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Award-winning HR directors on the one initiative they’re most proud of



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Earlier this month, five HR leaders were recognised at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) May Day Awards 2019, attended by Human Resources.

These leaders were honoured with a medal of commendation, which is given to senior management personnel who, besides promoting good industrial relations and initiating workers’ training and skills upgrading programmes, also supported the Labour Movement and its initiatives.

Following the ceremony, Human Resources reached out to two HR leaders who were recognised at the awards, to shed light on the one specific initiative they are most proud of undertaking in order to win this recognition, as well as the biggest challenge they had to overcome in the process.

Here’s what they had to say:


Gloria Chin, Human Resource Director, National Environment Agency

I have witnessed how technological advancements and change in business models have the potential to impact the morale and livelihood of the workforce, especially the vulnerable groups. Hence, I strongly believe in the importance of reskilling and upskilling to keep up with the changes. The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been working closely with the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers (AUPDRW) to enhance career progression for daily-rated employees (DREs) through job redesign, so that they can acquire new skills and enjoy higher wages.

Thus far, NEA has redesigned and upgraded the work of various groups of DREs such as cleaners, technical staff in the incineration plants and vector control officers. Many of our DREs have benefited from the job redesign exercises.

I am really glad to have played a part in improving their productivity and standard of living.

One of the biggest challenges faced was getting the buy-in from our DREs. Mature employees tend to be more afraid to step out of their comfort zones to try out new job roles or work differently from what they have been doing for years. I’m happy that with the supervisors’ encouragement and AUPDRW’s support, most of our DREs have been able to embrace change to upskill and perform larger roles.

Francis Tan, Director of Human Capital and Development, Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel

The hotel’s mission is to provide a caring environment for our associates to learn, develop and grow.

In order to achieve our mission, we first need to understand the challenges faced by our associates and provide them with the latest tools to achieve higher performance and productivity.

That said, in our quest towards our mission, we are most proud to have implemented the state-of-the-art modular “livecookintable” (Furniture with cooking function, not just a buffet or cooking station) for our dining room. This implementation not only improves labour productivity, but also safety and hygiene.

The biggest challenge is always getting approval to implement this initiative as capital investment is required. However, Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel was able to overcome this difficulty through the strong support from our union, Food, Drinks & Allied Workers Union (FDAWU) and co-funding from NTUC e2i (IGP grant).

Photo / 123RF

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