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HRTV: Staying effective with social media

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Singapore – HR leaders can utilise technology and social media networks as an internal collaboration tool to become even more effective in their jobs.

Ram Menon, executive vice president for worldwide marketing at TIBCO, said that HR professionals would typically use social media to communicate with third parties such as potential job candidates, vendors and recruiters.

However, Menon suggested that a savvy HR practitioner can use social media to improve internal communications, as well as increase collaboration between different departments. He added that having an effective social media strategy can help connect diverse business divisions in a global company, especially if they are located around the world.

“HR is the primary lifeline through which an organisation communicates its vision, the way in which they hire and retain employees, or career development opportunities,” Menon said.

If adopted properly, social media can streamline the information sent out to different stakeholders without spamming everyone. “Technology eases the flow of communication and filters outs what is irrelevant to you.”

For example, Menon said a healthcare package for eye insurance can be programmed to be disseminated through social media groups to those with eye problems within the organisation. This helps employees manage the information they receive regularly and ensures important data is not lost in the mix.

To find out more about how technology can improve the HR landscape, click here:


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Written by Human Resources

August 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Small Talk: Pay rises, perfect leaders, wooing talent

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Singapore – While employees in Singapore and Malaysia can celebrate about their high pay rises this year, leaders are warned to avoid being perfectionists and Facebook shows us the best way to woo talent.

According to recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, four out of five Singaporeans saw a rise in their salaries this year. Some 40% received an increase of between 1% to 5% while a fifth took home an increment of between 6% and 10%.

Malaysians too have good reasons to rejoice. Based on data from the Kelly Employment Outlook and Salary Guide 2011/2012, those working in talent-deprived industries can look forward to a pay rise between 15% and 20%.

This means managers who strive to be perfectionists may be heading off in the wrong direction if they want to prevent good employees from joining their competitors.

Rich Wellins, senior vice president for DDI, says perfectionism is not a good thing because it could mean they are “micro-managers”. Worryingly, he said, “Singaporean leaders rocked the charts on that [trait].”

However, Wellins got one thing right when he said there are certain attributes that leadership programmes cannot fix. “Some leaders do not succeed because of their personality. There is no way to design a programme to take out arrogance.”

Or tactfulness, as a matter of fact, with one CEO in New Zealand recently fired for making sexist comments over national radio.

Alasdair Thompon, head of New Zealand’s Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) commented that female employees received less pay because menstruation and family issues hinder their productivity.

He said, “Who takes the most sick leave? Women do, in general. Why? Because once a month, they have sick problems.”

Thankfully, there are some CEOs who still manage to retain a certain element of charm, especially when hiring top talent.

Small Talk unveils how Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire brainchild behind Facebook, woos potential employees by inviting them on an intimate stroll with him. One lucky interviewee described Zuckerberg’s approach as being taken out for a date.

Written by Human Resources

July 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

HRTV: ControlCircle on effective staff engagement

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Singapore – With staff retention a rising concern among companies, the CEO of ControlCircle says implementing cross-function projects and groups is one strategic way to engage employees effectively.

One key engagement strategy technical services company ControlCircle uses to engage its employees is implementing cross-function groups and cooperation whenever appropriate. Carmen Carey, the firm’s CEO, says doing so provides a platform for employees to understand and empathise how other parts of the business work.

“Our intellectual property resides within our people, so we need to make sure that they are fully engaged with the business, and they understand where we are going and their part in achieving, realising that destination.”

ControlCircle also has continual development and training opportunities for its employees, which allows them to take “more pride” in their work.

In addition, Carey believes in recognising and rewarding staff in formal quarterly reviews as it helps to “facilitate a sense of achievement for individuals and teams”.

As a female leader in the tech industry, Carey says women who aim to rise to leadership roles ought to engage their managers and senior executives to be part of their “success journey”. She adds that the individual has to clear about one’s eventual career goal, while staying engaged in the business.

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Written by Human Resources

June 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t let work emails drive you mad

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A study by researchers at Stanford and Boston University found that the way an individual approaches email can affect their stress level and performance on the job. According to them, what really matters is how much time employees spend responding to work emails.

“People who got stressed out had to spend a lot of time reading it and writing,” Stine Grodal, a professor at Boston University’s School of Management and co-author of the study, told CNN. Grodal said employees can reduce their workplace anxiety caused by email overload and improve their productivity if they tweak their work habits.

“This is all real work. It’s OK to spend an hour a day on e-mail — it’s just something that you have to do. But you can reduce some of the time that you spend,” Grodal said.

The typical corporate user sends and receives roughly 110 e-mail messages a day, and nearly one-fifth of those messages are unwanted, according to research firm The Radicati Group.

Grodal suggested that email filtering technology can help cut down the amount of time spent on clearing inboxes. But many people are not comfortable using this tool for work because they are afraid of missing out on an urgent email.

According to Will Schwalbe, co-author with David Shipley of “Send: The Essential Guide to E-mail for Office and Home”, professionals need to fight the pressure of replying to emails too quickly if they want to stop emails from ruling their lives.

“When we answer e-mail too quickly, we set up accelerated expectations and doom ourselves to a lifetime of instant responding,” Schwalbe told CNN.

Schwalbe added that people need to ask themselves honestly. “Is it you who is being compulsive or does your job actually require it?”

Schwalbe suggested using an out-of-office notifier that directs people to reach employees by phone after regular work hours to keep messages from building up.

Grodal agreed. Respondents in her study who adopted this strategy found that co-workers had a strong sense that out-of-hours phone calls were intrusive while email was not. This became an effective filter because calls are considered “weightier impositions”.

“Even if you give out your cell phone number, people will feel like, ‘Ugh, should I really call her?’ They’ll only do it if it’s really urgent or they’ll wait. But you’re still instilling a sense that you’re available,” Grodal told CNN.

But research has shown that the real workplace time wasters are teleconferences and meetings, even though emails do take up a huge chunk of time. Grodal said the “emotional” attachment to emails could be a reason why we are overwhelmed and most distracted by them at work.

But tweaking work habits can help relieve stress or free up time to pursue other tasks, she said.

Find out how the barrage of work emails are affecting employees’ stress level here.

Written by Human Resources

November 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

HR at the top table

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When Angelika Dammann joined SAP in July this year, it was seen as a top move among HR professionals. Not only did she take responsibility for the full range of the global human resources functions, she took a seat on the software company’s executive board.

Dammann, chief human resources officer at SAP AG, was appointed to the SAP executive board on 1 July this year. Also the first female executive board member in the company’s history, she serves as the company’s labour-relations director.

According to Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEOs of SAP, her appointment will address the company’s critical need to significantly improve its employee engagement worldwide.

Lee Xieli talks to Dammann about the secret to her success as an HR professional who has earned a seat in the boardroom.

Written by Human Resources

November 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

HRTV: Stephen Covey on effective time management

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When you’re a leader, there are hundreds of things competing for your attention at work. Many senior executives have confessed they find effective time management a difficult challenge to overcome because they have too many things to complete in a day.

It gets worse when they hold a global portfolio in their company because they now have to manage teams and oversee business operations in different regions.

But a leader is only valuable if he can decide what’s important and not let work overwhelm his personal life.

Dr Stephen R. Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, says you are your own enemy when it comes to setting boundaries between work and play. Instead of attempting to complete every single task, it’s understanding what is important in your personal mission statement that will help you balance work and personal life efficiently. Here’s his take on how you can manage time effectively.

Written by Human Resources

October 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Personal career, Video

Embarking on an HR career path

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The road less travelled for HR

By Joanne Chua

While HR professionals could come from various educational backgrounds, the most highly regarded route into the profession would be possessing a bachelor’s degree in HR, personnel or any other related disciplines. Such related qualification offers you the best training for an HR career, and would successfully place you on more hiring shortlists.

Other indirect routes include internal transfers within the organisation. If you are already working in a different department and would like to make the switch to an HR-related position, earning certifications in an HR-related field could help smoothen your transition. Some large organisations would also consider hiring internal resources for new HR positions. Employees with majors in business, sociology, social sciences or psychology could very well find themselves considered, especially for entry level HR positions.

What do employers look out for?

Employers typically look out for relevant market experience, as well as, specific role experience. While there is a higher level of acceptance to hire atypical HR profiles, candidate selection varies according to the different levels of employers’ expectations and open-mindedness.

Large organisations may find it easier to hire non-typical profiles for junior HR positions since they have access to more resources and are therefore better positioned to be able to train such new hires. Smaller companies, on the other hand, may have lesser resources to work with.

Making a transfer

An example of a very contrasting role switch could consist of a high-performing sales professional who wants to move into the HR profession. He or she could face more difficulty in terms of various factors – the most obvious factor being compensation differences. Instead of being rewarded based on a commission scheme, this person could very well find an eventual drop in annual salary since his or her performance is no longer tied to sales targets.

Faced with the realisation that HR roles are regarded as back office support, such professionals looking to make the switch should derive job satisfaction from other factors such as the personable aspects of the role.

That said, a sales professional with an excellent understanding of the business function in a sales environment would make an exceptional HR business partner, focusing on sales roles.

Conversely, a recruitment consultant who is tired of meeting sales targets but is still interested in recruiting could consider moving into the HR profession. An in-house HR role allows them to continue hiring people, but without the stress of having to meet sales goals.

Holding the key traits

But more importantly, budding HR professionals should possess a genuine passion for people development. It is all about soft skills, as well as, having a high level of emotional intelligence. Equally as important would be the ability to build and manage relationships whilst networking with different levels of people within the organisation.

It is also imperative to distinguish between the parameters of judging a right from a wrong, and to customise policies in appropriate circumstances. In addition, a sense of conscientiousness and integrity would help you build your relationships with employees based on trust and faith. It is absolutely important to maintain personal credibility while handling confidential people records.

Another essential would be the ability to deal with downsizing and restructuring, as well as, being able to handle ambiguity.

Having a keen sense of empathy and awareness is also crucial to becoming an effective business partner in an organisation. These qualities would help you develop the interpersonal skills and flexibility in making the toughest decisions and deal with the most difficult staff, whilst continuing to maintain organisational interest within the constitution of individual interests.

To be an effective HR person, it is paramount for you to recognise individuality instead of looking upon employees as a mass.

Joanne Chua is the manager of the HR recruitment division at Robert Walters Singapore.

Written by Human Resources

August 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Recruitment, Training