The Snitch

Just a little of everything HR

Posts Tagged ‘management

Small Talk on lying employees and coffee addicts

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Singapore – Some employees are so determined to not go into the office that they would spend days faking symptoms to appear more credible when taking sick leave.

A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found that two in five employees would fake symptoms before calling in sick. Worryingly, 5% even said they would resort to using things like crutches and make-up to be more believable.

The report suggested employers have to hone in on the underlying reasons behind why their staff are willing to go to such measures to miss work.

“Rather than a sign of laziness, unwarranted absence can mean people are under-used,” Neil Roden, human resources (HR) consulting partner at PwC, said. “Employers need to think creatively on how they can get people back in gear.”

Another top story that Small Talk is discussing this week is the top companies business graduates yearn to work for. According to a survey by Universum, Google earned the top spot for the fifth year running, with technology companies and consulting firms deemed most desirable employers as they can provide challenging work.

Russ Hagey, worldwide chief talent officer for Bain & Co, said young talent are concerned about “where they’re going to be challenged and excited”.

Additionally, Small Talk explores why Unilever’s HR boss says Asia’s supply of talent has to keep up with economic and business growth. John Nolan, its senior vice president of HR, suggests that companies have better chances of retaining their workforce if they hold a longer term view on investing in talent and coaching them.

Small Talk also reveals why coffee addicts are more harmful to a company’s productivity than smokers.

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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.

HRTV: Reaching out regionally

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Singapore – As more companies choose to set up their regional headquarters in Singapore, managers have to keep communication flowing smoothly between employees based in different offices.

Andrew Tay, president for Zebra Technologies in Asia Pacific, advised managers with regional responsibilities to make a constant effort to connect with their team members who are based in different locations. He said this can be done through weekly calls and emails.

Tay said staying in touch regularly will help leaders understand what’s happening in a particular office despite not being there physically. Tay added that managers have to be aware of the different work practices and cultures in different countries, and tailor their leadership style to address the local needs and growth opportunities.

But communication aside, companies have to first find the right talent on top of creating “a proper vision and business strategy for the organisation”. Tay said, “You can have the best plan in the whole world, but if you don’t have the best people to execute it, it will just remain as a plan.”


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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

June 1, 2011 at 9:03 am

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 on why communication is essential

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Singapore – Having open communication channels throughout the organisation can improve relations and build trust, which is also essential to retention.

Peter Hiddema, principal of Common Outlook Consulting and visiting professor of decision sciences at INSEAD, advised human resources (HR) to create a “safe” communication culture so employees will be more comfortable to approach HR with a problem before it gets out of hand.

Sabrina Zolkifi shared her thoughts on why HR should not only have good communication with employees but also upper management, and how money isn’t enough to convince workers to stay.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

March 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

HRTV: Don’t wait for trouble before negotiating

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Singapore – Far too often, human resources (HR) practitioners only get called to manage a conflict when things have already gotten out of hand.

Peter Hiddema, principal of Common Outlook Consulting and visiting professor of decision sciences at INSEAD, advised HR to provide a “safe” communicating culture so employees can consult them before the problem escalates.

He said one of the ways HR can better minimise conflict in the workplace is to “lower the barriers” so that employees feel they are better able to approach for help. One advice Hiddema gave is to constantly engage employees through direct one-on-one communication.

“Informal conversations are where you find out more than formal meetings,” he said. By always being available to staff, HR might find it easier to manage conflict or have employees reach out to them early in the problem.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/news/25312

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

March 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

HRTV: Small Talk on Asian managers’ lack of confidence

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Singapore – Asian leaders lack confidence in themselves, with only 10% believing they are capable of overcoming challenges such as talent development and business growth.

Additionally, nearly half of managers in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand felt their job were “sometimes or often stagnant”. Companies in the Southeast Asia region have to recognise these gaps in the organisation if they wish to help their leadership talent succeed. Respondents have said they would like their bosses to give them more authority and decision-making opportunities to remain engaged.

Lee Xieli and Sabrina Zolkifi sat down for the 10th episode of Small Talk to discuss why it is important for leaders to be confident. They also talk about how entry and mid-level Indian employees can expect salary increments of up to 15% this year – the highest in the region.

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Written by Sabrina Zolkifi

March 18, 2011 at 11:57 am