Forum: Bosses must create positive company culture

People crossing the road at Shenton Way.
People crossing the road at Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

Professor Tommy Koh provided some profound tips for a strong employer-employee relationship (Seven good habits for S'pore bosses to emulate, Oct 26).

Most employers are probably aware of them but many are not practising them.

Engaged, loyal, dedicated, motivated and happy employees are a function of a positive company culture. Factors that will counter this include:

•Insecure bosses: They may view good performers as a threat, and claim credit for subordinates' work, micro-manage and intimidate them and brown-nose their superiors. Bosses must have the courage to work themselves out of a job, instead of selfishly guarding their own survival and employment longevity;

•Politicking: Bosses who engage in office politics and condone it create an atmosphere of distrust, fear, instability and hostility;

•Favouritism: Employees get disenchanted when favoured colleagues are treated and rewarded incommensurately to their performance;

•Lack of an equitable reward system: Without a robust reward model, especially for jobs which have objective and measurable outcomes, bosses have the liberty to dispense rewards freely and, in many cases, inequitably.

Practices which promote sound employee engagement must be driven by the chief executive. He is responsible for making them part of the company's mantra, and ensuring that team leaders embrace them. Needless to say, he and the team leaders must lead by example, exhibiting integrity, honesty and good moral character.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2019, with the headline 'Bosses must create positive company culture'. Print Edition | Subscribe