S1E26: How a back-office agency is reinventing its 500 humdrum jobs

  • 5 Feb 2024

To secure his 500 colleagues' jobs, this CEO is making them developers. Bonus segment: What could the Dragon Year bring you?!

Synopsis: Every first Monday of the month, listen to the Work Talk podcast to help you work smarter, think deeper and get ahead in your work life.

Vital is the Singapore public service’s central agency for corporate shared services entrusted with managing and transforming corporate services delivery for the government.

For years, Vital had been humming in the background, paying out the salaries and expense claims of more than 100,000 public servants in Singapore. 

No one paid it much attention, as its 500 workers chugged along, cutting, pasting, reconciling spreadsheets. Much of their work was laborious, tedious, and honestly, could have been done by machines.

Four years ago, something happened. The agency got a new chief, a new dream, and for its 500 workers - a new aspiration to become citizen developers. 

In this episode of Work Talk, ST senior correspondent Krist Boo takes you into Vital to meet Mr Dennis Lui, its chief executive and hear how employees are automating their own work processes. 

And in a bonus podcast segment - with Chinese New Year days away - hear what the 2024 Dragon Year could bring you, from Master Ken Koh from The House of Feng Shui.

Highlights (click/tap above):

2:26 Vital's existential crisis; finding the right partner to customise its courses for retraining

5:18 Validation boost: In 2020, the government gives it the mandate to transform corporate services delivery

6:28 The elephant in the room: Addressing fears of automation, advice for employers in similar situations

8:59 Join us at a work station in Vital's office to hear about a citizen developer's work 

10:38 Bonus segment: How will your dragon year be? 

Produced by: Krist Boo (kristb@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Teo Tong Kai and Amirul Karim

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

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