What Makes A Great Workplace? It All Boils Down To Leadership | Vietcetera
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May 29, 2023

What Makes A Great Workplace? It All Boils Down To Leadership

The emergence of a new generation of workforce propelling a transformative shift in new work cultures is pushing companies to discard traditional rulebooks.
What Makes A Great Workplace? It All Boils Down To Leadership

Source: Shutterstock.

We’re past the golden period of recruitment in Vietnam (the three months following Tết), but the discourse on what makes a great workplace persists year-round. The emergence of a new generation of workforce propelling a transformative shift in new work cultures is pushing companies to discard traditional rulebooks.

The Gen Z labor force, which is bound to account for 25% of the working population by 2025, looks for purpose-driven careers, a transparent and collaborative environment where they feel seen and heard, and workplaces where there is more freedom and fewer SOPs. Flexible work hours and hybrid setups are just the basics.

Many Vietnamese workplaces have already successfully cultivated a culture of open communication, value recognition and employee empowerment. These companies have been awarded “Best Workplaces,” recognizing their commitment to creating workplaces of the highest standard.

Source: Shutterstock.

“With the rapid growth of the Vietnam economy, companies are facing increased competition to attract and retain top talent,” says Evelyn Kwek, managing director of Great Place to Work® ASEAN & ANZ.

“More companies are investing in creating a positive workplace culture that fosters trust and a sense of purpose among their employees. The 2023 Vietnam Best Workplaces showcase some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies that are leading the way in this area.”

In its second edition, the VN Best Workplaces list showcases 25 companies categorized based on their outstanding performance. The selection process involved comprehensive interviews with over 50,000 employees from diverse industries, delving into their experiences of trust and opportunities for growth within their organizations, irrespective of their positions.

Techcombank, one of the largest joint stock banks in Vietnam, took the top spot for the large category (1,000 employees are more). DHL and Cisco ranked first for the medium (100-999 employees) and small categories (up to 99 employees), respectively.

What do these top companies have in common? It all boils down to leadership — transformational, adaptive, authentic and honest.

Management integrity

Leadership integrity came through very strongly among the VN Best Workplaces, a defining characteristic that set them apart as a great workplace. Management integrity encompasses ethical conduct, transparency, and consistency demonstrated by the leaders. When managers uphold integrity, they establish trust, foster open communication and inspire employees to follow suit. This becomes a bedrock upon which a great workplace is built, ensuring sustainable success and employee loyalty.

Management support and care

Leaders at the VN Best Workplaces understand that people are more than “just employees” and show genuine care and interest in them as individuals with diverse needs, expectations, career aspirations, and goals. This mindset also shapes their approach to supporting employees and creating a conducive work environment to foster their learning and growth and motivate them to perform their best.

Source: Shutterstock.

Management competence

As companies in Vietnam experience rapid growth and expansion, it’s not surprising that management competence also emerged as a key distinguishing characteristic of VN Best Workplaces. This underscores the significance of leadership’s ability to not only lead and drive the strategy and direction of the business but also to competently manage the company’s most valuable resource, its people.

Management fairness and impartiality

Fair treatment of all employees is a cornerstone of a great workplace. This includes not only ensuring that individuals are treated fairly regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. but also providing a safe and accessible avenue for employees to appeal against unfair treatment. And the VN Best Workplaces are conscious about creating great places to work for all their employees.

Moreover, employees at these companies have positive experiences with their leaders’ impartiality in decision-making and choices; and they know that everyone has an equal opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions and accomplishments.

Management communication and engagement

Effective communication and employee engagement are crucial for companies to succeed and align efforts across the organization. This is especially true for fast-growing companies, where frequent change demands timely and transparent communication between leaders and staff.

Effective two-way communication also allows employees to ask questions, seek clarification and provide input in decision-making. This allows the company’s leaders to tap into employees’ experience and expertise and is particularly important when these decisions and potential changes impact their jobs or work environment.

Source: Shutterstock.

Leaders at the VN Best Workplaces understand the importance of establishing open communication channels with employees, getting their views, and genuinely listening to their perspectives. They see it as a critical part of their role to ensure that employees have consistently positive experiences in these areas.