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

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

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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.

Our executives fully embody the best characteristics of the company.

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Management delivers on its promises

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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, and understand that their needs are constantly evolving based 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 companies conduct regular and frequent pulse checks to understand their employees’ changing needs and experiences. Importantly, they then actively address identified needs and follow-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.  

Management shows a sincere interest in me as a person, not just an employee.

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We have special and unique benefits here.

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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.

When people change work units, they are made to feel right at home.

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This is a fun place to work.

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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:

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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.

% of employees intending to stay with their company

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% of employees willing to recommend their company

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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.

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To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.