Human Resources



HR news in brief

HR news in brief: Singapore, June 2015

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Singaporeans prefer a better boss over higher pay

Never underestimate your power as a good leader in retaining your staff in Singapore. Relationships with bosses are so important for them that six in ten would forego a higher salary to work with a better boss.

That was the key finding in a recent survey by JobStreet polling 989 Singaporeans.

While 64% of respondents said that a better boss would make them happier at work, just over a third (36%) said they would derive the same happiness from a pay rise.

7 in 10 also revealed they are prepared to leave their jobs if they cannot get along with their bosses, with respondents even expressing a preference to work with male bosses if given a choice.

“Less emotional”, “less micromanaging” and “less calculative” were amongst the main reasons given for the leaning towards male bosses.

“The relationship between employer and employee is vital for the success of any organisation and we have often heard that people quit bosses, not companies,” the survey stated.

Read more.


Female bosses drive higher levels of employee engagement

Here’s a possible reason why organisations with more women directors tend to perform better. A report by Gallup found employees who work for a female manager are more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager (33% to 27% respectively).

Polling 27 million employees across four decades, the study highlighted female employees who worked for a female manager were the most engaged, at 35%.

On the other hand, male employees who reported to a male manager were the least engaged, at 25% – a difference of 10 points.

Overall, female managers themselves were found to be more engaged than male managers (41% vs. 35%) – this was true across every working-age generation, regardless of whether they had children in their household.

One reason that female managers garnered more engagement was that their teams were

1.26 times more likely to strongly agree “there is someone at work who encourages my development,” than employees who worked for a male manager.

Read more.


3 steps to build a culture of employee recognition

Employees have cried themselves hoarse saying regular doses of appreciation can often motivate them more than a pay raise. Power2Motivate, in a new whitepaper, listed out the three components of a recognition culture.

The first tip was to make recognition tangible, by doing it in front of peers, ir with a certificate.

For example, tyre company Goodyear expanded its length of service recognition programme to a virtual ‘store’ where points could be redeemed for thousands of different products, to an enthusiastic response of employees.

Second, they study suggested making recognition timely. Waiting to recognise behaviour once a month or year may lead to many missed chances.

When energy retailer Lumo Energy launched its recognition programme, it wanted to have awards and nominations available 24/7.

“You might recognise something as you’re walking out the door at 5pm,” explained Kerrie Erskine, Lumo’s  remuneration and benefits manager.

Finally, it pays to focus on values, and not just performance. Values, the report stated, can be brought to life by being turned into recognisable and repeatable behaviours, and then rewarding the good behaviours.

Read more.


Cost of local expatriate packages rises

Singapore has the seventh highest expatriate pay packages in Asia Pacific, thanks to expensive elements such as housing and education grants.

According to a survey by ECA International, the typical total expatriate package for middle managers in Singapore is US$259,000 – higher than last year.

The survey, which analysed 320 companies in total, looked at pay levels for expatriates around the world, including benefits, allowances, salary calculation methods and tax treatment.

The housing and education in Singapore were so expensive, that if removed, Singapore would fall from 7th to 14th in the regional ranking, thanks to low tax rates. Expatriate packages in Singapore were, however still lower than in Hong Kong, which was ranked 5th.

Japan was identified as home to Asia’s highest expatriate packages. On average, a package for an expatriate middle manager there was worth US$375,000.

Countries such as Australia, China and India followed respectively. Malaysia was the second lowest expatriate packages in the list – one spot below Thailand.

Read more.


Why Unilever’s CEO is “ashamed” of his pay

CEOs should be motivated by serving others, and not by how much they earn, according to Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, in an interview with The Washington Post.

“The moment you discover in life that it’s not about yourself, that it is about investing in others, I think you’re entering a steadier state to be a great leader,” he said.

“Because above all, I think the main quality of a leader is to be a human being. There’s no reason you are special because you happen to have this job or this office or these responsibilities.”

Having frozen his pay when he started at Unilever during the recession, Polman added the job is ultimately not about getting high pay packages.

“If you would pay me double, I’m not going to work twice as much, because I’m already probably maximising my time available.”

“So, yes, I am fortunate, and I am sometimes ashamed about the amount of money I earn. It’s important that you then put it to good use. That’s the minimum you can do.”

Read more.


Would you ask these questions in a job interview?

Job candidates must be prepared for anything during an interview, but would they have rehearsed an answer to who their favourite Disney princess is?

In its annual list of the top 10 oddball interview questions, Glassdoor found that’s exactly what candidates applying at Cold Stone Creamery can expect.

Read on for the full list:

  • Asked at Airbnb: “What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?”
  • Asked at Squarespace: “What’s your favorite 90s jam?”
  • Asked at Dropbox: “If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?”
  • Asked at Stanford University:“Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?”
  • Asked at Banana Republic:“What did you have for breakfast?”
  • Asked at Spirit Airlines:“Describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind.”
  • Asked at Bose:“If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?”

Read more.


Signs your employees are unhappy in their job

Do your team members prefer to eat alone rather than with each other? Do they work the bare minimum number of hours before rushing out at 6 pm?

These are the signs of a disengaged employee, and if you don’t take corrective action, they may put in their papers to work for themselves.

Research by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) found that more than one in four British workers want to leave their job (27%) and are considering setting up their own business.

The survey uncovered a surprising list of signs that employees dislike their job. If you find your employees doing these things, you may have potential attrition on your hands:

  • Get anxious about work on a Sunday night
  • Are constantly looking at the clock
  • Often moan about their job to friends and family
  • Take extended toilet breaks
  • Dread going into work in the morning
  • Find any excuse to get out of the office
  • Have perfected the ‘looking busy’ look

Read more.


Top 5 HR priorities in Singapore this year

HR professionals in Singapore are focused on making the function more strategic and less administrative this year, as highlighted in a new study commissioned by The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower, International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING Singapore.

Polling a total of 831 companies and 8 countries, it stressed on the professionalisation of the HR industry, coupled with a need for more internship opportunities.

Organisations in countries including Japan and Hong Kong indicated they want to focus on collaborations with senior management on people strategy, succession planning for key positions, and managing employer relations and engagement.

One of the recommendations to develop the HR ecosystem in Singapore was to champion interest in the profession.

WDA also recommended strengthening the education and training infrastructure in order to build a sustainable skills pipeline throughout the life-cycle of the HR professional.

The last recommendation was to create and enhance shared industry infrastructure to facilitate access to HR services and expertise.

Read more.


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