The Best Workplaces in Asia Earn Distinction on Fairness, Employee Pride

TED KITTERMAN

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Top organizations from Asia and the Middle East offer guidance on how to create a great workplace culture

Asian markets haven’t been immune to the economic shocks of 2022.

The International Monetary fund lowered its growth forecast for the Asia Pacific region due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, rising interest rates, and fallout over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yet, the  Best Workplaces in Asia™ in 2022 still found ways to invest in employees.

These deeply committed organizations have been recognized as the best of the best, selected from organizations that have already won at their national level. What sets the winners apart from their peers is their commitment to fairness, both in compensation and employee experience, and the pride that workers feel for their work and workplace.

To create this year’s list, Great Place to Work® analyzed over 1 million survey responses that measure trust and consistent employee experience across Asia and the Middle East, representing the experience of more than 4.7 million employees in the region.

The list recognizes 100 small & medium-sized organizations (10–499 employees), 70 large organizations (500 or more employees) and 30 multinational companies (1,000 or more employees across three or more countries).

A big difference

Employees at these great workplaces are having a far superior experience than the global average.

According to Great Place to Work data, 88% of employees at the Best Workplaces in Asia reported having a positive employee experience. For the average global workforce, only 55% of workers report a similarly positive experience.

Even when compared to the full list of organizations considered for the Best Workplaces in Asia list, winning firms still outperform their peers. Best Workplaces stand apart in creating a fair and equitable workplace and fostering employee pride in the organization.

Committing to fairness

In Great Place to Work research, fairness is essential for building trust. It can be measured, in part, by whether workers believe they receive fair pay and a fair share of profits, and whether managers avoid playing favorites — all areas where the Best Workplaces in Asia outperformed the rest.

Eighty percent of employees across winning organizations said they receive a fair share of profits compared to 65% in other organizations considered for the list. When it comes to managers avoiding favoritism, 82% of employees at winning organizations said their workplace was fair, 12 percentage points more than the average for eligible organizations.

What does fairness look like in practice? Some employees at the Best Workplaces deeply value profit-sharing programs.

For UAE-based Blue Ocean Academy (No. 34 on the small and medium-sized list), an employee profit sharing scheme is key for retention. For Japanese manufacturing firm CK San-Etsu Co., Ltd. (No. 8 in the large category) a generous annual bonus and shareholder benefit program help employees build wealth as the organization grows its profits.

Fairness isn’t just about the money, though.

Employees at CK-San Etsu Co. also value time off, with 75% of workers taking the full amount of paid leave they are eligible for. At Blue Ocean, flexible work has been a way for the organization to demonstrate trust in employees, letting workers have more ownership of their roles.

Fairness also includes a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).

For Japan-based Shonan Seminar Ocean, Co. (No. 75 on the small and medium-sized list), the desire to be inclusive is part of its DNA, with 80% of workers having mental or developmental disabilities.

“When the company was first founded, it was a continuous process of trial and error,” the organization shared about its journey. “However, we saw the potential in our employees’ sincere attitudes, and we are committed to working together to create an environment in which everyone can work with joyful energy, regardless of one’s position in the organization.”

It’s the organizations that demonstrate continued commitment that build trust.

“The overwhelming interest across the company to do good keeps me going,”

says Albert Xie, territory manager, ASEAN Region Service Logistics and Operations for Cisco (the No. 2 multinational company).

Based in Singapore, Xie has been deeply invested in supporting inclusion and community outreach since 2019. Cisco has empowered him to set his own agenda, Xie says.

“Often our projects are driven from the ground up from employees or business units who want to give something of themselves to give back,” he says. “Nothing is ever just top down or done just because some corporate KPI needs to be met.”

The importance of pride

Another key difference maker for companies across all size categories on the Best Workplaces in Asia list was employee pride.

Eighty-eight percent of employees at winning organizations said their work has special meaning and 92% reported pride in their work and achievements. Eighty-eight percent of employees at winning organizations reported wanting to stay with their organization long-term and 89% said they would recommend their company to friends and family.

How do employees talk about having pride in their organization? For Shakil Ahmend, product manager at Maersk (No. 13 on the multinational list), it’s all about purpose.

“To be a part of such a purpose-driven company is what makes me wake up every morning and look forward to being a part of this company,” he says. “What we do in this company is helping improve quality of life and prosperity across the world.”

Employees are also proud of the impact they have on their community. For Cadence, No. 10 on the multinational list, the ability to give back to their neighbors is a source of pride for everyone in the organization.

Every employee has 40 hours of paid time off to volunteer in the community, and can access matching donations from Cadence for causes they are passionate about.

“Our employees donated their time and resources through fitness fundraisers, planting trees, donating computers, and by providing support around the impacts of the pandemic. Meaningful recognition lives at the core of our One Cadence – One Team values. Employees can recognize their colleagues at any time with a monetary reward through our peer-to-peer recognition program.”

The Best Workplaces in Asia show that investing in people is a proven path to business success.  Those that can create a fair work environment that fills employees with pride will outperform the competition.

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TED KITTERMAN

Author

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

To determine the 2022 Vietnam Best Workplaces™, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 20,000 employees across different industries in Vietnam. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️.

85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified™ standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. 

Companies with 10-99 people were considered for the Small category, companies with 100-999 people were considered for the Medium category and companies with 1000+ people were considered for the Large category.