NTUC Unity Healthcare

​​​Work-life programmes are an intrinsic part of the employee engagement process at Unity Healthcare and this has had a positive impact on the business. The organisation recognises the value of mature workers – its employee profile complements the overall business as their typical customer tends to be older individuals. Also, taking staff needs into account when implementing programmes has proven to be effective in attracting and retaining talent.

Facts in a Flash

Industry Industry: Wholesale & Retail Trade

Employment size Employment size: Above 400

Employment profile  Employment profile: Front-line service, store operations, warehouse and administrative staff; many are female and  mature workers

Employment profile Featured work-life programmes:

Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Staggered time
  • Telecommuting
  • Part-time work
Employee Support Schemes
  • Health and wellness programmes
  • Health screening
  • Co-payment scheme for fitness classes
  • Fruits/Healthy snacks day
  • Staff lunch
  • Eat With Your Family Day
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Business Case

At NTUC Unity Healthcare (Unity Healthcare), the management views its employees as its most valuable resource, making people engagement an organisational priority. Recognising that its employees are fully committed to their work and equally dedicated to managing family responsibilities and personal interests outside of work, the organisation devised an effective work-life strategy to enable employees to manage both aspects effectively.

Success Factors

1. Organisational Leadership Strategies

Acknowledging the importance of work-life, the senior management strongly advocates a healthy work-life culture. The leadership also sets positive work-life examples for their teams to follow – utilising flexible work options when needed and mentoring new members of the leadership team to adopt the shared work-life values.

Management recognises that employees, particularly when they are on flexible work arrangements (FWAs) with minimal supervision, require skills to stay efficient and productive. Hence, training sessions on induction, leadership, and products and services are held regularly for staff to raise their efficiency, and ensure quality of work.

2. Organisational Work-life Strategy

Health management and workplace flexibility are key features of Unity Healthcare’s work-life strategy. While employees are at varying life stages, they share common work-life needs which the organisation addressed by introducing several FWAs. The HR team instituted a transparent and convenient system for FWA applications. For example, autonomy is given to department heads to approve requests for staggered time at headquarters on a case-by-case basis.

As part of strategic planning, at least one work-life activity is scheduled each week, ensuring that all employees have a chance to participate in the various programmes despite their differing schedules.

3. Information Management Strategies

A well-structured communication plan is put in place to keep employees informed of all work-life programmes available. Monthly CEO chats are organised to obtain employee feedback on current practices and policies, and share key updates in the organisation.

4. Performance Management Strategies

Employee performance is assessed based on measurable key performance indicators agreed upon by staff and their supervisor. Reviews are held to monitor progress and overall performance. Unity Healthcare’s outcomes-based performance assessment framework rewards employees according to the quality of their work instead of the number of hours spent in the office, which consequently gives the organisation’s trust culture a boost.​

Promising Outcomes

There has been a positive impact on business since Unity Healthcare made work-life harmony an intrinsic part of the employee engagement process. It has reaped tangible benefits including ease of hiring new employees as well as a high retention of quality talent, and boosting in-store service.

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