Photo Source : Mr Brown
Makes a world of difference.
"An investment in education pays for the best dividend."
"An investment in education pays the best dividend."
Photo Source : Today's CIMB advertisement
I'll like to end this month with a small request for your comments and feedback about the posts.
Please share your comments below.
In King's Solomon days, there was the dilemma of two mothers who claim the same baby.
And the question was "Who's baby is this?"
This mother said "The baby is mine." The other mother said, "No, it's mine."
Solomon said "Bring me the baby."
They brought him the baby and he raised his sword. He said "I'm going to cut this baby in half and give one half to this mother and one half to this mother."
And as he raised his sword, sobbingly the real mother said "NO, NO, NO, don't cut the baby in half. Give it to her," who was not the real mother.
Solomon said "Now I know who's the real mother."
I was on IHG website finding some information on overseas hotel when I saw their LiveChat function.
As I couldn't find what I wanted, I went on to the LiveChat hoping someone on the other end could help me.
Signed in and was expecting a person to chat with me immediately. Unfortunately, I was greeted with a standard message that they're shorthanded.
Perhaps I've gone online at their peak period.
Waited and waiter for half an hour to forty-five minutes and I'm still getting the same message. Finally gave up waiting.
An initiative to enhance a visitor's online experience using technology turned into an unpleasant one.
What to do about It?
How about a call-back service for urgent matters and an option to correspondence via email for others not-so-urgent ones? Instead of pointing customers to go to a list of directories and find a number to call.
To touch someone's life and be a positive influence to others.
To all of you who have been reading my posts and sharing them with your friends all these times.
Trust that you've learned some strategies to improve your business.
When you feel lost and scared.
When you can't see the light at the end of the road.
When you experience failures every time.
Know that all these will pass.
There may be a higher reason why you are not getting what you want. Perhaps there's something better waiting for you.
The Singapore's Prime Minister was on TV yesterday for "Ask The Prime Minister."
It's a program where members of the public can send any questions to the Prime Minister and he'll answer them.
Of course, he's not going to answer all. There's no way he can and need to do that. Questions of general public interests like the transport problems, housing prices and future of the country are more likely to be discussed.
One of the issue that he spoke about is TRUST.
All over the world, politicians are facing the same problem of trust with their citizens. The business and personal worlds are no different either. Trust is something that is difficult to earn but easy to lose.
When you have customers or people who trust you, you build equity. When people lose trust in you, it becomes a liability. Many businesses want their customers to trust them. But do they trust their customers?
So how do you build trust?
One of the way to build trust is to be consistent. In your words and actions. Say what you do and do what you say, even if you lose the sale.
To earn trust, you have to trust first. How many of your customers dare to walk in your shop and buy something even if they do not have enough cash, knowing that you trust they will pay back?
Finally, be frank. Don't ever lie to your customers to make a sale. If a customer must wait 30 minutes for a table, don't say 20 minutes. It's as simple as that.
The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore has come out with yet another new ruling on hiring of foreign workers.
From August 2014 onwards, companies with more than 25 employees must advertise vacancies for jobs paying less than S$12,000 a month on a new job portal by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency for at least 14 days before applying for an employment pass to bring in a foreign national.
It also raises the qualifying salary for employment pass holders from S$3,000 to $3,300, starting January 2014.
This is a step forward by the government who finally accepts the fact that there are unfair practices conducted by some foreign companies or HR managers who favor candidates of their own nationalities in job recruitments. This has resulted in Singaporeans losing their jobs to foreigners.
While there are some jobs which Singaporeans do not have the skills or expertise to perform, there are many cases of jobs being given to foreigners because their salaries are lower. If you are a businessman, this is only logical. If you can get a person to perform a similar job at a lower pay, you would choose him or her over the more expensive one. It's more value for money.
It's true that some foreign workers are more hardworking and skillful than Singaporeans. It's also true that some Singaporeans are fussy about jobs. There have been a lot of feedback by companies about the bad attitudes of Singaporean job candidates. They don't turn up for interview and never call to inform, want 5-day work week, high salary and position, calculating, unwilling to start from bottom, etc.
Some business associations and industry players welcome the move saying it will increase transparency and level the playing field for locals. But they also stress that companies should hire based on skills, experiences and merits.
It's still too early to tell if this new ruling will works.
Let's take a look at the new rule and put it to test.
Ok. Companies has to advertise on the portal managed by the government's agency for 14-days before they can apply for foreign employment pass. Why 14-days? Why not 7-days or 21-days? Actually, the duration is not important.
Why? If the company or HR manager has the intention to employ only their own nationalities, it doesn't matter how long they have to wait. They could manipulate the job requirement and salary to make it unfavorable to the locals.
Let's put it this way. Assuming everything else (skills, knowledge, experience) being equal, a company can employs a Malaysian as a manager at a monthly salary of S$3,300, which meets the minimum qualifying salary instead of a local who may ask for $4,500 for the same job. This will gives the company a saving of $1,200 per month.
Based on current exchange rate of S$1 to 2.5 Malaysia Ringgit, the Malaysian would be bringing home 8,250 Ringgit every month. This is very much higher than them working in a same position in Malaysia. That's one of the missing equation. And that's one of the reasons why so many foreigners want to work here. If you are paid 3 to 4 times what you can get here than your native country for doing the same shit, where would you choose to work?
Of course, bringing in more foreign workers can help to boost the GDP of the country and the domestic consumption.
Some experts have said that the new rule is unlikely to work. There are too many factors that cannot be controlled. Even if there are Singaporeans with relevant skills and experience apply for the jobs listed on the portal within the 14-days, the whole selection process from interview to offer takes more than 14-days. Companies can just wait out the period before applying for a Work Permit for foreigners on the pretext that the candidates are not suitable. And when it comes to job interview, not just skills and experiences are taken into account. The boss may not like the person or for his or her look, the character of the candidate may not gel in to the company's culture, misalignment of candidate's career goal with the company's one are factors which cannot be measured. While disliking a person for who he or she is is bias, but there's no denying that this happens all the times.
So why are there so many business associations welcoming the new rule? Could there be more rules in the pipeline? Why the government did not impose a more stringent rule? Or they are a group of Yes man who support for the sake of singing the same tune?
Firstly, the government has to consider many factors and parties that will be affected by the new rules. If they impose something strict, companies will suffer more as it is already difficult to employ new staff with the manpower crunch. Businesses may have to shut down and resulting in more people jobless.
Foreign investors will be turned away from investing in Singapore because they are restricted from recruiting the best talents from around the world.
So what can you learn from this?
1. Don't do things for the sake of doing it.
If you want to implement some rules or regulations, make sure it's effective. Many times, a company impose new rules and regulations and ended up the staff outsmarting the management. Maybe the new rule is meant as a deterrent, but if it's not going to work, it is not going to work.
2. You get what you pay.
While there's no doubt that some foreigners add more value to a company, the reverse is also true. I was at KFC one day and the staff who served me is a foreigner. While speaking to him, I couldn't understand a word he said. After asking him to repeat three times, I finally gave up.
3. Focus on what you want
If you are employing someone to fill a job vacancy, that is what you get. If you are looking for someone to add value, think about how you can make paying that extra dollar for a candidate worthwhile.
Sometimes you need to take drastic action or destruct the whole system to solve a problem. As Albert Einstein said, "You can't solve a problem with the same level of thinking."
5. Give more value
If you are a job candidate, think about how you can add more value to a job for the salary you are asking, whether you are competing with a local or foreigner. If you cannot explain how you add value, companies will always go for the cheaper ones.
6. Try everything
Since many people doubt the new rule is going to work, why implement it? Well, you gotta try. If you don't try, how will you know if it's going to work or not?
So there you are.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them below.