Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine told his staff in a strongly-worded e-mail that the group cannot allow a small proportion of poor performers to be a drag on the rest of the organisation.
That was why the Temasek Holdings-owned infrastructure consultancy terminated the employment of a group of workers in Singapore over the past two weeks, he said.
"How can we be the best in class and build a great organisation when employees are not concerned with how they are performing relative to their peers?" wrote Mr Wong in the e-mail seen by The Straits Times yesterday.
"More importantly, for those of us who want to do great things, why should our rewards be affected by a small group of colleagues who don't care about how their poor performance affects our performance negatively?
"We cannot allow our 1 per cent of poor performers to continue to affect the rest of the 99 per cent of staff who are performing."
His e-mail, sent on Tuesday night, came after The Straits Times reported last week that dozens of staff at Surbana Jurong's local operations have lost their jobs. The firm employs about 3,000 workers here.
A Surbana Jurong spokesman said this was not a retrenchment exercise but "rather, a small number of poor performers were communicated with and released".
Mr Wong in his e-mail said 54 employees - 0.41 per cent of Surbana Jurong's global workforce and 0.79 per cent of its Singapore staff - were identified as poor performers.
Of the 54, 26 were professionals, with nine in senior positions, including managers, senior executive architects, principal architects and principal engineers.
Mr Wong added there were no retrenchments, and the termination exercise was not targeted at any specific business unit, community, discipline or age.
He said group chairman Liew Mun Leong has spoken vehemently about poor company performance, which will drastically affect the bonuses of those business units that operated below par last year despite efforts to grow the projects pipeline.
"(The chairman) stressed that managing this poor business performance is a responsibility for all of us, both managers and employees," said Mr Wong.
This article was first published on Jan 19, 2017.
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