Sustainable employment has become an important area of focus in the context of Singapore’s demographics and workforce landscape and the need to adapt pivot to new and sustainable business models as businesses look to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To ensure business survival and growth, companies need to be nimble in reviewing and rethinking the way work is done.. One of such improvements includes reviewing the business model to prioritise and apply sustainable employment across the entire workforce. This naturally paves the way for building a committed and motivated workforce – a key to economic survival and success.

In that vein, many businesses, both small and large, have taken up the Sustainable Employment Pledge, reaffirming their commitement upskill and retrain employees, as well as redesign jobs with both the employees and the business in mind. Let’s take a look at 3 companies that have successfully adopted sustainable employment practices. 

Pontiac Land

Pontiac Land is one of the many companies that have pledged to incorporate sustainable employment practices across their organisation. As a company that specialises in luxury real estate development, they recognise that their strongest asset is their workers. They take pride in their adoption of fair and progressive employment practices – this is reflected in their diverse workforce, with over 50% of their workforce is aged 40 and above. Pontiac Land hires mature workers and places them at the forefront of their plans, which allows their employees to make good use of their years of experience as well as act as role models for their younger colleagues. This has effectively boosted their job fulfilment and self-confidence. In addition, by allowing their mature employees to act as anchors for their lesser experienced counterparts, the organisation has benefited from an improved workforce retention rate.

In the new era of rapid digital transformation, mature workers may need more time and space to get up to speed with the adoption and use of technology . Training programmes have been introduced to cover these gaps by equipping them with skills that would help them remain employable in the long run.

To further empower their staff, the organisation also promotes a strong sense of community amongst older workers and their younger counterparts. To encourage this sense of belonging, Pontiac Land has adopted clear, open communication channels that allow the management to engage with the employees. This proved to be crucial as they were able to keep their staff well informed on business outlooks during the rise of COVID-19 to ensure they were up to date. Additionally, they engaged both online and offline channels for company discussions to share experiences and increase workplace efficiency.

Caregiver Asia

As a local business that seeks to provide care for others, it is almost natural for CaregiverAsia to extend the same outlook and practices to their workers. One of the pioneering companies to adopt sustainable employment practices, the organisation has sought ways to improve the welfare of its freelancers and identified four key areas that could be improved: legal protection, financial safety nets, training and upgrading, and community and mental wellness.

With minimal coverage provided for freelance workers in Singapore, CaregiverAsia provides them with maximum assistance. Besides outlining legal and financial guidelines to protect their interests, the organisation also hosts monthly mental health workshops and counselling sessions. Additionally, they regularly have onboarding sessions to create a strong community amongst both new and current employees.  

To encourage career development, CaregiverAsia also conducts upskilling and retraining workshops that range from short lunchtime talks to retraining schemes such as those by Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ). By doing so, they are able to continue to uphold the Sustainable Employment Pledge with aims to further expand their current measures.

Hitachi Asia

Hitachi Asia is another company that has pledged its commitment to adopting and improving their sustainable employment practices. To ensure that the company hires the required talent needed to meet the organisation’s growing demands, management regularly monitors and evaluates manpower needs every business year. By adopting fair and progressive employment practices, Hitachi Asia makes it a point to conduct a stringent selection process that prioritises merit, skills, abilities and experience. This naturally paves the way for a diverse and inclusive workforce.

To further empower their employees, Hitachi Asia regularly engages in succession planning to find the best candidates for vacant higher-level positions. They offer employees equal opportunities to learn and develop on the basis of their strengths so that they can achieve their fullest potential. Those with high potential can leverage the organisation’s global leadership development programmes, whereas junior staff can tap into a leadership milestone development programme to support their career progression. Not only does this cultivate a greater sense of accomplishment, but this positive working culture has also resulted in an increased workforce retention rate.

Their focus on the “One Hitachi” corporate identity focuses on Harmony, Sincerity and Pioneering Spirit, which frequently engages their employees in team bonding exercises, branding workshops and orientation programmes. Employees can expect to be treated fairly and respect, and be compensated handsomely for their contribution to the company.

Make a Difference by Taking the Pledge Today

Sustainable business is never complete without sustainable employment. Take the plunge and adopt sustainable employment practices within your organisation today. 

The SBF 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. The initiative was launched with a report that highlights key recommendations and potential opportunities for businesses to take on, in order to achieve long term business success and foster a vibrant economy and inclusive society.

Make the pledge to join others in this journey.