Ong Siok Peng, Singapore Talent Leader, shares how the group has created a tailored work experience to help teams deliver both on the professional and personal front.
At Deloitte Singapore, employees are provided with flexibility in many aspects of their work —from the number of leave days, to the time they start and end work. The extensive work flexibility empowers employees to best deliver their roles while building meaningful connections.
This unique 'Deloitte Experience' has landed the company a finalist nomination for both ‘Excellence in Workforce Flexibility’ and ‘Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ at the HR Excellence Awards 2022, Singapore.
In this interview, Ong Siok Peng, Singapore Talent Leader, Deloitte Singapore shares how the group has created a tailored work experience to help teams deliver both on the professional and personal front.
Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs-and-lows of your people strategy?
As the largest professional services organisation by revenue globally, people are Deloitte’s most important asset. Our objective is simple: to be the employer of choice for the most sought-after talent. One fundamental way we attract and retain top talent is by demonstrating our commitment to employee wellbeing. We do this by empowering our people with work flexibility so that they can best deliver their role while building meaningful connections, managing their physical and mental health, and balancing their professional and personal priorities.
Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft out this perfect solution?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we already had our work-life integration programme which includes flexible work arrangements such as working from home, and flexible hours. However, the adoption rate was not high then, mainly due to traditional work practices; people were still used to working regular work hours and coming to the office.
The pandemic placed flexible work arrangements in the spotlight. Moving beyond the arrangements we already had in place, we reframed our ways of working and redefined the experience of our people with the introduction of the “Deloitte Experience”, an evolution of our existing flexible work policies.
With the 'Deloitte Experience', we have fully embraced hybrid work, placing focus on finding the right balance between virtual and in-person moments that matter.
Our people can choose from a range of policies that include flex-leave (where there are no fixed number of leave days), flex-time (flexible start and finish times in the day), and flex-place (being able to choose to work from a Deloitte office, a client site or their home), among others, to create a tailored work experience that helps them to deliver their best both on the professional and personal front.
Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered –be it on the business, HR, or people side?
The Deloitte Experience allows us to better attract and retain talent as we are meeting the expectations of what these individuals are looking for in their workplace. According to the Deloitte Global 2022 Millennial and Gen Z survey, there is a clear demand for more flexible working with three-quarters of millennials and Gen Zs prefer working remotely.
The pandemic has taught us that flexibility is key, and we believe that the policies under the Deloitte Experience has benefited on a business level. For example, with our flex-place policy, we introduced hot-desking and reworked our spaces to be more collaborative. From a sustainability point of view, fully embracing hybrid work would also help our people reduce their carbon footprint spent on commuting.
Another example is our flex-leave policy, where our people can plan their leave days around their work and projects without worrying about a fulfilling a limit, which provides them with the flexibility to manage their time and personal interests, and be refreshed and recharged to deliver their best at work.
The Deloitte Experience is also part of our DEI strategy. Called ALL IN, it encompasses all efforts relating to diversity, inclusion, respect, mental health, equity, and gender balance. We work to cultivate a work culture that is supportive, collaborative, and inclusive to help each other achieve full potential through experience and development.
Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?
We are most thankful to our people for being strong ambassadors of Deloitte –it truly is because of their contributions to building our culture that have made Deloitte a great place to work. We are excited to continue to develop and evolve our talent strategy for our people to meet the needs of a changing workforce, while continuing to keep our people at the forefront of our strategies.
Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?
I am excited to see more focus being placed on mental health and wellness –I believe this is very important, especially as more embrace remote working, which may come with some degree of isolation. I am also equally excited to see diversity, equity and inclusion being placed high on the priority list. At Deloitte, we recognise that diversity requires deliberate action when it comes to the way we work and we want to create an inclusive workplace culture and environment where our people feel respected, valued and psychologically safe to bring their true and authentic selves to work, helping them to achieve their full potential.
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