6 November 2015

Singapore's 10 best places to work for unveiled

A new study by research and consulting firm Great Place to Work Institute Singapore finds that high levels of trust and engagement amongst employees are synonymous with high-performing work culture.

With the new report, Singapore Insights 2015, Great Place to Work Institute Singapore has also released its inaugural 10 Best Companies to Work For in Singapore List. Cloud computing company Salesforce debuts in first position. Many in the list are (again) technology related: the top five include Cisco, InterContinental Hotels Group, local development consultancy ROHEI and SAP Asia.

“Relationships are generally valued at Singapore-based companies,” says Joni Ong, Managing Director at Great Place to Work Singapore. “We have observed that Best Companies have strong cultural intent, and have designed people practices to create desired culture. These practices are implemented with authentic human touch by leaders and managers, which translate into positive day-to-day workplace experiences for the employees. This distinguishes the Best from the Rest.”

Great Place to Work has been studying great workplace cultures worldwide and producing best workplace lists for more than three decades, and continues to find that trust, pride and camaraderie are universal foundations to a great workplace. The methodology to identify Singapore’s Best Companies to Work For and the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For are the same.

Two thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the Trust Index Employee Survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company (95% confidence level). The other third is based on the responses to the Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programmes, and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs and diversity efforts.

The list recognises great workplaces in Singapore have strong corporate culture characterised by high levels of trust camaraderie and pride. Employees at the 10 top companies to work for in Singapore also value competent management and well-formulated workplace policies and practices.

The Singapore Insights 2015 report provides details about the findings, explains how great cultures are a competitive advantage, and offers insights into how companies can influence employees’ willingness to stay for the long haul and their perception of whether their company is a great workplace.

The report also includes the full list of the 2015 Singapore’s Best. The Best Workplaces represent operations in six different sectors ranging from information technology and hospitality, manufacturing & production and professional services.

The ten in the list, from No. 1 onwards, are:


“Salesforce is a highly deserving first place winner of the inaugural Singapore Best Companies to Work For! Across every aspect that makes for a great workplace culture, Salesforce employees experience it - on the ground, true to heart and spirit, and with the human touch encompassing the company – inside and out," said Ong.

“At Salesforce our core values are about customer success, innovation, giving back and having fun. This award is a testament to the work we do in Singapore every day to live and breath those values. We are proud to be the No. 1 great place to work in Singapore and we look forward to driving continued success in the local market for our employees and for our customers,” said Simon Tate, Area Vice President, Asia, Salesforce.


Connecting the world for the better through its technology, Cisco has also built a workplace culture over the years that values people and builds relationships. Transforming one employee experience at a time - that is the crux of Cisco's People Deal," said Ong.

“Our biggest asset is our people and at Cisco, we have created an inclusive, collaborative, innovative culture that makes us a Great Place to Work. We believe that work is what you do, not where you ‘go’ and critical to this transformation into a future workplace is the technology that integrates work, life, play, school and everything in-between. Cisco continues to be listed as a great workplace in Singapore and the region, which we have achieved by having an amazing group of colleagues; leaders that respect our contributions and camaraderie that makes it fun to work.” said Ang Thiam Guan, Managing Director for Cisco in Singapore and Brunei.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)

“IHG is impressive in its commitment to its employees! With a promise to them that they have a Room to be Yourself, each employee has a great start upon joining, is involved in giving ideas and providing feedback, is developed for success and cared for to care for their loved ones," commented Ong.

Jan Smits, CEO, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), IHG said that the award is testament to the company as a great workplace for colleagues and demonstrates the trust they have in IHG as an employer.“Hospitality is a service industry where our people are absolutely critical to our success. Each of our hotel brands represents our promise to our guests and it is our people who deliver on that promise and bring our brands to life," he said.

“Singapore is the regional headquarters for our business in the Asia, Middle East and Africa region. As the largest international hotel operator in the country, we place a huge focus on grooming local talent and engaging our employees, and take great effort in ensuring our hotels and office are conducive environments they can grow and thrive in."


“Relatively young and small (and local), ROHEI stands tall in the company of giant conglomerates. Truly deserving of being ranked No. 4, ROHEI's management put heart and soul into engaging and developing the whole person in all employees. Imagine receiving a boquet of flowers on a random day, or a dozen of freshly baked cookies just because it is your 12th week at work," shared Ong.

“We are grateful to Great Place to Work Institute for believing that every company can be a great workplace. At ROHEI, we are blessed to be affirmed that we have a team that works hard to ensure that we each flourish in our lanes, enjoy one another and complete the day energised and fulfilled! We will continue to be intentional about building a culture that enables us to inspire hope, joy, courage and purpose in the global workforce,” ran a statement from the company.


“Great Place to Work Institute salutes the lofty mission of SAP to 'help the world run better and improve people's lives' and recognises that it is able to do this with great talent! Believing that each employee is a talent, SAP pulls out all stops to create and cultivate a holistic learning culture. From the time a new hire joins, the learning journey begins in earnest, developing and nurturing each employee's unique skills and strengths," noted Ong.

“At SAP, we are committed to helping our employees learn, grow and develop. We heavily invest in measures to attract, hire and retain the best and brightest talents in the industry who will help drive our vision to make the world run simple and improve people’s lives. The award is a positive endorsement of our efforts and we will continue to make SAP a great place to work at,” said Darren Rushworth, Managing Director, Singapore, SAP Asia.


“Purpose and meaning – two powerful motivators to inspire people in a job. Autodesk employees will tell you it is not just about the job; it is about working for a cause. With its vision Helping People Imagine, Design and Create a Better World, Autodeskers are convicted and passionate about what they can achieve together. The pride and commitment toward the organisation's goals and contributions to society are strongly felt and expressed by every Autodesker," said Ong.

"Autodeskers value respect, teamwork and trust, and this award is strong recognition of our efforts to create a positive environment for our 700+ employees in Singapore who are helping realise a new future of making things,” stated the company.

AbbVie, a biopharmaceutical company

"'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'; at Abbvie, this means going beyond patient-centricity to joining their patient’s journey – seeing, feeling and living the life of their patients! Every Abbvie employee, across roles and ranks, are imbued with a purpose to deliver remarkable impact to improve patients’ lives.

“This is a great win for AbbVie and our employees. It recognises how we’ve established a culture of engagement, from the ground up, across functions. From R&D, manufacturing to commercial, we are committed and driven to make a remarkable impact on the lives of patients. It is especially meaningful as we’re just going to complete our third year as an independent biopharmaceutical company. We hope this inspires our people and attracts more great talent to join us!” stated the company.


“NetApp employees and customers alike say 'it just feels different' working with NetApp – great 'different', awesome 'different! Aside from the emphasis on innovation and great customer experiences, what distinguishes NetApp is the value of deep listening, which is so tightly woven into its DNA," noted Ong.

“We believe our people are the company’s greatest asset. They are our competitive advantage and through them we have cultivated a working environment that is dynamic and innovative. The culture at NetApp is something that we are incredibly proud of and we remain committed to fostering a vibrant working environment that offers a supportive atmosphere which keeps our employees happy and engaged,” said Krishna Arani, Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp East Asia.


“EMC believes that employees are the heart and soul of its business. A comprehensive talent acquisition strategic approach ensures that every single employee fits right into the EMC culture and is equipped for success right from the start. Living by its 10 core values, EMC engages its employees creatively through multiple platforms to help them connect their diverse talents and skills to the organisation’s success. Empowering employees to drive their own career progression, it is little wonder that EMC is dubbed the 'hub of top talent' and a great place to work!" said Ong.

“This achievement is testament to EMC’s winning mindset and a collaborative team spirit. As our customers advocate, EMC employees address their most demanding challenges with innovation, speed and passion. This recognition is for all Singapore employees who are empowered to define the EMC culture and to create a great workplace,” stated EMC Singapore.


“The moment a talent joins Diageo, they embark on an awesome journey! Employees are given the freedom to succeed, enabled to be the best they can be, and their entrepreneurial spirits actively fostered," said Ong.

“At Diageo we are committed to creating a nurturing environment for our employees, valuing each other’s diversity and contribution, empowering each other with the freedom to succeed, and growing the communities in which we operate," said Sam Fischer, President Greater China & Asia, Diageo.

Royal Plaza on Scotts (RP), Singapore’s first 100% smoke-free business hotel, and Singapore property pioneer City Developments (CDL) received Watch Out World Special Mention Awards (W.O.W awards). 

"There are no employees at Royal Plaza, only talents. Beyond a brand that provides exceptional facilities and excellent customer service, each talent lives out the crux of Royal Plaza's characteristic - caring for each other. A unique expression of this caring is in the giving of an annual education subsidy for every child of their talents, through to secondary school. What defines the pride and strong affinity to the company brand are the day-to-day exchanges of warm smiles, genuine gestures and openness to each other. It is no wonder that RP talents truly believe their workplace makes you 'feel right at home and treats you like family'!” said Ong.

“The W.O.W award 2015 by Great Place to Work Institute is a recognition that is given to us by our talents, which validates our current practices. Through these best practices, we build a positive work culture which spurs our talents to be their best when they are at the workplace. This is directly linked with the positive emotional connections that our talents create with our guests," stated RP.

“Great Place to Work Institute believes that the key to creating a great workplace goes beyond just providing employee benefits and programmes. The establishment of relationships at the workplace plays a major role, based on trust, pride and camaraderie. These key drivers are very close to our hearts as they resonate with our Employee Value Proposition that is anchored on trust & respect, passion, celebration of successes, making a difference and fun at the workplace,” said Patrick Fiat, General Manager & Chief Experience Officer of Royal Plaza on Scotts.

“CDL has a warm ‘family’ culture which their employees treasure and are very proud of. Bonds built over the years of working together are strong and resilient, inspiring newer hires to emulate the familial/team spirit already entrenched. Practices within CDL reflect the caring and support among staff, who in turn participate readily in giving back to the community at large,” said Ong.

"A great workplace creates a great workforce. CDL believes in building a workplace that is conducive for our employees’ development and well-being. This not only increases productivity, employee engagement and satisfaction, but also enhances organisational and business excellence," added Grant Kelley, Chief Executive Officer, City Developments.

"We are honoured to be recognised as a Watch Out World workplace, which further strengthens our reputation as an employer of choice to attract and retain talent. As a homegrown Singapore company, over the past 50 years, we’ve built a very family-oriented work culture, and our employees’ dedication have helped establish our position as a market leader. CDL will continue to shape a greater workplace and build on the bonds with our employees."


Read the report and view the list of Singapore’s Best Places to Work For

Read TechTrade Asia's blog post about last year's Great Places to Work For

Read WorkSmart Asia's blog post about LinkedIn's 100 Most InDemand Employers for EMEA in 2015

*All pictures from Great Place to Work Institute Singapore