From the MD: It’s A Matter of Trust

EVELYN KWEK

Author

As the sun sets on 2023, I find myself at the intersection of reflection and anticipation. It’s been a year of immense growth and learning at Great Place To Work® ASEAN and ANZ. Reflecting back, what key lessons can we carry into the new year?

Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

We began 2023 with a dedicated focus on employee well-being.

Our LinkedIn polls that we conducted across ASEAN and Australia indicated a unanimous intent among HR and business leaders to prioritize this aspect. However, as the year unfolded, broader market concerns like inflation, layoffs, recessions, the rise of generative AI, and global conflicts began to overshadow this focus.

Embracing the Era of Generative AI

The mass appeal of generative AI has been a defining feature of 2023, which has sparked many debates about the future of human work. In these discussions, a key message that is coming out is the reassurance of our workforce that there will be a place for them in the workplace while witnessing progressive companies rapidly integrating AI into their operations. This technological leap has been less about displacement and more about enhancing productivity and innovation, and has stirred conversations about the future of work, particularly around human-AI collaboration.

My colleague wrote a thoughtful piece that is helpful as organizations intensify the adoption of AI in the workplace.

Leadership Behavior: A Pivotal Driver of Employee Experience

Publishing 16 National Best WorkplacesTM Lists across Singapore, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia was a significant milestone for us. Our analysis of the dataset, representing the voices of 740,000 employees across all the 5 markets revealed leadership behavior as a critical driver of employee experience, a finding echoed by Josh Bersin’s study, which emphasizes the significant impact of leadership on workplace dynamics.

We’re excited to delve deeper into this topic in our upcoming regional Insights Report due in the first quarter of 2024.

If there is one thing I have learnt working with Best Workplaces over the past 9 years, it is that great workplaces are not made up of individual superstars. It takes everyone in an organization to create a great workplace for all.

Seeing the impact of leadership behavior on employee experience, at the Best Workplaces Award in Singapore this year, we introduced the Leadership in Action Award.

The Leadership in Action awards were given to organizations whose leadership teams, i.e. leaders across all levels of the organization, have received the strongest validation from their employees. These are leadership teams who scored highest on the Great Place To Work® Survey in the Leadership Behavior focus area.

Leaders have not had the easiest time in recent years and as much as we need to hold leaders accountable to high standards, we need to encourage the heart of leaders as well. Our team hopes the recognition sends a message to leaders that they matter too.

Pulling the Threads Together

Employee well-being, generative AI, and leadership – these diverse themes converge on a single message: Building Trust.

It is all too easy to get swept up with new trends, top concerns and pressing priorities. Regardless of context or situations, organizations and leaders cannot take our eyes off taking care of people, helping them adapt and thrive in rapidly changing environments. When the stakes are high and the future uncertain – the need to dig deeper and build trust with employees and key stakeholders is even greater.

Some might say that trust is an old-fashioned word, often enacted in movies, idealized in novels, or lost in the nostalgia of simpler times. But I believe that trust is neither old-fashioned nor out of reach.

It is real, tangible, and more critical than ever in our rapidly evolving corporate landscape.

Looking Ahead

At Great Place To Work, ‘purpose’ has been our guidepost for the past two years, reminding us of our ‘why’. For 2024, ‘growth’ is my guiding word. Drawing inspiration from autistic mixed media artist Morgan Harper Nichols, I am inspired by the concept of ‘growth’ in all its forms. For me, I carry the lesson of building trust with the ‘stakeholders’ in my life while seeking growth.

Growth manifests differently for each of us. What does growth look like for you in the workplace, as a leader, and in your personal life?

In 2024, we will publish the 10th Best Workplaces in Singapore List. It’s been 10 years since we started this mission of building great workplaces for all in ASEAN,  starting from our humble office in Singapore. This is a growth we will be celebrating and more details will be shared.

May 2024 be the beginning of a personal and corporate growth journey, one that recognizes the unique transformation we are about to embark on.

Yours for growth,
Evelyn

EVELYN KWEK

Author

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces for Women™ List Methodology

The Best Workplaces for Women™list is determined using Great Place To Work’sFor All™methodology to evaluate hundreds of Certified™Great Place To Work®organisations across Australia.   

Data is based on over 40,000 employee survey responses from women in Great Place To Work® Certified™ organisations across Australia. 

The survey 

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organisation’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. 

Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organisational data like size, location, industry, and the number of women in the workforce and management positions. 

Considerations 

Great Place To Work analysed the gender balance of each workplace, how it compares to each company’s industry, and patterns in representation as women rise from front-line positions to executive/C-suite roles. 
Survey data analysis and women’s representation figures are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience and opportunities for all women, regardless of their role or demographic background.   

Eligibility   

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™. Companies must also employ at least 50 women. We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, and investigate any employee reports of company in compliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Please note this list is NOT ranked. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Best Workplaces™ Australia 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of almost 50,000 employees across Australia.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organisation creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organisation, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyse these experiences relative to each organisation’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organisation to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

For larger organisations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organisations to share with us their practices, policies and programs to creating a great workplace For All™ and evaluating the approach they take.

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:

1.  The criteria we evaluate

2.  Where the data comes from