A Day With… Eleanor Tan

We’re going behind the scenes with communications professionals across the APAC region, learning more about their diverse roles, what they love most about their jobs, and how they got there in the first place. In the fourth part of the series, we sat down with Eleanor Tan, Internal Communications and Employee Engagement Leader – Asia Market, Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Briefly describe a day in the life of you as a communications professional

Because my current role involves internal communications and employee engagement for 1,600 in the region, a lot of my time is spent on developing and writing communications, assessing and acting on colleague sentiment, and organizing meaningful activities which may range from hybrid townhall meetings and senior leadership visits.

What’s the best part of your job?

Knowing that what I had helped to write or create delivered the desired results and impact.

How did you enter the communications industry? (i.e. university study, internships, worked your way into communications, another route?)

I’ve never thought I’d be in full-fledged communications, to be honest, though my first job was in writing. I had wanted to be a political analyst as I majored in political science at university. But as fate would have it, I had great mentors at my first job, who spent time coaching and developing me. I grew to appreciate the power of good and impactful communications.

The skills I picked up during my vacation jobs – while not directly communications industry-related – helped to develop the individual I am today. Working as a front-of-house executive meant that I learnt the finer art of customer service. I sold office equipment too and I learnt from my boss, a consummate individual, about active listening and selling.

What’s your superpower as a communications professional?

The ability to build strong relationships across the enterprise and helping to connect people and groups. This is the piece of feedback that I’ve received consistently throughout my career.

Looking ahead, what are the three most critical skills comms professionals should develop to meet the business needs of tomorrow?

1. The continual ability to flex, to roll with the punches and to create or do something with the circumstances that you’ve been dealt with. I can’t think of any communications professional who doesn’t have this skill, to be honest. We always have Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D!

Communications professionals are quite hardy, I have to say! Most have a good sense of humour too – which to me is important because many of us work in high-stress environments.

2. Stakeholder management will always be mainstay.

3. Data literacy as this will inform what you do and how you do it.