#5 Grab

Head of people at Grab Ong Chin Yin. PHOTO: TED CHEN

Power to the people

Ride-hailing company Grab believes in creating a psychologically safe space for honest feedback

Twice a year, Grab hosts a global “Grabtitude Day” to celebrate their employees at work. Free body combat classes, fl ower arrangement workshops and yoga sessions are just a few examples of the fun-fi lled activities that the start-up unicorn has organised for its employees, who are more affectionately called Grabbers.

The idea of a “Grabtitude Day” was suggested by a group of staff at one of Grab’s monthly town hall meetings. It was then endorsed and brought to fruition by the Grab management.

The company believes in providing a vibrant and conducive physical workspace where employees feel psychologically safe and welcomed so that they can perform at their best.

“Empowered employees make for an empowered company. Cultivating an enjoyable workplace for employees to thrive in plays a big role in Grab’s success as a business,” says Ms Ong Chin Yin, head of people at Grab.

As part of a company-wide effort to create a culture of trust, managers in different business units are encouraged to always check in and listen to colleagues working on the ground.

Regular one-on-one sessions are scheduled to ensure that every staff member can voice his or her feedback on how they feel about their experience in the workplace. Micro-training sessions such as The Art of Writing Good Feedback are held to teach senior management how to become better leaders and managers.

“We have a rather flat hierarchy where teams are kept lean and agile, and employees retain a healthy level of autonomy so they can adapt to the fast-paced nature of the tech industry,” says Ms Ong.

“We take employee feedback very seriously and have ongoing Grabber Engagement Surveys that take place twice a year to ensure continuous improvement in the workplace,” she adds.

This survey is conducted anonymously through a third-party vendor to encourage employees to share their opinions without fear of reprisal.

For its continuous efforts in creating a conducive environment for its staff, Grab clinched a spot on the 2019 Singapore Best Medium and Large Workplaces List this year.

To date, the company seems to be on the right track, as acknowledged by an employee in a shared survey: “Our work environment is built on trust, allowing people to actually grow and not be haunted for making mistakes.

“That’s one of the greatest things about Grab. People can freely discuss, interact, challenge and share ideas. This again establishes an environment of psychological safety.”