learning and development, NTUC health, winning secrets, HR Excellence Awards

With its competency framework underway, the social enterprise has been able to double the number of employees trained, shares Joan Tay, Head of HR.

NTUC Health Co-operative (NTUC Health) is a social enterprise in Singapore, providing a suite of quality and affordable health and elderly care services to meet the growing needs of families and their dependants.

The team at NTUC Health were proud winners of the silver award for Excellence in Learning and Development at the HR Excellence Awards 2022 in Singapore.

This win, as we learn from this interview with Joan Tay, Head of HR, NTUC Health, can be attributed to a competency framework identifying 25 competencies to empower its staff, among its many efforts. Read on as she shares how the group managed to increase its employee net promoter score, staff training hours, and productivity, as well as keep five generations in its workforce engaged and ready to serve their clients' needs. 

Q Congratulations on the achievement! Could you take us through the highs and lows of your people strategy?

Lows: We sometimes meet with challenges such as limited access to computers and designated digital training rooms, which proved difficult when we had to shift our training virtually during the pandemic. On age diversity in our workplace, we are proud to have five generations of workforce contributing towards our organisation goals, however, such diversity also brings about its own set of challenges - some senior employees may not be equipped with tech skills, and will require more time to transit and adapt to digital tools such as virtual meetings and workshops.

Highs: We were quick to respond to the need to go on to digital/virtual platforms in response to the restrictions on face-to-face meetings during the pandemic. For instance, we set up a temporary computer room in the office for front-liners who cannot work remotely, and purchased additional iPads which required a shorter setup time. Concurrently, we developed user guides on the digital platforms, and introduced bite-sized learning courses for our staff. 

Q How did the HR team identify and align the business & employee needs, and craft this perfect solution?

NTUC Health’s Company Training Committee (CTC) was conceptualised in 2019. Formed by representatives from various NTUC Health departments including operations, clinical, and HR, together with the NTUC, the CTC holds quarterly meetings to steer the learning strategies and direction for creating and redesigning job roles.

Under the CTC, the NTUC Health Broad Competency Framework was created and implemented, where 25 competencies were identified under three main pillars (clinical/functional, personal development, and leadership) to empower our staff and uplift our organisational capabilities.

Q Could you share the results that your strategy has delivered – be it on the business, HR, or people side?

We were able to train twice as many employees. On top of that, NTUC Health’s Employee Net Promoter Score improved from nine in 2019 to 17 in 2022. Our staff training hours also increased from 25 to 36 hours. Our staff productivity also continued to increase with three new nursing homes and three day care centres.

Q What is your message to all the stakeholders who have supported you in this journey?

  1. Our employees are our best assets. Believe in the importance of continuous reskilling and upskilling of our staff.
  2. Preserve and stay focused on the agenda. Most importantly, learn from failures and never give up!

Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?

I am most excited about the emergence of new technology such as the metaverse and innovative ways of enhancing HR processes and value-add to our businesses. For our employees, we are exploring job re-design for certain roles, to promote work efficiency, and career progression, and retain talents in the eldercare sector. There is so much potential to re-imagining how we deliver employee experience in the ever-changing work environment.Q What are you most excited about when you think about the future of HR?


Image / Provided (Featuring the NTUC Health team)

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets section!

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