Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore Best Workplaces virtual ceremony on 21 December 2020.
I am happy to join you today to honour Singapore’s Best Workplaces for 2020.
Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting many of you ‘live’ in person for this Ceremony. In meeting virtually this year, we are keeping the culture of learning alive. Indeed, there is even more to share and learn in this extraordinary year.
This year’s ceremony not only recognises Singapore’s great workplaces, but it recognises the spirit of resilience, grit and resourcefulness that our people have shown in this crisis. All parts of our society came together, each contributing what we can.
Our great workplaces have done this by investing in your people, building up the resilience of jobs and workers, and making sure that employees are well taken care of throughout the crisis.
Great Places To Work adjusted their methodology this year to recognise “the heroic actions and bold acts of leadership that companies have taken in response to the COVID-19 crisis” – rightfully so.
Not surprisingly, this year’s Best Workplaces put the health and safety of their employees first. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they took decisive action to protect their workers while empowering them to continue with their work. I also observed two qualities.
First, a great workplace remembers, and respects, that each of their members may face their own pressures and commitments outside of the workplace, and cares for their total wellbeing.
Some of this year’s awardees send regular encouraging notes to employees, pay attention to the mental wellbeing of their team, and also provide counselling resources.
Indeed, we must take care of our people’s mental health, be it in the workplace, home, or community.
The Ministry of Manpower, NTUC and the Singapore National Employers Federation last month issued a “Tripartite Advisory on Mental Well-being at Workplaces”. The Advisory includes practical guidance and resources that employers can use to care for their employees’ mental wellness.
I hope this will be useful for all employers, and that we can exchange many more useful approaches and ideas today.
The second quality is that a great workplace is also a place that inspires and supports its employees to care about others – even in difficult times.
Some of this year’s awardees rallied their staff around initiatives to donate money, time, or service to others in need.
Not only did these great workplaces appreciate and empower their own employees, they fostered a culture of appreciation amongst their employees for others in the wider society.
It is commendable that these companies show that they are not only here to do business, but are also here to do good. It makes these workplaces inspiring organisations that their employees are proud of.
I trust all of you will pick up many more rewarding insights today, and enjoy a fulfilling exchange of best practices and good ideas.
Congratulations to this year’s Singapore Best Workplaces for 2020 – you made a commendable achievement in a difficult year.
I hope your examples will inspire other workplaces. And I thank all of you for the invaluable role you have played in our fight against COVID-19. I wish you all a great afternoon.
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