3 Warning Signs To See If Your HR Is A Weak Link

The Human Resource function is not only to hire, fire and settle administrative tasks pertaining to workers.

Your Human Resource department plays a much more important role than that. In fact this department can make or break a company by how well it manages its recruitment policy, staff training, incentives and grievance handling.

Are you aware of these 3 warning signs that show your Human Resource policy is getting your company in trouble?

  1. You’re always playing catch up with the foreign worker quota

It’s a tough labour market out there, and you’ve been relying on cheap foreign labour for so long you’re finding yourself in a tougher spot every year.

Levies are going up, quotas are going down, manpower is never enough and you’re just struggling to survive.

foreign worker levy

Source: SPH, MOM

Some organizations have pre-empted this dire straits by embarking on the following:

  • Filling up executive and managerial positions with more Singaporeans to build a strong Singapore core
  • Tapping on underutilized sources of labour such as the disabled, ex-offenders, back-to-work women and mature workers
  • Offering a Progressive Wage Model with well-planned out paths for career, training, job scope and pay
  • Tapping on grants to improve productivity
  1. You don’t know how to work with unions

If you think that Singapore unions are a liability, you are losing out on a bigger deal.

With more than 2 million man days lost in strikes in the 1940s to 1960s, the Employment Act was enacted in 1968 which standardised and regulated the terms and conditions of employment for all employees.

As a result, Singapore unions have reinvented themselves to contribute towards building a positive environment at work, not through strikes which scare investors, but through tripartism (working with government and employers) to grow everyone’s pie so they can help workers get better pay and jobs.

worker vs business

Source: Five Stars and A Moon

Unions have an interest in helping workers upskill to keep up with the times, improve their jobs and welfare, and maintaining a stable positive work environment, where the company can grow and share the gains with workers.

This means if a union comes knocking at your door, consider working with the union as a training and change management partner. You can leverage on the union to run activities and dialogue sessions with staff to understand and improve workers’ welfare, which translates to reduced turnover and higher productivity.

  1. You have no idea how SkillsFuture applies to your organisation

SkillsFuture provides a huge number of opportunities you can tap on to solve your Human Resource issues.

First movers usually get better deals. According to the SkillsFuture website, Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine have already agreed to host at least 200 interns per year. This means they have first dibs on this source of local labour. Why not explore how your organization can value add to the SkillsFuture initiative by designing the training processes and scooping up the cream of the crop?

For your current staff, you could hold brainstorming sessions per job scope/department on how they can use SkillsFuture to further their career.

For example, if your valued Marketing Executive has a tight A&P budget and wants to learn how to use Photoshop to design brochures (instead of outsourcing to an agency), he may want to attend a WSQ course that costs $800. You could strike a deal by sponsoring half the course fees of $400 and moving him up the career ladder if he is able to design useful brochures for your following A&P campaign.


Source: Happiebb, Zainal bin Sapari FB

If you haven’t already begun, it’s time to work on breaking these limiting mindsets in your Human Resources policy.

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