people to do a 180-degree turn, like Ida Hasanuddin.

Ida, PayPal’s Group Leader for Protection Services Compliance Ops, says she has had to adapt her leadership style to one that nurtures others in tune with the company culture.

“I have been in business for more than 10 years. I have had to change to coach and care because young people tend to get bored quickly. We have yearly employee satisfaction surveys that track whether they (employees) are inspired, engaged or satisfied,” she says, adding that her teams have been tracking the highest engagement score year after year.

So how does PayPal engage the staff positively? The company runs incentive games, making tracking key performance indicators a fun task so staff are motivated to meet PayPal’s targets.

Employees are also encouraged to take part in charitable events and sports, such as futsal or badminton matches.

There are recreational rooms on each floor of the office in Petaling Jaya, housing pool tables, air hockey and PlayStation games.

Staff can also take part in the MOOLA programme, known as the “Make Our Office Lives Awesome”. The programme encourages employees to give a gift to his or her colleague who has been pleasant or performed an act of kindness for them.

Flexible working hours are put in place to serve the global markets and designed to encourage employees to enjoy a balance between work and life. Staff on the 6am shift end at 3pm, allowing them time for errands and to avoid the rush-hour traffic.

But it is not all about play to keep employees engaged. Incentive programmes are designed to encourage staff to collect points and rewards after achieving good feedback from customers.

She says another important factor in keeping new hires or millennials engaged is to be able to speak their language, understanding their needs and behaviour.

“If you’re a good leader, you can evolve and serve your demographics, according to what appeals to them. There’s no point sticking to the same leadership style if it’s not going to get the buy-in of your teammates, who have to feel passionate about the job.”

PayPal is also a strong advocator of diversity and inclusion, as Ida points out. The company ensures a balance of races when employing staff across all functions, so long as the new hires meet the competencies and skills required by the organisation.

PayPal values respect and wants to instil that in its workforce, to respect each other’s religious and political values. The company also celebrates diversity, so if employees have tattoos or are part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, they can still get hired, Ida says.

“We find people who can fit our culture, our values of collaboration, inclusion and respect each other regardless of race and innovation.”

What PayPal wants from its new hires or fresh graduates is that they value team spirit. “We also want adaptability because we are servicing the global market. We are an organisation that empowers our leaders to make decisions, so people have to be ready for that change,” says Ida.


New hires or employees must be able to put their ideas forward and be independent in decision-making.

“As an American company, you must be independent in decision-making and learn independently. We have guidelines, policy or regulatory requirements when it comes to workflow, but at the end of the day, it is still down to your decision-making,” says Ida.

To empower PayPal staff in such situations, the company offers training and newsletters to give them the confidence vital for their job function.

Ida encourages new hires to be patient, too, and have the tenacity to stay in a job to accumulate leadership skills and learn the business. For fresh graduates with little or no work experience, she says the company ensures that it manages their expectations. “This means that we tell them about the good, the bad and the ugly,” she says about how they brief new graduates.

The new recruits are coached and given a performance plan, which helps managed their smooth transition into the workforce.

“We tell them these are the challenges, so they are mentally prepared and we give them tips and advice. This is so that they feel emotionally and mentally supported and nothing is a surprise to them,” says Ida.

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