45 companies named best workplaces in Singapore

(From left) DHL's managing director Christopher Ong, Cisco's managing director Andy Lee, TC Acoustic's CEO Christian Honegger and Insight's regional manager Joan Loo. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Beyond reducing its carbon footprint, introducing electric vehicles to its existing delivery fleet has paid off for logistics company DHL Express Singapore.

“One of the couriers came up to me to say, ‘Boss, you really saved me – the electric vans are quiet, they’re cool and I can have conversations with customers without any stress’,” said Christopher Ong, managing director of the courier division of logistics giant DHL in Singapore, on Thursday.

As at October, 90 of the firm’s 390 delivery vehicles in Singapore run on electricity.

Couriers have said they are proud of driving state-of-the-art vehicles and contributing to Singapore’s zero-carbon ambitions, said Ong.

Such moves to improve the workplace environment and imbue a sense of purpose have struck a chord with DHL Express Singapore’s 1,200 employees – 96 per cent of the nearly 1,000 polled over two weeks in May deemed it a great place to work.

It was named Singapore’s best workplace among large companies employing 1,000 or more staff for the third year in a row, in an annual ranking that has been published by consulting firm Great Place To Work (GPTW) since 2015.

GPTW declined to provide the number of companies that were in contention for the awards.

The consultancy certifies workplaces with an outstanding employee experience through employee surveys and analytics. Over 10,000 companies in 97 countries apply to be certified each year.

On Thursday, at Marina Bay Sands, 45 firms across four size categories were feted as the best Singapore workplaces at the closing event for the two-day Asean Greater Summit. The annual meeting brings together leaders from GPTW-certified firms to learn from one another.

Winners in the other three categories are technology firm Cisco, audio equipment retailer TC Acoustic and tech consultancy Insight Technology Solutions.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour, said the Covid-19 pandemic has turned flexible work arrangements into a core part of working life, driving home the importance of engaging workers on their well-being.

These shifts are positive and timely, he said, as they take place against a backdrop of broader trends, such as growing caregiving commitments in an ageing society.

Increasingly volatile economic cycles will also exert greater stress and anxiety on employees, who will need to upskill and reskill in order to remain relevant, he said.

This means economic transformation will need to be people-centred, with firms attending to employees’ holistic well-being and care, in addition to equipping them with hard skills.

However, added Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, what truly sets great workplaces apart is not just the schemes they put in place, but also the strength of the trust and purpose they share with their employees.

“Employees who feel empowered by their employers go the extra mile, enabling them to achieve greater things with their employers,” he said.

WhiteCoat was ranked 15th in the small category – for companies with 30 to 99 employees – and is the only telemedicine provider in an Asean country that won an award.

As a small company, it was all hands on deck to attend to patients and pack medicines into the wee hours of the morning when patient loads peaked during the pandemic, said chief executive Bryan Koh.

He added: “For the team, seeing that they are not in this alone, that there is management support and that management is there working alongside them, helps to keep them motivated.”

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