CGS-CIMB Securities is not only committed to supporting the needy in Singapore, but also to serving the people and talents (physical or remote) by giving them a working space they can call home.
Earlier this year, Human Resources Online discovered how committed integrated financial services provider CGS-CIMB Securities is in supporting the needy in Singapore. It pledged more than S$1mn to the Singapore Community Chest (or ComChest), created several donation programmes, and encouraged its employees to get involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Today, we learn that the organisation is also as — if not more — committed to serving its employees. How so? By giving them an office space they can also call home.
Located at Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC), around Downtown Singapore, the space has been CGS-CIMB Securities' home since November 2021. It is modern, and exceptionally equipped with tools and amenities that help employees be productive and stay energised day in and day out. The office, shared by its spokesperson, reflects the organisation's future-of-work strategy — which very much supports the needs of both its in-office and out-of-office (i.e. remote) workforce.
Read on below as CGS-CIMB Securities shares some principles that drive its new space, the HR function's role in such a working environment, and more.
Q Tell us all about your new office move – what are some principles that drive this new space?
When planning for our new office space at MBFC (Tower 2), we considered a post-pandemic future, alongside the need for higher levels of cross-department collaboration to drive staff engagement. We are cognizant of the evolving labour landscape, and with that, employees’ changing needs. We wanted to create a highly productive workspace that fosters better communication and productivity, as our office should support the needs of both our in-office and remote workforce.
Globally, a survey by Owl Labs found that hybrid employees were 22% happier than workers in an onsite office environment. Additionally, we recognise that a hybrid workplace model supports work-life balance and drives better levels of employee engagement. Hybrid work arrangements are the way forward, and at CGS-CIMB Securities, we architected our new space to reflect this model, an environment that fosters mutual trust and personal responsibility.
Q We know the office reflects your future-of-work strategy, what are some elements that help employees be productive in this new normal working environment?
Carol Fong, Group CEO of CGS-CIMB Securities, once said: “Hybrid work arrangements are highly dependent on the use of new technologies and collaboration tools that will enable both remote workers and in-office staff to work seamlessly.”
On that note, among the infrastructure which we have put in place to facilitate better cross-department collaboration among staff are:
- Hot-desking systems;
- Smart lockers for all staff;
- All meeting rooms are equipped with TVs for ease of info sharing, and rooms are integrated with Microsoft Outlook calendar for ease of booking;
- Private phone booths around the office space that also serve as work booths, for up to two staff at a time, and
- Plenty of collaboration spaces spread across two floors for team brainstorming sessions and discussions.
Q How do your current HR priorities tie into all the work you have been doing around digitalisation?
Nowadays, there is an expectation that organisations should have a hybrid workplace model in place, to cater to the preferences of individual staff, and to better support work-life balance for employees with young children or older dependents, or both. In addition to tech and software being enablers, the key ingredient is a culture that fosters a shared sense of responsibility, ownership, and understanding for staff across all levels.
- Managers must evolve from the traditional mindset of assessing performance based on physical presence or number of hours, to one which places emphasis on the quality of outcomes and deliverables;
- The spirit of reciprocation from employees is equally paramount, such as remaining responsive and availing oneself during work hours, regardless of the location.
Leveraging our experience during the pandemic, we have fine-tuned our policies to allow us to balance multiple objectives, such as ensuring that the spirit of collaboration and productivity remains strong, while having flexibility for not all staff to be present in the office.
At CGS-CIMB Securities, we know that improvements to our HR priorities, coupled with hybrid work arrangements, will allow us to attract the best talent, giving us a competitive edge in hiring.
Q Talk us through the exercise you have recently concluded on launching your new core values.
The term “P.A.C.E.” stands for People-oriented, Accountability, Collaboration, and Excellence. In essence, it is a group-wide brand value kick-off, developed to help build a stronger and more cohesive team, ensuring all employees value the same traits as the rest of the organisation. These are our company’s core values and tangible commitments, to innovate for a sustainable tomorrow in our quest to become Asia’s preferred and trusted integrated financial services group.
With that in mind, since its launch last year, we have put together a few initiatives, such as the following:
- Appointed 12 P.A.C.E. Ambassadors across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand (MIST) to help amplify our creed (three “PACE Setters” for each country);
- Launched a Closed Facebook Group to encourage cross-country interaction, communication, and updates for staff in the MIST region;
- Appreciate staff who exhibit P.A.C.E. values through a quarterly recognition program “PACE Champions” and these staff who are recognised are rewarded for their work ethic, and
- Dedicated a feature wall at our headquarters here in MBFC, Singapore to recognise staff who are exemplifying our core values.
Since the launch of P.A.C.E., we have more activities lined up that are intended to promote staff collaboration and engagement, which include, but are not limited to: “Get-to-Know Your Bosses & Colleagues” series, PACE Fruits Day, Skip Level with Bosses, Employee Recognitions and more!
Q How do you envision bringing them to life through actions and behaviours that you and the rest of the leadership team are encouraging?
The key to a successful hybrid workplace is one in which there is a shared sense of responsibility, ownership, and understanding.
Our P.A.C.E. values have brought heightened awareness across all levels of the staff here at CGS-CIMB Securities, on the importance of having a shared sense of purpose and cross-border collaboration. Employees, including new joiners – easily grasped the concept of P.A.C.E. to make it a part of their working lives at CGS-CIMB Securities.
We will continue to adopt and use digital tools group-wide to successfully drive home our employee value proposition. Among our channels for doing so are e-mailers, screensavers, digital notice boards around the office, and a SharePoint site to facilitate information dissemination.
The human resource team, with management’s support, will continue to implement PACE initiatives that will foster a more positive work culture, and initiatives are focused on these four pillars: mental wellness, physical wellness, family-focused initiatives, and team member-focused initiatives.
Q Finally, and back to the office space, what are some cool facilities and amenities that you have put in place for your employees to stay energised?
Our re-designed “Co-Working Space” at Level 10 is our new area to foster collaboration amongst staff from different teams. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure sufficient natural light into the area, and the space is decked out with ample seating catered for groups of all sizes. Department heads can book the area for team activities easily via the Company’s Outlook calendar.
To promote bonding, these recreational amenities are available to all staff:
- Free-flow coffee and tea-making amenities at the pantry,
- A convertible billiards-and-table tennis table,
- A foosball table,
- A dart board,
- A chess-and-checkers board,
- A jukebox,
- Beer taps (free flow during monthly staff events).
With a gorgeous view overlooking the bay, the area is designed purposefully in a non-formal setting, to promote and facilitate creative thinking and ideation during team discussions.
Images / Provided