People Management in SingTel


Singapore Telecom (SingTel) is considered one of the world’s fastest-growing cellular carriers. As the largest mobile operator in Singapore, it has about 3.16 million subscribers as of September 2010. It also derives a big chuck of profits from its Australian subsidiary Optus. In the mean time, SingTel has gained a 30.8% stake in Bharti Airtel.

Undoubtedly, the drive of SingTel’s success is their people management.

In 2009, SingTel sweeps 5 leading Singapore Human Resources Awards.

SingTel won the Corporate HR Award and three Leading HR Practices awards for the following: Learning & Human Capital Development; Talent Management, Retention & Succession Planning, and HR Communications.

Allen Lew, SingTel’s CEO Singapore, was also conferred the Leading CEO Award.

Employee engagement in a YouTube era

The Leading CEO Award recognises Allen’s hands-on involvement in SingTel’s employee engagement initiatives. This includes onsite visits and tea sessions with employees to get a pulse of issues that might affect their performance. He also does regular in-house video interviews on hot topics affecting the company.

Attributing his win to a team effort, Allen said: ‘I am honoured to receive the Leading CEO award, but credit must be given to my colleagues in SingTel who have strived so hard over the years to make our company a dynamic organisation of committed, passionate and creative people.

For more content, please read SingTel sweeps five leading Singapore Human Resources Awards

SingTel’s group CEO Chua Sock Koong further explained their people management strategy.

Our ability to bring about this next stage of transformation depends on the talents in the company because we operate in a highly competitive industry where products and infrastructure are easily commoditised. At the same time, good talents need good leaders.

Vision is the key

To me, leadership is the ability to have a vision, share the vision, and inspire and engage others to work together towards that vision. This is how leaders bring about extraordinary outcomes.

As the Group CEO, I work closely with my leadership team to communicate our strategic objectives to all our people. And we constantly need to engage our people’s hearts and minds. This starts from Day One. As soon as new hires walk through our doors, buddies are assigned to ease them into the organisation, help them understand our corporate culture, show them the ropes, and introduce them to key contacts.

One thing I insist on is my “Meet the New Hires” tea sessions, where I set aside an hour to meet with about 10 newcomers at a time. Over tea, I hope not only to share my vision for the company but also to motivate the newcomers by sharing my experiences when I was a young executive. Through this, they get to hear about how the company has transformed over the years from a ‘”nine-to-five'” statutory board to a flexible, empowered and market-driven organisation.

For more content, please search the internet for The Battle for Talent

For SingTel to lead and shape the markets it competes and operates in, it has to continually invest in both its infrastructure as well as capabilities. This includes building its human capital with a strong commitment to talent management and development.

A key feature of SingTel’s corporate strategy is thus to be an Employer of Choice.

“Talent management is one of the most critical organisational issues today,” says Ms Wong Sau Lin, SingTel’s Vice President of Human Resources. “To meet the growth aspirations of their people, organisations need to have the right team in place. The challenge is not only how to attract the best people, but how to develop and grow the existing workforce as well.”

Connect and grow with SingTel
Ms Wong adds, “We aim to provide a supportive environment in which employees can build a fulfilling career as they are the building blocks to achieve our vision to be the best communications group in Asia Pacific.

“This is reflected in our employee value proposition – “Connect & Grow”. Through this, we create networking among colleagues within the SingTel Group, including our joint ventures and regional associates, to share ideas and work on joint-projects.”

As a Group that operates in 20 countries and territories worldwide and in a business that is always challenging, SingTel offers opportunities for its talents to be exposed to a variety of roles and work environments.

“The cultural diversity of the SingTel family provides a fertile ground for innovations. With our geographical reach and variety of services, we also offer a rich and varied range of career choices and growth opportunities for employees,” Ms Wong shares.

For more content, please read Connecting and Growing within SingTel


Written by:

Scott Friedman

Scott Friedman, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) and former President of the National Speakers Association (NSA), is an internationally sought after professional speaker and author. As a motivational humorist, Scott inspires and entertains with engaging, interactive, and content-rich programs. Scott’s main areas of expertise are employee innovation & engagement, customer experience, and creating a happier, more connected workplace and life.

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