Overheard

Staff said to be seeking jobs elsewhere

Uncertainty amid talk of board shake-up after major foreign player raises stake in e-commerce firm

A number of staff at a listed logistics and e-commerce player are rumoured to be looking elsewhere for work.

The talk is that there may be a shake-up in the boardroom and even possibly the management ranks after a major foreign player raised its stake in the company.

While the move has been viewed positively by the investing community as the funds and the expertise the foreign player brings to the table should give a boost to the local company, internally, employees are finding less reason to celebrate.

Depending on the nature and circumstances of the change, it can affect staff morale, create uncertainty among the workforce, or lead to a complete shift in company direction, according to Mr Michael Smith, country director at Randstad Singapore. In other cases, a change in leadership can galvanise a workforce and improve the company culture.

Still, unless the replacement is someone who is rumoured to implement changes that will affect job stability - such as re-organisation, retrenchment or plugging a plummeting stock price - employees tend to ride through senior management changes, said Robert Half Singapore managing director Stella Tang.

Mr Smith noted that the way a company manages and communicates these changes will determine the impact they have on the wider workforce. "While we don't often see one single departure leading to widespread resignations, during times of change... other leaders will need to step up and steady the ship," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2015, with the headline 'Staff said to be seeking jobs elsewhere'. Print Edition | Subscribe