How many big organisations are actually good places to work? How many are changing their organisational structure and creating an ethos of transparency?
SingTel seems to be one of the companies undergoing big changes whilst trying to maintain a distinctive company culture (distinctive in being amenable to the workforce). I've been secreting myself in far corners of its website, and digging up interesting truffles of culture.
In plain English, here's some great PR from SingTel's site about company culture and digitally led change. It is to be admired by all of you currently undergoing a change in business structure, strategy, or even identity.
NB. This post might seem like a big advert for SingTel. But, I'd simply like you to show you the messaging on SingTel Group's corporate and recruitment pages, and explain why I think this sort of thinking is quietly revolutionary.
What is Sing Tel?
In its own words,
The SingTel Group is Asia's leading communications group. We provide a wide spectrum of multimedia and infocomms technology (ICT) solutions, including voice, data and video services over fixed and wireless platforms.
Our main operations are in Singapore and Australia (Optus). Headquartered in Singapore, SingTel has more than 130 years of operating experience and has played a pivotal role in the country's development as a major communications hub. The Group employs more than 21,000 staff worldwide.
Matt Owen has previously discussed SingTel and its progressive approach in using customer services to define business structure. The three groups that comprise SingTel are:
- Group Consumer
- Group Digital L!fe
- Group Enterprise
The Consumer group in particular has a remit that includes ‘setting new benchmarks in customer experience’. We see this as a rapidly expanding trend.
Having at least one large arm (strange image) of the business oriented by customer experience will give the org a better chance of avoiding stagnation of product or service.
People are what most company changes come down to. SingTel's ‘Meet our people’ page gives you a good idea of how people-focused they are, on top of the video we've already looked at.
What's nice about these, that on the face of it look like any website's 'meet the team' page, is that each profile includes some very interesting thoughts on what it's like to work at SingTel. These thoughts aren't generic or boring, as is so often the case, but feel like they give a real window on to company life.
I thought I’d share one of these, to show how progressive these biogs are. Heere’s Betty..
Only joking. Here's Betty....
It's exciting to be part of the current transformation that we're going through from a traditional Telco to a truly multimedia company. In many ways, my career path has mirrored these changes. I started in the Business Planning/Strategy Unit and moved to Consumer Marketing (Youth segment) before landing in the Digital Life team.
Every transfer was because I wanted to learn and grow more and down to my desire to be involved in every new thing SingTel is a part of. Being able to make these career moves comes down to a culture of very open communication with your superiors. I have a conversation every six months on how I'm doing and what I'd like to achieve by the time we next sit down again and this two way communication coupled with a fair appraisal system helps me recognizes my drive and contribution to the team.
Each biog is different, some focus more on the customer, but all of them leave you in no doubt as to the kind of company SingTel is.
Another very refreshing section of the SingTel website and policies details what SingTel can provide, outside of work and wage.
The SingTel Recreation Club
At SingTel, we are committed to offering activities that nourish and sustain our employees' well being.
Including a biog of the former head of the worker's union, and now Recreation Club head. An inspired touch, making prospective employees get whole-heartedly behind the employees' benefits, and see them as something taken seriously by the business. Too often, the work-life balance and its pursuit isn't given enough thought by corporates, and SingTel is trying to stand out.
Learning and Development
In SingTel, we believe that a strong pipeline of talent drives sustainable business success - right people in the right roles, at the right time.
Again, supreme positioning from the recruitment side of SingTel's website. The last line sums up what prospective employees want from a job and a career.
SingTel's learning and development is split into four areas - Orientation, Relationships, Education, Experience. Every org should aim to detail these endeavours as publicly as possible.
Clear info on governance, compliance and integrity, including easy links to whistle blowing policy and more. All out in the open.
Org chart, board, management committee, all detailed as clearly and openly as other staff and structure. Board profiles, as an example, list dates of appointment and a clear working history.
One of the highlights is the inclusion of a dialogue with the GCEO.
The dialogue includes some interesting notes on digital transformation. Here they are...
Our transformation strategy comprises four key elements:
- Raising business performance of the consumer and enterprise operations. This will be achieved by driving profitable revenue growth, operating efficiencies and creating a competitive cost structure.
- Lifting customer experience with simplified and compelling value propositions. These are supported by extensive and reliable networks.
- Leveraging our assets to drive scale benefits. We are establishing deeper collaboration with our associates to bring about synergistic benefits in technology, product development and customer offerings.
- Creating innovative and differentiated digital services to enhance the core business and deliver new revenue streams.
The values of SingTel are to be admired. They strike the perfect balance between enterprise and support, and paint a picture of a welcome workplace.
At SingTel, our core values of Customer Focus, Challenger Spirit, Teamwork, Integrity and Personal Excellence define the way we work.
To realize our vision of being the region's leading multimedia and ICT solutions company, we are committed to helping our people Connect & Grow.
This sincere (and occasionally cheesy) video shows just what type of culture SingTel are trying to foster with its staff. As one of the featured staff tells us 'sometimes you can hold a value and it doesn’t resonate with you'. That statement certainly resonated with me. If an org can give staff values they actively relate to, that's half the battle (of course, you have to walk the walk, too).
The transparency of SingTel is refreshing. The copy on each of the sections discussed is completely honest and open. I’m amazed more don’t open up its company like this.
I’m sure many other companies provide these services for staff, and organise themselves in similar ways. But there's no doubt that giving all of this full exposure on the website is a really good move. No longer should this stuff be simply hidden in some boring HR documentation, or in a job application.
Making your company an attractive place to work, and focusing all of your efforts with the customer experience in mind, both of these are definitely worthy goals. Once you begin on that journey, every corner of your website should speak to it.
Econsultancy does a lot of work for clients around digital transformation, organisational change and business restructuring.If you do need some external help, remember that we can figure out a digital transformation strategy that will work for your business.