Lim Swee Say
, has highlighted three characteristics that employers must focus on if they wish to become an attractive company for staff.
While speaking at the Best Companies to Work for Awards Ceremony on Friday (6 November), the Minister went over his strategy for firms in Singapore’s current economic environment.
Deepening local roots
“In a globalised economy, we see at least two types of enterprises – the hunter and the farmer,” Lim said.
The ‘hunter’ is opportunistic, boosting headcount when the market is up and then firing people quickly when the market is down.
The ‘farmer’ invests in the long-term, and is prepared to stick through any economic downturns and adjust their companies for future growth. These types of businesses see human resources as the most valuable type of capital, Lim said.
“They embrace ‘glocalisation’ – globalising their business operations while localising their human capital so as to deepen the roots in the local community as responsible corporate citizens.”
Inclusivity and respect
Lim suggested that all employees be respected in an inclusive way whether they are mature workers, young and inexperienced interns, back-to-work parents or part-time, casual or non-traditional staff.
“These various categories of workers may have different needs and aspirations, but I believe they all have one thing in common: they all want to have good jobs and meaningful careers, be treated fairly and be valued and recognised for their contributions,” he said.
HR should provide staff with fair and equal opportunities, ensuring workers can acquire the right skills and help them move up the career ladder. Lim suggested focusing on the strengths of each individual rather than their weaknesses as “everyone can improve, change for the better, and grow in their careers”.
This is reiterated by Jeremy Blain, regional managing director of Cegos Asia Pacific, one of HRD’s
one Employer of Choice award winners.
“We respect our staff to the extent that we will challenge them and not just give them menial tasks to complete. We want value-add from everyone and we feel we have employees at all levels who can add value beyond their job description. We actively encourage and provide these opportunities to get stuck in and demonstrate what they can do,” Blain said.
Competitive and caring
“A competitive company is a good company to work for. A caring company is a better company to work for,” Lim said. “However, the best company to work for has to be one that is both competitive and caring, and committed to putting people first.”
If HR can take better care of its employees, the firm will “run faster, go farther and grow together as one enterprise”. This will only come from a two-way engagement where management and staff actively work together, Lim added.
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