Creating an NS-friendly culture with Shalom Movers

Today, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of Singapore’s companies and contribute to half of its GDP. The stable business environment and strong infrastructure that enable SMEs to succeed owe much to the efforts of companies that demonstrate strong support for NS and national defence. One such company is Shalom Movers – one of the largest and best-known players in the local moving industry.

With a larger proportion of male employees in the moving company, showing support for Singapore’s national defence is not something Shalom Movers does for show. As its Chief Operating Officer, Mr Gabriel Lam, sees it, “Supporting our NSmen employees makes us a more attractive employer. Supporting national defence also allows us to play our part in keeping Singapore's economy safe and stable.”

A long history of supporting NS

For many NSmen in Singapore, juggling work, family and NS commitments can be a constant struggle. Employers may also be reluctant to hire them due to concerns over these conflicting responsibilities. However, Mr Lam holds a different view as he is a NSman himself. To him, Singapore’s continued economic stability owes much to the sacrifices NSmen have made, to be able to carry out their service dutifully.

Since it was founded, Shalom Movers has consistently sought ways to support Singapore’s military defences, including the use of their fleet to support the nation in times of crisis.

Many ways to assist NSmen

Over the years, Shalom Movers has implemented numerous initiatives to support the career progression, skills development and personal growth of its employees.

One such policy is allocating $1,000 to each employee’s training needs. Mr Daniel Choo, Sales Manager at Shalom Movers, commented, “Not possessing the relevant formal education should not deter one from having the opportunity in career advancement. In fact, I encourage my team to build on NS skills like security and logistics, and also pick up new digital and technological knowledge.”

Shalom Movers also strives to ensure NSmen can focus on their duties when they are called up for annual in-camp trainings. Employees are allowed to take company vehicles to camps, ensuring transport will not be a concern.

When an NSman is away, plans are also put in place to redistribute his duties to the rest of the team. This flexible arrangement would allow the individual to commit fully to his NS training, instead of having to worry about paperwork piling up.

Mr Choo noted the positive impact such policies have on his team’s morale. “All the NSmen know that when we get called up, our teammates will support us just like we have supported them,” shared Mr Choo.

Every employee an NS advocate

To spread his support for NSmen to fellow business owners, staff and customers, Mr Lam also pushed for Shalom Movers to acquire the NS Mark and NS Mark (Gold) accreditation to reflect his company’s NS-friendly HR policies and practices. An in-house rededication ceremony is also held every year on SAF Day for all employees to reaffirm their support for Singapore’s national defence.

For its efforts, Shalom Movers was honoured with the NS Advocate Award for SMEs in 2017 at the Total Defence Awards Dinner, hosted by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. Not only does it help in creating a better business environment, Shalom Mover’s on-going support for NSmen also helps it stand out from the competition.

This article is part of a series in support of National Service and Total Defence, supported by MINDEF.