In an industry already known for being fast paced, high pressured and ever evolving, the past two years of the Covid pandemic has led to a rapid growth in the use of technology as business models changed and employees switched to remote work arrangements. While this has been positive for the industry, the pressure on employees has been significant.
In our earlier blog on What Makes the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™️ in Technology Unique?, we shared that our inaugural list makers have shown that business success and building a high trust culture can happen concurrently and are, in fact, complementary. While not immune to the increased pressure and workload brought about by the rise in demand for technology products and options globally, these companies continue to prioritize employee well-being, and reinforce efforts to build trust and cement social connections as employees work towards achieving a common purpose. These efforts, in turn, support their talent strategy and enable sustainable business growth and expansion.
Based on insights gleaned from the Great Place to Work® Trust Index™ survey data and Culture Audit submissions, the top 3 areas where Best Workplaces in Technology (“Tech Best”) shine in their efforts to support employee well-being, as compared with the average company in Singapore1 (“SG Average”) are:
1. Connecting the dots to the North Star
A sense of purpose is one of the key aspects of employee well-being and refers to a sense of fulfilment, meaning and progress at work. Having a clear sense of purpose allows employees to understand why they do what they do at work. Tech Best companies clearly demonstrate the link between employees’ day-to-day work with its business strategy, so that every individual knows how their work makes a difference and contributes to achieving the company’s objectives.
I feel I make a difference here.
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Thoughtworks is clear about its North Star: to create an extraordinary impact on the world through its culture and technology excellence. In 2019, it launched “Thoughtworks Why”—the latest iteration of why it exists, its lenses (different ways Thoughtworkers contribute to achieving its purpose), and its values. This involved workshops being conducted in every region and a survey sent to all employees globally, to make sure that everyone could share their views and experiences, and resonate with the final outcome. Through the different lenses articulated in the Why, each Thoughtworker is clear about how they contribute to its core purpose, and ensures that every employee is always working towards its True North.
2. Making care a cornerstone of employee connections
A work environment that facilitates the formation of meaningful connections is another key aspect of employee well-being. Such connections are characterized by authentic and caring relationships between employees which underpin genuine friendships and the formation of a robust social network. Tech Best companies proactively cultivate a culture of care that drives meaningful connections top-down, bottom-up and between co-workers at every level across the company.
People care about each other here.
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Adobe Singapore celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of the Southeast Asian cultures and embodies the “Kampong Spirit” in all that it does—it embraces the neighborly spirit rooted in Singapore’s heritage and creates an inclusive community where everyone looks out for each other. A regular Kampong bulletin is circulated to celebrate wins and share updates across departments, and there is a quarterly “Kampong Perhimpunan” virtual gathering for staff engagement. At a global level, it leverages a variety of platforms such as Adobe Site Councils to foster unique identities at a local level that complement its corporate culture, heighten employee engagement, and enrich the communities in which it conducts business, as well as Communities@Adobe to make everyone feel included as part of its commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace for all.
3. Cultivating a psychologically and emotionally safe work environment
The importance of a psychologically and emotionally safe work environment cannot be overemphasized. Especially in recent months when toxic workplaces and their detrimental impact on mental wellness have been a frequent topic of conversation. Tech Best companies consciously cultivate a safe space for employees to speak up, try new things, and dare to innovate. They actively listen to employees’ feedback and create an open culture to deal with issues of concern.
This is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work.
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As part of its value of Innovation, Salesforce creates a space where employees can apply a beginner’s mind, creativity, and continuous learning to disrupt and transform all that they do. It allows employees to fail fast, and creates safe spaces to take risks because it believes that innovation can come from everywhere and everyone. And it relies on employee feedback to make the workplace the best that it can be, through platforms such as its annual employee opinion survey and mechanisms like “Airing of Grievances”—a feedback channel that allows anyone to air their views and share unfiltered feedback. It is a point of pride that its management openly seeks, acts on, and internally publishes employee feedback, and that people managers at all levels take a highly action-oriented approach to evaluations from their direct reports.
With such practices in place to support employee well-being and create a workplace environment that enables them to thrive, it comes as no surprise that 90% of employees from Tech Best companies say that people look forward to coming to work, as compared with 47% of employees among SG Average companies.
To find out who’s on the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Technology List, click here.
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.