A conversation with Money FM: How can Singapore leaders ensure they’re ready for the future of work?

10/04/2021

Pete Hamilton

Vice President and Regional Director, APAC

The last time I sat down to talk with Money FM in Singapore I was in the dark – literally. My power went out just before the call started and I conducted the whole interview in the dark, praying my battery would hold out for the duration of the conversation! But, in many ways, I was also figuratively in the dark. It was pre-pandemic and while we were talking about the future of work, we had no idea that such a seismic event would change the way many of us thought about and engaged with work.

In a more recent interview with Money FM, I chatted with Elliot Danker about the 2021 KellyOCG Global Workforce Agility Report and how results from top-performing Singaporean organisations show that a focus on employee wellbeing and digital tools could be key to post-pandemic success. These are some of the key topics and ideas I discussed with Elliot.

Put employee experience front and centre

Our Workforce Agility Report finds that 57% of Singaporean businesses carry out regular employee surveys. Surveys and open discussions focused on how employees are doing are a great way to shape employee experience and boost engagement, but they have to go hand in hand with tangible actions. The organisations that are leading the way are putting employee experience at the heart of their approach whether that’s through employee welfare programmes, confidential counselling, access to online health classes, or any other people-focused benefits and facilities. For these companies it’s more than just the right thing to do. Globally, companies that report the best financial performance had a strong focus on employee experience and engagement.

Embrace talent tech

Another surprising stat from our report was that some leaders in Singapore are not moving fast enough adopting talent technology. An overwhelming 85% of organisations agree technology adoption is key to future success, but 60% of employers admit their workforces lack the skills to adopt new technologies at pace. Some leaders may be hesitant to invest because they think they can ‘go back’ to working like before the pandemic. We cannot return to pre-pandemic ways of working. Instead, we have a huge opportunity to embrace talent technology – whether that’s productivity tools, digitising processes, or HR automation – to accelerate interaction and collaboration in remote and hybrid environments.

Is contingent talent impacting the hiring market?

I also spoke about a greater focus on contingent talent in today’s hiring market. In the APAC region, I see the growing use of flexible talent as the continuation of a pre-pandemic trend. Organisations want to engage with a diverse pool of talent, while many knowledge workers are rejecting traditional forms of employment for independent work. Our report shows clearly that organisations that are more willing to bring in flexible or contingent talent are better prepared to face a future in flux. In fact, 51% of Singapore businesses said they have employed more contingent talent than usual during the pandemic.

These are just some of the biggest workforce topics from my chat with Money FM. I’d encourage you to listen to the full interview for more insights. Conversations like this are incredibly important as we navigate our way through the future of work and realize that this ‘new normal’ isn’t something a single organisation or leader can shape; it has to be a culmination of different ideas, a balancing of employee needs, and a shared desire to do things better. Singaporean leaders have a significant part to play in creating the future of work and I’m excited to see where it takes us.

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