From building a vibrant ambience at the office to providing free meals, Yahoo has been making headlines in the corporate landscape for its creative employee engagement initiatives.

It was therefore not a surprise that the tech firm won the gold award for Excellence in Employee Engagement at the HR Excellence Awards 2015.

The company takes pride in focusing on improving its employees’ health and wellness while creating an innovative and family-oriented work environment, integrating strong collaboration across different departments.

It organises fun events and activities to engage not only employees but also their family members. (Family day, where Yahoos bring their families to office, is an example.)

Well-being programmes for employees include stress management workshops, health talks, screenings and free flu shots.

Yahoo’s VP for HR in APAC, Vineet Gambhir, believes all engagement programmes should be built on the basis of respect.

“Engagement initiatives are like the different rooms of the house—some initiatives target specific audience and different initiatives have different objectives and end outcomes,” he said.

“Respect on the other hand is universal - it applies to everyone. Everyone deserves, wants and is motivated by respect. Respect is what employees work for and respect is what they seek in their next career move. The job title change, salary change, responsibilities are all manifestations of a need for respect. The common underlying universal principle is respect.”

ALSO READ: Singapore’s top employee engagement programmes

The firm has a core team called the Singapore Catalysts who help drive new initiatives in the office -- anything around office improvements like getting new facilities and creating new spaces, to arranging a fitness week with a local gym.

The HR team worked closely with SG Catalysts in 2015, to plan its bowling event ‘This is how we roll’ and Family Day at the zoo ‘Zoomanji’.

The deep engagement and sense of solidarity was reflected in Yahoo Singapore’s high engagement score in the company’s global internal engagement survey for 2014.

“Respect your ex and prospective employees the same way as your current employees. Respect your new employee the same way as your longest tenured employee,” Gambhir says.

“Respect your bottom performer the same way as your top employee. Respect your employee regardless of grade level or title. Respect does not have boundaries. It must be part of the DNA. True boundary less respect is what employee engagement is all about.”

Moving forward, the SG HR team plans to create an APAC-wide engagement framework to align Yahoo in all its APAC locations.

This will allow all its APAC employees to have a common engagement experience that they can share as they continue to work more cross functionally and on cross border projects.

This case study is one of the four best practice cases included in the Employee Engagement feature – other organisations include the National Kidney Foundation and SABIC.

For a step-by-step guide to implementing an effective employee engagement strategy and to have a look at the other case studies, read the full feature here.

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