A rapidly greying population in Singapore, along with the rising percentage of hiring for older workers has translated to the emergence of an aging workforce. To smoothly navigate the challenges of working with an ageing workforce, businesses have increasingly set their sight on job redesign for older workers to reap the benefits of retraining employees.

This can be seen in our recent Estates and Facilities Management (EFM) Lighthouse Project in partnership with certain participating organisations where SBFSE collaborated with them to redesign the job roles of employees performing essential services in residential and commercial properties. Read on to learn our job redesign framework and how our partners utilised it for beneficial and efficient job redesign.

1. Phase 1: Discover – ISS Facility Services

In SBFSE’s job redesign framework, the objective of the first phase is to uncover the underlying challenges that the redesign effort seeks to address. To do so, SBFSE partnered with ISS Facility Services to do a collection of detailed data to identify areas of opportunity for job and process redesign efforts. To  obtain buy-in from the employees and ease the process of data collection, ISS engaged their employees through townhall sessions, Q&A sessions in small groups, and regular toolbox talks with managers to brief them on the purpose of the time/motion studies observations and address any concerns and queries. 

Under this phase, businesses should define their problem statement to help focus the redesign efforts and remind project stakeholders of the end goal. For ISS, they aimed to multiskill their cleaning staff to enhance their career development, attract younger locals to the industry while optimising manpower and increasing productivity. Defining problem statements and objectives are necessary to formulate and prioritise outcomes for effective job redesign.  Companies can then proceed to develop a project charter (available in SBFSE’s Job Redesign Toolkit) to consolidate essential information about the scope, objectives, and stakeholders before executing a job & process analysis about what changes to make.For ISS, this discovery process allowed the organisation to identify key tasks, quality standards, and competencies needed to perform tasks in the cleaning role and also realised a significant amount of spare capacity, which helped form the basis of understanding ISS’s redesign opportunities and potential challenges.

2. Phase 2: Design – Allgreen Properties

Phase 2 looks for further opportunities for capacity creation to perform value-added and/or multiskilled work in the redesigned job, allowing for increased productivity and salary increments. There are various strategies to do so such as the incorporation of technology, continuous improvement of business processes, multi-skilling and offering outcome-based contracts. Businesses are also able to apply for job redesign grants in Singapore to support the cost of retraining employees.

For our partner Allgreen Properties, they focused on the multiskilling of their staff across  multiple sub-sectors. Potential task duplication and inefficiencies were identified as both the security and Mechanical & Electrical Systems (M&E) teams were conducting daily patrols and representatives from 3 departments (cleaning, M&E and customer services) were needed to perform room checks.  Consequently, Primo Guards, Allgreen’s 3rd party service provider multiskilled their security officers  to perform basic M&E and customer services tasks. Allgreen’s in-house housekeeping supervisors were also multiskilled to handle M&E and customer services jobs during room checks. 

As a result, customers enjoyed quicker response times and encountered fewer M&E faults. Beyond increased staff satisfaction and wider career pathways, Allgreen also expects the new multiskilled roles to command salary increments commensurate with the broadened job responsibilities.

3. Phase 3: Implement – Far East Organization

In this phase, businesses can create an implementation plan to serve as a roadmap to determine critical issues and risks prior to, and during implementation.To effectively support stakeholders and ensure long-term sustainability of the redesigned role,, it needs robust collaboration and communication between service providers and buyers. Key stakeholder groups should also be identified and managed appropriately. Different Change Management Strategies (information included in Job Redesign Toolkit) may also be utilised, depending on factors like the speed of change required and depth of involvement in the change.

For our partner, Far East Organization, they recognised the importance of obtaining buy-in from internal stakeholders and ensuring alignment with redesign goals to multiskill their cleaning employees in landscaping, M&E and customer service. Aware of their role as a service buyer, they informed the tenants and external stakeholders of the pilot property regarding the change and its impact on them. They further established feedback channels to capture responses and assure stakeholders of sustained service delivery throughout the project. Far East also clearly communicated the redesign to participants, the changes they could expect in their job support, and ensured they were open to the change. 

In order to monitor and refine their implementation, observations, were conducted to obtain valuable insights for improvement. The ongoing evaluations and refinements were vital in ensuring the productivity gains sought through job redesign. As of December 2021, Far East had succeeded in progressively training and multiskilling 19 cleaning employees in their new roles as Property Stewards, some of whom are also cross-deployable across sites. 

To learn more about SBFSE’s job redesign framework, download the resources available and read the report, head to our Lighthouse Project report page.

Make A Pledge To Fair And Progressive Employment Practices

The Singapore Business Federation Sustainable Employment (SE) initiative calls on the Singapore business community to take purposeful action to improve their SE practices in anticipation of emergent trends and future developments. Singapore Business Federation launched this initiative with a report that highlights key recommendations and potential opportunities for businesses to take on to achieve long-term business success and foster a vibrant economy and inclusive society.

Make the pledge to join others in this journey to implement fair and progressive employment practices in Singapore.