Deanna Bonaparte

Why Companies Should Have Family-Friendly Workplaces

By Desiree Yang

The total fertility rate in Singapore has been on the decline for many years now and as of last year, it stood at 1.19. While the government has made efforts to boost birth rates by rolling out policies like the Marriage and Parenthood Package, Singaporeans have remarked that the package still does not adequately address their concerns and struggles (e.g. having difficulty balancing work and family commitments), even with the enhancements that were introduced in 2013. The solution then just might lie with addressing the root of their concerns – the workplace. A company’s employees are its greatest asset, and an office of motivated, satisfied and focused employees is a successful and productive one. However, employees often have a lot more on their minds than just hitting their key performance indicators (KPI) for the quarter, especially so for those who are parents or caregivers. (Read More Here!)

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Making the Most of a Networking Event

By Deanna Bonaparte

Many of us are not born networkers. Conversation might flow between close friends, but that’s probably because you’ve grown familiar and comfortable with each other and your interactions have become something of a habit. But meeting with strangers at a networking event is a different ball game entirely – it requires considerable finesse and people are going to analyse how you portray yourself with close scrutiny. (Read More Here!)

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Why Companies Should Encourage Employees To Go On Leave

By Desiree Yang

Just last year, the Singapore Business Review found that more than 50 per cent of Singaporeans are (self-confessed) workaholics. If that weren’t enough, come this year, they’re apparently an unhappy bunch too. The article, published on CNBC in June, stated that almost half of the employees in Singapore do not think they have the perfect job – with three quarters of them seeing their job only as a way to rake in the dough. By the sound of these figures, many of these workers are in desperate need of a vacation. However, a 2012 The Straits Times article found that eight in 10 Singaporeans do not clear their annual leave. One possible reason for this is the fear – perhaps not unfounded – that they have of being judged unfavourably by their colleagues and bosses if they do so. (Read More Here!)

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Tension on the Formula One Grid: Takeaways for the Workplace

By Desiree Yang

Whether you’re a fan of Formula One or not, you should be no stranger to the deafening engines that have hit the Marina Bay Street Circuit every year in September since 2008, right here on our sunny shores. The 2014 F1 World Championship which began in Australia in March has seen a considerable amount of drama since the early stages of the race. When the championship landed in Monaco in late May, the spotlight was on the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team as an air of hostility descended over childhood friends and now teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – all because Hamilton was prevented from challenging for pole position after yellow flags were raised when Rosberg crashed during the qualifying round. Rosberg then went on to claim the win on race day. With all this talk about tension, rivalry and hostility, here are some takeaways from the entire debacle that can be applied to the workplace at a managerial level. (Read More Here!)

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Q&A: I was promoted above my peers. How do I manage them now?

Question: I was recently promoted above my co-workers, some of whom have been at the company longer and have more experience than me. They resent me because of this and are making their dissatisfaction known. How should I manage them?

Answer: It’s a considerable leap to move from working alongside your co-workers to managing and delegating tasks to them. It’s not hard to see why some of them will find it a bitter pill to swallow, especially when they think that they are better qualified or have more experience. (Read More Here!)

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Tuning In To Your Employees’ Emotions

By Deanna Bonaparte

In the past, managers were traditionally expected to take a stern no-nonsense approach to any employee who happened to have an emotional reaction in the office. After all, they could not afford to condone behaviour that might potentially thwart said employees’ focus and bring down the team’s morale and productivity. They recognised that unchecked emotions opened the gateway to unprofessionalism, unsavoury office politics and unhappiness among co-workers. As they rationalised it, workers were here to work, not to be mollycoddled or soothed. But the practice of managing people has undergone a paradigm shift in recent years, where the intuitive and compassionate manager of people is increasingly favoured over the harsh taskmaster. An increasingly valued skill in managers today is the ability to tune in to their employees’ emotions and state of mind, identify potential problems and act accordingly. (Read More Here!)

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Leveraging on SaaS in the Workplace

In his May Day message in April this year, labour chief and National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) head Lim Swee Say noted that Singapore’s labour market is set to remain tight until 2030. The competition for good workers is stiffer than ever, and only the better employers can continue to attract and retain the best employees. In order to position themselves to attract the best and brightest, employers are increasingly pursuing solutions that enable them to build up their brand as a top employer, reach out to the entirety of the talent pool and access powerful application-tracking analytics that help them to streamline and tweak their hiring processes. (Read More Here!)

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Paperless Workplaces: Yay or Nay?

By Desiree Yang

When Amazon released its very own smartphone – the Amazon Fire – in June this year, many were certain that its much-touted Firefly feature was set to revolutionise the world of e-commerce and shopping. Firefly essentially bridges the gap between the virtual and physical world, allowing users to scan items they see in brick-and-mortar stores, load the relevant Amazon listing and make a purchase online. In the same way, workplaces have undergone a rapid digitalisation that has led to the birth of the notion that we might one day transition entirely to paperless workplaces. However, not only are paperless workplaces costly and unsuitable for some companies, they also open the door to other problems such as a widening gap between employees’ skills and the technology installed in the workplace. This ultimately results in a decrease in efficiency overall. It really makes one wonder – how feasible is it for workplaces to go paperless? Or would simply reducing the amount of paper used in the office be a better bet? (Read More Here!)

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Should You Go For Coffee or Tea?

By Deanna Bonaparte

While it may seem like a mundane question, there are studies that indicate that different personalities are drawn towards and work better with either coffee or tea. Studies have shown that people who prefer coffee tend to be strongly represented by the extroverted “sanguine” and “choleric” temperament groups of Galen’s personality type theory, while those who favour tea fit in better with the introverted “phlegmatic” and “melancholic” temperament groups. Coffee and tea aficionados swear by the unique attractions and appeal of their favourite caffeinated concoction. Often offered up as a polarising choice at many eateries, your choice between the two may say more about you than your preference for tea leaves or coffee beans. (Read More Here!)

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Imagining Tomorrow’s Workplace III: The Rise of Robot Bosses

By Deanna Bonaparte

With advancing technology paving the way for greater communication, greater reach and greater connection between bosses and employees even on the weekends, coupled with the constant prompt to accelerate productivity in the workplace, it is not hard to argue that your boss is akin to a fast-paced machine. (Read More Here!)

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