The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Archive for April 2011

HRTV: Small Talk on sugar-coating employees’ stories

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Singapore – Human resources (HR) leaders must be careful not to embellish employees’ stories when using them for recruitment purposes.

According to Paul McGrory, head of regional resourcing at Royal Bank of Scotland in Asia, HR should only help employees reflect on their work to tell their own stories.

McGrory said HR can ask employees “questions which reflect on what they have done that is representative of the brand, culture and values of the company” as a start.

In this latest episode of Small Talk, Sabrina Zolkifi and Lee Xieli further discuss how public relations are one of the most stressful jobs in the market, and why more Chinese employees are looking to switch jobs.

They also shared what HR can do to facilitate more flexible working arrangements, and had a candid discussion on why the Asian culture of saving “face”, and the fear of line managers can be detrimental to job satisfaction.

Glenn Tan, executive director of motor vehicle distributor Tan Chong International, used to host “power breakfast” meetings to allow his staff to share their problems in a more casual setting. However, he has stopped hosting them as some managers had begun picking on employees they thought were ratting them out.

“After a while, people didn’t want to say anything at the meetings,” Tan said.

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HRTV: Satisfying both employees and customers

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Singapore – Employee satisfaction is a “two-pronged approach” involving both staff and customers, according to Glenn Tan, executive director of motor vehicle distributor Tan Chong International.

Tan said it is important to meet the needs of both employees and customers in order for a business to succeed. He explained an unhappy employee will not be able to provide a “feel-good” experience for the customer, and that in the long run would affect the overall business.

“We want customers to feel good buying from us, but at the same time, we also want our people to feel good working here,” he said. “It’s a two-pronged approach and it’s easier said than done, but it’s got to start somewhere.”

Tan added part of making employees feel good at work was ensuring they have job satisfaction. He said once an employee finds his job rewarding, he would be more “excited” to come to work and be productive. “Satisfaction is more important than the benefits you provide because employees will then have a sense of achievement for what they’ve done.”


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

HRTV: Why HR shouldn’t sugarcoat employee stories

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Singapore – While having employees share their personal experiences in the company is a great way to enhance employer branding, human resources (HR) leaders have to beware of over-refining their stories.

Paul McGrory, regional head for resourcing at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said employee stories are the most “authentic” form of employer branding as they share the true spirit and culture of the organisation. However, companies must be careful not to script or sugar-coat the stories in hopes of projecting a better image to potential jobseekers.

“This is about real-life employees talking about their real-life experiences with the company,” McGrory said. “Don’t lead them and tell them what to say. It’s their story.”

Therefore, HR has a key role to play in helping staff articulate and promote their stories “internally and externally”.

McGrory said HR can help employees by asking them “questions which reflect on what they have done that is representative of the brand, culture and values of the company”.

To read the full article where McGrory shares what HR can do to when writing or taping a testimonial, click here: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/news/25906


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

HRTV: Small Talk on why engagement surveys fail

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Singapore – The results from your internal employee engagement surveys may not be as truthful as you think.

This is because many companies usually make 10 key mistakes when carrying out engagement surveys. Brad Federman, president of Performancepoint, said one of the biggest mistakes an organisation can make is to ignore the “big brother syndrome”.

“People rate the organisation well because they know the company has access to their ratings. If you want insights to strengthen your organisation, do yourself a favour and use a third party,” he said

Small Talk discuss other survey blunders companies can avoid, and why some times, conflicts between different business divisions can be healthy. It also discusses why social media sites can sabotage your working relationships with colleagues.

More than half of 400 respondents in a Robert Half survey said social media has negatively impacted their workplace relationships.

Small Talk also shares what employees can do to project a professional image online, and the part HR can play in creating a better employer branding strategy.

Martin Cerullo, managing director for development for Alexander Mann Solutions in Asia Pacific, said a good employer brand can increase retention rates and loyalty.

“It’s very important for organisations to work on their brand at the very beginning of a programme, so they can get support from all the leaders in the business and not just human resources.”


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm

HRTV: The 4Cs great HR leaders should have

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Singapore – Great bosses understand that in order to be a good leader, they have to possess the four Cs.

In an exclusive interview with Jackie Orme, chief executive at the Chartered Institution of Personnel and Development, she revealed the four Cs great human resources (HR) leaders should have.

Orme said great leaders need to be capable, competent, confident, and courageous. But she also added a hidden, and softer, quality leaders should possess – curiosity.

With more businesses looking to include HR into strategic planning, Orme said HR leaders should seize opportunities to expand outside their comfort zone. “It is good for HR people to go outside the function as well, and to understand business from the other side.”

Orme previously spoke to Human Resources on how HR can hire the best talent, and why it is important to recruit those who view HR as a “business discipline” before a “people discipline”.

She sat down with HRTV and shared what HR can do to get employees excited about their jobs.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

HRTV: Small Talk on getting rid of HR

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Singapore – The chief executive officer (CEO) of Olam International said recently that companies need to get rid of the human resource (HR) function if they want managers who are capable of engaging and developing employees.

Sunny Verghese said managing young talent requires every business leader to be HR managers themselves, instead of relying of their HR counterpart. Having an HR department will lead to managers abdicating all talent management responsibilities to HR.

He said, “If you leave the development of talent to HR, and not to employees, you can have many flashy booklets about your people development programmes, values and culture but managers will behave differently when you are not with them.”

Verghese added that HR’s role is only to provide an environment where employees can develop their potential and accelerate their growth.

Small Talk also discusses why senior HR leaders are unable to produce a strong resume for themselves and how having a messy desk can affect people’s perception of you.

“A tidy desk won’t necessarily boost your career, but a messy one can leave a bad impression on colleagues,” Robert Hosking, executive director of recruitment firm OfficeTeam, said.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

April 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Getting a dream job

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While doing some readings online (read: surfing the web at work), I came across an adorable article about how a six-year-old applied for a job at the National Railway Museum in the UK.

Sam Pointon was on vacation with his family when they saw an article in the paper announcing the retirement of the current museum director Andrew Scott. When the family got home, young Sam wrote a handwritten note to the museum which blew them away with his enthusiasm and passion. He was offered the position of Director of Fun instead.

Now that we’re done with the collective “aww”, there may actually be a thing or two we can take away from Sam’s story.

For starters, this is proof that you can snag that dream job at any age, as long as you’ve got the heart and the drive for it. Locally, and even around the world, the job market is faring much better, making it prime time for employees to jump ship.

But before you take the plunge, I’ve done a bit more research (yes, more time on the web), and listed out the top three things you should consider before switching jobs:

  1. Figure out what it is exactly that you want to do. There’s no point in changing jobs when you’re not going to be contented there either. Seek advice from friends and family, or even go online and try a personality test or two. You might even learn something about yourself you never realised.

  2. You’re never too old – or too young. Don’t let your age be a barrier to great success. With the right support and work culture, and just enough passion, you should be able to learn the ropes of your new career quickly.

  3. Have a plan. Changing career paths, especially mid-life, can be very scary and should not be an impulsive decision. Do some research on your new career’s industry, trends and what it takes to succeed. Get in touch with people in the field and ask them any questions or clarify your doubts. This will probably help you get a better idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into.

    Hey, if you could get any dream job, what would it be? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments box.

    Source: Letters of Note, How to Pursue Your Dream Job, Snag your dream job, Pursuing Your Dream Job Without Thinking Twice

    Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

    April 7, 2011 at 9:04 am