The Best Work Practices You’ve Encountered

When trying to improve the way we work, looking outside our own workplace can be a good place to start. Take inspiration from some of the best and most enjoyable work practices public officers have come across in their careers.
Take inspiration from some of the best and most enjoyable work practices public officers have come across in their careers.

Winning Entry

  1. My boss starts every team meeting with “How are you and your family doing?” It really grounds me and warms my heart knowing that the people you work with care about your emotional and physical wellbeing. It motivates me to do better and not disappoint my team. We may not be aware of it, but knowing such details about our teammates deepens our relationships as colleagues grow closer.
  2. Intentional efforts are made to magnify people's strengths. Even if the projects we are working on tend to be in silos, we always have opportunities to work with each other. For example, a communication specialist may give input on an email that we are crafting.
  3. Open knowledge sharing. We acknowledge that different people have different strengths. The team has built a culture of teaching and learning, which is excellent!

Banupriya Moorthy, NYC

Thank you for your entry, Banupriya. You win a $100 SeekSophie gift card so you can find inspiration in new and unexpected places!

Other Winning Entries

Earlier this year, the CPF Board organised an ideation race to encourage officers across the organisation to come up with as many ideas as possible to improve the way we serve CPF members, including harnessing artificial intelligence. In short, we wanted to come up with fresh ideas to reinvent tomorrow and deliver today. This was sparked by a quote by best-selling author Adam Grant: “When it comes to idea generation, quantity is the most predictable path to quality.”

The result was nothing short of impressive. In just one month, we received over 1,000 ideas! The top ideas were then pitched to senior management, in a style similar to competitions like reality TV show “The Voice”. Various teams are now further scoping, prototyping, and implementing these ideas, and we are looking forward to seeing their impact on both members and our work!

Kenny Goh, CPFB

Celebrate small wins every time. It's very easy to lose track of goals and fall into the "death trap of mundane", especially when one tries to cope with endless daily chores.

With my previous team, I took the effort to set small achievable targets and motivate the team to achieve them. We set various individual targets, team targets and corresponding rewards. This builds up team morale and makes the work environment interesting. Having motivated staff brings about creativity and productivity.

I'm always out to celebrate these achievements. I also make sure everything is worthy of a share or mention with the rest of my division.

Cheerene Wee, MOH

Virtual Contact Time to reduce the number of emails and easier to search through past archives when needed.

Virtual Contact Time (VCT): In order to reduce the number of emails sent across various departments and project owners, my previous school initiated a weekly VCT. When colleagues had messages that are non-urgent or mainly "for information", we would insert our messages into a shared document within a shared drive. Every Friday afternoon, the admin executive would consolidate all inputs, compile them into a PDF and send it out to all staff. The file would also be archived in the shared drive.

This greatly reduced the number of emails that we received. It was also easier to search through past archives when needed. Since staff could easily retrieve information from the file, there was no longer a need to conduct frequent and long meetings, which should be reserved for more important matters.

Kok Wang Lin, MOE

In my previous workplace, I had a daily "toolbox" meeting for 15 minutes. After covering the work-related agenda, anyone could bring up any idea – none too silly to be raised – on how to improve any aspects of our operations. These would then be raised to senior management for evaluation and approval for implementation as necessary. No names were taken as the focus was on the ideas.

Omar Bin Mohd Yusoff, MOH

Inspired by themed exercise classes, my division similarly started having themes for our face-to-face weekly meetings. More memorable themes have been “Chocolate”, “Star Wars”, and wearing the colours you saw when looking at the infamous white gold/blue black dress that broke the Internet. We even had “Harry Styles” as a theme a few weeks back, which was very challenging for the guys given his unique dress sense. Coming back to the office has never been so fun as everyone eagerly awaits seeing what costumes people adorn.

Wilson Loke, MCI

Subscribe to the Challenge newsletter

To get more stories like this, subscribe to the Challenge newsletter or follow the Challenge Telegram channel.

What is one thing you have learnt about working in the Public Service that you think everyone should know?

What is one thing you have learnt about working in the Public Service that you think everyone should know? (Don’t forget to mention how long you’ve been in the Service!)

Send your entry to

The most creative entry will receive a prize worth $100. All other entries published will win vouchers worth $30 each. Entries may be edited. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number..

All entries should reach us by November 18, 2022.

    Sep 29, 2022
  • link facebook
  • link twitter
  • link whatsapp
  • link email