via Great Place To Work® ASEAN and ANZ

Over the past year, our Great Place To Work® ASEAN and ANZ team has published 16 National Best Workplaces Lists across Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. An analysis of the data – representing the voices of 740,000 employees across different industries and company sizes, including both local enterprises and multinational companies in each of the five markets – revealed that leadership behavior was a critical driver of employee experience.

We compared the top 10 survey statements across markets which correlated with a higher Trust Index score. A higher Trust Index score indicates a high-trust workplace culture based on positive employee experiences across five dimensions that make a workplace great: Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride and Camaraderie.

Looking across markets, we found that three key themes around leadership behaviors consistently emerged as factors that correlated highly with a great employee experience.

1) Integrity demonstrated consistently

Firstly, leadership integrity. Employees experience this through their day-to-day observations of, and interactions with, leaders. For example, whether leaders embodied the espoused core values, their actions and behaviors during recruitment, development and promotions, and especially during critical moments. They also saw whether leaders delivered on their promises, and behaved consistently with their actions and words.

2) Open, two-way communication and authentic collaboration with employees

Secondly, strong leadership communication and listening behaviors. Employees noticed and appreciated leaders who made themselves approachable, shared information transparently, regularly and gave straight answers to questions asked. Leadership effectiveness also came through by proactively seeking employee opinions and feedback, following up on suggestions and closing the feedback loop.

3) Genuine care and interest in building relationships

Thirdly, leadership behaviors demonstrating support and care also showed a high correlation with positive workplace experience. These behaviors were evidenced by the genuine interest that leaders showed in their employees as whole persons with diverse needs, expectations, career aspirations and goals (rather than as a human 'resource'/'asset' or 'just an employee').

Such leaders understood and consciously supported employees' needs within and outside the workplace, cared for their well- being, and intentionally created a supportive and appreciative work environment. They were committed to applying different approaches, and implementing inclusive policies and programs that recognized employee efforts, fostering a culture of psychological safety to facilitate learning and growth, thus enabling employees to perform at their best.

What are some leadership practices at Singapore Best Workplaces?

We conducted an analysis of employee survey data comparing the same set of companies that participated in both the 2022 and 2023 survey cycles, to understand key areas that contributed to changes in their respective Trust Index (TI) score. In instances where the company's TI score decreased, we found that a decline in Collaboration and Communication contributed to the decline.

Likewise, where the company's overall TI score improved, it was primarily due to an increase in these two focus areas. This demonstrated that Communication and Collaboration are highly correlated with the overall workplace experience.

Leaders at the Best Workplaces in Singapore 2023 demonstrated genuine efforts to engage and hear from their employees in a variety of ways, and established structured capability development approaches to support line leaders and ensure consistent and thorough implementation of efforts to reinforce the desired workplace culture.

World Wide Technology has an aspirational goal of having "No Bad Managers" within the organization. It believes that solid management and leadership attributes are critical to maintaining a great culture. It conducts an annual leadership survey for all employees regarding their immediate manager, which provides candid and confidential feedback on specific areas of improvement for each manager. All feedback is reviewed by the manager's leadership team, including the Executive Team, who is held responsible for low-scoring managers within their teams. Managers who receive low and/or concerning feedback receive a developmental plan to address the concerns.


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