Meaningful Connections: The Ties that Bind

PAMELA SNG

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PAMELA SNG

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While Singapore’s resident employment rate rose above pre-pandemic levels in 20211, it seems likely that The Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle happening globally will be felt more keenly this year. A recent survey found that 24% of Singapore workers were planning to leave their current employer in the first half of the year, while 49% were unsure if they would stay in their jobs in the next six months2.

A confluence of different factors can impact an employee’s decision to stay or leave their company. And their sense of well-being at work, including the presence of meaningful connections, is an important factor that can influence this decision. In a research study conducted by Great Place to Work® in partnership with Johns Hopkins University on How to Promote Employee Well-being in the Workplace: Global Study, meaningful connections was identified as one of the key aspects of employee well-being, and refers to authentic and caring relationships between employees.

In today’s norm of remote/hybrid work arrangements, where a sense of isolation and lack of interaction can negatively impact employee morale and trigger or reinforce the idea of leaving in search of greener pastures, meaningful connections can be a powerful factor in retention. So what are companies doing to embed and enable meaningful connections and what can we learn from the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™ (“SG Best”)?

Compared with the average company in Singapore (“SG Average”)3 9 in 10 employees in SG Best companies say that people care about each other and feel that they can be themselves. These companies do not leave it to chance—they are driven by a strong people-first philosophy, a whole-person approach to recognizing that employees are individuals with personal lives outside of the workplace. These best companies’ people strategy is based on compassion, empathy and respect, and this is translated in the way leaders make decisions, manage their teams, and how co-workers interact with one another.

1. Care is demonstrated across all levels – organization, leadership and individual

  • Senior leaders at Boston Scientific voluntarily took pay cuts as part of its APAC global cash conservation efforts, with the intent of preserving jobs and keeping its workforce intact. It also ensured that every employee had access to the benefits they needed, should they face financial constraints, and provided care packs regularly to all Singapore employees.
  • Openspace Ventures believes that individuals are all people first, employees second. It recognizes that we do not always know what individuals are dealing with personally at any one moment—and especially with remote working and dispersed teams. It creates open forums and cultivates a close-knit, supportive atmosphere to encourage employees to be open with their needs and challenges, with the understanding that it will give them the support, time or flexibility they need, whenever they ask for it.It also cares for employees’ growth and development by supporting ‘drifts’ in job roles, such as when one staff started in the technology team and developed new skills to join the investment team, and its office manager who acquired the skills to move to accounts payable/receivable.
  • Signify demonstrates care for employees by creating an environment that would support employees in managing their work responsibilities alongside their personal needs. For example, it implemented policies to free up time for staff who might otherwise attend unnecessary meetings, discourages meetings during lunch time to enable staff to spend time with family and have a good mid-day break, and allows protected time on Friday afternoons to finish individual tasks before the weekend.Its culture of care is also prevalent among co-workers, for example, when staff across different offices in ASEAN voluntarily went the extra mile to obtain and convey much-needed medical equipment to some employees whose family members had contracted Covid.
  • Driven by its culture of care, colleagues at Teleperformance voluntarily provided transportation for one another to protect each other from the risks of using public transport. Some sewed masks for their teams, while others were worked through the night to set up work stations at agents’ homes so they could work the next morning.

2. Employees are encouraged and supported to be their authentic selves at work

  • AbbVie fosters a safe and inclusive workplace where every employee is treated fairly and with respect. It raises awareness about workplace issues such as bullying and harassment, and finds ways to celebrate equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. It proactively creates opportunities to deepen understanding through culture-led activities, launched a ‘Break the Bias’ campaign to help employees confront their unconscious biases, and conducted mandatory Inclusive Leadership training for managers.
  • Micron Technology creates an environment in which all team members can bring their authentic selves to work and contribute to its success. Globally, it announced six diversity, equality and inclusion commitments in 2021 and designated senior management staff to sponsor one commitment each. It encourages team members to join any Employee Resource Group (ERG), whether they are a member of that community or not, so they can be advocates for people who are different from themselves. In Singapore, the Micron PRIDE + Allies ERG was launched in 2021 based on the theme ‘Be Yourself: Authentic, Inclusive, Motivated’.
  • Thoughtworks values transparency and believes that setting the right foundation for its culture is crucial, especially in the context of culture norms in Asia where people are less outspoken and might not be comfortable openly sharing their thoughts and feelings. To cultivate a strong feedback culture, it provides training for all new hires, continuously reinforces its feedback culture in day-to-day work, and creates channels such as monthly townhalls and regular check-ins with management to allow employees to share their concerns, opinions and provide honest feedback.
  • Servier recognizes that that well-being and fulfillment at work are essential for a high-performance company, and creates an environment where employees know that they can openly share their needs and issues of concerns with senior management or HR. It frequently organizes 1:1 meetings in order to encourage exchanges and to respond quickly to employees’ needs and expectations.

 

A McKinsey study found that there are different drivers across industries that impact why employees are leaving – a sense of not being supported, lack of professional growth or unmanageable workload4. What we found in Singapore (among the SG Best companies which span across different industries) is that even with The Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle on the horizon, a whopping 9 in 10 employees say they want to stay for a long time and would recommend their company to friends and family members, as compared to employees in SG Average companies. In today’s environment where attracting and retaining talent is a challenge, the business case for building a strong workplace culture and being recognized for it is clear.

Take your first step to becoming an SG Best Workplace today. Click here to find out how.

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.

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