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Why Google, Facebook are among the top 10 companies to work for in Singapore

Why Google, Facebook are among the top 10 companies to work for in Singapore

FILE PHOTO: A man passes a Google signage outside their office in Singapore May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE: Having a strong corporate culture with a clear mission and values that resonate with people may no longer be a “fluffy” or unimportant aspect for businesses.

According to American job search and review platform Glassdoor, this is one of the key attributes found in the most sought after workplaces in Singapore.

Glassdoor on Wednesday (Dec 11) released its annual ranking of the best companies to work for around the world.

The top 10 list for Singapore – a first for the country by Glassdoor – is compiled based on reviews and ratings left by Singapore-based employees on its platform between October 2018 and October 2019.

Google was the highest-rated, followed by Facebook, Shell, Amazon and Microsoft.

Visa, AIA, US marketing software provider Hubspot, JP Morgan and HP rounded out the top 10.

Being mission-driven and having strong values are the common themes found in the reviews of these companies, especially for Google and Facebook, said Glassdoor’s communications head Joe Wiggins.

“A company’s mission is a strong call to keep people in their jobs and it has to be very clear for people around the world to understand and feel that they can get behind,” he told CNA in a phone interview.

“People want to feel that they are with a company that aligns with their own personal values.”

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Glassdoor’s president and chief operating officer Christian Sutherland-Wong said attributes like culture and values have become crucial in determining a company’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.

“Gone are the days when company culture could be considered a fluffy or non-essential business metric,” he added.

On making the list, Mr Dan Neary, vice president for Asia Pacific at Facebook, said: "Our company mission drives our culture and we are committed to creating an environment where everyone feels empowered to take initiative and know that they are supported constantly in what they do, within or outside of work."


Companies like Facebook and Google also present their employees with career progression in an inclusive and collaborative environment.

Reviews on Glassdoor for the US social media giant, for instance, often include positive comments about its diverse workforce which helps to enhance the strength of ideas, said Mr Wiggins.

Career progression opportunities also come in a “bigger sense”, he added.

“It’s not just about being promoted. It’s also about adding new skills or having the option to move to another team or work on different projects.”

Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

Over at Google, employees are given exposure to large-scale projects. The search engine giant is also highly rated for its creative and fun workspaces, as well as opportunities to learn from “smart” co-workers, said Mr Wiggins.

One initiative that promotes learning between employees is the “Googler 2 Googler” (g2g) classes. This allows employees to sign up as a coach and conduct classes, either in-person or online, on topics ranging from Python coding, parenting to mindfulness.

This has been “extremely popular” and effective, with over 10,000 Google staff around the world dedicating a portion of their time to developing their peers, said Ms Julia Boettcher who is the lead programme manager for the g2g program in Asia Pacific.

“Google hires some of the brightest people around the world and we give them the freedom to share their skills with others,” she told CNA.

“We work hard to create the healthiest, happiest and most productive work environments possible that encourages collaboration and gives Googlers the freedom to innovate.”

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Even as they are acknowledged for opportunities given to their employees to progress in their careers, most of the top 10 companies also have a strong emphasis on work-life harmony and attractive employee benefits, Mr Wiggins said.

Flexible hours are commonly mentioned as part of the work arrangements at technology firms, as well as other companies like Shell and AIA who have a “people-oriented” culture.

Mr Wiggins noted that while salary and benefits remain key in attracting talent, the Glassdoor report showed that it is increasingly important for employers to have the “whole package”.


Earlier this month, a separate ranking by global institute Great Place to Work emphasised diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging as key factors that define the best workplaces in Singapore.

For instance, companies that are ranked as great workplaces had narrowed their gender gap.

“In inclusive environments, people are fairly treated, valued for who they are and included in core decision making; while the experience of belonging refers to the … feeling that others care about his well-being as an equal part of the group,” the press release said.

Royal Plaza on Scotts and Salesforce were among those that made the list for the category of medium and large workplaces, while the best small workplace in Singapore was awarded to Hays Specialist Recruitment.

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Mr David Leong, managing director of PeopleWorldwide Consulting, said those from the younger generation are increasingly looking beyond monetary benefits when choosing their employer. 

“The real motivators for retention are the work itself and the culture of nurture within the organisation, from effective coaching, goal-setting and overcoming challenges with a strong comradeship among team members.” 

Having smart and intelligent co-workers who are motivated and driven can also be a “powerful attractive force”, Mr Leong added. 

While the emphasis on these softer aspects is more often seen in technology firms, Mr Wiggins from Glassdoor said other traditional industries are fast catching up.

The finance sector is one example, as it looks to compete with the tech sector for top talents, he noted.

READ: Companies hunt for talent as Singapore tech sector continues to grow

Source: CNA/sk


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