Budget Direct Insurance: An empowered workforce is key to improving poor rates of job satisfaction in Singapore
SINGAPORE, 15 December 2017: PRNewswire - Singapore employers don't have a great reputation when it comes to keeping their workers happy.
A global survey found that Singaporeans lagged behind the rest of the world when it came to job satisfaction.
The Singapore Employee Engagement Index survey report released by international consultants, Mercer earlier this year, found that only 73 per cent of Singaporeans were satisfied with their companies compared to a global average of 82 percent. The report reflected a consistent decline in employee engagement in Singapore.
A Singapore company, Budget Direct Insurance, however, is hoping to buck that trend. And it starts on day one with all new employees being given the star treatment with a chauffeur-driven car from their home to the office. It's just one of the many strategies used by Budget Direct Insurance to help ensure its workforce is a happy one.
It is not surprising that the company scored above the global average with 89% of its employees reporting they were satisfied with their work, based on an employee satisfaction survey conducted by Budget Direct Insurance this year.
Simon Birch, CEO of Budget Direct Insurance, says it's important to get employees off to a good start. "First impressions are important. From the outset we want all new team members to know that we care and we value you," he says.
Budget Direct Insurance decided to highlight its work ethos following Mercer's report of the growing dissatisfaction shown among Singaporeans in the workplace. The company believes its approach is different to most. For starters, Birch says, the team avoids the usual Human Resource management speak in favour of more simple, honest and heart-felt communication.
Guiding behaviours, which form the core of their ethos, are said to be summed up in one sentence. "Be nice, be open, be good and look out for each other." Birch believes this simple statement helps glue the team together. "As a new insurer we wanted to create a culture of good people who look out for one another and that attitude has to start at management and grow from there."
He added: "It also means encouraging a 'no blame' culture. We want our team to feel trusted and empowered, but this is meaningless if people are worried about doing something wrong. We want people to take on bigger roles than they thought possible and set them up to succeed, not fail. In a truly heartfelt, nice and empowered working environment, with a no blame culture it is amazing what people can achieve."
Employees are regularly asked their input on issues outside their job description. A claims executive was recently rewarded for coming up with a new marketing idea.
Budget Direct Insurance is also keen to promote its parent-support and pro-family policies advocating a good work-life balance. These include allowing female employees to take up to six months maternity leave and employing parents who work part-time from home or the office on flexi-hours. And those who don't get Childcare leave are given Family care leave instead.
Other more mainstream strategies include an open-plan office with no hierarchy of office space or seating. "We don't believe in management having their own offices, that's not our style. We work in the same space and that immediately sends out a signal that no matter what role you have you are vital to our team," said Birch, who also holds regular, small group chats with the team as a way of building bonds.
A casual dress code and regular office get-togethers over food and drinks also help to encourage positive working relationships. Simon Birch added: "Keeping our team engaged and providing a supportive environment is hard work. It's not just words, and it can involve a lot of risk-taking. It's a work in progress, but at the end of the day the team is our best and most valuable asset."
Want to join the cool team at Budget Direct Insurance? Visit us at https://www.budgetdirect.com.sg/about-us/careers