Employee Demographics: Best Workplaces™ create a For All™ experience

Evelyn Kwek

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PAMELA SNG

Author

RAYMOND TEO

Author

EVELYN KWEK, PAMELA SNG & RAYMOND TEO

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A great workplace is one that is great not just for some groups of employees, but for all – regardless of who they are or what they do. Best Workplaces™ distinguish themselves from ‘good’ (or even ‘very good’) workplaces by creating a consistently positive workplace experience across all their employees, whatever their age, gender, race, job role or function, managerial level, etc. This is what creating a For All™ experience means.

In our first blog in this series featuring the Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023, we shared that our data analysis revealed that an improvement in a company’s Trust Index™ score from 2022 to 2023 correlated highly with an improvement in employees’ experience in the areas of Collaboration and Communication. The converse was also true, implying that Collaboration and Communication are key characteristics exemplified by management teams that contribute to a high-trust workplace.

In this blog, we take a deeper look at workplace experiences around Collaboration and Communication, through the lens of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) by managerial level, gender and age, to understand differences in employee experience among workplaces in Singapore.

(Note: Our analysis takes into account all the companies that participated in this year’s survey, including non-Best Workplaces.)

Collaboration refers to management’s willingness to engage employees in collective efforts. This includes seeking and responding to feedback and suggestions, and involving employees in decisions that impact them.

Communication measures the extent to which communication between management and employees is effective in inviting two-way dialogue. This includes being approachable, being clear about their expectations, keeping employees informed about important issues and changes, and giving straight answers to questions asked.

By Managerial Level

Data showed that across the four managerial levels* surveyed, individual contributors and frontline managers had relatively lower scores compared with more senior levels.

(*The four levels comprise Individual Contributors, Frontline Managers/Supervisors, Mid-Level Managers and C-Level/Executive Leaders.)

In workplaces in Singapore, experiences of most executives are not aligned with the ground. There tends to be a big gap in their experiences — with senior executives having the most positive experience, while those in the junior ranks (individual contributors and frontline managers) having the least positive experience. Senior executives in the organization believe that they are doing a great job engaging with and listening to employees. This is an experience that is not necessarily shared by individual contributors and frontline managers.

This indicates that communication and engagement efforts tend to get diluted as they flow down the organizational hierarchy, and underscores the importance of bridging the gap between executive leadership and lower levels. There is a clear perception gap between what senior executives and their staff consider as effective and engaging.

Additionally, data showed that mid-level managers tend to have a more positive perception (albeit to a lesser extent than executives) suggesting that middle management might play a crucial role in facilitating communication and engagement efforts between employees and top management.

Organizations can adopt a two-prong approach to their communication and engagement efforts. For example, rather than relying solely the senior leaders to share information (e.g. townhall sessions, All Hands meetings), they can equip mid-level managers to cascade the required information to ensure clarity and to address questions and concerns, before they are expected to cascade the information and respond to their teams’ queries. Concurrently, they can vary their messaging (e.g. choice of language and approach to explaining the rationale) and leverage different (or a wider range of) platforms to suit the different levels of staff. It also highlights the need to actively involve mid-level managers in employee engagement efforts, such as seeking feedback and input, and responding to questions asked.

To develop capability among the mid-level managers, organizations can also incorporate training modules around active listening and seeking feedback as part of people management skills. Some organizations also evaluate the mid-level management’s effectiveness in listening and seeking feedback as part of a bottom-up or 360° evaluation to develop their people manager capability.

By Gender

Across all six statements in the Collaboration and Communication focus areas, females had consistently less positive experiences than their male colleagues. In particular, the biggest gaps between females and males were around finding management approachable and easy to talk with, and getting straight answers to questions asked.

We found that large companies (≥1,000 employees) tended to have a smaller delta between females and males (<3% gap) across the six statements, compared with other companies (up to 6% gap). Based on observations from Culture Audit submissions and our engagements with clients over the years, this may be attributed to the larger companies’ being more intentional with introducing DEIB programs and practices with a strong focus on gender. These include efforts to monitor gender equity metrics at the highest levels, right across the employee life cycle (e.g. hiring, development opportunities, promotions, attrition, etc.) and take active steps when gaps are identified, structured programs to develop and groom the female leadership pipeline, and proactive efforts to facilitate re-entry into the workplace for those who have stopped work for a while (such as for caregiving responsibilities).

At a broader level, the gender-based variance in experience around Collaboration and Communication is more likely to be driven by factors such as having a larger gender concentration in particular job roles or functions and/or by managerial level.

By Age

From the age lens, there was no significant difference in terms of employee experiences around Collaboration and Communication in Singapore workplaces. About 4 in 5 employees have a positive experience in both Collaboration and Communication across the different age bands.

Our hypothesis is that among most workplaces in Singapore, existing approaches to communication and engagement are comprehensive/varied enough to address the needs across different workforce generations. It could also be that the similarities in expectations and preferences around Collaboration and Communication outweigh any differences across the age bands.

The Way Forward

Our first blog highlighted that the overall improvement or decline in a company’s Trust Index was correlated highly with an increase in employees’ experience in the areas of Collaboration and Communication, which are key factors exemplified by management teams.

Taking a deeper dive into the data by employee demographics, we found that the gaps in overall experience by Age and Gender were not huge – with up to 3% variance in Collaboration and up to 4% difference in Communication. The variance was wider by Managerial Level, with a 12% gap between executives and individual contributors in collaboration, and an 11% gap between executives and frontline managers/supervisors in Communication.

What does this data mean for organizations? What do these gaps mean? We champion a FOR ALL
workplace culture because our research on company culture shows that when employees trust that they, and their colleagues, will be treated fairly regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or age, they are:

  • 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work
  • 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their work
  • 5.4 times more likely to want to stay a long time at their company

The goal of the For All approach therefore is to create a consistently high-trust workplace experience for everyone, no matter who they are or what they do for the organization. It’s being able to create spaces that celebrate diverse backgrounds and inclusive cultures. While trust fuels business performance at great workplaces, For All accelerates it. And for organizations to thrive in the future of work, For All is a business imperative.

Want to find out how your organization is faring around Collaboration and Communication? Visit us at https://greatplacetowork.com.sg/employee-surveys/ to find out more.

To learn how the companies on this year’s Best Workplaces in Singapore List create positive experiences in Collaboration and Communication for all their employees, check out It’s a Matter of Trust: Navigating Uncertainty Through the Power of Leadership.

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.

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