A Cut Above the Rest: What Differentiates the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™️ from the Rest?

ANTONIETTE MENDOZA-TALOSIG

Author

Evelyn Kwek

Author

PAMELA SNG

Author

RAYMOND TEO

Author

ISABELLE TAN

Author

ANTONIETTE TALOSIG, EVELYN KWEK, ISABELLE TAN, PAMELA SNG & RAYMOND TEO

Authors

CATEGORIES

Categories

On 2 December 2021, we unveiled 30 companies on the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™ List at the Great Place To Work® 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™ Summit held at Marina Bay Sands. The award was presented by our Guest-of-Honor, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.   

Our list makers demonstrated that despite a year of constant change, from pivoting business models and restructuring operations, to shifting work arrangements in line with evolving safe management measures, they have continued to build on strong company values to reinforce a culture of trust. They continue to engage and develop employees to provide innovation opportunities and maximize their potential, and demonstrate exemplary leadership effectiveness with a purpose-driven, people-first mindset.  

What makes these companies stand head and shoulders above their competition? Based on insights gleaned from the Great Place To Work® Trust Index™ survey data and Culture Audit submissions, these companies (“SG Best”) distinguish themselves from the others (“SG Rest”) with three key characteristics:

1. Leaders walk-the-talk consistently and build trust through their actions and behaviors

In these companies, leaders role model company values—they walk-the-talk and employees experience this through their leaders’ communications, actions and daily interactions with them. Importantly, leaders do what they say, and their actions match their words. Employees see this demonstrated consistently, which powerfully reinforces a culture of trust and respect.

2. Employee support schemes and benefits effectively meet their needs

At SG Best companies, leaders recognize that employees are individuals with personal lives outside of the workplace, andunderstand that their needs are constantly evolvingbased on their different career and life stagesas well as external factors which give rise to new challenges and needs. As such, employee support schemes and benefits cannot remain stagnant, and SG Best companiesconduct regular and frequent pulse checks to understand their employees’ changing needs and experiences. Importantly, theythenactively address identified needs andfollow-up on feedback and suggestionsto improve the employee experience. These companies also tend to have an underlying strategy that drives their policies and programs in a consistent and holistic manner, rather than introducing them on an ad-hoc basis.

3. Strong camaraderie among colleagues that builds social capital

Camaraderie refers to the sense of community, hospitality and intimacy between colleagues that enables them to enjoy the people they work with and thrive at the workplace. Among SG Best companies, there is strong cooperation between teams, employees feel welcome and are quickly integrated when they transfer work units. Importantly, and often overlooked, employees simply have fun working together! Such behaviors reduce silos between departments and build social capital to create a strong sense of unity and teamwork across the company.

During the Summit, employee well-being was the key focus in a presentation entitled Employee Well-Being: The Make It or Break It in the Future of Work by Professor Rick Smith, as well as a panel discussion on The State of Well-Being in Singapore Workplaces, featuring Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat, and leaders from HP Inc., foodpanda and Micron.

Great Place To Work® conducted a research study in partnership with Johns Hopkins University on How to Promote Employee Well-being in the Workplace: Global Study, which found that globally, only 17% of employees are in a high-state of well-being (i.e. flourishing), while in Singapore, only 9% of employees are flourishing.

In SG Best companies, we found that employees have a consistently more positive experience than employees in the average workplace in Singapore, and that these were some common practices among them:

1. Range of well-being policies, programs and initiatives to address employee needs

•  DHL Express’ health and wellness program, Fit for Work, Fit for Life, aims to help employees improve their fitness, to benefit them both at work and in their personal lives. Based on four key areas—Physical, Emotional, Mental and Personal Energy—it ensures that DHL is a desirable, safe and purposeful working environment for all.

•  RICE Communications conducts regular surveys to keep a pulse on employee happiness and well-being, and makes available professional therapy and counselling as part of the enhancement of its mental health benefits this year.

2. Online platforms and applications to support health and wellness

•  Crowdstrike introduced a FalconFit Total Wellbeing Program initiative to encourage CrowdStrikers to improve their overall mind, body and spirit. It provides employees with access to wellness vendors no matter where in the world they are located through a virtual platform that is informative and engaging.

•  foodpanda has given employees access to a well-being app which provides resources on physical, mental, and career well-being as well as one-on-one sessions with trained and qualified coaches on an array of topics.

3. Training for leaders/people managers to provide support in managing mental health challenges

•  Cisco Systems trains all its leaders on Managing Mental Health during Covid-19 which covers the fundamentals of supporting employees on their mental and emotional health challenges.

•  HP partnered with the Singapore Emergency Responder Academy to train its people managers to conduct First Aid in Mental Health, to support colleagues facing mental health challenges.

4. Adopting a people-first focus in designing workspaces and return-to-office strategy

•  TDCX creates a conducive physical workspace to enable employees to reach their full potential. This includes wellness rooms like a well-stocked library for quiet reading, an entertainment room for employees to relax, have fun and enjoy the workspace, nursing rooms for new mothers, and a well-stocked pantry with healthy snacks. Co-working spaces are designed to facilitate sharing of ideas and co-creation, while phone booths give employees privacy for video calls and to focus on work.

•  Liftoff’s global Return to Office policy allows Liftoffers to decide for themselves how frequently to work from home or the office, based on what works best for them. This allows them to feel supported and work most productively based on their individual work styles.

Unsurprisingly, almost 9 in 10 employees in SG Best companies expressed a willingness to stay for a long time and to recommend their company to friends and family members. As compared to the average workplace, the ratio falls to less than half.

To see who made it to the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™ List, click here.

Do you want to find out how your workplace culture stacks up compared with SG Best companies? Take your first step by joining the Great Place To Work-Certified™ community and click here.

ANTONIETTE MENDOZA-TALOSIG

Antoniette Talosig is the Managing Partner of Great Place to Work® Philippines and the Lead Consultant for Singapore. Driven by her passion to help people be the best that they can be, Toni started Great Place to Work® in the Philippines with a vision to create a high-trust workplace experience for every Filipino. She has close to two decades of partnership with some government agencies, SMEs, MNCs and some Fortune 100 companies across industries and geographies. Toni believes being a mother is the greatest adventure of her life and she enjoys seeing the world with her family.

Evelyn Kwek

Evelyn is the Managing Director for Great Place to Work®️ in ASEAN and ANZ. Heading the expansion of Great Place to Work®️ offices in ASEAN, Evelyn is convinced that just as the region is growing exponentially on the economic front, the work of building great workplaces For All™ must go in tandem with economic growth.

A proud mother of 3, Evelyn takes parenting very seriously – she is strict yet giving, result-focused yet generous. Together with husband Roland, they relish exploring new cultures and beautiful places of the world, usually on leisurely self-drive holidays, before the days of Covid.

PAMELA SNG

Pamela is our Senior Consultant and Research Lead for Great Place to Work® ASEAN and ANZ. She has over two decades of consulting and policy experience helping organizations in their journey to become fair and progressive employers. She believes that every organization has the potential to be a great workplace, and works with data to distil insights and develop resources to help them. When she’s not burrowing down the rabbit hole of numbers and words, she’s probably immersed in a new K-drama or catching up with friends over a virtual drinks session.

RAYMOND TEO

Raymond is a talent-builder, having trained and coached hundreds of leaders and staff in systematic problem-solving skills. He is also a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and a LEGO® Serious Play facilitator, using these tools in strategy development, team building, problem solving, visioning and leadership development. Today, as a Senior Consultant for Great Place to Work®, Raymond brings in his extensive coaching, business performance management, and team development experiences to help clients build stronger workplace cultures and employee engagement that is pivotal towards business success.

ISABELLE TAN

Isabelle knows that to lead the way, one must walk the path first. She ventured into the Organizational Development field for the sole purpose of enriching and positively impacting lives by supporting organizations in becoming a great place to work for all. Belle as she prefers to be known, currently leads the List & Data Analytics team, providing support for workplaces to continuously improve on their workplace culture. Prior to joining Great Place to Work, Belle was the sole HR practitioner in a Marine Services organization. In her subsequent stint at a consulting firm, she became an integral team member running operations of assessment and selection of organizations for national employer awards. Beyond work, Belle enjoys spending time with her partner and their 2 lovely dogs. She indulges in the latest series of Anime and will never refuse a glass of ice-cold beer.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work® Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare & Biopharma List. This list recognizes exemplary companies in the healthcare & biopharma industry.

Recognized as a global hub for medical technology and research, Singapore has attracted top healthcare and biopharma talents and companies from around the world. It has become the center for essential healthcare services and innovations with its world-class research institutes, academic medical centers, and industry clusters.

In turn, the healthcare and biopharma sectors play a critical role in the country’s economic competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. These industries have significantly helped in the overall improvement of public health and well-being of the people of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

The inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma List puts the spotlight on the organizations that are dedicated to providing employee satisfaction and engagement, and their commitment to excellence in the industry.

The companies in our Great Place To Work Certified™ community have the premier distinction that helps attract the best talent, build your employer brand, and secure a competitive advantage. To achieve this, they built a working environment that is purpose-driven and people-first. These companies have demonstrated that showing authentic care, prioritizing employee’s holistic well-being, and building a culture of trust go hand in hand with growth and success.

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma, Great Place to Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place to Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place to Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work™ Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology List. This List recognizes exemplary companies in the information and communication technologies industry in four categories:

  • Micro category (10–29 employees)
  • Small (30-99 employees)
  • Medium (100-999 employees)
  • Large (> 1000 employees)

With Singapore’s ambition to be recognized as a regional technology hub, the influx of technology firms (around 80 of the world’s top 100 technology firms have a presence here) and global rankings that place us a leading technology hub outside of San Francisco, the establishment of a Singapore Best Workplaces List in Technology is indeed a timely and needed one. Technology firms in Singapore are characterized by hyper-growth and ambitious expansion plans. This means a continuous war for talent in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

To maintain our lead as a technology and innovation hub, the ability to attract, retain and sustain skilled talent is critical. We are proud that companies in our Great Place To Work®-Certified community List have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. They are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset. These are companies that have shown that authentic care and employee well-being need not be compromised for ambitious growth, and that it is possible for businesses to scale up quickly and responsibly. Their culture and core values are embodied in every individual—from senior leadership to rank-and-file employees—and differentiate them from their competitors, priming them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category

 

Methodology

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces™️, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing close to 70,000 employees across different industries in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. 85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do.

Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category