Valuing the workforce

The Singapore HR Awards 2018 celebrates the achievements and best practices of the human resource profession

Mr Ng says HR practices need to be constantly reviewed to keep pace with the demands of a changing business world.
PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Continous and conscientious efforts to engage the hearts and minds of employees and upskilling staff to meet the demands of the future — these were some common qualities winners of this year’s The Singapore HR Awards possessed, says Mr Johnathon Ng, who sits on the judging panel.

In its 13th year, The Singapore HR Awards 2018 recognises excellence within the human resources (HR) profession in Singapore by lauding leading organisational HR practices and individuals.

Organised by the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI), this year’s theme was about “celebrating human capital successes”.

The awards presentation was held on Friday with Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad as guest of honour.

Mr Ng, who is head of group human resources at construction firm Woh Hup, says: “This awards presentation gala is a platform for the HR community to come together and celebrate their achievements, showcase HR initiatives and build a sense of shared identity and purpose.”

People matter

This year, Great Place to Work has refreshed its mission globally to help organisations and has a bold goal to partner with organisations to build “Great Places to Work For All” by 2030.

Winning companies — Great Eastern, Tower Transit Singapore and ViSenze — were singled out for proactively implementing initiatives that created two-way communication between employers and employees.

First-time winner Tower Transit Singapore, a bus operator from the United Kingdom, stood out.

When it started, this little-known foreign company faced challenges attracting locals to join as bus captains.

Today, it has become a company that attracts job seekers through its strategy of being a “people-centric organisation and an employer with a heart”.

Tower Transit has family-friendly policies such as 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, and inviting work and rest areas.

The company won two awards — Employee Engagement, Alignment and Workplace Harmony; and Employer Branding.

A repeat winner is artificial intelligence start-up ViSenze, which bagged the Business HR Award (Fast-Growing) and Employee Engagement, Alignment and Workplace Harmony award. It won an award (Compensation & Benefits) last year as a first-time participant.

Competing for talents in the technology industry, ViSenze’s HR strategy focuses on company culture, opportunity for growth and employee experience.

Employees are reminded to “ask anything, anytime” and prioritise helping colleagues who have a question or problem.

The company also declares Wednesday as “Eat With Your ViSenze Family Day” and caters dinner for employees who work late.

Adapting accordingly

Mr Ng says HR practices need to be constantly reviewed to keep pace with the demands of a changing business world.

Since the workforce has to be future-ready, HR should be involved in retooling the skill sets of its employees.

He cites Great Eastern as a company that creates opportunities for graduates with less than two years of working experience who join through its Corporate Management Associate Programme.

This structured attachment programme exposes participants to classroom and on-the-job training, as well as cross-functional projects to pick up business knowledge and management skills.

The insurance agency’s training hours have also doubled from 10,433 hours in 2015 to 20,422 hours last year.

Great Eastern won the Business HR Award (Purpose-Driven) and Employee Engagement, Alignment and Workplace Harmony award.

Mr Ng also believes that the HR industry should look beyond traditional solutions and adapt appropriate practices from other industries to ensure the success of companies in the future.

“Companies can constantly improve or revise their HR practices by involving HR practitioners to co-create HR practices with business leaders so as to keep pace with the needs of business in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world,” he says.

NEW AWARDS INTRODUCED THIS YEAR
Business HR Awards
This is a new category to recognise HR practices designed to power the business. Awards in this category include:
  • Disruptive-Innovative
  • Fast-Growing
  • High-Performing
  • Purpose-Driven

Individual Category
  • Leading HR Business Partner
This new award recognises an individual who demonstrates the ability to align business objectives with employees and management in designated business units.
New Category
  • Manpower Journalism Award
This new award recognises journalists who write about manpower issues in Singapore.

Featured Winner

NCSS

National Council of Social Service

NCSS believes in being non-discriminatory when hiring new staff