The company appreciates feedback, says Ms Ong (centre), seen with Mrs Lim-Yang and principal consultant Calvin Yeo.

Nurturing a spirit of camaraderie in workplaces

FOR a firm that helps other organisations build strong workplace cultures, it is perhaps befitting that ROHEI Corporation has been named one of the best companies to work for in Singapore this year. It is one of the winners of the inaugural competition organised by Great Place to Work Institute, which studies great workplaces and successful businesses around the world.

Having a winning workplace culture, however, did not happen by chance. The company has been “intentional, deliberate and diligent” in fostering a culture of trust among its team of over 50 full-time consultants, says Ms Rachel Ong, ROHEI’s founder and chief executive officer.

“Culture triumphs over strategy, but relationships triumph over culture. We believe that trust is non-negotiable in culture building, to enable thriving relationships and a robust work ethic,” she says. Mrs Helen Lim-Yang, principal consultant at the firm, adds: “The spirit of camaraderie is very much felt at ROHEI.

“We are intentional in living out our six core values daily: the will to succeed, compassion, humility, moral excellence, serving others and creativity.”

Valuing people

Since ROHEI was established in 2007, the corporate training and learning provider has put in place many measures to weave its values into the workplace.

For example, its management adopts an open-door policy to facilitate honest communication between managers and employees. Employees are also encouraged to give feedback to each other and to the management. “Feedback is a gift,” says Ms Ong. “We value both appreciative and developmental feedback because it sharpens each of us individually and as a team.

” Employees also feel safe to make mistakes as it is accepted as part of the learning process. “So long as one owns it, we’ll fix it together and move on,” she says. The company also places a premium on making its employees compafeel valued.

By valuing “people over process”, the management does its best to position staff where they can excel. This means that processes are often streamlined and job roles aligned to optimise staff potential.

To promote the well being of its employees, the management conducts a weekly staff discipleship session to inspire, challenge and encourage the team as they train others. Ms Ong also writes a weekly note to the team to share updates and stories of team wins, as well as to highlight employee contributions.

These efforts have gone down well with its employees. Business development consultant Janabel Wee, 23, enjoys the “safe and joyful” work culture. “I appreciate the collaborative culture at ROHEI, with everyone celebrating each other’s successes and contributions, and supporting one another in times of need,” she says.

Injecting fun and energy

Having a great workplace culture has paid off in business results for ROHEI. For one, it is able to tap on its culture building capabilities to tailor programmes to help its clients.

“The strong culture, demonstrated through our values-aligned behaviours, has garnered commendable testimonies from our clients who have entrusted their learning and development needs into our hands,” says Ms Ong.

“We have also had the privilege of stewarding the work of our clients for extended seasons,” she adds. With this latest accolade, Ms Ong says the company will “continue to be intentional in building our culture”. “It also means that we can encourage and do more to help other organisations build a strong workplace culture too,” she adds.

Already, the company is in the midst of developing a mobile app to disseminate information and announcements quickly and conveniently to its employees. With the app, they will have easy access to photographs and videos without having to log on to the company’s server.

To inject more fun into the workplace, it has also started “gamifying” its staff polls to encourage employees to share ideas and suggestions. Respondents are given incentives such as coffee and restaurant vouchers.

It also provides weekly fitness classes such as hip hop and Pilates to staff, as well as three complimentary drinks vending machines in the office.