By April Zara Chua
SINGAPORE — The pandemic shifted company dynamics this year, and when Singapore went into the circuit breaker period in early April, it threw many companies into disarray. Employees had to adjust quickly to new working conditions under work from home directives—or if they were categorised as essential, to continue working on the field with the threat of infection growing each day.
Despite the challenges, many companies stepped up their efforts to make these unprecedented working arrangements conducive and comfortable for all. Here are some companies that proved resilient amidst uncertainty according to this year’s best workplaces lists.
DHL Express (Singapore) Pte Ltd
DHL Express emerged top in this year’s Great Place to Work: Singapore’s Best Workplaces list for medium and large organisations. The company, which came in third last year, put their employees’ welfare and peace of mind as priorities by committing to no pay cuts and retrenchments. DHL Express’ other response to the COVID-19 crisis included paying salary increases and bonuses on time, and disbursing an additional one-time bonus of 300 euros to all employees as financial aid. When it came to the safety of their employees and customers, all on-ground staff were equipped with masks and sanitisers and trained on personal work safety. For staff working remotely from home, the company also made sure that they swiftly received resources they needed such as desktops and IT equipment.
Another on the Great Place to Work: Singapore’s Best Workplaces list of great medium to large companies to work in is global healthcare solutions company Medtronic. At the height of the pandemic, the company showed its support for its employees by setting up a dedicated, cross-functional COVID-19 Response Team to care for the psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing of staff. The company implemented safety protocols and supplies, food delivery vouchers, wellness gift packs and training to their staff. They also gave out bonus incentives for all, and sponsored round-trip flights and two extra vacation days to foreign employees to help them reunite with their families post-pandemic.
Next on the list is Cisco, which came in second in Great Place to Work: Singapore’s Best Workplaces 2020 list for medium and large organisations and fourth in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2020. Employee sentiments place Cisco as a company where they feel physically safe to work in. In response to the pandemic, the company had a number of initiatives to keep employee health and morale up. This included a three days off given free to all staff to replenish and recharge. The company also provided ongoing guidance for employees with virtual health checks and constant engagement opportunities to help keep teams alert and focused.
Salesforce is no stranger to the Great Place to Work: Singapore’s Best Workplaces list, having been a list maker since the award’s inception. This year, the company placed third in the medium and large organisation category and also made it into Forbes’ World’s Best Employers 2020 list. Salesforce empowered its staff equipping leaders to lead with trust and empathy to enable focus and contribution from their people. The company also provided upskilling training programs to encourage enhanced communication and further bring home the spirit of togetherness and family across all staff levels within the organisation.
This information technology company was named as one of the top 10 workplaces in both the Great Place to Work: Singapore’s Best Workplaces 2020 list for medium and large organisations and Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2020 (Employees’ Choice) list. The local workforce shrunk when COVID-19 hit and the Malaysia Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented. The company sprang into action by motivating remaining employees in Singapore with work incentives and completion bonuses, providing lodging and daily allowances for Malaysian staff who stayed back in Singapore, and reassuring stranded employees in Johor by continuing to pay their salaries and redeploying them to HP Penang.
Moving from second place to clinch the top spot in the Great Place to Work: Singapore’s Best Workplaces 2020 list for small organisations is Signify Singapore (formerly Philips Lighting). As they continued to provide lighting solutions to the country amidst the pandemic, Signify Singapore prioritised the wellbeing and safety of their staff. They provided their employees and their families with physical, mental and emotional support which included laundry allowance, webinars with psychologists, online yoga sessions, and virtual team building and family activities. Based on employee reviews, the company places great emphasis on safety, equality, teamwork, and being able to provide their staff with the resources they need.