Deliveroo and its people-driven service platform

Updated: Jul 29

INTERVIEW: No one can deny the invaluable role that couriers and riders partake during the stay-at-home season. Mobility amidst the pandemic has been very convenient and safe. Thanks to front-line workers and their innovative digital platforms for playing their part well in providing life essentials in these crucial times.

One of those platforms in Singapore is Deliveroo. Chief of Staff Asia had the privilege to speak with Natasha Doctor, Head of People at Deliveroo Singapore. Doctor’s main priority is the well-being of the workers in her team to make customers happy in return.

The people leader explained the role of workplace culture and connectivity in sustaining organisational success. She also shared how Deliveroo empowers its female employees and provides them growth opportunities. Women comprise more than half of the Deliveroo leadership team in Singapore, and 57% of the company’s employees are women.

Find out more about Doctor’s HR strategy in this exclusive interview feature.

Delivering DEI

Chief of Staff Asia started by asking Doctor about the qualities and skills that her team looks for in choosing incoming employees.

For those who are interested in working at Deliveroo, she said that it is good to be skillful and competent, but the company is still after other valuable competencies: “...a growth mindset and curiosity are other qualities that are great for potential candidates to possess. Given the fast-paced environment we operate in, it is also beneficial to have high learning agility, adaptability, flexibility, and the drive to innovate. Curiosity and a passion for solving complex problems will enable one to succeed.”

Her answer led the writer to the idea of diversity, a staple in the management vocabulary nowadays. Knowing that a team thrives in a combined variety of talent, backgrounds, and qualities that add value to any organisation, how does Deliveroo incorporate DEI?

According to Doctor, “We want Deliveroo to be a place where everyone feels able to contribute, collaborate, and be true to themselves while at work. However, diversity, equity, and inclusion do not just stop at the office door. It also means championing diversity, equity, and inclusion among our consumers, riders, and restaurant grocery partners, where we know there is more for us to do.”

Applying this in the internal HR process, Doctor said that Deliveroo follows fair and appropriate recruitment and selection best practices to fulfil its commitment to equal opportunity. She added that they do this by taking steps to remove as much potential bias from the hiring processes as possible. “We ensure our hiring processes are inclusive and support our diversity goals, including allocating time and resources to source from underrepresented groups for a diverse pool,” Doctor noted.

The HR chief demonstrated how her office observes DEI practices, with employee resource groups leading activities that are centred around key inclusion initiatives and communities, such as Gender Equality, well-being, LGBTQ+, and Racial Equity.

She said, “These groups have received executive sponsorship and budget to raise awareness and support their respective communities. In addition, the groups collaborate closely with the Leadership and People teams for business initiatives.”

As a known male-dominated sector, Doctor explained that Deliveroo is taking active steps to advocate for women through several initiatives. These are:

  • Accelerate Programme: Enables female employees to accelerate careers into more senior roles

  • Mentorship Programme: Deliveroo’s Gender Equality Committee facilitates this for women within the business

  • Rooparents Programme: A pilot series of workshops for parents tailored according to life stage

  • Unconscious Bias Training: Mandatory for all employees

  • Fair Review Processes: A performance calibration process that checks managers’ recommended ratings to ensure they are performance-based and not on external factors

  • Fair and Competitive Benefits: Continuous reviewing of benefits to ensure they are fair and competitive

“Moving forward, this year and beyond, we will be focusing our efforts on a balanced gender representation to increase females in our most senior roles; a new voluntary self-identification campaign to get a better picture of the Deliveroo workforce; an increase in the number of employee-led resource groups (such as neurodiverse, parents/caregivers, and employees with disabilities); and celebrate differences using our engagement with female riders to improve our rider proposition for them, thus increasing their participation,” Doctor cited.

Given this drive to improve workplace culture, the discussion proceeded to the still-prominent topic, The Great Resignation. Many may have quit, but many are still searching for jobs. So, how does Deliveroo view and respond to The Great Resignation?

To this, Doctor replied, “It is paramount for HR and business leaders to focus on understanding the key drivers for attrition and take action to address these drivers. At Deliveroo, we conduct monthly engagement surveys that reveal real-time insights to understand what employees value most. When it comes to retention, a one-size-fits-all strategy will not work as it is about developing a tailored approach that meets employees’ unique requirements.”

Up next, Natasha Doctor continues discussing employee engagement and connectivity in the workplace.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Natasha Doctor, Head of People, Deliveroo Singapore. For further coverage please see any of the below links:

Deliveroo and its people-driven service platform

Connectivity at Deliveroo means people over processes

Deliveroo: Nurturing talent and enabling people

Getting to know: Natasha Doctor of Deliveroo Singapore

Gallery: Natasha Doctor, Head of People with Deliveroo Singapore

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