Human capital is the Group’s key asset and focus in our business strategy. Our achievements would not be possible without the passion, dedication, commitment, teamwork, loyalty and professionalism of our people. We are committed to developing the full potential of our employees and providing them a safe and healthy work environment.
Our performance and case studies are reported in our sustainability reports here.
The human capital landscape remains challenging with foreign labour quotas in Singapore, especially in the labour-intensive hospitality industry. We place a strong emphasis on building a culture where employees feel cared for and are respected, so that they can enjoy their work in a collegial environment, and to stay and grow with our organisation.
We take pride in our culture of work-life balance and healthy lifestyle, and recognise the importance and support of our employees’ families. Examples of our initiatives include complimentary basic health screening, Fruits Day and sports tournaments. These programmes are reviewed annually with input from employees.
We recognise the importance of engaging employees and take a keen interest in sharing and interacting with our people. Besides formal engagement channels, the Management participates in events such as dinner and dance and Chinese New Year Lo-hei celebrations, which provide an informal setting for interaction, support and rapport building.
New hires learn about our history, vision and mission, and core values as part of the on-boarding process. Townhall meetings provide a regular two-way communication opportunity for Senior Management to update employees on the state of the business, and for employees to share their concerns and feedback. We organise townhall meetings which are normally held at our showflats and other completed projects where possible, so that employees have the opportunity to see the product of their contributions. Our hospitality business conducts an annual “Our People, Voices & Views Associate Satisfaction Survey” to receive feedback.
Gender diversity is important to us. We recruit, develop and reward our employees in a fair and inclusive manner, as demonstrated by our pledge in support of The Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP). We are committed to non-discrimination by age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability.
We believe that a diversified team with different age groups, backgrounds and skillsets will bring forth broader and more enriching perspectives to the workplace. We seek out different talents and opinions and ensure individual viewpoints are not crowded out.
Especially for our hospitality business, it is a business imperative that our employees embrace diversity – in cultures, value systems, opinions, experiences and skills. The values of our hospitality business set out rules of engagement – collaborating, communicating openly, recognising and valuing diversity – to help guide our behaviour at all times.
At the same time, we recognise that creating jobs for the local community is a significant way we contribute to the society. Further, it is critical to have perspectives that can help us understand the expectations of stakeholders in the local context. A significant proportion of the total workforce in our hospitality business are Singaporeans or Permanent Residents.
Retiring employees are recognised as assets to the organisation, given their skills, knowledge and understanding of our culture and expectations. We adopted the practice of re-hiring retirees since 2010, prior to the implementation of The Retirement and Re-Employment Act. Retired employees who were certified medically fit and had at least satisfactory performance are re-hired on yearly contracts. Employees on post-retirement contracts retain their last drawn salaries and benefits. This goes beyond the expectations of the Act, which provides for reasonable reduction of the retirees’ salaries.
We also provide flexible work arrangements in the form of part-time work, which are considered and adjusted based on the needs of the department and individual.
A fair system of appraisal underscores our remuneration system. We adopt an open appraisal system for our employees, through which they discuss and agree on targets for the next cycle and their personal and career development goals. This encourages a greater ownership of roles as we work hand-in-hand with our employees to hone their strengths for future growth. All employees are appraised at least annually.
Core competencies for the various levels are identified and employees are appraised in this area for a more balanced assessment. Besides the formal annual appraisal, supervisors are advised to give feedback to their staff on a continuous basis.
Remuneration packages are reviewed regularly to ensure what we offer is relevant and competitive. Salary benchmarking surveys by external consultants are conducted annually. Remuneration is structured to reward collective, as well as individual performance. Executives who are eligible are granted share options as part of our long-term incentive for staff retention.
Our learning and development roadmap focuses on building functional and core competencies in our people. This roadmap is constantly reviewed and enhanced to ensure its relevance and suitability.
Besides improving commercial skillsets, we believe in the importance of building a culture of accountability and teamwork. This culture stems from an ethos of self-awareness and personal responsibility. We invest in training to empower our employees with tools and frameworks, with the aim of achieving better relationships in their professional and personal lives.
We have refreshed our talent identification exercise to include robust talent profiling. We have conducted talent assessment exercises for in-depth understanding of talents of potential and existing leaders across the Group.
Our hospitality business epitomises a service-oriented industry with a seasonal workforce. High level of training of our employees is essential to keep our guests satisfied with our service quality while achieving operational excellence. We train all our employees to provide a consistent level of service quality. As we strive to elevate guest experience and pursue new business opportunities, we set strengthening our people’s development as a strategic priority. Our training curriculum comprises service and management courses that comprehensively meet the varying learning needs of our employees. To augment face-to-face training delivery, we use video learning methodologies that fit the learning profile of our executive learners and Senior Management. To attract and retain our talent in this highly competitive industry, our hospitality business has in place targeted talent development tracks for General Management, Operational Management, as well as Functional/Non-operational Management. The duration of each programme lasts between 12 and 18 months. This ensures that talent is identified and nurtured for different employee categories, with consideration for varied aspirations and skills that are critical for our business.
Building on the Group-wide talent identification programme, we introduced two talent development programmes to provide qualifying talents with the skills and competencies needed to assume key leading positions. A number of talents in these programmes have already embarked on leading roles within our hospitality business.
The spaces we create for people to live, work and play must be safe. Beyond ensuring compliance with regulations such as the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Fire Safety Act, we seek to proactively minimise health and safety risks.
Workplace Health and Safety
Construction work for our development projects is where safety poses the greatest risk.
We are committed to working closely with main contractors to provide a safe and healthy workplace for our projects under construction. Any incidents on site resulting in serious injuries or death must be reported to our project managers immediately. Other incidents will be reported in site meetings, which are conducted at least bi-weekly. Safety performance reports of our main contractors are submitted quarterly to project managers.
We require all main contractors engaged to be OHSAS 18001 certified or equivalent. On top of quarterly safety reports, main contractors are required to submit details of all reportable injuries at site meetings held at least fortnightly.
All accidents on our premises reported to the property or hotel management are recorded, regardless whether the injured is our employee, contractor, tenant, guest or visitor. Our priority is to assist the injured, investigate these incidents thoroughly and institute measures to prevent reoccurrence to our best efforts.
Guest Safety and Security
As one of the most established hotel groups in Asia, guest safety and security is of paramount importance to us, and identified as a critical operational risk in our hospitality business. It is our duty to ensure that our guests and their belongings are safe in our premises.
Our guests frequently include dignitaries. Accordingly, our security practices must be able to meet demanding standards. Security measures deployed consider the vulnerability of the site and conditions. Security is strengthened where higher risk may be expected, for example, an increase threat of terrorism when international discussions are hosted in Singapore.
The Head of Security at each hotel and serviced suites property manages a team of trained security personnel that support round-the-clock camera surveillance in common areas and patrols.
Each property in our hospitality business has a Fire, Health and Safety Committee. The Committee meets monthly, and minutes are displayed on all departmental notice boards. The Committee is tasked to keep abreast of safety issues for hospitality. Safety drills and campaign programmes are run regularly to provide timely reinforcement on safety and security. Employees are trained to take ownership of their own safety and security, as well as that of their work areas and guests.
Food Safety and Hygiene
Food safety and hygiene is highly regulated in Singapore. To deliver the best experience for our guests, we exercise due care to maintain the consistency and quality of food throughout the food handling process. Led by the Executive Chef, who is part of each hotel’s Management team, food safety and hygiene is managed through a robust plan-do-check-act process. External audits are undertaken annually, and action plans are developed based on recommendations proposed.