PMAT x Workday CHRO Interview

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

CHRO Lens: New Way of Working after COVID 19

Mr.Yotin Permpool

Executive Vice President-HR

Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives


We are facing challenge in human resource and organization management under the same pandemic situation, however; the different context make us have different point of view, same as what we have learnt from different executives from various organizations.


Having been the professional organization in human resource management with the key role to support knowledge management-PMAT is collaborating with Workday to develop a special interview series with CHRO, a key dynamic partner to drive workforce and organization. Featuring “CHRO Lens: New Way of Working after COVID 19”, there are 5 CHROs from leading organizations sharing their insight which we can apply those knowledge and practice in our organization.


Mr.Yotin Permpool, Executive Vice President-HR from Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives or BAAC is the guest of the day.


The traditional as well as large organization size are the key challenge for BAAC to change due to Digital Disruption while we need to keep the mission of being national bank for agriculturist in mind.

We are hearing from BAAC how BAAC drives the change to reduce the risk as well as increase business opportunity through human resource management.


COVID 19 One key point of change to Digital Platform Development

BAAC has mission to take care more than 4 million agriculturists who are BAAC client. Most of them live in rural area and 60% are over retirement age and they are not familiar with Digital Platform service when compare to the client from other banks that they are in the city, working generation and entrepreneur.


Even there is technology to facilitate driving banking business in Digital Disruption duration, BAAC still not be able to go to 100% digital. BAAC still operates the business under “High Touch Beyond High Tech” policy which emphasize on good customer relationship.


However, Covid-19 pandemic is the key force for BAAC to change since organization is unable to do any group activities, we need to keep distance instead of being close to each other. BAAC has bring in Digital Technology to facilitate business operation as well as client service. This ignites the agriculturist client to start using Mobile Banking and proceed the transaction through Digital Platform.


There is opportunity inside COVID 19 pandemic, there is the report of new client to BAAC. This causes from the unemployment workers from industrial sectors have moved back to their home town and turn to do farming.


The challenge under opportunity is

How does BAAC manage to meet the new client under Covid-19 pandemic


The 1st covid-19 pandemic caused employee worry since they have to deal with the situation that never happen before – changing from face to face client service to technology service. In the past, there was the plastic partition between client and staff, however; later on it was moved out due to client close service policy.


However, BAAC needs to bring this plastic partition back when there is COVID 19 pandemic including limited number of customer in service area. Before the pandemic, the banking area was utilized 20:80, 20% for staff 80% for service area. When social distancing is applied during the pandemic, the number of client in service area is reduced from 50 to 10 and this causes decreasing in product and service introduction as well as opportunity to find new clients.


When this new normal was first introduced, BAAC client did not understand since they trust in traditional banking transaction that involves face to face contact and present the document to bank directly. One different thing for BAAC client when compare to other bank is client go to bank as a group for example people in the same village come to the bank together.


One thing that BAAC concerns when there is the limited number of client in service is client waiting area. BAAC has allocated budget to purchase any facilities eg. tent, fan, mask, alcohol, temperature scan. Even this creates an increasing cost but when concern on the safety side for staff and client, it is worth to invest. This proves that BAAC can adjust and well handle for the spread of COVID 19 and so far there is no BAAC staff get infection from COVID 19.


In conclusion, BAAC understands why changing is needed. Since the change in situation and environment cause the change in consumer behavior plus the need to increase number of client, BAAC has bring in technology to service client as well as facilitate new client meeting. It is also support in the revision of product and service to match to client requirement.

At the first step, HR had involved in changing new way of work and client service safety, the committee was appointed later on to be able to handle the situation more effectively and emphasize on client service and employee concern.


Effective Work From Home and reduce BURNOUT SYNDROME in BAAC style

BAAC has applied 30% WFH policy for the 1st wave of pandemic and 50% WFH for the 3rd wave or if any functions can perform 100% WFH, those functions can be locked down and perform work at home. The experience in the 1st wave enable BAAC to design WFH format so when there was the 2nd wave of pandemic, staff can quickly apply the contingency plan without panic.


We cannot apply WFH format to every function. We need to consider Process Redesign. We have split the job for the back office and assign to employee to perform the task at home. For front office, we have shift rotation for working from home and working in the office.


BAAC has added activity to support effective WFH, every morning there is Good Morning campaign, employee need to do online log in for greeting and discussion. This is like Check in and in the evening staff will do Good Bye for check out.

People Skill for VUCA world and Next Normal

Human Resource Development Plan to prepare employee skill for VUCA World


VUCA World does not directly affect to BAAC client but the challenge is the increasing of new client from working generation


Since the majority of BAAC client is agriculturist so the change of VUCA World does not affect to client directly. The key challenge for agriculturist is natural disaster. Currently, there is positive factor for agriculture business eg. the need of rubber in international market, fruit – durian still have the demand in China which is the key export market.


The significant change for BAAC is client generation, the existing customer is in retirement age which accounting for 60%, another group is new agriculturist generation who is in working generation which bring in different production process to become more “Smart Farmer”. This generation has different behavior and need. They are willing to do transaction through Digital Platform and having more expectation for convenient and faster service.


When new generation come up with new concept and idea, how to have all employees stay well and get along

There is generation shift in BAAC. Previously, BAAC employee are baby boomer, they have been growing together with old client group, saying that they had worked together since they were young and pass the generation to become the parent. The new group of employee are GEN Y, GEN Z and account for 40%. The current status of BAAC employee compose of 60% baby boomers, 30% Gen X, and 10% Gen Y.


There is the difference in employee behavior and working style. Without training, Gen Y and Gen X can apply technology to reduce work load and increase value added to the job while baby boomer group pertains the skill related to High Touch Beyond High Tech. They are willing to perform customer service but unable to use technology to facilitate client.


BAAC human resource development road map has put the use of technology skill of staff into concern so BAAC has divided employee into 3 groups


Group 1 Technician

This group is related directly in IT role. In 2019 BAAC encouraged IT team to develop BAAC software program for using in BAAC business rather than buying software from service provider or hiring third party. The exercise also includes IT maintenance system.


Group 2 User

This group use technology for product design. BAAC has conducted Gap analysis for IT capability and the development in Hard Skill and Soft Skill.


Group 3 End User

This group is the largest group and performs customer service job. BAAC has started development and capability analysis in 2021. The challenge is this group scatter in every region and difficult to conduct in class training. HR has developed e-learning program. Nowadays, there are many e-learning programs that featuring not only individual learning but the trainee can have knowledge sharing to their colleagues. The training budget is allocated from BAAC at city level and center with 3,000 Baht/employee. The center will set and advise mandatory course eg. digital development skill, service, marketing. The other courses that deem fit to each employee can be selected by each department.


For the soft skill, BAAC emphasizes in mindset adaptation especially service skill. Even technology can help in providing better service but customer still need the service touch from staff that underlying in BAAC culture and image “Close to client and provide service as they are relative”. This culture may be overlooked by Gen Y and Gen Z so we need to escalate them to understand BAAC culture and the way of work in providing advice and support to client in agriculture who live in the rural area.


BAAC HR TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY

There are 140 HR staff in BAAC performing HR service, employee development. They has served 20,000 BAAC staff which mean each HR staff account for 1:1,400 BAAC staff so BAAC has introduced digital technology to facilitate employee self-service. The technology can support in reducing the work load and HR can turn its role to become more Business Partner.


The HR routine work eg. employee attendance tracking, staff welfare reimbursement, performance appraisal. These jobs are replaced by IT including some approvals that can be done through automation system.


Building Employee Digital Mindset for Digital Platform Service

To be able to serve client in the social distancing context during Covid-19 pandemic, BAAC has developed Electronics Loan Agreement to support government policy in releasing the loan offer 10,000 Baht to agriculturists who have received the effect from Covid-19. The borrower can do online registration to BAAC Family web page and BAAC will consider the loan approval from credit bureau record. If it passes the criteria, BAAC will approve for the loan request and proceed with online agreement before transfer money to borrower.


The change of traditional client service practice due to Covid-19 pandemic is the beginning of employee development for digital mindset and adapt in service behavior. BAAC has reprocesses the work module which part to be digital touch, and which part to be people touch, this can facilitate working process and make it faster.


Normally, financial institution always face with big data especially BAAC that mostly deal with client in agriculture sector. The pain point is there is not data analytic so we need to develop the data science which is responsible by Business Intelligent (BI) department.


When compare BAAC to other banks, the later have developed application to get customer behavior data and then after analyze the data they can develop product, improve service to gain good customer experience which help them to be able to response to client requirement.


The data gathering process at BAAC has not reached to that level yet. However, this is BAAC mission to make this process concreate and HR needs to develop and support back office team to be able to generate more data science.


If we look back to the past 3 years, technology has supported in several human resource management and development aspects especially manpower and welfare management.


Manpower management: when BAAC has brought the technology to support working process, it helps in speedy working process with using less manpower. This leads to human resource development program for the excess manpower to change from counter service officer to sales representative so BAAC needs to enhance the staff skill to be able to recruit new customer.


Even there is an excess manpower but BAAC does not have termination policy. BAAC deals with this matter through staff rotation and change the job function for example when e-document system has been applied and replace manpower work, BAAC has rotated administrative officer who used to do document control to become sales agent.


The increasing of sales force means business expansion opportunity, BAAC can use the existing staff who have the behavior that match to organization culture without recruiting the new hire.


The retirement rate is 300 headcount/year. After the technology has been applied and change of job function, the staff recruitment and replacement rate reduce to 150 headcount/year.


Staff recruitment: In the past, there were 80,000 applicants need to do the testing. It changes to screening the qualified candidate to do the aptitude test from Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC). Those who pass aptitude test then will get test on general knowledge (Part Kor, OCSC). After the candidates pass general knowledge testing then will have BAAC test.


The online testing is also open, the candidate can select the job that is interest and has the qualification matches to job specification. This new process has screened the applicant to reduce to 3,000 candidates who have the basic criteria that match to BAAC requirement before having been tested to each specific position.


The change has shortened the staff recruitment and screening process from 3 months to 45 days as well as saving budget by cutting off the need to open testing center throughout the country.


The position that still under recruitment is Business Development officer to serve New Gen client from “New Gen Loves Homeland” campaign that is developed for those people who used to work in industrial sector but was terminated due to Covid-19 crisis. These group of people they return to motherland to back to work in agriculture sector.


Currently, BAAC is considering conducting online testing for Business Development officer. However, BAAC needs to carefully review the process that the testing is efficiency, no cheating and ensure that BAAC will get the capable staff.


Staff welfare: BAAC staff welfare policy is set and followed state enterprise rule and regulation. BAAC is unable to provide Covid-19 insurance directly to staff since the approval must come from the cabinet. BAAC has raised the fund and open for donation through BAAC Employee Club and use this fund to support staff for Covid-19 insurance.


HR can perform employee service eg. staff welfare reimbursement – medical care reimbursement, allowance through HRIS system. The process starts from submission the requisition, sending prove of payment, and getting approval. It also includes Performance Management System – PMS, competency 360 appraisal, goal setting. BAAC is considering to add more features to enhance more service through Cloud based system, however; even this is HRM module, there is the limitation that the automation program must run through BAAC hardware only due to the security concerned.


The strength of organization culture, transmission and adaptation for live well

Mr. Yotin has shared Employee Engagement concept with PMAT. BAAC emphasizes on providing good service to client in agriculture sector. When the client base is expanded and we have new generation joining BAAC, how to forward this notion to all employees to have well working environment.


BAAC has focus on communication the organization vision to staff “Being the bank that develops upcountry side sustainability focusing on national grassroots economy and supporting the quality of life for people who live in rural area” and the key mission is being the modern, one stop financial service center for upcountry and promote the knowledge to agriculturist as well as stimulate economic activity in community.


BAAC has divided the area to 10 areas and it governs each region to cover 77 cities. The policy is communicated from the center to region and then to branch, BAAC emphasizes on internal communication. BAAC leaders in different level place the importance to internal communication to have employee understand organization core value which is critical to Employee Engagement.


For example, BAAC cannot stop the operation service in amidst of Covid-19 pandemic, as written in BAAC principle to be “The National Organization for Nation”. Even there is the crisis in country, BAAC employees cannot ignore providing service to customer since by bringing money to upcountry, it can generate the circular flow to economic system. BAAC has boosted up employee’s confidence to perform the job under an un-denied circumstance by providing equipment, supplies to protect employee from the pandemic.

5 BAAC Tips to Promote Employee Engagement

Tip 1 Pass BAAC Principle Forward

To create mutual understanding to employee that BAAC is the organization for majority of Thai people. This is the first thing BAAC highlights to new employee to keep this in mind and encourage them to develop their believing to match to BAAC principle.


Tip 2 Creating Understanding through Network

Developing employee understanding through networking throughout the chain of command


Tip 3 Listen to Employee

Having employee club through Labor Union that reflect employee voice to HR and top management.


Tip 4 Brotherhood

Teamwork or brotherhood in BAAC meaning has strong influence to pass the organization culture forward to the next generation. This supports BAAC to deal with workforces diversity more efficiently and creating happy workplace. Many of BAAC employees have not work in their home town, the creating of workplace where everyone can rely on bring in harmony and happy workplace environment.


Tip 5 Apply Happy 8 Workplace

Apply Happy 8 Workplace – Happy Body, Happy Heart, Happy Society, Happy Relax, Happy Brain, Happy Soul, Happy Money, Happy Family



Getting to know BAAC Fit & Firm Activity, having self-well-being 1 campaign for 3 benefits

One campaign to promote employee to have exercise through 5 sports activities – running, walking, biking, swimming, and aerobics enhancing employee participation from both head quarter and regional office. BAAC supports the employee to see the importance of good health and good mind through the right exercise. This also reflects in happy work, employee engagement, increase efficiency, reduce the illness and good utilize the free time.


The participant who submit exercise report will receive T-shirt. There is additional activity also eg. set goal to run 100 kms within 3 months, there is the prize for those who achieve the goal.


The program has been run for 3 consecutive years and reaching to 4 generations in this year. It involves employee family eg. spouse, ex-staff, under Fit & Firm Corporate and Family. BAAC has set budget 30 Baht/pax. The amount will be donated to the charity where the fund come from the prize. That’s why this activity has 3 benefits, good health, engagement from doing activity together, and contribution to society which can count as CSR activity


New culture for New World of Work

The next agenda is the New Culture for New World of Work in Mr. Yotin’s perspective. Since the new way of work has been changed, employee behavior changed, client changed, BAAC need to change or adapt the corporate culture or not.


“SPARK” serves as BAAC core values. It reflects corporate responsibility as well as the key driving business operation to achieve vision and mission. It consists of:

Sustainability (S) The sustainability of organization, Employee, client, community, stockholder, Society, environment

Participation (P) The participation of stakeholder

Accountability (A) Accountability of committee and employees

Respect (R) Respect to self and others

Knowledge (K) To support and move up the knowledge to Innovation, being knowledge banking and Bring the innovation to lift agriculturist Income


This core value was developed under the guideline from consulting company. “HEART” is organization culture:-


Honesty with integrity (H) Honesty

Economy Sufficiency (E) Self sufficiency

Accountability (A) Conscious of responsibility

Response heartily (R) Provide service with smile

Teamwork (T) Working as team


“SPARK” and “HEART” are still applicable, however; we need to add Competencies by revising Managerial competencies to Core competencies. Every employee must have core competencies since consumer behavior is changed so employee capability need to be reviewed and must add competency and use customer centric concept.


CHRO Talk

We have received a very useful insight from BAAC CHRO regarding Human Resource Management in the pandemic crisis and the disruption in the surrounding context. At the end of the conversation, there are 2 key highlights to HR professionals.


1. The first important things that HR need to do in the next 2 years

First HR needs to position themselves as Business Partner.

For example, HR need to be proactive and understand the requirement of core business. HR must understand how HR can support business operation, must be able to analyze manpower planning and skill base needed in each business function. They need to understand which type of skill will support in driving the business and must be able to recruit the qualified candidate in time.


Second, changing both employee and HR to have Digital mindset. HR must understand process design or re-process to shorten the working time so can response to other function and client faster.

Employee must change the previous idea that BAAC client is specific group – agriculturist. This idea prevents BAAC to realize the threat from other competitors. Employee must avoid this old traditional idea since if the business falls into Red Ocean, BAAC will not be able to cope and adapt.


2. The Suggestion to top management to drive the organization

First is using people capital to create productivity. The advance of technology enables 1 staff to increase productivity. In the past, the concept is how many client one staff can provide service, however; nowadays the concept turns to how much revenue one staff can generate for organization.


The large organization has high cost and operation expense especially banking industry that is governed by financial institute rule and regulation for example bank must have reserve capital so if bank has an increasing cost in human resource that considered as fixed cost, business may encounter with loss so we need to increase productivity of workforce instead.


Second, currently BAAC has new generation in workforce and they have different idea and experience from the existing generation. Furthermore, BAAC client base has expanded and be the new generation that has different consumer behavior and product preference. What BAAC must concern is how to make them align together under the same culture. This is the challenge to have different generation follow the same culture and align with organization culture while the Work Life Balance must be retained.


In BAAC point of view, employee engagement does not mean employee must work with BAAC until retirement but mean working happily and efficiently which can drive organization towards the mission.

As CHRO, Khun Yotin has left the interesting final statement to HR professionals


The key mission of HR is to create and develop people capability to learn the new thing, new tool, new knowledge. Many organizations still be under silo, no knowledge sharing. If the organization can share HR Best Practice both internal and external, it can help driving Thai business.

We hope that you have gain useful insight and benefit for “People Management”. Follow us for the next special interview scoop CHRO Lens: New Way of Working after COVID 19. We will learn People Management perspective from which CHRO.

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