Singapore employees have been getting a lot of flak recently, ever since Michelle Chong published a Facebook post complaining that local workers don’t take pride in their work.
As an employer, this can be very frustrating. How do you get your employees to stop doing a sub-par job and convince them to start actually paying attention to the quality of their work?
Here are six ways Singapore employers can encourage their employees to do just that.
It sounds so simple, but the majority of local bosses do not know how to make their employees feel appreciated. If anything, the hierarchical nature of the typical Singapore workplace makes bosses do just the opposite, since they feel it is employees who should be grateful they have a job.
No wonder a 2015 survey found that 57% of executives feel unappreciated at work. Employers should realise that slave-driving your employees will get them to do the bare minimum, but to go the extra mile they need to feel that someone appreciates their efforts. Saying thank you and treating employees with respect is the very least an employer can do.
PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON WORK
Bosses are often so busy or so preoccupied with other things that they don’t bother to give their employees honest, objective feedback on their work. And no, scowling and making passive aggressive comments on a job badly done do not count as honest, objective feedback.
Employees are often so squeezed that they spend most of their time trying to meet deadlines and handle their workload without leaving too late. That also means they have no time to evaluate the actual quality of their work. It is up to bosses to be the ones to provide that feedback on a one-on-one basis, so employees know how they can improve or can request the support they need to do a better job.
FOCUS ON WORK PERFORMANCE RATHER THAN FACE TIME
Focusing on face time will most definitely have a detrimental effect on employees’ efficiency and motivation.
When employees feel that their boss cares more about seeing them trapped in their cubicles than the actual work being produced, you can bet they will focus on spending as much time at work as possible, while doing as little as possible.
If you want your employees to focus on their work, you will need to loosen your grip on them a bit. Do not penalise them for not being present all the time, and evaluate them solely based on the work they are doing.
GIVE EMPLOYEES A REALISTIC WORKLOAD
While some employees are sitting at their desks till late at night surfing Facebook so their boss thinks they’re hard at work, there are others that are forced to do the work of 5 people.
A 2017 news report revealed that Singaporeans work some of the world’s longest hours, at 45.6 hours a week, and shed light on professions like law and teaching that are notorious for very long hours.
Employers need to realise that if their employees have an unrealistically heavy workload, the quality of the work will suffer.
PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES FAIRLY
Pay peanuts, get monkeys. As mercenary as this sounds, you can’t expect to get good service if you’re underpaying your employees, especially in a city as competitive and expensive as Singapore.
Underpaying your employees means they could be struggling to prepare for retirement or raise their kids, which means the main focus in their career will be remuneration rather than professional excellence. It also sends the message that you don’t value their work.
No matter how much you need to cut corners to run a profitable business, remember that when you do that at the expense of paying your employees fairly, it is the quality of the work that suffers.
How can Singapore employers encourage their employees to take pride in their work? Tell us in the comments.