Going beyond employee benefits to authentic care

Our employees are struggling with workplace wellbeing. You and I know this firsthand; multiple studies have confirmed it. 

Research from John Hopkins University shows that only 9% of Singaporeans experienced a high level of well-being at work – around half the 17% worldwide average. Meanwhile, McKinsey reports that one in three employees in Asia are suffering from burnout.

At a glance, the solution might sound simple. Reduce work hours and raise awareness of employee benefits – problem solved, right? Not quite. 

Research by Gallup on Employee Burnout: Causes and Cures revealed an interesting nuance:  how employees experienced their workload has a greater effect on feeling burnout than the total number of hours worked. In fact, employees who enjoyed job flexibility were more productive – working more hours while reporting better well-being. 

How can employees who work more hours feel that they are flourishing? The answer lies in holistic well-being. 

At heart, employee well-being encompasses physical and mental health and can be shaped by dynamics both internal and external to the workplace. That means if we want to care for employees’ holistic well-being, we need to support them with mental, physical, and financial benefits, alongside policies that enhance work-life balance and provide a sense of purpose and connection. Doing so pays off in spades – happy workers are more productive and engaged, boosting your company’s attractiveness to talent. 

To promote holistic well-being in the workplace, I believe companies must go beyond employee benefits and embrace a culture of authentic care. Here’s how we do that at Grab – both in our employment practices and our Grab for Business solutions

Embedding authentic care into company culture

At Grab, our cultural strategy is people-first. Rather than introducing benefits reactively, we’ve developed a holistic strategy that drives and underpins our policies. In this way, our approach to employee well-being is consistent across the company’s culture rather than ad hoc. 

We believe in authentic care, and one key way we embody this is through our GrabFlex benefits programme. This flexible programme empowers our Grabbers to customise their benefits package to their unique needs, from leisure travel expenses to lifestyle classes.  

This also enables us to adjust benefits as needed, as we recognise that employees are individuals whose needs and wants constantly evolve depending on their career and life stages. Ultimately, our goal is for employees to feel safe, comfortable, and appreciated as workers and as unique individuals. 

Promoting safety in all forms

Another major factor in employee well-being is ensuring that employees feel they are in a safe working environment. We don’t just mean complying with OSH regulations when we talk about workplace safety! Beyond physical factors, building a safe working environment can involve psychological safety, data safety, and more.  

At Grab, safety in its diverse forms is top-of-mind. Our philosophy of ‘Safety in every ride, every day provides peace of mind for both customers and employees, through in-car sanitisation, 24/7 trip monitoring, emergency buttons, and sharing rides. 

Security extends to the use of data too. We comply with all relevant Personal Data Protection Acts (PDPAs) as we handle employee data. For our Grab for Business solutions, we transfer all enterprise user data through SFTP to ensure the highest security.  

Finally, we actively promote an emotionally safe, respectful workplace. Besides training our leaders about psychological safety, we also have a Grabber Assistance Programme (GAP) that provides free, confidential support for emotional well-being. This 24/7 service is offered in partnership with some of the world’s leading employee wellbeing providers with global platforms, allowing Grabbers to access a wide scope of support anytime.  

Supporting our employees through their workday

Outside of work, every employee faces their own personal situations and challenges throughout the workday. We believe in recognising every employee’s unique circumstances and providing the right support to help them deliver their best work. 

How can you do that? With Grab for Business Transport, for instance, you can easily provide your employees with transport subsidies for last-mile connectivity, enabling them to get to the office or hop between meetings more quickly.  

Don’t forget to support your work-from-home employees as well. Often, remote workers actually work more hours – as much as an extra 1.4 days per month. While home, they may need to juggle childcare, caring for elderly relatives, and other responsibilities. You can consider providing Grab for Business food subsidies to help those who might not have time to prepare meals. This gives your employees one less thing to worry about and keeps them fueled throughout the workday. 

Showing tangible appreciation and recognition

Employee recognition is a simple, low-cost practice that can yield great results. Recognising your employees makes them feel seen and appreciated for their efforts, enhancing their sense of accomplishment. According to global people consulting firm Gallup, this in turn boosts engagement, productivity, and loyalty. 

Recognition isn’t one-size-fits-all, however, and it doesn’t always need to happen through words alone. Gallup’s research shows that effective recognition can include:

  • Public appreciation through awards
  • Private recognition from a boss, colleague or customer
  • A great performance evaluation
  • Promotions
  • Monetary rewards and gifts

Recognition is best when it’s personalised, and that’s one reason why we offer GrabGifts. Practical and flexible, these digital gift cards can be redeemed according to the receiver’s needs –  whether it’s transport, food, or deliveries. They’re suitable for gifting on big occasions such as a promotion, or for small moments of recognition like completing a challenging project. 

Going beyond benefits for holistic wellbeing 

Ultimately, authentic care is more than recognition and rewards – it begins with your collective mindset. Benefits, perks, and policies are the tools we can use to show our employees that we care about them. But whatever tools we choose, what’s important is ensuring that they chime with our core values and company strategy. 

At Grab, we believe in a culture of authentic care that can bring out the best in each and every employee. Speak to us at Grab for Business to find out how we can empower your employee care strategies.

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.