Empowering employees with an engaging workplace culture

Aileen Tan, Group Chief People and Sustainability Officer, Singtel, explains how a people-centric approach can help build a winning workplace culture.
By: | August 26, 2022

With businesses spanning across a variety of verticals, including telecommunications, enterprise ICT services, cloud, cybersecurity, smart city solutions, pay-TV and over-the-top (OTT) video, Singtel employs more than 24,000 people worldwide, including some 12,000 employees in Singapore alone.

The challenge of creating a workplace culture based on shared values can be a real challenge, although it is one that Singtel has embraced and succeeded in doing.

Aileen Tan, Group Chief People and Sustainability Officer, shared with HRM Magazine Asia, “Instilling a strong sense of purpose in a business employing 24,000 people worldwide can only be achieved through adopting a whole-of-organisation, culture-building approach. This involves incorporating and leveraging structures, processes, and leadership to create a sense of belonging for our amazing people to be part of and to do great work.”

And it is this people-centric approach to Empower Every Generation that  allowed Singtel to scoop the award for Best Workplace Culture and Engagement at HR Fest Awards 2022, organised by HRM Asia as part of HR Tech Festival Asia 2022.

Tan also attributed the win to Singtel’s refreshed COMMIT values – Cultivate a Growth Mindset, Operate with Integrity, Make Customers First, Maximise Teamwork, Innovate with a Challenger Spirit, Take Ownership, which she said has resonated with Singtel employees, as engagement continues to be a priority in Singtel’s people efforts.

She explained, “Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we were determined to strengthen connection with our people, complemented by the creative use of technologies, and ensure we actively listen to their concerns and suggestions. Based on their feedback, we developed and rolled out initiatives such as iCARE and Blended Ways of Working.”

iCARE is both a movement and an overarching programme that empowers Singtel employees to prioritise and take charge of their health and mental wellbeing, as well as promote work-life balance through various initiatives.

These include introducing a digital self-care, well-being app as a virtual buddy for Singtel employees, where they can access personalised support from a behavioural life coach to build self-awareness, learn how to manage daily stress, and work on personal goals.

As for the Blended Ways of Working initiative, it was launched to support Singtel employees in coping with prolonged COVID-19 measures. Employees were allowed to flex between working from home and reporting onsite three times a week, enriching the wide repertoire of family-friendly work practices.

Additionally, weekly “no-meeting” half-days were also implemented to provide employees with me-time to learn and rejuvenate.

“These initiatives support our people to not only look after their own holistic wellbeing, but also take care of one another as we move into a hybrid and collaborative way of working,” Tan concluded.