Doing more with less has been the theme of 2016 for the HR team at American Express, who have had to creatively rethink strategy to meet growth and revenue priorities. With a ‘OneHR’ approach and a commitment to having the right leadership, people and structures in place to support growth, Amex Singapore has been testing new ideas in the hope of delivering business stakeholders more value with more limited resources.

Sales community 

Built on top of the rigorous training provided by individual business lines, a new ‘sales community’ allows Singapore sales talent to share knowledge and experiences among themselves and with senior leaders, to enhance results and boost a whole-of-team approach. HR has designed the program so that it helps build internal networks for increased talent mobility, which it hopes in turn will help it retain top sales talent.

Strategic taskforce

HR is engaging top employees in projects that actually impact on the business at a country level as part of a new ‘strategic taskforce’. In doing so, HR is simultaneously getting a cross-functional team’s input on a live business case that could help the company while providing visibility of top talent within the organisation in a forum environment.

Continual careers

HR’s previous approach to careers may have been well received by employees, but it was also expensive and time-consuming. HR has restructured what was an intensive, week-long careers festival into a year-long, flexible program. Rather than tying staff up for long periods, it is now more flexible and ensures careers have a continual focus.

The HR team’s ability to adapt to new market realities creatively shouldn’t be 
a surprise. With an aim to be a global employer of choice while remaining relevant to the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world it works within, HR has had to ensure that it maintains its own strategic capabilities at the highest level. The HR team constantly seeks out best practice through external speakers, industry events, lunch-and-learn sessions, and leadership days. The team has also embedded an entrepreneurial approach. It is encouraged to embrace a growth mindset, test and learn, and speak up if a plan is not working, enabling the business to adapt and change course 
as required.

As a result, HR at Amex Singapore is a valued business partner. Programs have received strong sponsorship from the country leadership team, and the team is frequently invited to share best practice with other organisations in the region. It plans to continue with its comprehensive market employee plan so that the business can deliver on its priorities of driving growth, increasing efficiency and delivering superior service to customers.


American Express has been named Best Employer, Singapore, by Aon Hewitt three years in a row, and one of Singapore’s Most Attractive Employers in 2016 by brand engagement agency Universum. Reflecting its desire to be known as a global employer of choice, increased internship applicant numbers show the company’s popularity among millennials.

1/3 of all positions are filled internally, thanks to an internal careers fair, a job shadow program, frequent talent conversations and leader career coaching support.

1/2 of employees on the company’s HIPO programs have experienced career movement.

90%+ of the company’s workforce elect to participate in an annual engagement survey.