Hard work, perseverance will aid Singapore's economic transformation: Tharman

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has noted that fewer employees in the new generation "believe in learning the ropes, taking time to develop skills on the job and working their way up".
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has noted that fewer employees in the new generation "believe in learning the ropes, taking time to develop skills on the job and working their way up". PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The culture of preserverance and hard work must be restored to both businesses and employees, if Singapore is to find success as it continues to transform its economy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam made this comment on Friday (June 17) when speaking at the Teochew Entrepreneur Award 2016.

This culture is especially important now as "there is less hunger compared to 20 years ago" and fewer employees in the new generation "believe in learning the ropes, taking time to develop skills on the job and working their way up", Mr Tharman noted.

"We will not become a truly innovative society, a place where people master skills in every job, if we lose a culture of believing in the value of perseverance, striving for our goals and learning and improving continuously on the job.

"We have to do all we can to keep that culture, and find ways of doing it that is relevant to new generations who are growing up in an environment that is very different from the past."

He was speaking to some 1,000 guests at the award dinner held at Ritz Carlton, including 28 Teochew entrepreneurs honoured during the occasion. These award winners embody the culture of not just breaking with convention, but also working hard and persisting despite failure, Mr Tharman said.

But he urged employers in Singapore to develop a less hierarchical culture that empowers individuals to feel they can innovate, contribute, and have a meaningful career.

"In short, we have to focus on the culture within our enterprises and organisations, not just technologies."