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Case Study: How NEA achieved a 95% retention rate for 3 consecutive years

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If you’re among the 92% of Singapore bosses who are concerned about retaining top talent, you might want to consider taking a leaf out of The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) book.

The firm was awarded the bronze award for Excellence in Employee Engagement in the HR Excellence Awards 2015.

The firm’s approach towards retention and engagement is simple – it believes that when staff are able to reach their full potential at work, they are more likely to stay committed to their jobs.

“In NEA, employee engagement means engaging the mind and connecting with the heart of every employee. Keeping our officers engaged, motivated and feeling that they belong to one NEA builds a dedicated workforce that goes the extra mile to serve our nation,” says Gloria Chin, HR director of NEA.

NEA’s employee engagement framework, therefore, focuses on delivering an authentic and compelling experience to its employees, and has been ramped up over the years to boost staff engagement levels.

In particular, targeted engagement sessions have been organised to ensure the management team hears the concerns and views from different staff segments in NEA.

Tea sessions with different groups of officers and HR roadshows, during which key HR policies are shared, are opportunities for HR and senior management to gain a better understanding of the concerns faced by staff. Over the past 12 months, 23 tea sessions and 17 roadshows were conducted.

ALSO READ: Singapore’s top employee engagement programmes

Engagement starts at the top, Chin reveals.

“Employee engagement initiatives are not driven solely by the HR team. Commitment to employee engagement is present at every level of leadership, from the CEO down to every immediate supervisor.”

There has also been a focus on building pride among employees and giving employees a sense of achievement for work well done, leading to the launch of initiatives such as “Behind the Scenes”, “Shine a Light” and “Together”. These are e-publications where the organisation profiles its officers and the work they do in NEA.

As a result of these engagement efforts, the organisation has sustained a healthy 95% retention rate for its workforce in the past three years.

This case study is one of the four best practice cases included in the Employee Engagement feature – other organisations include the National Kidney Foundation and SABIC.

For a step-by-step guide to implementing an effective employee engagement strategy and to have a look at the other case studies, read the full feature here.

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