f Six Hundred & Forty Four; Personal thoughts on Better Employer, BetterWorker, Better Customer.


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Six Hundred & Forty Four; Personal thoughts on Better Employer, BetterWorker, Better Customer.

July 2, 2014 / ,

Being in this industry as a freelancer for 4 years, 
I may not have a direct "boss" to report to, 
but this also means that I have met 
and worked with several different people before. 
Over the years, 
I have clearly witnessed how 
the different management styles of the employers 
led to different working attitudes of the employees 
and thus different outcomes produced.

From the bad ones like seeing a team of unmotivated crew members, 
who are not interested in obtaining the best results, 
but only concerned about wrapping the day and ending work on time. 
To the good ones like seeing the production crew coming together 
to communicate on what they want to achieve for each particular scene, 
so that they can understand each other's directions, 
meet the expectations and get things done efficiently. 
The latter, of course, produced a happier work environment for everyone, 
which really helped me alot in delivering a better performance. 

It is actually kind of sad to see people at work 
complaining non-stop about the job that they are doing, 
performing their tasks half-heartedly, 
or even giving black faces all the time. 

Have you experienced grumpy cleaners in hawker centres/coffee shops 
who scowled at you when you politely requested them to clean your table 
(which was crowded with plates/bowls from the previous customers seated at the table)? 

Or how about rude service staff in shops, 
who followed you so closely when you were browsing the items 
(even after you told them nicely that you would prefer to browse on your own) 
and gave you the death stares as if you were going to steal their items? 

Why do they have to be so hostile at work? 
Were they unhappy with work or unhappy with their employers 
or unhappy with the salaries that they are getting? 
That, I would not have figured out unless I approached them directly. 
What I do know, is that such unpleasant experiences 
affect the chance of me visiting the same shop/place again. 

An organization which is committed to bring out the best in their employees, 
will in turn create value for the company, 
which in turn create value for customers 
and increases investors' confidence in the company, 
which in turn benefit the organization. 
This is a virtuous cycle that all companies 
should already know by now.. 
But how many employers truly understand 
and accept the cause and effect of this cycle, 
and put in effort to ensure commitment to the employees 
to create a better workplace environment?

An employee is often seen as both a 'cost' and an 'asset'. 
If you ask me, 
I would like think that employees are assets to the organization, 
only if the employers do their part as well. 
In reality, I think it is all about balancing between these two. 
Yes, as an employer, you do have to pay a certain amount of salary to your workers, 
but if you know how to utilize your workers' full potential/talents, 
this will lead to even greater returns for your company. 

Better Employer --> Better Worker --> Better Customer


Here are some pointers which I think may help :)

1.  Communication

Like all relationships, I think communication is the most important. 
As an employer, while you want to convey your message 
to your employee on the things to be done, 
you should also be willing to listen. 
As an employee, if you face any difficulty at work, 
communicate with your employer 
so that they are notified and things can be done to tackle the situation. 
Communication is key to building a healthier work relationship.

2. Recognize & Reward

When your employees perform well at work, recognize their accomplishments and reward them accordingly. This will definitely help in inspiring them to do even better in future. Even if they are not performing up to your expectations, recognize their effort and hard-work in improving. As an employee, recognize your employer's effort in reaching out to you and ensuring that your welfare is well-taken care of. 

With regard to the salary model, 
I know there have been ongoing debates 
on whether Singapore should adopt the Minimum Wage Model 
just like USA and Australia, but to me, 
I think the Minimum Wage has its consequences as well. 
I think the Progressive Wage Model rolled out by the NTUC,
does helps in planning a proper path for our workers to improve their skills 
and be more productive at work. 
Most importantly, this model creates the incentive for them to self-improve 
so as to progress to a better job with better pay. 
This way, both the employer and employee will benefit. 
Isn't it better this way? :)

3. Development and upgrading of skills
To stay competitive in the market, training courses are essential. 
Always send your employees for courses to keep them on the ball. 
These additional costs are good investments, 
to increase the productivity of your company. 

I think our unions and government has been doing their part 
in encouraging companies to make jobs easier, smarter and safer
by providing a significant amount of funds for skills-upgrading 

As an employee, when your company offers you a course to sign up for, take it! 
It is critical to keep on updating yourself 
with new knowledges and skills to survive in the current economy. 

Check out this short clip of a Robocutter introduced by Minister Lim Swee Say, 
which depicts a simple situation of an easier, smarter and safer working environment. :)

"Take advantage of these programs, make the effort to upgrade. 

Your workers will make the effort; you also must make the effort 

- value your workers, invest in them for the long term, upgrade their jobs, 
and create a future for them. 
They are your partners, not just your employees. 
Share the fruits of the success with them, 
with the community and strengthen the society we all belong to." 
--PM Lee (May Day message, 2014

4. Team Building

As a sports player, I have always believed in team building. 
Good teamwork is undoubtedly the key to success in many businesses. 
I believe in corporate team building. Set a day annually (at least) for team bonding activities, 
where the whole team can put aside work 
and put aside the statuses to come together for some fun and relaxation. 
If you are too busy to plan such activities for your team, I would recommend Player Events
Their clients include Attorney General's Chamber, Jobs Central, Axil Scientific etc. 
Such team building activities are becoming popular nowadays, 
because of the positive impacts that they can bring about.

Everyone takes personal pride in their work and their ability to do it well. 
Most of the low-skilled workers are from countries such as China, India and Bangladesh. 
They aren’t allowed to switch jobs; their work is laborious, and compensation is modest. 
These workers should not be labeled lousier than their higher skilled counterparts. 
We need to change the way we look at them 
as they work just as hard as anyone out there to earn a living.

Lim says that all work is worthwhile, and the market should decide the wage rate. 
“So long as ‘low-skilled’ jobs are low paid, considered of low status, and associated with poor foreigners, Singaporeans will not do them,” she says. “Having high wages for the so-called low-skilled will help a lot. You cannot be a First World country with Third World wages.”
-- Economic professor Linda Lim (Singapore’s labour outlook: The challenges ahead)

Every single worker deserves a better employer, a better job and better pay.

The windows of opportunities are always open. 
Believe in yourself and you will get there. 
Never give up!

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