Building a Strong Workplace Culture in 2023: 5 Priorities to Succeed Through a Recession

PATRICIA CALICA, GPTW ASEAN & ANZ

Author

CATEGORIES

Categories

To create and maintain an environment that retains employees and attracts top talents during an economic downturn, organization leaders need to focus on these 5 aspects of workplace culture in 2023.

With the fear of a recession looming in various parts of the globe, many companies and their leaders will have to make tough and bold decisions to survive the difficult times ahead.

Your workplace culture priorities will help your company get through any imminent downturn. More importantly, it will determine whether you thrive or fall behind the rest of the pack.

In 2023, more than ever, it is important that organizations actively strive to be great places to work. Indeed, market research shows that companies that prioritize critical employee experiences during a recession not only survive but also thrive in the succeeding years with significant value growth.

Great Place To Work® Singapore provides insights into what workplace culture priorities businesses and their leaders should focus on during uncertain economic times.

No matter your business size or kind, these are the 5 aspects of work experience that you should pay attention to this year:

1. Foster a high-trust culture by supporting your people

According to the government, Singapore expects to avoid a recession amid the predictions of a massive economic slump for most developed nations in 2023. However, the country’s growth will be slower as it still depends on external conditions.

The possible slowdown puts the spotlight on how companies support their people and invest in their growth within the company. Organizations that continue to put employees’ needs and well-being at the forefront will find the most success this year.

During these turbulent economic situations is where companies can better show their care for their people. Businesses can stay ahead by ensuring that the worker experience remains their top priority. This includes investing in employees’ well-being, providing growth opportunities, and creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

2. Invest in talent development, training, and recruitment

Despite the recent massive layoffs from various tech and manufacturing companies, Singapore continues to see a tight labor market and employee expectations in the country remain buoyant.

The annual average unemployment rate fell further and total retrenchments were lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2022, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). The agency further shared that around two out of three laid-off workers were able to find jobs within six months. Additionally, most of them joined a different industry from their previous one.

This signals that employees remain a very valuable commodity. With that, companies must work to engage and develop talent to see continued success this year and in the future.

Organizations and leaders need to heavily invest in recruitment, at the same time bolster the talent development and training of their workers. Great workplaces understand that a resilient work culture relies on meaningful relationships with colleagues and leaders along with opportunities for personal growth.

3. Commit to your DEIB priorities

Layoffs, hiring freeze, and reassessment of talent management might look reasonable from a financial standpoint. However, these drastic measures greatly affect the company’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) progress.

The best workplaces don’t back away from their DEIB priorities. They are capable of meeting fiscal goals and adjusting to the current climate while prioritizing the well-being of their DEIB staff.

Additionally, the best leaders help in facilitating the conversation on these topics within the organization. In turn, employees don’t feel a disconnect between the company’s DEIB mandate and their actual experiences at work.

4. Facilitate seamless experiences between in-office and remote setups

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that high productivity and performance of employees are not exclusive to in-person work set-up. Most people have realized that they can do the same–if not more–amount and quality of work while inside their homes or from a remote location.

As companies start requesting workers to return to the office, the conversation on hybrid setup takes the forefront.

Cisco’s Global Hybrid Work Study 2022 reports that in Singapore 78.6% of employees said that hybrid work has improved their overall well-being, including the financial and physical aspects of their lives. Additionally, they saw improvements in their quality of work, productivity, knowledge and skills, and workplace relations and attitude.

With that in mind, employers must look into the best way to implement a hybrid work setup.

It is important to create excellent experiences that address the varying and complex needs of employees. With that, the best workplaces will find a way to foster the same collaborative and innovative environment in both the virtual and physical worlds.

5. Handle layoffs with compassion and transparency

News of job cuts and challenging economic headwinds cultivate fear among employees and might put the workplace culture at risk.

While layoffs are unavoidable, business leaders must find a way to conduct staff reductions with transparency and trust.

A great workplace finds ways to create seamless transitions not just for the employees leaving but for those who will remain in the organization. The communication and handling of the situation must be done with utmost care and empathy.

The overall approach can be separated into three phases. The first phase is before the layoff where the company must communicate clearly that it has done everything it could and the layoffs were the last resort.

During the layoff, the organization now needs to focus on helping the affected employees. Constant and personal communication is still vital as well as providing the necessary assistance to the laid-off worker, i.e. providing benefits and directing them to new opportunities.

Lastly, leaders need to engage the remaining employees after the layoffs. Checking in on how the staff feels about the recent changes and answering any questions they may still have are a good start. It is also best to have a conversation on the new expectations and changes in workload brought about by the retrenchments.

Help your company soar through the current economic climate

>Stay informed and respond to the rapidly moving needs of your employees with a high-trust workplace culture.

>Understand and close the experience gaps between employee groups with a culture management tool.

>Explore company culture advice to help you create an inclusive workplace.

PATRICIA CALICA, GPTW ASEAN & ANZ

Author

CTA GOES HERE

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