What should companies do with staff during the downturn? Retrenchment?

As companies come to grips with a slowing down of the economy, they should not overreact and dig themselves into a hole. While tightening the belt such as retrenchment looks attractive, companies should not unwittingly restrict their capacity to respond to challenges. Companies should not limit their capability to grow their businesses. While companies cannot predict or […]

Life cycle of a western male expat in singapore

Class, the tables you see below illustrates the typical experience of a western, male expat in Singapore. How accurate do you think this is? (And no, it is not drawn to scale – so don’t go OCD on the graph please)   [1 month, happiness factor 40] FOB and excited about life. New city, new […]

Going the extra mile

In 2005, the Singapore government launched something called the GEMS campaign (Going the Extra Mile for Service), a strategy that received a somewhat lukewarm response. Many saw this not necessarily as a real effort to spruce up service, but as a knee-jerk move to ensure the IMF and World Bank Board of Governors annual meeting […]

Staff welfare at local SMEs: What’s the deal?

How do local SMEs fare when it comes to providing employee benefits? Is it true that SME employees are getting the short end of the stick as compared to their counterparts in MNCs? Patty, a director of Corporate Communications and Human Resource at a local accounting firm, says that – contrary to popular belief – […]

Whine and dine

For most Singaporeans, tipping is a culture that’s baffling. Restaurants here already impose a non-discretionary service charge of 10%, so there is no incentive for customers to go above and beyond the requirement. Not just me, but there is a common perception that most service staff here has no initiative, no product knowledge, and are […]

FTs – are they really the issue?

Summary: Are Singaporeans’ comments about FTs fair? Employers – are they the real problem? Upgrading one’s skill sets is the way up the career ladder These days, given the wave of anti-FT sentiment (and I stop short of using the term ‘anti-foreigner’) that has become increasingly widespread among Singaporeans, it almost always just takes one […]