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5 Tips For Employee Engagement From A Recruitment Consultant Singapore

5 Tips For Employee Engagement From A Recruitment Consultant Singapore

In this video, Mr. Joshua Yim, CEO of Achieve Group, shares his views as a recruitment consultant Singapore on how to improve employee engagement in the organisation. It will require more than just investing in great office amenities and facilities.

Great Amenities and Staff Facilities for Employer Branding

Recently, Business Times requested for comments on the well stuffed offices with all the great amenities and facilities. Especially with We Work and co-sharing offices, there are many of these facilities with well stuffed pantry, pool tables, beds to sleep on, etc. The BT requested for comments on how much resources are needed to put into these amenities.  I believe such investment is good for employer branding. These helps attract people to join the organization and retain some of the talents and staffs in the organization.

However, at a deeper level, I have some philosophies and thoughts that I want to share.

Being the Leader of ACHIEVE Group and the Chief Recruitment Consultant for the past 30 years, I have seen enough people in my work as a head hunter and a recruiter. I feel that people do not just go for these amenities. The amenities are things that they can see but maybe there are some other things that are more impactful.

Take social workers as an example, we know that being a social worker in Singapore or elsewhere, they may not be the best paid jobs compared to the bankers, lawyers and doctors.

However, social work industry does attract a lot of people to join because in this profession, the social workers feel that they are contributing and impacting people’s lives. They give care and concern in the work that they are doing. They help others by giving counseling so that they bring positive impact to other’s lives.

Create Impactful Work

Firstly, employees in an organization, they would want to see their work having very significant contribution. For example, we know Google is advanced in their technology. A lot of people want to join Google and the organization got a very clear mission. Google mentioned that they want to organise all the information in the world so that users of Google on the Internet can access information readily. That is a simple vision that will engage people. Theirs people come to the office every day, they know that whatever they are doing, besides having a nice office and advanced technology, they are contributing to fulfil Google’s mission.

Many of you know that we have a video, known as Mr. Goh’s video. We knew him about two to three years ago. His situation was that he had lost his job twice but through our service, he found a position with one of the heart valve company that we were serving. In fact, his story was being singled out by our Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong three years ago during the National Day Rally speech.

We as the recruitment agency in Singapore find it very meaningful because his story is a real showcase that Mr. Goh, who of that age is able to find a job through our manpower staffing services. That is what we are doing – being able to impact people’s lives like Mr. Goh.

For many occasions, I tell our guys that this is what we are doing, we are here shaping careers, impacting lives, one person at a time and this is our vision. I dare to say to everyone who is joining our organization, Achieve Group, they should be a believer and know that whatever they are doing, it will impact people’s lives. Every phone call, every email and every customer engagement, we are fulfilling our mission so that they are able to see life being impacted just like Mr. Goh.

Appreciate Your Staff

Secondly, I think people will want to be appreciated in what they are doing. Sometimes when you go to a lounge and there is this musician playing a piece of music, if the person is given the kind of applause after three minutes of performance, I think the musician will continue the good work in playing a better piece of music later on. The true fact is that, for as much as there are people in the lounge and everybody is in their own engagement and conversation. Only if we can pay attention on this simple appreciation to the musician, I think that the person will feel being recognised and therefore do a better piece of work.

As Leaders, are we having that appreciation of our people through our measurement system? So that our people will feel appreciated, recognised in whatever they are doing and contributing. That will be very energising for each individual and people want that more than good facilities.

Develop and Grow Your Employees

Thirdly, I think people want to develop and grow as an individual. Take me for example, at the age of 55 this year, I will also want to grow as an individual, to understand what is technology and let alone the younger generation of people between 18 years old till close to retirement. I think they also want to ensure that they grow their skills, continue growing and developing themselves so that they are able to handle bigger portfolio, have greater responsibility and contribute even more.

Therefore, my question to all of us Leaders, are we giving that sort of due consideration to develop our people? Especially now in Singapore, we are very privileged – SMEs or multinationals in Singapore are given help from e2i and so forth. They are putting a lot of resources in helping companies to build competency through skill futures and funding grants to help our people grow.  Are we therefore helping our people through all these grants so that they are able to continue to grow as individual? As much as taking away precious time from their work, the training is very important because they want to see themselves developing.

Foster A Sense of Fulfilment

Fourthly, I think all of us being human, we want to do a good piece of work. Nobody who is engaged into a job or applied for job with an opportunity to run a portfolio will wants to screw up. At least they want to contribute to do a good piece of work. However, we as leaders, are our systems, processes, tools given to our people appropriate? So that they can do this bit of good job, that is the KPIs they are supposed to fulfil. Are we having all these things in place for them? If they are not given the tools, systems and processes, I think people will be frustrated. As a recruitment consultant, I have come across many cases, people are frustrated because they want to get things done but they are not given the resources. My question to us leaders – are we investing into our computer structure and tools so that our people are able to do the right job and they can feel the sense of fulfilment?

Build Strong Organisational Culture

Lastly, which is also the most important pointer and I have got very strong sense and soft spot for this is the culture of the organization. If you know this gentleman by name of Louis Gerstner, he is the guy who transformed IBM in the early 90s. He wrote a wonderful book known as ‘Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?’ and I love it very much. The moment IBM was dying as an organization and Louis Gerstner were engaged to be the CEO and he turned around IBM. Before he joins IBM, he was with a couple of companies, AMEX and couple of Fortune 500 firms. He mentioned that culture is very important to an organization. After his tenure of more than 10 years with IBM, he said culture is everything.  Being in corporate world and Leader of an organization all these years doing executive search and head hunting work, I find culture is indeed extremely important for all of us as Leaders. It can be a good friend of ours and it can also be the enemy. Is the culture engaging our people or Is the cultural political self-serving, selfish or conniving?  People are just nonchalant and do not care about the process and the company or is the company engaging people and helping people?  Do they have great values of integrity and excellence in work and are progressive in their thinking and thoughts? These are important elements because when you walk into a company, sometimes you can feel it whether the company is having good culture or bad culture?  You can feel it immediately from the way people talk and whether the customer service people are engaging.

Over the years, we pay a lot of attention on what we stand for and make sure that all our people are engaging in our values. To me, I tell our guys every now and then if one day as an individual or employee, you find yourself dragging your feet to work on Monday morning, I think it is about time for you to reflect and may be this is not a place for you. That means I am not doing a good job as a CEO to ensure that the organization is engaging you and your talent. Life is very short.  I started my career 30 over years ago and I do not want to waste anybody’s time. Life is precious so we need to build organization as Leaders so our people will enjoy their work, feel engaged, contributing and that their life is worth living.

I wish everyone a wonderful career in building organisations with all these pointers that I have shared!  I hope we are able to have a meaningful career as Leaders impacting more lives!