SINGAPORE - HP, foodpanda, and Micron Technology may be very different companies, but they all have at least two things in common: They put the well-being of their employees first, and as a result, were recognised as some of the best places to work at the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces Summit.
This is the seventh time the annual summit, organised by international organisation Great Place to Work, has been held here.
Last year's session was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year's summit was a physical event at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, with some speakers tuning in virtually to address the audience of about 300 people.
The 30 winners were chosen based on surveys distributed to 37,000 employees across various industries in Singapore.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was guest of honour at the event on Thursday (Dec 2), said that many of this year's winners had taken care of their employees' overall wellness, especially important given the additional stresses caused by the pandemic.
For instance, foodpanda gave its employees access to a well-being app that provides resources on physical, mental, and career well-being. Employees are also able to get one-on-one sessions with coaches for further support.
Speaking at the event, Mr Ingo Laubender, head of people at foodpanda, said it was important that leaders take ownership to help implement boundaries between work and personal life.
"Work and life have blended, accelerated by the pandemic. When I communicate with my team after hours, I'll leave a small note saying 'don't respond tonight'," he said.
Meanwhile, HP provided financial support to some of its employees to set up their workstations at home, and also established networks to support various groups of workers, such as women, young employees and operationally ready national servicemen.
Ms Vivian Chua, HP's managing director and head of Singapore and Malaysia, said: "People have always been the core of our strategy, because we believe that when people thrive, the business will thrive."
Ms Sim Cher Whee, vice-president of global talent acquisition and talent mobility at semiconductor giant Micron Technology, said it was important to take a holistic approach to employee well-being, which should encompass the physical, mental, social, career and financial aspects of their lives.
For her company, this included a 90-day "no-layoffs" pledge at the beginning of the pandemic, and free meals provided for some of its employees.
Mr Heng noted that the pandemic meant many workers had to go beyond their typical scope of work, stretching themselves to the limit.
"If we are not careful, burnout is a real possibility for many workers. In some countries, we are seeing the phenomenon of the 'great resignation', so we must avoid that," said Mr Heng, who is also coordinating minister for economic policies.
He noted that employees will increasingly place greater value on a workplace that offers good work-life practices, and added that the fortunes of companies and workers are ultimately intertwined.
"Increasingly, employers will also need to think harder about how to enhance the overall wellness of their employees. It's not just about dollars and cents, but also providing them with greater purpose at work and pride in what they do, fostering a culture of fairness and respect, supporting their aspirations, and helping them balance their various priorities," said Mr Heng.
Mrs Joni Ong, managing director of Great Place to Work for Asean and Australia and New Zealand, noted that the prolonged and uncertain nature of the virus has resulted in anxiety, fatigue and weariness in workplaces around the world.
"The past two years have highlighted the importance of addressing holistic employee well-being for many organisations," she said.
Mr Heng added: "I hope the examples of the exemplary companies amongst this year's award winners will inspire others to strive to create the best possible workplaces for all their employees."
This year's top 15 Singapore Best Workplaces (medium and large category - 100 employees or more):
1. DHL Express (Singapore)
4. Adobe Singapore
5. Red Hat
6. Micron Technology
7. Boston Scientific
10. Ingram Micro Asia
12. HP Inc
13. Abbvie Singapore
14. Microsoft Singapore
15. TDCX (SG)
This year's top 15 Singapore's Best Workplaces (small category - 10 to 99 employees):
1. Signify Singapore
2. TC Acoustic
5. World Wide Technology
6. Insight Technology Solutions
7. Collective Good / Boxgreen
8. BitTitan SG
9. Liftoff Mobile
11. Servier Singapore
12. RICE Communications
14. Crowdstrike Singapore