REV Asia Holdings Group (“Group”), one of Malaysia’s leading digital media groups has been certified by WorldBlu in its 2017 List of Freedom-Centered Workplaces. It is the second time the Group has made it to the list with 23 other organisations in the world.
REV Asia owns and operates some of Malaysia’s top online publications SAYS, OHBULAN!, Viralcham, Rojaklah, 8Share, and Juiceonline, and has recently acquired three more Malay lifestyle websites Siraplimau, Myresipi, and Kongsiresepi. Together, the group of 105 employees reaches a combined total of over 5 million users comprising of Malay, Chinese and English speaking audiences, through the power of social media and engaging digital content.
Why is freedom at the workplace important for REV Asia?
A fear-based operation is one of the biggest growth inhibitors in the modern workplace. Fear at work manifests itself in many ways including disengagement, low productivity, wastefulness, lack of innovation and micro-management. The sense of ownership dwindles, bureaucracy rises and the workplace culture suffers.
While some might label this as stiff ‘corporate culture’, the group believes that scaling a company of any size in the present day must begin with renewed leadership and a democratic mindset to stay profitable, aggressively innovate, and draw the best talents in, again and again. At the same time, it isn’t quite enough to throw colourful beanbags and a foosball table in an attempt to create a cool workplace.
For REV Asia, it begins with embracing diversity and encouraging freedom-centered practices that empower their employees to perform, express themselves and grow.
“We want to build a great working environment where individuals can grow, have fun and find meaning at work. Its paramount to building a successful business,” says General Manager, Sam Wee.
General Manager, Sam Wee
An example of building the workplace culture with employees is REV’s in-house Culture Code that was co-developed by every team in the company. Employees had a dialogue on ‘culture pillars’ they believe were most crucial for employees and the company to practice, regardless of seniority or role. At the end of the dialogue, employees voted for the top five culture pillars, which were ‘Go for growth’, ‘Don’t so serious’, ‘Work faster, communicate better’, ‘Do the right thing’ and ‘Care’.
The Culture Code is used as a guideline to shape decision-making among leaders and new hires alike, and to advance values that bring the business forward, especially when tough calls have to be made.
Other practices designed to improve organisational democracy at REV Asia include the ‘In Your Face’ monthly ritual held by teams to evaluate what they need to Keep, Start and Stop. These sessions are held over a meal paid for by the company, and is a time when teams openly share thoughts, address issues and take on steps to improve the business.
Another regular ritual is the ‘Smoke Signal’, a monthly all-expense paid team activity that anyone can organise – as long as more than one person participates, the Group foots the bill. This decentralises the need for HR to organise the conventional ‘team building’ exercise. Smoke Signals have ranged from watching gigs, movies, sports activities and going for group workout sessions. Team members have no obligation to join, yet these activities, powered by interest and true passion, guarantees a great turn out among employees.
Rev Asia Berhad is the holding company of REV Asia Holdings. It is publicly listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (Stock Code: 0173).