Last week, it was announced that Singapore’s government had accepted all 22 recommendations made by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers. These covered the raising of the retirement and re-employment ages, engaging older workers in career planning sessions, and more.
In light of this, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad further affirmed the value older workers bring to companies today, stating that with support provided to older workers’ aspirations, companies will be able to benefit from a “larger pool of manpower”, and turn the nation’s ageing workforce into “an opportunity for growth”.
“To realise this opportunity requires a joint effort. Not only must older workers adopt an open mindset to reskill and take on new responsibilities. Businesses must redesign their jobs and careers around the abilities of older workers.”
In his speech at the Singapore Human Resources Institute’s annual Singapore HR Awards 2019 yesterday (27 August), attended by Human Resources Online, Minister Zaqy lauded a couple of employers who took such progressive steps, efforts to leverage technology for their HR teams, and more.
One such company is SATS, which has committed to upskilling its 14,000-strong workforce, to enable them to undertake higher-skilled and redesigned jobs that support evolving business needs.
In fact, the company has its own SATS Academy launched last year, which has to date trained over 6,200 employees including more than a quarter aged 50 and above.
Further, in November 2018, the academy piloted a course on ‘Accelerating Change for a Digital Workplace’, designed to help older workers embrace technology and take on better jobs.
According to Minister Zaqy, more than 140 employees aged above 50 have attended the course to date.
SATS won 11 awards yesterday.
HR technology can free up HR from more transactional tasks
In addition, Minister Zaqy also shared the importance of companies investing in developing their HR professionals.
He said: “HR technology solutions, in particular, can free up HR professionals from more transactional tasks, and build up HR teams’ capacity to improve workforce outcomes.”
For instance, he shared that HR can tap on technology to identify skills gaps and propose ideas to develop the workforce in line with business needs, as well as introduce initiatives that can not just better engage the workforce, but can also build a stronger organisational structure.
GEX Ventures, a business consultancy and real estate firm, is one such company that has tapped on HR tech to do so. For instance, the company’s HR team introduced a wellbeing application for employees this year (by Virgin Pulse), which allows staff to focus on individualised wellbeing tips and targets, work-life balance, and more.
Minister Zaqy added that the initiative has been well received thus far, with 100% of staff actively taking part in the exercise challenge. “In fact, some of the most active participants are their older employees, with half of the top 10 participants above the age of 45!”
This, he stressed, has shown that “it is important for employers and HR professionals to leverage technology to augment their work, and to equip themselves with the skills and mindset to tap on relevant tech solutions.”
Photo / Provided