Raffles Institution

​​RI exhibits the same dedication for educating generations of students as it does in caring for its staff. To do so, the institution developed work-life programmes and policies to meet the three broad themes of variety, flexibility and choices. This has enabled RI to engage, retain and motivate talent, and to be an employer of choice in a tight labour market.

Facts in a Flash

Industry Industry: Education

Employment size Employment size: About 600

Employment profile Employment profile: Teachers/lecturers, corporate/operations support officers, executive & administrative staff

Employment profile Featured work-life programmes:

Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Partial work-load (teaching staff may apply to be either on ½ or ¾ work-load schemes)
  • Staggered time
  • Compressed work week
Employee Support Schemes
  • Medical Outpatient & Group Hospitalisation policy
  • Lactation rooms
  • Parenting courses
  • Eldercare subsidies (single staff can claim up to $250 per year for their elderly parents’ medical or health screening bills
  • Every staff is given annual sum of money to spend on personal well-being or to promote work-life harmony
​Leave Benefits
  • Childcare leave
  • Parental care leave
  • Family leave
  • First day of school leave
  • Study leave
  • "Protected leave" policy
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Business Case

Raffles Institution (RI) seeks to create a “Student-Centric, Teacher Supporting” environment so that staff can in turn nurture and produce Rafflesians who are thinkers, leaders and pioneers. To achieve this, the institution adopted a multi-pronged approach to promote a conducive work-life environment to improve staff satisfaction and well-being.

Success Factors

1. Organisational Work-Life Strategy

RI’s HR policies and programmes are designed to attract, retain and motivate talent. It positions itself as a premier institution and an employer of choice. RI’s fundamental belief that “everyone wants to give of their best at work” has shaped its approach to HR and the policies and programmes it implements.

Policies and programmes are customised to provide variety so as to meet the needs of staff across different life stages. Departmental heads are empowered and given the flexibility to plan and accede to staff requests, taking into account operational and staff needs. Flexibility is given to individual staff – they have a say in the choice of activities to be involved in, allowing them to focus on areas where they can best perform.

2. Engaging the Managers

The greatest challenge the institution faced in the implementation of work-life policies was in helping middle managers understand the core intent of HR and the spirit behind the policies. RI overcame this by gaining strong buy-in from the middle managers who have benefitted from the work-life policies and programmes themselves, through ongoing communication and active engagement.

3. Honouring Mature Employees

RI has a high percentage of mature employees and recognises them by placing them in roles that best fit their experience and competency. Arrangements are made for partial work-load where required to enable them to continue to work for RI beyond the retirement age. This allows the institution to retain them and tap on their vast teaching experience.

Passion for Caring for Staff

Exemplifying the same passion it has for educating students and caring for its staff, RI distinguishes itself from many organisations with their willingness to believe in the best of its staff – the institution is prepared to implement policies for the greater good of its staff and not allow the fear of potential abuse by a minority group to detract the institution from living out its core belief.

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This case study was first published on the former Employer Alliance website.​