From the 50 organisations that registered for the Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Singapore 2011 study, 13 were conferred the Best Employer title.

The Singapore study, which runs on an 18-month cycle, is part of the larger Aon Hewitt Best Employers in APAC study, where more than 800 organisations from eleven markets — ANZ, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Middle East, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand — registered to participate.

Opinions were collected from more than 140,000 employees, making it the largest employee research in the region.

The 2011 Best Employers in Singapore are American Express International Inc., Bain And Co SEA, Citibank N.A. Singapore Branch, Federal Express (S) Pte Ltd, Hilti Far East Pte Ltd, Institute of Technical Education, InterContinental Hotels Group, Singapore Food Industries Pte Ltd, Singapore Marriott Hotel, Singapore Prison Service and Tata Consultancy Services.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore and McDonald’s Restaurants stood out among the Best Employers and were recognised by the judges as Outstanding Best Employers.

Says the project lead for Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Singapore 2011 study, Ms Sheryl Ling: “In today’s world, change is a part of everyday business.

“Aon Hewitt has conducted the study through turbulent times — during the 9/11 incident in 2001, Sars in 2003, the aftermath of the great Asian tsunami in 2005, the bubbling of sub-prime in 2007, and during the economic slowdown in 2009.

“We continue to run the study during tough times to understand how organisations leverage on their people and people practices during such periods.

“For 2011, we look at how organisations attain stability post the economic crisis. We also dive deeper into the pillars that make a Best Employer.”

Methodology

Three data collection instruments were used: a CEO Questionnaire; an Employee Opinion Survey designed to gauge the level of employees’ engagement and perceptions of the work environment; and a People Practices Inventory which gathers information about an organisation’s people practices.

Aon Hewitt ensured the credibility of the study through a rigorous process. Besides a panel of judges who are independent of Aon Hewitt, random on-site audits were also conducted to ensure data authenticity.

The two Outstanding Best Employers stand out with innovative policies that evolved to keep up with the times. 

For example, McDonald’s Restaurants created an Internal Social Networking Site, www.ketchup.com.sg, which comprised a print newsletter and an online presence. It enabled effective communication from the Board Room to the Crew Room.

Through the website, employees are also able to blog online with various leadership team members, while connecting with each other.

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s new initiative — the Multi-Tasker Programme (MTP) — was rolled out in January 2009 during the onset of the global economic crisis.

Says Mr Peter Mainguy, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore: “The MTP was a tremendous success because it provided an opportunity for all our ladies and gentlemen to be trained in an alternative role and improve their versatility as they could be deployed from areas with low business levels to areas that were still experiencing a steady business demand in 2009. It means saving jobs and avoiding retrenchments.

 “Today the MTP programme remains one of our key initiatives, which we can leverage on and one that we can ‘turn on or off’ to suit the volatile business conditions.”