Fair and Progressive Employers in the Midst of Challenging Times
Learn from Go-Ahead Singapore, winner of the Tripartite Alliance Award 2021, on how they develop and retain their older workers.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the employment landscape had been in topsy turvy with employers trying to sustain their businesses, while keeping their employees safe and gainfully employed. The Tripartite Alliance Award (TAA) 2021 ceremony, organised by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), recognised 21 organisations and six individuals for their fair and progressive employment practices and keeping their employees at the heart of their businesses.
Hear from Go-Ahead Singapore, TAA winner of the Age Inclusive Practices category, on how they develop and retain their older workers.
Go-Ahead Singapore believes that old is gold. More than 60% of its employees are aged 40 years and above, and the retention rate of its older workers is about 90%.
The public transport operator has embarked on several initiatives in the efforts to develop and retain their older workers.
When it comes to recruitment, hiring managers are trained on unbiased hiring, and use standardised interview evaluation forms that do not include age-bias items as a criterion for evaluation. Performance management, promotions, and increments are awarded fairly based on competencies, skills, and performance, regardless of age.
Structured career planning is also provided for older workers. They are sent for leadership courses and take up mentorship roles to guide as well as pass on knowledge and skills to junior employees. There are also specially designed training roadmaps for older bus captains, that identify project skills that are necessary for the future.
With the influx of digitalisation, the firm implemented initiatives to upskill and improve the efficiency of bus captains. One of them is the remote sign-on application that enables bus captains to sign on for duties remotely with a company-issued mobile phone. This removes the need for them to report to the dispatch office before their shifts and saves them time that can be channelled to other activities.
Another is the BC Click application that digitalised day-to-day manual activities such as collecting duty cards and reporting of the vehicle condition, which now only needs a few minutes to complete. It is also a convenient, effective, and speedy mode of communication as departments can share messages and notices with bus captains, which they can receive instantaneously on the application.
“Our people are the driving force of the organisation and our most valuable asset. Maturity, experience, and knowledge are major strengths of senior workers. They bring plenty to the table and are qualified to become mentors and role models for new joiners. As an employer, we value and leverage on these qualities,” Mr Wang Poon Liang, Human Resources Director, Go-Ahead Singapore.
This article first appeared in Human Resources Online e-magazine Q3 2021, and is the last instalment in a four-part series on how TAA winners implemented fair and progressive practices at their workplaces and excel as exemplary employers.
View part one of the series on how Aviva puts employees at the heart of the organisation, and its people initiatives.
View part three of the series on how OCBC Bank helps prepare their employees for the future of jobs.