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Which is your chosen work personality?

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Find out how the demands of your chosen career have a major impact on shaping how you behave in a meeting. By Kathryn Ellis

With work taking over the majority of our waking hours, it is not surprising that the unique demands of a career can play a major role in shaping one’s behaviour in the workplace. These tendencies tend to be more obvious at meetings and other professional interactions as these sessions are such a crucial part of getting things done. Here are the top six distinctive personalities found in a meeting and the types of professions they are likely to match:

1.       If you are a project manager, an event planner, an advertising executive or a public relations consultant, you’re most likely… The Multitasker.

You are not only a whiz at juggling multiple clients, vendors and projects simultaneously, but also one who thrives on the adrenaline rush of racing from deadline to deadline. Hands up, all those guilty of scribbling notes during a conference call while responding to emails on your Blackberry.

While you may be blessed with the gift of being a consummate Multitasker, do exercise caution.  A major requirement in your line of work is the ability to listen to clients and draw out important information. To keep your multitasking tendency in check, make it a point to keep your computer and mobile phone out of sight and pay attention instead.

2.         If you are a businessman, investment banker, stock broker or property agent, you’re most likely… The Mobile Meeter.

As your job requires you to be constantly on the move to find the next business lead, you probably spend your work day travelling from customer meeting to sales presentation to industry seminar. As a professional who is always on the go, you are likely to be familiar with dialing in to conference calls and web meetings from a hotel room, a roadside café, a taxi or an airport lounge.

As a Mobile Meeter, it is critical that you always have on hand an up-to-date calendar of meetings with indication of time zones. Every considerate Mobile Meeter should also invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to ensure the background noise in any location will not get in the way of a productive meeting.

3.         If you’re an artist, an inventor, an advertising creative or a talk show host, you’re most likely… The Disrupter

Your job is often an unstructured one which requires you to explore the full potential of your imagination and truly think out of the box. Does the mention of one thing tend to ignite 10 related ideas in your head? Do you find it impossible to hold back on sharing those ideas? If so, say hello to the Disrupter, for that is what you tend to become in a meeting.

While your ingenuity is a valuable trait, do make sure you are not derailing a meeting from its intended objectives. Wait until the most appropriate section in a meeting to share your thoughts. That way, you will not only be recognised as a creative genius but also an effective and considerate team player.

4.         If you’re an analyst, auctioneer, doctor, strategist or CEO, you’re most likely to be… The Maestro.

The unique demands of your career mean that you have the killer combination of a commanding presence, a razor-sharp mind and a results-focused approach. Your natural ability to look beyond complexity to get to the root of a problem means that you are probably The Maestro of meetings.

You are able to lead meetings towards concrete outcomes effortlessly, and inspire confidence and respect from others. However, despite the Maestro’s effectiveness at meetings, you have the tendency to get frustrated with personalities like The Disrupter or the Socialiser. Take care not to dampen their creativity by creating an appropriate time for them to speak and by considering their views seriously.

5.         If you’re an ambassador, a financial consultant, an insurance advisor or journalist, you’re most likely to be… The Socialiser

To reach the very top in your chosen career path, one needs to possess a charismatic personality, a vast network of contacts and the ability to draw critical information from these contacts.  Not only are you a master at networking, but you’re also capable of building trust with others very quickly. This is critical for getting that bit of political insight, signing another customer or achieving that exclusive headline.

Your likeability and skill at building rapport are likely to influence the way you behave during meetings too, making you The Socialiser. Even before the meeting begins, you are greeting each participant and chatting away with some of them like old friends. Your ability to put participants at ease, especially in a high-pressure environment, is highly valued.  While you usually create a positive impression, do exercise self-awareness so as to remain professional and avoid encroaching on personal boundaries.

6.         If you’re a digital strategist, technology analyst and communications professional, you’re likely to be… The Social Networker.

Find yourself itching to check Facebook during a meeting? Find yourself unconsciously tweeting about what an ugly tie the colleague sitting opposite you in the meeting is wearing? You’re probably the Social Networker.

As a social media pioneer whose work description includes Facebook-ing, Tweeting, blogging and Foursquar-ing so you can counsel clients about these platforms, you are probably connected 24/7.  You are also likely to feel the constant urge to update your networks about what you are doing, eating and seeing at all times of the day… even during meetings.

Take care not to get carried away, as not everything should be posted on a social network, especially if it concerns corporate matters. Don’t let your passion for the job land you in hot soup.

Kathryn Ellis is the communications manager for PGi in Asia Pacific. She is part of the team that drives PGi’s communications strategies throughout the region. More articles on engaging staff during meetings can be found here.

Written by Lee Xieli

June 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

Most annoying co-workers

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For those of you who have a love-hate relationship with your colleagues at work, this article should either make you nod your head furiously at its truisms (meaning you’d immediately forward it to your friends who have been listening to your misery for the longest time)  or you’d laugh out loud at some bits of it (only because you have yet encountered such a category yet, but trust me, your time will come). Either way, it makes good light reading for a rainy Friday.

According to Maui R. Drilon for Yahoo! Singapore, every office has annoying co-workers and the only difference is that they come in different shapes, sizes and genders. They include:

The Whiner. Absolutely NOTHING goes well for this person. If she gets a raise, it’s too low. If she’s given more vacation leave, she stresses that she could use more. If given a promotion, she’ll spend the next week drowning herself in cocktails, lamenting over all the extra responsibilities she suddenly has. The Whiner also doesn’t care whether or not you want to hear about her stoooopid client meeting.

The Oxygen Sucker. Think of it this way: if your office were made up of 21 people and your company were in a spaceship, and you had oxygen good enough for only 20, you would not have second thoughts about kicking him off the ship. What makes him such an oxygen sucker? First off, despite him being in the company years before you, he still really sucks at his job. That – or he doesn’t really do his job. Most of his time is spent watching episodes of RuPaul’s “Drag Race” on Youtube, and updating his status message on Facebook (“Bench-pressed twice my weight at the gym!”). Seriously, this guy gets paid?

The Office Gossip. She’s not really that annoying, unless the story she’s spinning is about you. What sucks about the Office Gossip is you don’t know just how buddy-buddy you should get with her. Be aloof and you won’t be in the loop with the latest gossip – get too close, and she’d know all your dirty little secrets (which make for perfect blackmail material).

Read on to find out which category you are currently sharing the same office space and stale recycled air-conditioned air with: [via]

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As usual, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment in the link just under the headline and let us know if you have new categories of annoying co-workers to add.

Written by Lee Xieli

March 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Bizarre HR: Job ad bans Liverpool fans from applying

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No Liverpool fans allowed

[Click here to view the job ad in full]

My first reaction to the online job ad above was that it seems tongue-in-cheek because of the emoticon 😛 after the line “Must not be a Liverpool fan”. But what if it wasn’t?

So I called Nom Nom Media to find out what happens if a Liverpool fan applies for the job. The person whom I spoke to from Ripplewerkz, a division under the Nom Nom group which is the digital media reseller of Nuffnang, Asia’s blog advertising community, said it’s “definitely something not to be taken seriously”.

He went on to say Nom Nom is a “fun” company to work for so that particular job requirement was written tongue-in-cheek. Further enquiries led to him revealing that the boss of Nom Nom Media is, in fact, a Manchester United fan. My heart soared.

My next question was what happens if a Manchester United fan aka I applied for the job? Would I clinch the job?

The answer was, sadly, no. He said getting the job would still be “based on your personality and job ability”.

I immediately asked my colleagues their views on the job ad and responses were varied. Some said it was hilarious but there would be backlash from rival football club fans who might turn up for the interview in Liverpool jerseys. Some thought it was discriminatory if the requirement wasn’t a joke.

But Yang Huiwen, manager of the sales team for Nom Nom Media in Singapore, says adding that cheeky job requirement is a “natural filter for fun people”. She adds, “It’s nothing discriminatory.”

Besides, her office currently has one Manchester united fan and a Liverpool fan. “They are always at loggerheads so the office joke is we shouldn’t have another Liverpool fan because it will shift the balance,” says Yang. But it doesn’t matter, she adds, because her company welcomes all candidates, regardless of which football club they support, and everyone could watch matches together.

It’s like having a local SME putting the line “Only Singaporeans and PR may apply” in their job ads. That is something common enough because small companies, depending on their business needs, might have a limited hiring quota for foreigners.

In any case, including certain job requirements in a job ad can be useful for the hiring manager because this helps them weed out potential candidates who wouldn’t fit into the corporate culture already instilled within the company.

But what do you think? Have your say in the comment box below.

Written by Lee Xieli

July 22, 2010 at 11:08 am

How to cure negative employees

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Negativity can be infectious and have a draining effect on the morale in the workplace. Is there any way you can manage or even change the attitudes of negative employees?

Alan Fairweather, associate consultant of d’Oz International, believes so. In the video interview, Fairweather has a few suggestions for managers who find themselves having to deal with employees who relish seeing the glass half full.

Written by Lee Xieli

August 18, 2009 at 9:00 am

Building effective teams with Lego

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Playing with Lego bricks can foster teamwork in employees which would translate into better decision making and effective communication in the workplace.

Other than possessing the necessary skills and creativity, a successful employee has to be able to work well in a team, says LegoLand’s creative director Tim Burnell. And it is an attribute which is specifically tested for in any recruitment exercise LegoLand conducts.

There are altogether three model building – individual skills, team skills and creative freeform building skills – tests, followed by an interview during a recruitment session for model makers. It is in the second round where Burnell would quietly observe the candidates’ ability to communicate with each other. “As team members, they try to recreate this model [a large 30cm-tall Lego man]. It’s not necessarily to rebuild it but to see how they work together as a team.”

In the video, Burnell explains why teambuilding with Lego bricks would allow HR to understand how employees connect and adapt to each other’s working styles in order to complete any given tasks.

Written by Lee Xieli

August 5, 2009 at 11:13 am

How to build a positive reputation at work

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In the current economic crisis, forward-thinking companies are constantly looking to prove to existing or new customers that they can add value to their business needs. One way to do that is developing a reputation for innovation and being good at what you do.

Likewise, employees who can show how they add value to the company during the downturn will be the ones earmarked for further success at work. But it takes time to build such a positive reputation.

Dr Martin Henery, who heads the Manchester Enterprise Centre UK for Manchester Business School, shares how you can enhance your reputation as a valuable employee at work. The trick is to start small.

Written by Lee Xieli

July 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Personal career, Video

You want a pay raise in the downturn?

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The economy may be in the doldrums but if you’ve been doing more than your usual job scope, you’re likely itching for a better pay to commensurate the effort you’ve been putting in. The question is how?

If your company is still mindful of the fragile economic conditions or has gone through budget cuts, you do have to play your cards right without getting backslash from your manager.

Speaking from a boss’ perspective, Roy Magee, regional vice president for AchieveGlobal Greater China & Singapore, gives Human Resources an insight into when’s the best time to approach bosses for the money talk.

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 Lee Xieli

June 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Key communication steps to take before restructuring

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A poorly managed restructuring exercise can result in a loss of top performers and sharp decline in morale but here’s what HR can do to avoid this scenario.

In the video below, Dr Ric Roi, senior vice president and Asia Pacific practice leader of Right Management,  shares details on how to carry out an effective step-by-step internal communication plan six months before a restructuring exercise.

For more guidelines on effective communication before any restructuring exercise, click here: Human Resources website

Written by Lee Xieli

June 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Save money with Web 2.0 media

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Employees go wacky over social media

Employees go wacky over social media

Tech-savvy HR professionals are rubbing their hands with glee at the rise of new media tools. For them, it means engaging employees, particularly the Generation Ys, has become dirt cheap.

With most of the companies scrambling to shave as much money off their corporate budgets, VP at Aon Consulting Ken Groh believes using Web 2.0 media and other electronic resources can do precisely that. Not only does it reduce print and postage costs, Web 2.0 media can “supplement traditional communication materials to help speed learning and employee engagement, which enables you to achieve your goals faster”.

According to an Aon Consulting survey of 8,000 employees from both public and private sectors, more workers are finding ways to use social media tools at work for work purposes. Some of the tools which they use to communicate with one another include Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, wikis and instant messaging chats.

This should be music to employers’ ears because “corporate communicators and HR” can now align their internal communication strategies and educational material using these social media preferences. No doubt, it’ll be much appreciated by employees who have increasingly shorter attention span nowadays and need information regurgitated in a fast and efficient manner.

“Since Web 2.0 media is electronic, it can provide access to your intranet or HR portal to create a more integrated and cost-efficient way to communicate with employees, including benefits enrolment and wellness education campaigns.”

And there are some companies that have been embracing social media for quite a while now. They include Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan I. Schwartz who blogs, IBM which has its own social network for 30,000 employees called Beehive and British Telecom which uses wikis for global team projects.

While respondents who are comfortable using social media tools both at home and at work are still mostly those under age 29 (Generation Y or millennials), the rest of the generations are slowly catching up. The survey has found a “higher usage of Web 2.0 media at work than at home among employees over age 28”. So employers, you can rest assured that your  older employees would be equally attuned to any internal campaign which uses social media tools.

As the power of social media grows in the workplace, companies will find that the bond between the employer and employees who can now actively participate in online dialogues stronger than ever.

(Via Sparxoo)

Written by Lee Xieli

May 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Revealing salary increment forecast for Q2

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With most industries adversely affected by the current economic slowdown in 2009, will there even be salary increments for us this year? If there are, how much should we be expecting?

Samir Bedi, practice lead of rewards for Hewitt Associates, reveals his prediction for the salary increment projections in Q2 in the video below. But before that, Bedi helps Human Resources retrace the salary increment figures  since the downturn began till the end of first quarter this year.

He also gave an insight to some of the measures compensation and benefits practitioners across various industries in Singapore will be implementing as the economy tightens up.

Nothing like knowing the salary increment projections for the second quarter of the year to keep you motivated at work, eh?

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 Lee Xieli

May 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm