The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Posts Tagged ‘leadership

Small Talk on smartphone addiction and respecting employees

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Singapore – While smartphones are helping people stay connected 24/7, the mobile devices may actually be doing more harm than good when it comes to productivity.

A survey from the UK revealed that two-fifths of respondents admitted to using their mobile phones to text, email and take calls when in a face-to-face meeting. Employees who are constantly glued to their mobile devices are also more likely to be distracted by work, even during weekends or when on vacation.

While some may argue the dependency on smartphones helps them stay connected, the survey reported that 36% of employees found the distractions made it harder for them to complete work. Another 22% said they suffered from information overload and more than a fifth are unable to think creatively.

Small Talk this week also discusses why respecting your employees and peers can lead to higher retention rates. A new report by Regus showed 72% of Singaporeans believed a good working environment stemmed from managers showing respect to their employees.

But managers have to be aware of why certain staff will still choose to leave a job. The latest Kelly Global Workplace Index 2011 showed that Singaporeans listed career changes, evolving personal interests and better work-life balance as the top reasons to jump ship.

While on the topic of career progression, Small Talk reports how having good presentation skills can improve your chances of getting a promotion. Employees who show confidence when presenting are more likely to be “visible” to the top level management, said Hazriq Idrus, a corporate trainer with Firefly Horizon.

Additionally, Small Talk explores how an open office concept is actually distracting employees from their work and how more local companies are moving into the suburbs to cut cost.

With office rents skyrocketing in prime areas such as Tanjong Pagar and Raffles Place, more companies are heading towards locations such as One@Changi City, Changi Business Park and Mapletree Business City.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

August 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

HRTV: Best coaches on diverse cultures

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Singapore – Instead of using classroom training to help new leaders learn and manage intercultural differences across diverse offices, the best coaches are found within the company.

It is important that companies find the right coaches to help leaders on understanding cultural differences, according to Fons Trompenaars, one of the top 50 most influential management thinkers alive as identified by Thinker 50.

The good news is Trompenaars says the best coaches are already available within the company. They would be senior leaders who are familiar with the business scope, who understand the depth of cultures they have worked in, and had experience managing both intercultural and international teams. Pairing them up with new leaders will help the newbie learn far better than in a classroom setting.

However, the managing director of Trompenaars Hampden-Turner Intercultural Management Consulting says improving a manager’s intercultural people skills is similar to grasping a foreign language. Both require the learner to invest time and effort in to learn and practise the skills on a daily basis.

“You cannot learn a new language in half a day. For some, it takes a lifetime,” Trompenaars said. “[It is the] same with cultural differences.”

Trompenaars suggests using a “modular approach” to help leaders understand cultural differences when they are posted to a new country. Breaking up the learning process into bite-sized modules will give them opportunities to apply what they have learnt in their everyday life.

The module should also include a process that allows leaders to exchange feedback with their internal trainers and the local teams. Trompenaars says leaders can then create their own case studies and share that information with others when it’s their turn to coach on cultural diversity.

Small Talk: Work-life balance high on global agenda

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Singapore – Local employees worry about achieving work-life balance, while workers in China fear overworking to death.

A new Nielsen Global Online Survey revealed 15% of Singaporeans are concerned about their work-life balance. This is slightly ahead of the Asia Pacific average of 12%. But Singaporeans are not the only ones fretting about work.

Employees in China are afraid of overworking to death after a staff member of PricewaterhouseCoopers died. Although her death was attributed to meningitis, blog posts prior to the tragic incident revealed her work pressure was beginning to affect her health.

Based on survey results by Beijing-based recruitment website zhaopin.com, 45% of 5,000 Chinese employees claim they were suffering from work fatigue and high stress levels. Over 70% also said they were overworked, and 40% were prone to flaring up in the office.

Sabrina Zolkifi shares her thoughts on why providing employees with work-life balance is key, as well as why Johnson & Johnson is revamping their global compensation model. She also explores how annoying office quirks can be affecting your work relationships.

Additionally, Sabrina revisits this week’s video interview with Shelly Lazarus, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Lazarus spoke to Marketing Magazine’s editor Deepa Balji and discusses how smart bosses use work-life balance as a retention strategy.


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

June 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

HRTV: How to spot toxic managers

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Singapore – Bad managers who manipulate and bully their teams will, not only corrupt an organisation’s culture, but also destroy workplace relationships, causing high employee turnover.

“Every employee under that bad manager will become ineffective and inefficient,” Terry Sheridan, managing director of executive consultant firm Guardian Angel, said. She explained the political and toxic nature of the organisation will cause productivity to suffer as employees will “spend more time watching their backs than actually doing their work”.

Sheridan said bad managers are a poison to the organisation as they bring down the morale of their colleagues and can cause many of them to resign. “People don’t leave just leave jobs, they leave bad managers,” Sheridan said.

According to Sheridan, bad managers fall into two categories – tyrant and mediocre. A tyrant, who believes he is superior to the rest of the organisation, tends to bully and overwork his employees. They would also use the organisation’s resources for their own needs, and a “master of office politics”.

While tyrants are easy to spot, Sheridan said mediocre managers are the harder to recognise as a problem in the company. “Mediocre managers are the tricky ones to find because they are the appeasers and the ingraciators.”

“They’ll use flattery to get what they want, and they’re very clever. They’ve been doing it for a very long time,” Sheridan said. She added these managers do the bare minimum at work, and “prefer to get on well with others than getting the job done”.

Sheridan added both types of managers are inconsistent with their work, and being aware of those inconsistencies can help HR identify leaders who should be dismissed.

Read the full article on our website.


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HRTV: Small Talk reveals their ideal work spouses

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Singapore – The line between professional and personal lives are blurring with two third of employees having a work spouse who influences their decisions both inside and outside the office.

According to a survey by Captivate Network, nearly a quarter of work spouses maintain constant contact with each other even during weekends. The relationship is so close that it can affect decisions on where to eat and what type of clothes to buy.

This episode of Small Talk discusses the advantages and dangers of having a work spouse, as well as Lee Xieli’s own experience on having one. She also explores the secrets behind running a successful family business with Sabrina Zolkifi.

Melvin Tan, managing director of the Cyclect Group, said recruitment and succession planning issues can be thorny in a family-run organisation. “It’s trickier because [family members] will always think they can overwrite HR when it comes to policies and rules.”

Although Tan has relatives heading several divisions within Cyclect, he said a conscious decision was made to ensure there is only one family member in any management team. He added it was to avoid any preferential treatment or conflicts of interest that could affect the overall business.

Sabrina also shares her experience visiting Changi Prison for the recently concluded Yellow Ribbon Culinary Competition.


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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