From the MD: Better For People

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Looking Back on 2021…

As I age, every year feels more difficult than the previous year. If we had to contend with getting caught wrong-footed with Covid-19 in 2020, then the fact that Covid-19 still looms large in our lives with various variants, the start-stop nature and ambiguities that it brings certainly marks 2021. As I write, we wait with bated breath to learn what Omicron might mean to our lives.

Against this backdrop, the focus on Well-Being has intensified – both the well-being of our workforce and our personal well-being.

And for those of us leading teams and in the HR function, The Great Resignation has impacted us one way or another. If you are not one of those who has already moved, are in the midst of a move or seriously contemplating a move, you would likely have experienced a higher turnover in your team or organization. [Aside: Our Singapore Best Workplaces are bucking the Great Resignation trend. 9 in 10 employees say they want to work in their companies for a long time.]

Looking Ahead to 2022…

What can we expect of 2022? As the HR guru Josh Bersin said in his piece, Predictions for 2022: Everything is About to Change. He has identified four big trends to look out for. We may differ in our views on what 2022 workplace trends might be—and they do differ depending on our geographical location, but one thing is for certain, more changes are on the horizon. Change, while it does not surprise us, does not insulate us from the weariness of adapting to it.

So I find myself asking this question: how do I get better at adapting while leading a business that thrives in spite of change? Here are two learning points I take away from the leading companies placed on the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces and Best Workplaces in Technology lists (and I like that this is data-backed).

My colleague has written a couple of wonderful pieces expounding on the above.

Caught By Surprise

10 days before the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces Summit, the most important event on our calendar, I hear the dreaded words from my doctor “I do not have good news for you”. This meant I had to drop everything to receive treatment immediately. And I could not even attend the event we have been working so hard towards.

What I saw next was a team that stepped up to take over everything just so I could focus on my treatment. The commitment to do the best for me, for the team, and for our clients was beautiful to take in as I drifted in and out of consciousness.

It was a beautiful tapestry. Everyone stepped up to do what they were best at while navigating the challenges that came with the ambition of organizing a physical summit for 300 participants under pandemic conditions. And they pulled it off with such finesse my heart burst with pride. I know this was only possible because we have a strong team, a tight-knit and dedicated team at Great Place to Work®.

Growth-Oriented and Purpose-Driven

We do not know for certain what 2022 will bring (well, no one featured Covid-19 in their Vision 2020 workplan). Regardless of the opportunities and challenges that 2022 brings, a high-trust team is our best bet to navigate the highs and the lows. But it is not enough for the team to just trust the leaders they work for or experience camaraderie at the workplace. As leaders, while we push for growth and achievement of targets, our people need to know the WHY.

In 2022, Great Place to Work will increase the tempo of our work. We want to build a better world by helping organizations become great places to work FOR ALL. We long to see Certification badges dot maps all over ASEAN and ANZ. But for our team, the message is clear – growth is the goal, making a difference in the lives of people is the purpose.

We hustle and bustle because it is better for people.

Yours for a better 2022,


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.

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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.