The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for February 2009

All in a day’s work

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When Marriott hotel opened its doors for a behind-the-scenes tour, it was an invitation too good to miss out on.

Pastry Chef Irene and her team

I got the opportunity to speak to the pastry chef, Irene (middle) about her experience working with Marriott Hotel for the past fourteen years. A typical day at work would begin with making sure that everything would be ready for functions and businesses that take place at the hotel. One of the challenges that Irene has to deal with daily would be manpower-related problems. “Sometimes, there are just not enough manpower to deal with all the businesses coming in. As a leader, I have to learn how to move forward and manage the team the best way possible, to get things done.”

She added that in her line of work, there is no such thing as saying “No”. Marriott will deliver what their clients want as far as they possibly can accommodate.

When asked what made her stay with Marriott all throughout the years, Irene responded without hesitation that she loves the “Marriott philosophy”. This is because of the way Marriott believes in taking care of the internal staff, taking into consideration their interests as they believe that doing so will translate into better service rendered to their guests. For instance, Marriott puts aside the last Thursday of every month for an “All Star” staff day, whereby associates gather to celebrate birthdays and also communicate and share news about successes in their various departments.

“There is nothing better than to have guests and clients satisfied and happy with the end product that my team and I have managed to put together. I’m very passionate about my job and in such a fast-paced business hotel like this, time just passes by really quickly!”

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Written by nasirah

February 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Personal career

It’s up!

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Written by Human Resources

February 27, 2009 at 9:47 am

Contract work increases, among other things

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At the Robert Walters media session yesterday, the senior management team shared with us some of the local and global highlights shared in the presentation by Andrea Ross, managing director of Robert Walters, Singapore.

Locally, our financial services are experiencing recruitment freezes, especially within operations and finance. The areas of growth are within compliance credit and audit. The revenue generating sales roles are also more prominent within the oil and gas FMCG sectors when it comes to sales and marketing. The good news is that job opportunities in finance within the commerce industry continue to grow, showing no signs of slowing down.

Ross also touched on the general outlook for Singapore, which are as follows:

  • Contract opportunities likely to increase as employers face headcount restrictions and cost pressures.
  • Bonuses are expected to be minimal, if at all for support and control staff.
  • Emphasis on control functions within financial services, ie. compliance, audit, risk management as companies seek to implement stricter controls and governance in their operations.
  • Firms still face challenges in attracting top tier talent – the highest calibre candidates tend to be more risk averse about career moves in a tough economic climate.
  • The pool of overseas candidates from Japan, continental Europe and Australia looking to relocate expected to increase as overseas job markets continued to tighten.
  • Globally, professionals are moving from financial services into less volatile commercial and public sectors. Demand for contract staff has also increased amid the headcount freezes and redundancies. Also, because of a smaller discrepancies when it comes to quality of skills, employers are able to select from a larger pool of quality candidates.

    Written by nasirah

    February 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Three ways to improve your productivity

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    If you come in to work and check your emails immediately, you’re doing it all wrong. According to a American Management Association survey in 2007, an average employee spends about 25% of his or her workday on emails. Emails also hamper employees from becoming productive and efficient.

    So how can you increase your work productivity with the use of Microsoft Outlook? Martin Severn, director of Productivity Management gives us three tips on how to better utilise our time and emails.

    Have trouble loading the video? Why not check your company or computer’s firewall settings to make sure that Youtube videos can be streamed on your computer.

    Written by Human Resources

    February 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    HR bent on keeping budgets super lean

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    HR puts companies on massive diet

    HR puts companies on massive diet

    Employees are going to cry in their nonexistent coffee cups soon if the recession keeps up its relentless pace as more HR practitioners look to scrap off more staff perks this year.

    Things are definitely not looking up for corporate folks these days. A recent CareerBuilder.com survey of more than 3,000 employers and HR professionals reveals 38% of them will make administrative cuts to perks such as company social events and corporate travel sometime this year.  No more cushy flights or free flowing champagne for you then.

    Some employers in Singapore are already taking a harder cost cutting stance as overheard during the recent Conference for Fair Employment Practices. “I’m going to cut everything. [Like] D&D this year, I’m going to cut the dance. And the dinner.”

    Employees should also start loading up on their vitamins or a fitness regime as healthcare benefits take a backseat this year for a quarter of employers polled. Likewise, charity will remain at home this recession as 21% plan to cut or reduce spending on philanthropic activities. Same goes for pantry offerings and incentive trips, say 34% and 28% of respondents respectively.

    But there is tiny ray of joy still even if companies are curbing expenses in these areas. Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.com, says companies are nevertheless “keeping in mind the importance of retaining their top talent”.

    “We see companies offering more flexible work arrangements and placing an increased emphasis on employee recognition programmes to help maintain job satisfaction levels within their organisations,” she adds. Other special recession perks include increased telecommuting, public transportation discounts, compressed workweeks and increased mileage reimbursement rates. (Click here for cheap employee perks you can implement now!)

    Are you impressed or depressed by HR right now? Feel free to let us know if the gloom has set in for you in your company in the comments below.

    Hang on, there is more to this. Read more on the craziest, and some would say drastically hilarious, cost-cutting measures in Human Resources magazine’s newest column by The Daily Grimer in the upcoming March issue.

    Written by Lee Xieli

    February 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Don’t push the button just yet!

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    If you have managed to survive a lay-off, start acting like a survivor and don’t let your feelings get the best of you. “People who survive difficult experiences and economic times are able to do so because they can imagine a time when things will change for the better,” says Janet Banks, an executive coach in Boston. While it is never easy to keep the ball rolling when your office is undergoing so many changes, here are some suggested ways that may help you start taking charge of your job again.

    Throw out negativity. Survivors left behind can easily fall into a state of being sorry for themselves as they go about having to pick up the pieces. Managers look for people they can count on during these times – people who can handle more pressure, easy to work with and are team players. This means that it is essential for you to keep upbeat, looking out for the positive things, rather than to harp on all the negative energy. “You want your manager to see you as having a personality that brings energy rather than zapping energy from the group,” says Banks.

    Be sure of new business priorities. Businesses tend to change their direction and priorities of the different projects after a big cut-back. Thus, keep on top of things and find out what is the highest priority at work by checking in with managers who are one or two levels above you, says Mark Phelps, a senior consultant at Development Dimensions International. Always check and make sure that you know exactly what is expected out of you, especially when taking over the work of a former colleague.

    Establish yourself as a team player. Layoffs usually calls for more collaboration between the remaining staff as departments will be merged and responsibilities end up being shared. Instead of complaining and getting upset over how your tasks are now blurred, use this chance to built up ties and get to know your new team members better. This will help facilitate the different ways you can get work done with fewer people around.

    Via WSJ

    Perhaps it would be helpful for you to read Burning the Suit by Andrew Taylor for a different take on retrenchment. Taylor’s experience will make you feel thankful that you’re the one having to do the clean-up, rather than being thrown out. Instead of fighting back against the redundancy of not being needed by the company anymore, fight back against the desire to hold the company responsible for all the guilt and uncertainty that you are feeling after a wave of layoffs.

    Written by nasirah

    February 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Let your hand do the destressing

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    Hand reflexology can instantly ease away stress, headaches and pain. It doesn’t matter if you are an office exec who gets tension headaches or simply someone who wants to reduce trips to the doctor. Hand reflexology benefits everyone. Massaging certain points on the palm can instantly relieve stress- which is the main cause of many diseases out there.

    Here are some of hand exercises tips recommended by Advanced Health Group:

    1) Interlocking fingers – Cross your 10 fingers with strength and slowly loosen the grip. Repeat this 3 to 5 times. It will stimulate the central nervous system and release stress from working or studying.

    2) Fingertip massage – With your palm facing up, press and massage each finger entirely for 1 minute. Spend more time on aching fingertips. This helps to reduce headaches and boosts concentration. Massage the thumb for the brain, index finger for digestive system, middle finger for heart, ring finger for liver and the pinky for your kidney.

    3) Finger stretching – Cross your fingers and extend your arms forward to maximum length, hold them there and move up for 3 to 5 times. This stretches your arms and prevents hands, arms, shoulder and waist discomfort. This exercise is ideal for workers who spend the day facing computers.

    4) Piano playing – To prevent cardiovascular diseases, pretend you are playing the piano on the table for 3 minutes. This is especially good for those who party hard and entertain.

    Written by nasirah

    February 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Posted in Healthcare