Uncertain times call for 'culture of trust'

Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck at the launch of WorkLifeWorks.sg yesterday, Singapore's first integrated work-life resource portal.
Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck at the launch of WorkLifeWorks.sg yesterday, Singapore's first integrated work-life resource portal.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The push for more work-life friendly workplaces remains relevant in uncertain times like these, when having a "culture of trust" is crucial to keeping a company intact, Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck said yesterday.

He was speaking at the launch of WorkLifeWorks.sg, Singapore's first integrated work-life resource portal that will give workers and human resource managers a space to share ideas on how to overcome problems faced in the pursuit of work-life strategies.

Mr Teo told reporters on the sidelines of the launch at OCBC Centre: "In up times or down times, companies have to take care of their staff. If you take care of your staff, they will take care of your customers."

Flexible work arrangements are a good way for employers to show employees they care, he said, "especially in bad times when a company is not doing well and workers themselves feel threatened".

WorkLifeWorks.sg was developed by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) and the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy, which comprises members from government agencies and employer groups.

OCBC Bank won the Tafep Exemplary Employer Award this year. Among other initiatives, it introduced support groups in 2014 for colleagues in tough situations to connect with each other.

Ms Lydia Chua, who has worked at OCBC for 26 years, joined a support group for children with special needs. Her youngest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. She said: "This is a good platform for sharing with other parents. Having an internal support group at the workplace also allows us to attend talks and sharing sessions during lunch hours."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2016, with the headline 'Uncertain times call for 'culture of trust''. Print Edition | Subscribe