How one of Asia’s leading communications technology companies is rethinking the employee experience
Steve Bennetts, EX Solutions & Strategy
Like every organization across the world right now, Singtel - one of Asia’s leading communications technology companies - in designing new workplace environments and policies for a world that has completely changed. However, Singtel’s award-winning employee experience transformation isn’t simply a product of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With increasing employee expectations, Singtel embarked on a digital transformation journey in 2018 to improve how the company’s 22,000+ team members work, collaborate, and acquire future-ready digital skills. The aim was to attract and retain talent and to empower the company’s people to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
Moving from static to continuous listening
Central to Singtel’s employee experience transformation was rethinking the company’s employee experience program.
“We recognized that with constantly changing employee needs and expectations, the traditional annual employee engagement survey alone would not sufficiently equip us with the insights needed to deliver a world-class employee experience. As speed and responsiveness are key, we needed to rethink and redesign the way we captured and acted on feedback to better support our teams,” said Tan Lee Choo, Vice President of People Operations at Singtel.
In 2019, Singtel launched its new internal employee experience program EXperience, which is built on the Qualtrics Experience Management Operating System. As part of this, Singtel moved away from its annual engagement survey toward frequent employee pulses that helps the company quickly understand its employee experience at any point in time. Additionally, Singtel introduced continuous listening at key moments of the employee lifecycle, such as workplace anniversaries, onboarding, and exit. The company also integrated feedback into the platform from third-party sites like GlassDoor, to inform and guide decision making.
Increased engagement, reduced churn
The shift to a continuous real-time listening program meant Singtel was well placed to navigate the challenges faced when the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, as well as what has followed since.
“Initially, we were able to empower leaders to understand how to best support their teams through data-driven insights on employee needs and well-being. We could also engage our remote workforce to discover and innovate new ways of working. Most recently, we improved the onboarding experience for new hires by streamlining and automating processes and providing greater support so that they can get off to a good start,” added Lee Choo.
Singtel’s transformation has had a significant impact on business outcomes, helping to deliver the highest levels of employee engagement seen within the company. Elsewhere, Singtel has seen an uplift in employee experience, reduced employee churn, and greater manager effectiveness.
Future-proofing the business
A key element to the successful employee experience transformation at Singtel is the company’s commitment to regularly communicate insights and results back to management and quickly act on them. This has helped ensure every employee is included in the transformation journey.
For instance, results from Singtel’s first pulse engagement during the pandemic revealed employees working remotely were facing many IT-related challenges. As soon as the HR team and management received this feedback, action was immediately taken to address the situation. Later engagements uncovered employees wanted to learn more about how to stay healthy, active and positive, which led to the introduction of health and wellness programs.
Planning ahead, the employee experience transformation at Singtel also ensures the company can overcome the next big challenge – building return-to-work strategies post-pandemic and supporting the wellbeing of its employees.
“Singtel’s EXperience platform will continue to play a critical role as we design and improve our Future of Work initiatives. One key focus will be using employee insights to ensure our workplace policies in a post-pandemic world address the needs and expectations of our people – from where and when they work, to our company culture.
“Finding ways to improve employee mental health and well-being is another priority. Over the last year, creating a culture of belonging has risen to become the top driver of employee engagement and also greatly influences employee wellbeing and how long they remain at the organization. It is important we provide the right support and services,” said Lee Choo.
4 steps to improving employee experience
As organizations rethink their employee experience, Singtel points to four critical areas to prioritize.
“Firstly, ensure all feedback is acknowledged to build and foster an inclusive environment. Be transparent and share results with employees, from leaders to frontline workers, to emphasize that their voices are heard. Keep engagements short, simple and appealing to encourage participation and better quality responses. And finally, involve all levels of employees in your transformation to drive meaningful and lasting change,” concluded Lee Choo.
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