Building A Great Workplace Through Employee Relations
By Dr. Jaclyn Lee, PhD and IHRP-MP Published on July 19, 2016
SUTD just won an award for best practices in Employee
Relations and Workplace Harmony. This was achieved through
a great deal of effort being put into making the organization a
great place to work. This is done through our very own unique
“RE” initiatives. I would like to share how my team crystalize the
“RE” into the four initiatives below:
RECREATE I RELATE I REUNITE I RETURN
Our employee’s health - physical and mental must always take centre stage. RE.create
encapsulates campaigns, theories and activities surrounding the promotion of employee health,
sports, ergonomics, work-life management, recreation and general well-being. Over the years,
SUTD has designed a full suite of Recreational, Sports and Well-being initiatives.
Employee communications at SUTD goes beyond informing, alerting or updating. It is centred
on “Getting to know you”. More than just a trendy digital world of e-communications, from
e-magazines to e-information, e-broadcasts, e-mails; SUTD HR believes that some good old
fashion still works better than electronic. We still need to get people together. We have Town Halls,
Meet-the-People Sessions, Faculty Engagement Roadshows as well as Senior HR Director Coffee
Sessions with new employees. Our initiatives move across print and digital platforms.
RE.unite is Celebrating our Diversity. At SUTD, we don’t just embrace one another’s diversity
in race, ethnicity, nationality & religion. We celebrate the fact that we are different; from our
workplace behaviour to personality traits.
Returning to the community. At SUTD, we call this serving societal needs. Instead of large-scale
Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, we return in a smaller, more impacting manner. We have
supported causes such as Blood Donation Drives, organised activities with Chen Su Lan Methodist
Children’s Home, Saint Andrew’s Autism Centre as well as the Society for the Physically Disabled.
Finally, the four “RE”s are integrated with o ur Organizational Culture Alignment efforts. As part
of organizational development, the HR team drives the culture and innovation of the university
with the partnership of our Chief Culture Officer - our President. The Employee Relations and
Workplace harmony programs aligns with this culture strategy to bring out the best possible
results. In a recent organizational culture survey, we found good alignment between the
Senior Management Team, Faculty, Staff and even students towards what they want as the
desired SUTD culture.
We hope this short sharing helps you to start your journey in building a great workplace!