What is the single most important thing Singaporeans value? Family, as recently reported in the results of the third National Values Assessment survey.
Employers recognise the influence of family on their employees and are finding innovative ways to engage their employees in strengthening family ties. Happy families make for happy employees which brings about positive impact on businesses as a better work-life integration helps in attracting and retaining talent.
In view of Teachers’ Day when most schools and child care centres are closed for the holiday, Families for Life Council initiated My Family Weekend to encourage employers to support employees taking this time to strengthen family relationships.
This year, My Family Weekend will be held from Fri, 31 Aug to Sun, 2 Sep 2018. Employers are encouraged to adopt family-friendly initiatives to allow employees to spend quality time with their families. More than 230 employers across the public and private sector have set aside Fri, 31 Aug to support this initiative.
Echoing the same thought is Clariel Griffin, Senior Manager, Human Resources & Administration, Embraer Asia Pacific, said, “Employees are happier and feel that it is easier to integrate their family and work life. These flexibilities also empower the employees to better manage family and work expectations.”
Believing in building a sustainable future, Embraer, an aircraft designer and manufacturer, has organised the Family Day for their employees and families to spend quality family time together while volunteering their time by gardening at Kampung Kampus on 31 Aug.
Some common practices employers have initiated include organising “Bring Your Family to Work Day” or “Company’s Family Day” with various activities planned within the company or allowing employees to leave work early on Fri, 31 Aug to spend the weekend with their families.
Organising a company-wide “Bring Your Family to Work Day” for the first time this year, various departments within UOB are organising workplace tours for the families of their employees. UOB has also planned for other activities such as craftwork and storytelling for the children visiting the office on 31 Aug, providing an opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another and their families.
“Although my three year old son may not be able to differentiate between work and play, I look forward to him having the exposure and experience beyond school and play,” says Chew Pohleen, Vice President, Group Brand, UOB.
IBM has shown its support for family life by allowing staff to leave work earlier so that they can have a meal with their family. The tech giant had participated in the Eat With Your Family Day in previous years and will continue with the initiative this year.
“For many families, meal times are the ideal setting to pass down family values and traditions. It is also the perfect opportunity to update each other on recent events, however small they might be. These conversations serve as a connector amongst the family and also ensures that each individual feels that their opinions and activities are worthwhile and worthy of sharing or praise.” Shares Chionh Yi Ling, Country HR Director, IBM Singapore.
Even in smaller companies such as local SME, ALPS Global Logistics, where the company only has one married employee, the company has pledged its support for family life by having family-friendly policies such as flexible work arrangements.
On 31 Aug, the company will be taking the opportunity to organise activities outside of the office where families are invited to participate, strengthening the bonds between employees and their families, such as their recent visit to Gardens by the Bay.
“Staff have been ALPS’ biggest assets hence it makes sense to look after your assets,” says Kavan Low, CEO, ALPS Global Logistics.