October 2011: White Paper - Talent Management
Asians fear backlash
Singapore - There is a severe lack of corporate ethics awareness in Asia, with employees in the region often unsure if they have witnessed misconduct in the workplace.
According to the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), Asian employees were four times less likely to be certain they had witnessed a breach of ethics at work than their US counterparts. Worryingly, Asians were also less likely to report misconduct out of fear of retaliation. On average, only 46% of 30,000 respondents in Asia would report misconduct. Singaporeans fared better at 49%, but local employees still fell behind the global average of 58%.
About a quarter of Singaporeans were also hesitant to report misconduct, even if they had witnessed it, because they thought they did not have enough information to step forward. Another 21% declined to make a report because they did not think the employer would take action.
More than three-fifths (62%) in Singapore claimed they had never witnessed misconduct, while 12% said they had seen one incident, and 26% remained uncertain if they had.
Thankfully, seven in 10 would go straight to their direct boss if they did witness a breach of ethics at work, while 25% would report to HR and a fifth would speak to someone other than their manager.
Regionally, 71% of Asians felt more comfortable reporting misconduct to their direct managers, far ahead of those who would first report it to their HR department (23%).
The most common types of misconduct witnessed in Asia were conflict of interest, misuse of company's time and resources, preferential treatment and harassment.
There were also more Asians (8%) who felt their managers were pressurising staff to conduct unethical acts than anywhere else. Indonesian employees, in particular, recorded the highest percentage in the region at 25%, followed by a fifth of Malaysians and 15% of Singaporeans.
The two Asian economic powerhouses, China and India, had 4% and 9% respectively. The global average is 3%.
CEB attributed the high level of ignorance and hesitancy in Asia to a lack of clarity and inaccurate and inadequate guidelines. Ironically, 83% of Asians felt guidelines on corporate ethics had been communicated clearly to them.
Percentage of employees who are unsure if they have witnessed misconduct
Source: The state of ethics and compliance among MNCs in Asia - a cross-country analysis
Bosses value EQ over skills
US - Most bosses are more likely to promote workers with high emotional intelligence over those who are only technically competent.
A new CareerBuilder survey revealed 71% of 2,600 hiring managers and HR professionals valued emotional intelligence - or EQ - in an employee more than IQ.
Nearly three-fifths would not hire someone who had a high IQ but a lack of EQ, while 61% would promote someone with higher emotional fortitude than book smarts.
Even when considering two equally qualified candidates for a promotion, 75% of respondents were more likely to promote the one with the higher EQ.
More than a third (34%) of managers added they were placing greater emphasis on this intangible trait when hiring and promoting suitable talent, especially in the recovering economy.
Respondents believed employing candidates who were "skilled communicators and perceptive team players" would pay dividends for the company.
Respondents cited those who had high EQ were more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively and were empathetic to others. They were also capable of leading by example and made more thoughtful business decisions.
"Technical competency and intelligence are important assets for every worker," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.
"But when it's down to you and another candidate for a promotion or new job, dynamic interpersonal skills will set you apart."
According to the survey, HR managers and hiring managers assessed candidates' and employees' EQ by observing the behaviours listed below.
- They admit and learn from mistakes.
- They keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues.
- They listen as much or more than they talk.
- They take criticism well.
- They show grace under pressure.
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