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Company: National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore
Category: ;Employer of the Year - Non-Profit or Government Organizations

Entry Title: National Environment Agency (NEA)



Singapore’s transformation from a third-world slum to a first-world city within 50 years is a unique story.

Environmental degradation and pollution, undesirable by-products that accompany urban development, were absent in Singapore’s metamorphosis. During the early years of development was an emphasis on a clean living environment, and this marked the birth of a mandate that the National Environment Agency (NEA) formed on 1 July 2002, continues to fulfill today.

As a key frontline agency and the third largest statutory board, NEA is responsible for helping Singaporeans address their day-to-day needs and concerns pertaining to the environment.

With the rapid changes in the social and environmental landscape, the work processes and skills required for jobs are changing in tandem. Changes in NEA have taken an exponential shift in recent years with resources invested in restructuring, new technologies, review of processes and building new capabilities.


Committed to safeguard the environment for our future generations, NEA seeks to attract like-minded environment stewards. This could only be accomplished by being a choice employer for long-term sustainability. NEA demonstrates this resolve through: i) Leadership Commitment; ii) Employee Value Proposition; iii) Strategic HR Planning; iv) High Performing Culture; v) Stellar Employee Retention


i) Leadership Commitment
Top leadership is actively involved in HR decision-making and meets monthly to discuss HR strategies and policies. Several HR work streams are driven by top management such as the Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) Steering Committee chaired by Deputy CEO. Leadership commitment to people matters was also evident in design of the Employee Value Proposition. The journey to develop NEA’s EVP started a few years ago, with focus-group discussions involving over 100 employees. It was launched after several validation sessions to close gaps on the ground at the CEO Townhall.

ii) Employee Value Proposition (EVP) - Figure 3: NEA’s Employee Value Proposition
Most recently, a series of EVP outreach activities were rolled out. Reusable lunchboxes printed with the EVP themes were distributed to employees. The microwaveable lunchboxes encouraged officers to avoid disposables when they buy takeaway meals. The consistent messaging builds a shared mindset amongst employees.

ii) Strategic HR Planning
What is considered operationally efficient today may be obsolete in the future and thus NEA requires a strategic plan for the future. Strategic HR planning is done through a coordinated corporate planning process that provides a two-way feedback channel to guide HR strategies toward corporate objectives.

NEA takes a holistic approach to strategic HR planning involving intentional effort from the planning level to constantly align HR targets, policies and practices to business decisions and outcomes. To this end, the HR Strategy Map is developed in alignment to the NEA Strategy Map 

NEA is a forerunner in the public service in planning for the future workforce so as to achieve the 2030 targets and address developmental gaps early. In 2017, the SWP exercise was completed for 50% of its 3,800-strong workforce and efforts are on-going.

In addition to technical capabilities, NEA needs to build strong cultural capabilities and we strive to enhance organisational resilience for high performance. In 2017, NEA implemented several initiatives to enhance cultural capabilities and achieved good results

v) High Retention
NEA has consistently ranked among the top 80 Percentile of 50 plus public agencies in Singapore with the lowest resignation rates. In 2017, NEA’s resignation rate was 4.2%.


Employer of the Year Summary

-Excellent employee retention with the lowest resignation rates among peers

-Visible leadership commitment to employees with clear Employee Value Proposition

-Highly engaged and passionate employees in a diverse organisation

-High performing culture, with management and employees coming together to participate in meaningful work and redesigning processes where needed

-Strategic HR planning ensures the right size, skills and structure for the future workforce

-Strong benchmarking with excellent track records


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