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Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo (right) presenting CEO of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Central Health Eugene Soh with a special award at a ceremony to recognise Singapore’s best workplaces. PHOTO: GREAT PLACE TO WORK INSTITUTE SINGAPORE

The Business Times (22 December 2020)

DPM Heng lauds some winners for providing counselling resources, paying attention to staff’s mental well-being

THIRTEEN companies including DHL Express, Certis and Salesforce were named Singapore’s Best Workplaces on Monday, with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) also honoured with a special award for Resilience.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Manpower Minister Josephine Teo officiated at the virtual event.

Organised annually by global consultancy Great Place to Work, this year’s awards had a special focus on companies’ responses to Covid-19.

Mrs Teo, who presented the awards, noted the pandemic had taken a toll on employees this year, with many companies implementing belt-tightening measures amid workplace closures.

“The Covid-19 pandemic turned the way we work upside down,” she said. “It was not like Sars, or the global financial crisis. There was no playbook and no rehearsal.”

TTSH was given special recognition for its pandemic response, and its leaders’ attention to the well-being of frontline and support staff.

At a panel discussion, TTSH chief executive Eugene Soh recalled the loss of two staff members to Sars in 2003 – a doctor, Ong Hok Su and a nurse, Hamidah Ismail – and said a top priority for the hospital was its staff’s safety amid the ongoing pandemic.

In pre-recorded remarks, Mr Heng observed that some awardees had provided counselling resources for their employees and paid attention to their mental well-being, such as by sending them encouraging notes.

“A great workplace remembers, and respects, that each of their members may face their own pressures and commitments outside of the workplace, and cares for their total well-being,” he said, adding that it was important to take care of mental health in the workplace, home and the community.

Mr Heng also commended the awardees for rallying their staff to donate to others during the pandemic.

The award recipients were ranked based on the results of an Employee Trust Index Survey, weighted at 60 per cent of the score. For the remaining 40 per cent, the consultancy invited companies to share “bold acts of leadership” taken to create a great workplace, in response to Covid-19.

DHL Express (Singapore) bagged first place among the 10 medium-to-large companies to make the list.

The company partnered government agencies and the Singapore Red Cross to care for healthcare workers and vulnerable groups, like migrant workers and the elderly. Despite the tough climate, DHL Express also committed to no pay cuts or retrenchments for its employees.

The other winners were Cisco, Salesforce, Medtronic, Amgen Singapore Manufacturing, PAP Community Foundation, Micron Semiconductor, Certis, HP Inc, and foodpanda.

Among smaller workplaces with fewer than 100 employees, lighting company Signify Singapore took top spot, followed by software company Cadence, and World Wide Technology (WWT)’s Singapore office.

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