Sustaining a mentally healthy workplace: Google’s story

18 August 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Google's Office

Our Human Development Interest Group, led by co-chairs Helena Santos & Chris Harrington (Human Capital), Linley Lord (Education) and Sujata Tiwari (Mental Wellbeing) set our team the task of delivering an event with Google on how it ensures mental wellbeing at work. We did so this morning and thanks to Sarah, Priyanka and Alvin we were able to deliver a masterclass on the link between culture and commercial results. Here’s what we learned about cause and effect:-

• Right from the start, the founders of Google spelt out their clear intentions: “We do not want to work for jerks” and “Don’t be evil.” These cultural foundation stones are still firmly in place today.
• No one is perfect because we are all imperfect humans. Everyone is a work in progress.
• Psychological safety is paramount to enable innovation, to encourage experimentation, learning and risk taking. It is also paramount to help people bring their authentic selves to work. Happy teams make for happy customers and lives.
• Intentional, selfless and secure leadership is needed from everyone in the company to create and sustain a positive culture. A positive lived experience benefits each individual and team resulting in commercial success.
• The purpose of this focus on culture is to find the right people for the right jobs, to retain them and enable them to develop and grow to increase their contributions.
• Tech is an enabler through 360 degree surveys for every leader twice a year and a people analytics team that strives to provide HR and business leaders with insightful data.
• The panel agreed workplace culture in Singapore is generally sub-par and often toxic. Mindset shifts are needed from today’s leaders to recruit, retain and enable tomorrow’s. This can only be achieved if today’s leaders look in the mirror and changes themselves.
• Change and culture mean never ending journeys, continual learning and remembering to ditch ego, to always recruit people better than you and to give them the autonomy to shine, contribute and win.

The Chamber thanks an exceptional panel for each member’s authenticity, openness and sharing. Coupled with great questions from the audience we all left inspired and on a high! A huge thank you to WiWi and colleagues for helping arrange an ideal venue at Google at the wonderful MBC.

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