Innovative firms up for Enterprise 50 Awards

For Sing Lun Holdings chief executive Mark Lee, innovation comes in many forms - including the way a company manages its employees.

Last year, he visited a South Korean firm which had a wish list written by staff pinned on its office wall, and that gave him the idea of implementing his own. "The idea was that people won't leave you if they're happy working for you, and you take an active role in addressing their wishes," he said.

Back in Singapore, he applied the same idea in his firm and asked staff to write out their wishes.

"It could be very small things, like 'I wish my boss would write a letter to my family to tell them how much the firm appreciates my work', but I put the list up and check off as many things as I can."

Mr Lee added that such a practice has helped retention rates because it lets workers know the company is "involved in their lives and cares for them". He was speaking yesterday at a panel discussion on how local firms can innovate for the future, at the launch of the 2016 Enterprise 50 (E50) Awards at Four Seasons Hotel.

The E50 Awards were started in 1995 to identify, support and recognise enterprising, privately owned local firms. The awards are jointly organised by auditing firm KPMG and The Business Times, and sponsored by OCBC Bank.

This year's awards see Singapore Exchange (SGX) joining as a supporting organisation and the addition of a new award category recognising the internationalisation efforts of Singapore's enterprises.

"Our collaboration (with SGX) will help local enterprises leverage SGX's initial public offering expertise," said Mr Chiu Wu Hong, head of enterprise at KPMG in Singapore. He hoped this would accelerate the growth of firms considering listing on SGX.

Besides SGX, E50 Awards is supported by International Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Business Federation and Spring Singapore. Nominations close on June 30. The list of winners will be announced later this year at a gala dinner.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2016, with the headline 'Innovative firms up for Enterprise 50 Awards'. Subscribe