Career Guide

S P Setia's success attributed to engaged workforce

Team Setia at the KL Rat Race 2013. Team Setia at the KL Rat Race 2013.

Homegrown multiple award-winning property developer S P Setia has picked up yet another win. This time, it is as the leading graduate employer in the “Plantation/Property & Construction” category, as awarded by Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers 2013.

As an employer, S P Setia prides itself as a nurturing organisation, providing career development as well as compelling benefits for staff. “We believe that the way we groom and grow our people can be credited for this achievement,” says Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, president and CEO.


Training and development of S P Setia employees is centred at the Setia Learning Academy in Setia Alam, Selangor. Echoing the second theme of its “Live, Learn, Work and Play” development philosophy, the Setia Learning Academy was launched by Liew on Nov 6, 2009 to ensure continuous learning for staff.

“S P Setia is a learning organisation, and the Setia Learning Academy delivers a wide range of learning programmes designed to groom our people in areas pertaining to technical, language, leadership and management capabilities,” says Liew.

The Setia Leadership Development Programme (SLDP), focused on improving people management capabilities, is one of the courses run at the Academy.

“The SLDP grooms managers and heads of departments to become better people leaders,” says Liew. “It is designed to build leadership capability in leading staff, leading people, leading business and leading change.”

The company, which was named “Best of the Best Employer in Malaysia” by Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers Study earlier this year, also runs the Setia Graduate and Internship Programme. This aims to provide comprehensive learning and development opportunities to young individuals with the drive for it.

It covers the areas of core competency training, on-the-job training and mentoring. Interns that are outstanding can be awarded scholarships and offered employment in S P Setia after graduation.


“A highly-engaged workforce is definitely very critical to the success of our business,” says Liew, explaining that S P Setia employees are crucial to building the strength of the company’s brand.

“S P Setia’s success is attributed to ‘Team Setia’ that is represented by a company of dynamic people of all levels who are our natural brand ambassadors,” Liew continues.

“Everyone speaks positively about the company and is 100% committed to deliver their best. More importantly, they are willing to go the extra mile for the company. These are typical characteristics of a highly engaged workforce.”

While employee happiness is important, high engagement is what the company seeks. “A happy workforce is productive and able to deliver results, but a highly engaged workforce is capable of propelling the company to achieve trajectory growth,” says Liew.

“Our biannual CEO Dialogue has proven to be a powerful engagement tactic.” Liew meets employees to deliver his leadership message and at the same time listen to their concerns.

Staff benefits also play an important role in employee engagement as well. “‘Pay-For-Performance’ is the foundation of our total reward philosophy, and this automatically addresses the issue of internal equity,” says Liew.

S P Setia practices annual salary reviews as well as pay out interim and year-end bonuses.

However, rewards do not merely come in monetary forms. One such example is the recently introduced “Gold Award”, which recognises employees who excel in work performance and who contribute beyond their job scope in charitable and community activities, organising company wide-events, sharing knowledge and conducting trainings.

Exemplary team efforts in embracing quality and services as well as health and safety initiatives are acknowledged via the “Quality Excellence Awards”.

Being a property developer, helping staff to purchase homes of their own has been identified as a priority. “We want every employee to own a home,” explains Liew.

“Knowing that home ownership is increasingly a challenge for lower income groups and young graduates, S P Setia makes available affordable products and sets aside a quota for this group. Home ownership is further facilitated by the staff purchase discount scheme.

“Health and wellbeing of our employees are our priority too. Our outpatient medical benefits are extended to employee and family members including spouse, parents and children,” Liew adds.


In terms of promoting work-life balance, the company organises recreational activities such as mountain climbing expeditions, and other activities organised by the S P Setia Foundation Volunteer’s Club. There are also Corporate Social Responsibility programmes that are open to all staff.

The company’s annual “Better Health Better Life” campaign drives the importance of employee health and well-being.

The two-month campaign involves a series of activities that include a walking challenge, dance classes and hiking, targeted to raise health awareness. Fruit is also distributed to employees three times a week.

To top these off, the S P Setia Recreation Club actively organises games and inter-division futsal, badminton and bowling competitions all year round.


Diyana Nordin

Senior executive, sales and marketing

Number of years at S P Setia: 2

I’m involved in creative direction, event designs as well as PR work for Setia Sky Residences, Kuala Lumpur. Together with my fellow marketing team members, we work to position the current product under the supervision of the sales and marketing manager and the guidance of the head of sales and marketing.

Being in the marketing team, I am also tasked to update and upgrade the current marketing campaign to be more savvy and competitive. Of course, working closely with the sales team to meet targets is part of the role as well.

In May 2013, I had the opportunity to design and work with S P Setia’s staff party committee to commemorate winning the Best of the Best Employer Award in Malaysia by Aon Hewitt.

I am blessed to have great superiors who keep challenging me by giving me exciting tasks, and who guide me to ensure my assignments turn out successful.

S P Setia has a lot of interesting projects in the pipeline and for sure, career and personal growth opportunities are here.

We hold strong to the four pillars of “Live, Learn, Work, Play”. I work hard, but I am also learning things via training courses conducted by our group human resource. Playing hard happens during activities such as family day and annual dinners where participation by staff is highly encouraged.

In S P Setia, everyone is my teacher, and everyone is willing to share knowledge because we believe in the teamwork spirit. We move forward together and believe no one should be left behind.

To be the best, I need to join the best. S P Setia is the No.1 developer in Malaysia, so that is why I am here today. So far, I have truly enjoyed my two years here

Nicky Chang Kah Ken

Project engineer

Number of years at S P Setia: 2

My responsibilities include the inspection of all technical works in a project to comply with requirements and specifications.

I also plan and monitor project progress, liaise with relevant consultants and clients on technical matters in relation to construction works and ensure a quality product finish.

I decided to join S P Setia because it is a well-established company where I see many opportunities to grow my career. S P Setia recognises my efforts and commitment, and this motivates me to further improve my skills. We are also well rewarded for it.

The company is growing rapidly, and I’m inspired to grow together with it. I like working in S P Setia because of the team spirit that we have. We work together towards a common goal. Furthermore, I can have work-life balance as the company organises many activities such as sports events and concerts.

If you are interested to find out more about job opportunities in S P Setia, visit www.spsetia.