Investing In Talent To Become A True Extension Of Client Operations

Through its sustainable employment practices, Mentor Media has developed a motivated and resilient workforce that complements its agile business model.

From supporting working parents to investing in training and development, an Elanders-owned Singapore-based supply chain specialist Mentor Media has long pursued sustainable employment as a means to superior performance over the long term.

Established in 1993, the company is a vendor and partner to the world’s leading companies in consumer electronics, communications, computing, medical devices, software and retail.

Beyond offering supply chain management solutions, Mentor also provides healthcare, print and packaging, as well as business continuity planning services to their clients. In addition, it constantly refreshes its service offerings in partnership with its clients, offering end-to-end capabilities to complement its clients’ unique goals and processes. For example, the firm partnered with government-appointed medical device manufacturers to repackage COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kits for distribution to schools, hospitals, community centres and vending machines island-wide, meeting the public’s urgent needs in the battle against COVID-19.

The company is a Sustainable Employment Pledge Partner under an initiative by SBF that calls on local businesses to take action to improve their sustainable employment practices.

“Joining the Pledge for Sustainable Employment is a natural process for us. This was facilitated by SBF, which has been a strong partner for us in pushing the boundaries in HR practices as a progressive employer,” explained Mr. Tan Ching Huat, Vice President Corporate Human Resources.

Mentor’s commitment to sustainable employment in the form of training and development and diversity has enabled the firm to continually adapt its offerings to meet its customers’ changing needs whilst empowering its employees to grow in tandem with the transformed demand landscape. Mentor was also able to unlock access to talent pools and retain employees in a traditionally talent-tight sector. This has resulted in robust talent retention rates, with around 47% of its workforce having served for more than five years. This solid institutional knowledge, coupled with an innovative culture, has enabled the company to grow from strength to strength, pivoting agilely to shifting demands, particularly in the healthcare sector.

“Mentor has been a keen supporter for sustainable employment, including Diversity, Equality & Inclusiveness, Equal Employment Opportunity and our local Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) since several years back as all these philosophy and best practices form part of our business strategy,” said Mr. Tan.

As a Swedish-owned company with deep roots in gender equality practices, Mentor recently joined other fellow Swedish Chamber of Commerce members to pledge to ‘#DoubleUp’ its paternity leave, enabling male employees to play a more significant role in raising children.

Promoting diversity for a vibrant workforce

A key aspect of Mentor’s sustainable employment strategy is fostering a more diverse workforce. This is in line with the ethos of the Sustainable Employment pledge, which advocates that a vibrant and diverse workforce leads to better business outcomes through improved innovation and agility. The firm executes its sustainable employment strategy through various programmes designed to support working parents and mature employees and increase its access to a broader talent pool.

For instance, the company is an age-friendly organisation that has raised its retirement age to 65, above the statutory retirement age of 63. Furthermore, over 20 employees have already benefited from Mentor’s push to re-employ retired staff until the maximum age of 70.

Meanwhile, some 45% of the company’s workforce in Singapore are working parents, 65% are above 40, and long-service employees who have been with the firm for more than five years make up 47% of the company’s total employment. At the same time, Mentor features a sizeable group of millennials who contributes to a vibrant and diverse work environment with different employee profiles contributing and learning alongside each other.

Investing in skills to stay ahead of the curve

Mentor works to maximise available resources to drive its employment and workforce strategies. To this end, the company taps on government schemes and training programmes from organisations such as SBF to supplement its efforts in reskilling and upskilling.

One example of such an effort took place two years ago when Mentor partnered with government agency Workforce Singapore to retrain about 5% of its employees for a new MedTech (medical technology) business.

“We do advanced planning of our staffing needs while assessing our skills inventory and pipeline to ensure that talent is available when we execute our business plans. The training and development of our human resources always takes centre stage as the availability of talent will, more often than not, determine the success of the projects coming onstream,” said Mr. Tan.

Collectively, Mentor’s sustainable employment practices have helped the company develop a motivated and resilient workforce dedicated to a culture of innovation and excellence. “All Mentor sites have a conducive environment that encourages employees to embrace our core values which are people-centred yet customer-focused. We have seen that when we get these two things right, shareholder value will naturally be enhanced thereinafter”, said Mr. Tan.

The Sustainable Employment Pledge

This article is part of a series of features that share the best practices of partners who have taken the Sustainable Employment Pledge. Companies that take the SBF Sustainable Employment Pledge can display the Pledge Partner logo in recognition of their commitment to being a trusted employer and contributor to the Singapore business ecosystem. If you are our existing Pledge Partner, simply complete this form to start using the Pledge Partner logo

If you have not done so, sign up as a Pledge Partner here to begin your sustainable employment journey. If you have any sustainable employment stories to share or refer, we would also love to hear from you here!