Reward staff who do good work - not just work

I applaud Mr Seah Yam Meng for pointing out one of the most glaring points in today's work culture - the lack of pride that workers have in their work (Workers show no pride in their work; Nov 3).

One does not have to look far for examples of this lack of pride - the numerous complaints made about customer service in food and retail outlets; and taxi drivers who don't know their way to destinations.

Singapore can no longer compete on cost alone. We must compete on quality, and only workers with pride in their work will offer quality.

Another issue is the stigmatisation of certain jobs - some are deemed as lowly paid and low class.

I remember taking up a job as a waiter in my late 30s. There were customers who assumed I was a former criminal because they felt that there was an incongruence between the way I spoke and the fact that I was working in a restaurant.

Perhaps it is time for us to reward and recognise people for doing good work - rather than merely doing work. And adapt remuneration systems that do just that.

I remember being told by a co-worker at the restaurant: "The boss is going to pay you the same hourly wage whether the restaurant is busy or not, so might as well start work when it's not busy."

Unfortunately, this is not the only example of a remuneration process that does not encourage quality work. Isn't it time we looked at systems that reward value creation?

Tang Li

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'Reward staff who do good work - not just work'. Print Edition | Subscribe