Workplaces that Work for Parents
Learn how two award-winning companies are building family-friendly workplaces.
The Best Companies for Mums 2015 Contest recognised 65 companies and individuals that are working hard to keep working parents happy and productive, both at work and beyond. Jointly organised by TAFEP and the National Trades Union Congress Women's Development Secretariat, the contest celebrates the remarkable efforts by companies and individuals in fostering family-friendly work environments. This year saw the addition of two categories, "Most Enabling Companies for Dads" and "Most Supportive Supervisors". TAFEP speaks to two winning companies on their tips for building a work-life friendly environment.
Company: OCBC Bank
Award: Most Enabling Company for Dads Award
"We believe that work and personal life should be complementary and not competing priorities. Over the years, we have introduced people policies and programmes to address the different needs of our employees as we understand the struggles they face in striking a balance between personal priorities and work," says Mr Jason Ho, Head of Group Human Resources at OCBC Bank.
Today, the bank offers employees an extensive range of work-life programmes such as an in-house childcare centre and flexible work options.
Mr Vincent Heng, Assistant Vice President of Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank, shares why he nominated the bank for the award. The work-life programmes offered by the bank had allowed this father of three to focus better on his job, knowing that his children were well taken care of.
"The convenience of having an in-house childcare centre within the office's premise makes life so much easier for working parents like me. I'm thankful to have understanding supervisors who allowed me to be on a flexible work arrangement so that I can better manage my work-life priorities," he says.
Company: Hitachi Asia
Award: Most Supportive Supervisor Award
Successful work-life programmes are highly dependent on supervisors' support, and Mr Danny Sher, General Manager of the Air-Con & Refrigeration Group, is one example of a supervisor who made work-life harmony in the company a success.
"Danny ensures that every staff has adequate time allocated for their family. Without Danny's support and understanding nature, I will be constantly worried about my family matters and will not be able to give my full attention at work," says Ms Maggie Chow, Sales Admin Manager at Hitachi Asia, who nominated him for the Award.
According to a survey by The Straits Times1, 81 per cent of employers recognised improved employee productivity as one of the benefits of implementing work-life programmes. Mr Sher shares the same sentiments.
"Good employees are invaluable assets to the company, and it is only right for supervisors to support working parents. I have noticed that once they overcome challenging periods, they devote more time and attention to their jobs in appreciation of the support received from the company."
"It is really comforting to have a supervisor who has a balanced view on family and work. This has motivated the team to give our best to the job and fostered a greater sense of belonging to the company," Ms Chow chimes in.
1 The Straits Times-Employer Alliance (ST-EA) Survey on Work-Life integration and Flexible Work Arrangements released in 2014.
This article first appeared in the October - December 2015 issue of Upbeat.