The company relies on its people to achieve its purpose, says APBS' managing director Mr Andy Hewson. PHOTO: ASIA PACIFIC BREWERIES SINGAPORE (PART OF THE HEINEKEN COMPANY)
No lunch-time meetings, flexi-work and skills upgrading are some of the ways Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore is supporting its staff while maximising productivity
If there is one office perk that stands out for senior demand planner Ko Yumei, it is the transport service her company provides to and from its Tuas office.
“I am thankful that I don’t have to squeeze with the crowds on public transport in the mornings and can unwind after work with peace of mind, knowing I will get home safely.
“It also helps me to strike a balance at work while spending more time with loved ones,” says the 27-year-old who has been with the company for two years.
This is just one of the many ways in which Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore (APBS) looks out for its staff.
“It is important that employees’ needs are met. This goes towards building a cohesive, motivated team that is focused on delivering their best,” says Mr Andy Hewson, managing director of APBS, on the importance of such measures.
APBS is a subsidiary of The HEINEKEN Company and has over 90 years of history. Mr Hewson has been with the company for 12 years and has risen through the ranks in various roles.
Rated among the top employers in Singapore, according to global research firm Statista in collaboration with The Straits Times, the company’s dedication to its people is evident in the benefits offered that go beyond usual workplace perks.
By discouraging lunch meetings as well as meetings after 3pm on Fridays and emails over the weekend, APBS shows they respect their employees’ time. When meetings are held, attendance is capped at 15 people to ensure productivity.
A full-fledged gym on office grounds encourages staff to keep healthy while sleeping pods are available for anyone needing a power nap. Beyond flexi-work arrangements, each employee is also entitled to a flexi-allowance that can be used for boosting their physical and mental well-being or personal growth. Employees also get to enjoy subsidised food options starting from as low as $1.70 at the newly renovated Tiger Cafeteria.
DEFINING THE COMPANY’S CULTURE
“It is important that employees’ needs are met. This goes towards building a cohesive, motivated team that is focused on delivering their best.”
Then, there is Mr Hewson’s favourite perk – the Tiger Tavern – the company’s in-house bar where staff enjoy the brand’s portfolio of beers for free.
“I love that I can drop by the Tavern at the end of the day for a cold beer with colleagues,” he says. “It sparks conversations and deepens connections, often resulting in innovative initiatives and collaborations.”
For marketing manager Yogender Sharma, 40, it is also about bringing APBS’ collaborative culture to some of the most sought-after events in Singapore such as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix and St Patrick’s Day festivities.
“Being able to enjoy these events and see our consumers connect with friends and family while enjoying our beers is a true joy and my favourite perk!” he says.
Pathways for career development at every level
APBS’ focus on its people is also reflected in its talent development programme for every employee.
For those new to the workforce, the 18-month HEINEKEN Graduate Program offers them a chance to gain international and local experience in various fields, including corporate, commerce and supply chain.
For rising mid-career employees, short-term postings to explore other parts of the business as well as an eight-month accredited leadership and coaching programme are available.
Ms Ko joined APBS as part of its Supply Chain Graduate Programme while Mr Sharma started pursuing the Management Team and beyond Fast Track programme during his third year at the company. He is set to become a member of the HEINEKEN management team in the Asia-Pacific region.
This, they say, has allowed them to experience first-hand how the company values employee development.
“The programme has helped me be a more influential decision-maker and a more self-aware and empathetic leader while propelling me towards my personal goals and ambitions,” says Mr Sharma, who recently returned from Vietnam where the first phase of his programme was conducted.
The company also offers digital training programmes for pioneer generation staff to ensure continuous upskilling and knowledge enhancement.
Ultimately, the company relies on its people to achieve its purpose, says Mr Hewson.
“The expertise and ingenuity that our people bring goes towards refining our capabilities in all aspects, brewing not only happiness but also the joy of true togetherness to inspire a better world.
“In everything we do, we remain committed to our role as a proud, passionate and responsible brewer,” he adds.