Microsoft Named One of Singapore’s Best Employers by The Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2.0 Study
Microsoft is the only technology company that made the cut in the prestigious biennial study
Singapore, 20 April 2013 – Microsoft was named as one of Singapore’s best employers in the latest edition of the Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2.0 study. At a ceremony jointly held on Friday evening by Aon Hewitt and The Straits Times CATS Recruit, Mr Yong Yun Seong, General Manager of Microsoft’s Asia Pacific Operations Centre, accepted the award on behalf of Microsoft, together with Microsoft’s HR Director for Singapore, Julianne Truda.
Microsoft is the only technology company to be selected this year. Other Best Employers are American Express International, Inc., Bain & Company SE Asia Inc., Singapore Prison Service, Royal Plaza on Scotts, Hilti Far East Pte Ltd, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
The Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2.0 Study – Asia 2013 was conducted in nine countries across Asia - China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Participating companies in the study were measured based on four key themes which are critical for today's HR agenda and attractiveness as an employer of choice:
- Engaged Employees
- Compelling Employer Brand
- Effective Leadership
- A High Performance Culture
Ms Helene Auriol, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore, said, “At Microsoft, our people are at the centre of everything that we do, and we care about the long-term development of our talents and their careers with us. These factors have contributed to the quality and diversity of our employees, and have led to our recognition as an employer of choice. In addition, our employees’ strong passion for what they do at Microsoft, and how they can have an impact on a large scale to the businesses and communities that they serve, are also critical success factors. Being named as one of the Aon Hewitt Best Employers is an incredible honour for which we are grateful, especially to our employees. This is a testament to the high quality of talent management initiatives and empowerment of employees in enabling them to realize their full potential.”
According to Kulshaan Singh, Managing Director of Aon Hewitt Consulting, Southeast Asia “Microsoft builds accountability at all employee levels, and this appears to be a clear differentiating factor for the organization. Specific programs are designed to develop managerial capability and foster engagement among teams. Managers set clear expectations, which include stretch goals and how they relate to the overall company's business strategy. The approach is result-oriented and the whole system is designed to promote engagement and achieve the desired results.”
Indeed, the recognition by the study reaffirms the longstanding commitment made by Microsoft to its employees. Over the years, Microsoft has rolled out numerous programs that have enabled it to understand the needs and work styles of its people and potential employees, and create an environment that allows them to perform their best. Some of the initiatives include:
- People Manager Communities (PMC): A platform for managers to share best practices and learn from each other. Held each quarter and two days each time, the PMC was structured to focus on how to manage employee performance, how to coach employee careers, how to calibrate team members, how to profile subordinates and listen to feedback.
As a result of the PMC, employees say that they are receiving more on-going feedback and having more meaningful development and career conversations.
- New World of Work: This initiative is based on the idea that change takes place in three inter-related areas: people, place, and technology. Microsoft’s offices in Singapore have moved from a space in which everyone had a room or a cubicle into an environment dominated by bright open spaces where no one has a fixed desk while areas for collaboration are interspersed amongst more formal work stations. This has resulted in changes of behaviour, such as how teams stay connected, an increased focus on accountability and setting clear expectations, and a change in the way its employees actually do their work.
Initial survey results taken 3 and 6 months after moving into the new space indicated that 54% of employees saw an increase in productivity in the new environment; 44% collaborate with colleagues more now than before, 82% agree that the new environment is more positive; and 85% felt that the new office showcases Microsoft as an Employer of Choice.
- Career Day: An initiative to help increase the visibility of the various career opportunities which exist at Microsoft. It was useful in helping its employees understand the different parts of its business, the roles that existed in the different areas, as well as the competencies and experiences that would make someone successful in that part of the business.
Since launching this initiative, there have an increase in the number of internal movements between business segments in Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft has consistently filled over 40% of its roles internally in Singapore.
Microsoft’s recognition by the Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2.0 study comes barely six months after winning the Work-Life Achiever award at the Work-Life Excellence Award 2012 held by the Ministry of Manpower last year. The Work-Life Excellence biennial award is part of Tricom’s (Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy) efforts to promote work-life harmony in Singapore and honours organisations with leading work-life strategies and practices that enable their employees to harmonise work and personal needs, as well as reap benefits for the organisation.
In 2011, Microsoft was ranked as No. 1 on the Great Place to Work Institute’s World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list. In addition, Microsoft is 1 of only 13 companies to have been on FORTUNE magazine’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ since the index launched in 1998.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.