Forum: Companies will reap benefits from strong employer-employee ties

Office workers during lunch time at Raffles Place on June 16, 2014.
Office workers during lunch time at Raffles Place on June 16, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

It pays for employers to take heed of Professor Tommy Koh's suggestions on how to improve the level of employee engagement (Seven good habits for S'pore bosses to emulate, Oct 26).

The company that embraces the seven positive habits espoused by Prof Koh is likely to be more successful than its competitors.

Its workers would be more committed as they are made to feel that they have a stake in the company's business.

More than that, the strong employer-employee relationship would help the organisation be resilient in difficult times, such as during a global recession.

This will not happen in a company whose boss believes that workers are hired only to work, while workers put effort into only what they are paid to do.

While it is important for employers to be concerned about profits, productivity and business expansion, they must not leave out the essential aspect of how to motivate employees to take ownership of their jobs.

Two other areas that are often ignored by bosses are employee empowerment and leadership by example.

Take, for example, the competitive retail business. Management should give employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making.

Leading by example is a key management philosophy, and it is important for bosses and managers to work alongside staff in tasks such as guiding customers to the items they need, replenishing fast-moving merchandise or bagging groceries for the cashiers, especially during peak times.

Doing so shows that top management personnel are helpful and have a sense of empathy, which would make the staff feel important and take pride in what they do.

Workers who are well taken care of by their bosses will reciprocate by taking good care of the company's business.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2019, with the headline 'Companies will reap benefits from strong employer-employee ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe