TDCX (SG) emerged a finalist in the Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing category at HR Excellence Awards 2021, Singapore

In this interview, Pauline Chng, Assistant Director, Human Relations, TDCX (SG), shares the key milestones and collaborations that led to this — ways the firm maximised employee wellbeing without compromising on overall productivity, how leaders worked hand-in-hand to inspire and to drive response within their teams, and more.

Q Congratulations on being a finalist! What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

Our winning strategy lies in developing innovative solutions and initiatives that enable us to meet our twin goals of maximising employee wellbeing (in areas such as physical, mental, psychological and social needs) and delivering on our productivity goals.

Millstone #1: Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing

We provide employees a work environment that is conducive, positive, and collaborative. We do so by providing thoughtfully designed workspaces, IT solutions that enhance productivity and wellness programmes that help address their physical, social, and leisure needs. These efforts have led to a healthier and well-engaged workforce, with relatively low attrition and absenteeism rates.

Milestone #2: Excellence in COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has created wide social, economic, and environmental implications. Such uncertainties are unprecedented and require considerable effort in information gathering and timely dissemination.

After we swiftly pivoted our operations to a work-from-home approach, we leveraged our digital technologies to keep our employees well informed and to maintain engagement efforts. This not only helped in their emotional wellbeing, but also led to lower employee turnover, higher staff and client satisfaction, and an increase in productivity.

Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

It helped us to identify what unifies and motivates our people. This, in turn, enabled us to garner our employees’ support in achieving the same goal. It is important for employees to first understand how they would benefit from the organisation’s success before they can be motivated to make a change and contribute. With their buy-in and the support of our CEO, EVP, and managers, we were able to execute our engagement programmes well.

Leaders within the organisation worked hand-in-hand to inspire and to drive response within their teams. We could see this through the positive results of our staff satisfaction surveys. Our leaders were not only decision-makers, but they also played multiples roles, such as being a coach and facilitator. This made it easy for initiatives and action plans that were cascaded down to be worked on simultaneously and effectively.

Q Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?

Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, we had to constantly keep up with the ever-changing guidelines to ensure our employees were informed in a timely manner. At times, there could be confusion and hence, some resistance to the changes we were rolling out. However, with effective communication channels on both the technological and relational front, the acceptance rate increased. Through such experiences, we have adapted to working with uncertainties by being more resourceful; cross-checking on various sources with the aim of delivering accurate messages and the best experience for our employees.

Training sessions were also provided to employees to adjust to the new norm of working. We ensured they were enabled with the relevant skills and equipment to work effectively. Where new setups/initiatives were concerned, we drove communication to avoid any potential confusion.

Q Evidently, this initiative delivered some amazing results. What was your gameplan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

Times of crisis provide an opportunity and catalyst for change and evolution. Such times could lead to feelings of uncertainty and anxiousness among employees and our goal was to drive a positive shift in employee attitudes. This is important as we knew that initiatives are better accepted when employees feel engaged and happy.

Using the COVID-19 situation as an example, our organisation collaborated internally and externally for the safety and wellbeing of our employees. We streamlined our processes and leveraged technology to achieve higher productivity levels.

As a result of our agile strategy, we maintained our staff satisfaction and grew our business headcount by 20% during this pandemic. Through our hard work and contribution throughout the pandemic, we are proud to have received the BizSafe COVID 19 Audit certification as well as recognition from the President of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob.

Q We’re now seeing HR manage portfolios that were previously considered far from their job description. In your view, what are the top three skills and attributes of today’s successful CHRO?

1. Strong communicator and influencer

We provide guidance on a range of HR issues and influence new ways of working to improve the organisation's operations. Communicating well with both employees and managers will act as a bridge to facilitate change effectively.

2. Innovative

To be competitive, we should not be afraid to stand out from other employers and use different approaches.

3. Problem-solver

We often deal with unforeseen and complex legal, employee, and management problems. It is how we attempt to prevent these problems, deal with them, and mitigate the adverse effects on the organisation, that makes us successful.


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