Building High-Trust Culture in Times of Crisis: The Resilience of Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Building High Trust Culture TTSH
Building High Trust Culture TTSH

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At the forefront of the COVID-19 response is Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

Supporting the critical work of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), TTSH placed great emphasis on providing support to maintain employees psychological and emotional well-being.

Many of their employees grew up at TTSH, including their current CEO, Dr. Eugene Fidelis Soh who, from a junior doctor, now serves as the chief steward of the hospital.

Being in the frontlines doing completely unimaginable and battling with this invisible foe, it is a wonder how they are able to support the mental, emotional along with the physical well-being of their employees.

A veteran of the global pandemic, Dr. Soh humbly shares:

“I first have to thank my two other panellists because they are out there in the community keeping us safe so that I have less work at the hospital. Really the hospital is not frontline from that perspective, our community is frontline, we are the last line of defence for when people fall ill, and they come to us, and we hope to be able to manage them well, so we can return them back to health. “

For Dr. Soh and his leadership team, a few things come to mind in keeping their staff not just engaged, but sustained during this prolonged pandemic: Keep the employees safe, keep the employees well, and keep their employees’ spirits up.

Keeping their Employees Safe

Operating over 1,700 beds with Centers of Excellence, and with every staff involved in the outbreak response in various ways, the management places great emphasis on providing support to maintain their staff well-being.

At the back of their auditorium, a plaque where the names of their SARS fallen comrades are posted on its walls. A stark reminder for Dr. Soh and his leadership team, that their first order of duty is to keep their staff safe so that they can fight this pandemic for the community.

Keeping their Employees Well

The leadership team focuses on the importance of the support they give for all their staff to maintain psychological and emotional well-being. This is important especially in prolonged periods of outbreak like COVID-19.

The head of their committee on well-being suggested that their organization has too many fathers, and they needed more mothers. A sincere reminder that gave birth to planting mothers in every department, to hear their employees out and to listen to even the smallest things that trouble them.

Keeping the Spirits Up

This he attributes a lot and is very grateful to the whole of Singapore community who gave them so much, out of good will. Food, support for consumables, even shampoo, so that they can take care of themselves after work. Even taxi queues lining up at their driveway to ferry their staff to and from work, something he did not experience back in the days when they fought SARS. To him, these simple yet courageous acts are tremendous help to keep their spirits up. To his words:

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the community! Really, we couldn’t have fought this outbreak without all the support that we have received.”

Leaders were constantly on the ground to check in with staff at the frontline and the deep ‘kampong spirit’ ensured the staff took care of each other even as personal sacrifices abound in every frontliner out there caring for patients.

Their employees take pride in their work, and they strongly believe that their work has special meaning, that their work is not just a job!

It is with great honour that we confer the Resilience Award to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and all their employees.

Watch the full panel interview of  Dr. Eugene Soh together with two other distinguished thought leaders from the frontlines.

Hosted by our very own Managing Director, Evelyn Kwek, and moderated by our Global CEO straight from Oakland California, Michael Bush, this panel discussion brought to you by Cadence Design System, is truly one of value.

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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.