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Sustainable Excellence

Blog | Building Culture   |   August 6, 2015

by Janina Aritao

Does this statement sound familiar:

The more successful you are, the more sacrifices you must make in your family life.

This is a misconception that is going around the corporate world, the notion that you can only choose between work and life, that thriving both at work and at home is a far-fetched dream. Helen Lim-Yang, who runs a Work-Life Excellence* seminar called ENABLE at ROHEI Corporation, says, “if a person is successful in the business world, the common assumption is that their home life is suffering.”

However, she continues, “but Work-Life Excellence principles prove these misconceptions wrong. When values and priorities are right, and when employers value and respect their people, it is possible for excellence to feed excellence. When a person’s family life is allowed to be fruitful and thrive, it overflows into their work. Their thriving work life also feeds their excellence at home.”

When a person’s family life is allowed to be fruitful and thrive, it overflows into their work. Their thriving work life also feeds their excellence at home.

ROHEI Senior Consultant Joel Mok and his family is an example of Work-Life Excellence, him having four kids, Timothy (12 years old), Erika (10), and twins Caleb and Joshua (4). [These are their ages at the time of this writing.]

“I work on a flexible arrangement,” Joel explains, “and I have the freedom to manage my home and work life.”

Mathilda Chua, a participant of ROHEI’s Work-Life Strategy for Talent Management seminar says, “it is indeed gratifying to know that there is Work-Life Strategy in our fast-paced lifestyle in Singapore. I used to think that one has to be committed to work no matter what it takes.”

For many traditionally-run companies, the idea of Work-Life Excellence is a major shift in thinking and policy-making. “The employer needs to take the initiative to embrace the culture of work-life excellence. It requires adjustment of mindset, and an investment of time and effort in initiating policies, but many Work-Life Excellence* companies attest that the change is worth it, because it communicates to people that they are valued, and they’re more than just workers,” says Helen Lim-Yang.

“To identify the business case for work-life is essential,” Mathilda continues, sharing what she has learned. “Then, assess the business needs and employee needs. Working out flexible arrangements is a win-win situation for employer/employee. We need to evaluate KPIs to countercheck that there is an improvement in business and personal satisfaction. That is exactly what life should be.”

“It’s amazing to see how dedicated people are here. How people are valued here is a motivation in itself. People love to give back to the company,” observes Tommy Cuna, an intern at ROHEI.

“People over process is one of our core beliefs. And we take time to cultivate this culture. We are also passionate about imparting this to our participants. Because we nurture a people-centric culture and value relationships, we are able to lead by example,” says Helen.

As Singapore turns 50, let’s ask ourselves, is our excellence as a nation sustainable? Are we pursuing excellence at home, at work, and in life?

As we celebrate excellence and give thanks for our achievements as a nation, we must celebrate family as well. Our struggles, success, and celebration have brought us together as one and at the core of our society is what truly is the most important unit: family.

“Excellence is a Singapore trademark. We are a model for systems that work. Maybe a microcosm of bigger sustainable models for running even larger communities. Our reputation as workers is one of high performance, with lifestyles that hardly give us time to rest. The more successful and excellent we are at work, then even more must we be passionate about excellence in our home life, and believe that both are possible,” says Joel Mok.

This long National Day weekend, it’s a good reminder for us to enjoy our families and value time with them.

“When we take care of our homes, spend time with our children, we are leading by doing, showing them what they should value, and we are preparing the next generation for the decades to come, says ROHEI Principal Consultant Praise. “They are the next culture-builders, and what we pass on to them plays a big part in shaping the future of Singapore.”

When companies and individuals pursue excellence in work, home, and in life, we grow even stronger as a nation, ready for the next 50 years.

*The bi-annual Work-Life Excellence Award celebrates organizations with highly successful work-life strategies. ROHEI received the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2014. Our progressive and people-oriented work-life practices have resulted in favorable outcomes for both our company and our workforce.


Janina is a Senior Consultant at ROHEI, who loves drawing alphabets.

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