Nasdaq Listing: Reflections from our Chief People Officer


Last week was an overwhelming week. LinkedIn was flooded with a sea of GREEN and Grabbers, both present and past, shared their delight in being part of history. Each and every one has made their mark in Southeast Asia by building a company that is truly mission driven. Grab is a place where people do good and do well. 

Ever since I joined more than six years ago, we’ve not only worked hard to outserve our consumers and partners, we have also been extremely conscious about creating a workplace that people can REALLY grow and thrive in. It’s not just about the right poster of values on the wall – that’s the easy part. The difficult part is shaping a culture where the values are embodied in the everyday actions Grabbers take and where every decision is made based on The Grab Way. Here are some thoughts about HOW we live and breathe our culture at Grab. 


Mission Incredible – The Grab Way 

The Grab Way describes a world where everyday entrepreneurs feel like valued members of society, where they can earn a living with integrity and there is hope for progress for them and their loved ones. Grab’s mission is to help shape the conditions of society and provide the opportunities so more people can find their own way down this path.

Our job in the People Operations team was to make this come alive for Grabbers. Anthony and Ling emphasised building on ground truths since day one. We built an experiential component into our onboarding process to make sure Grabbers speak to our partners, do their jobs and get feedback from our consumers right from the get-go. We kept our travel policy very modest so that every single Grabber can travel to every single of the 400 over cities we operate in to understand the hyperlocal nuances and design the right solutions for our consumers. 

Grabbers LOVE this. We know who we are working for and what problems they are solving. We know our partners as individuals and we want to improve the way they live and work. This ignites our imagination and serves as our true north star. 


Hire and Reward for Performance AND Culture 

At Grab, we emphasise hiring for 4H. They stand for Hunger, Heart, Humility and Honour, which are the Principles we live by. We look for a special league of people who already embody our values and we continue building on this, even after they have joined, by making sure that Grabbers get feedback both on performance AND culture regularly. I recall conversations with the leadership team about how we don’t just look at CVs alone. Instead, we look at culture fit based on our 4H bar. It is very hard to walk away from people who have all the skills and experience we need but without the 4H, we know they WILL change the culture. 

I feel proud when Grabbers tell me that external partners and stakeholders speak about the consistency of this culture in all the Grabbers they meet. Articles have highlighted the unique culture Grab has which is an important part of our success. The best thing though, is how Grabbers build bonds that last through their time at Grab and many who left at some point for another adventure, found it irresistible to come back to Grab because of the people they got to work with and the culture that is lived out. It’s not always easy, but everyone knows we’re always trying to do the right thing. 


Thrive through Passion & Grit 

For us to make the most difference in the broader community, we need to build an environment where great people who join us continue to grow and thrive. A place where Grabbers feel deeply fulfilled, where they experience intensity and inspiration. A place where they feel valued, included and taken care of. Whilst we evolve our #GrabberLove and #GrabberGrowth programmes through the years, the pandemic threw us a curve ball but also gave Grabbers an opportunity to show what we are made of! 

2021 was a challenging year for everyone. So, we’ve tried to keep things positive for our Grabbers. From Grabber Care Communication (GCC) – which are e-newsletters to keep our colleagues abreast about the latest COVID-19 information and business updates – to creating completely new websites.  

Consistent and clear communication is necessary in the constant evolution of COVID-19, and building a website that has updates for our Grabbers was vital.  As such, we created a Grabber Care Site (GCS) to support our teammates during this trying period. The site is packed with resources to guide managers on how to manage their teams through the pandemic. We also developed parenting resources to help our colleagues keep their children meaningfully occupied with videos of Grabbers doing storytelling. Our marketing team also put together colouring kits and activity booklets weekly to keep the children entertained. Everyone banded together to help one another. 

To be honest, I’m still astounded by the amount of grit Grabbers display every single day. From volunteering over the weekends, after a HARD week of work, to help pack durians during the earlier #GrabDurians days or how the team hacked a solution called #GrabCare within 72 hours for our medical workers at the start of the pandemic, Grabbers prove that they are a league of their own by being hungry to serve. They seek to understand before being understood so we can live out the missionary (and not mercenary) culture we have. We build each other up every day. 


If you made it this far – thank you for reading up to here! The journey of a #MillionsofFirsts is lived out by the thousands of steps Grabbers present and past have taken. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the toil and sacrifices you have all made, for the hugs and the love you have shown and most importantly, for staying true to the mission and #OneGrab values this company is built on. The listing is one dream fulfilled. Onwards to millions more! 


If you think you’ve got the hunger and resilience to make a difference, and are aligned with Grab’s values, we welcome you to join us!