A view from the Top: Tan Wee Khiang, Divisional Director, Human Resource, Institute of Technical Education
by Lisa Cheong
What is your one trait which you think has led to your career success?
As the Divisional Director/Human Resource in ITE since April 2005, I have always been very comfortable dealing with staff at all levels. Staff and colleagues find me very open and genuine, which helps inspire trust among my bosses and colleagues. This is in line with our corporate culture, where Integrity is highly valued.
What do you look for in young leaders?
Besides their skills and job competencies, young leaders in ITE must believe and live by our ITE Care values of Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence and Care (which includes care for staff, students, community and others). Our academic leaders must also have the passion and commitment in technical education, to prepare our students for their future, and be role models for those under their leadership.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
One of the best advice I ever received is to lead by example and walk the talk.
What was one of your biggest challenges that you’ve faced in your career?
Coming from an IT background, the biggest challenge for me was the transition to HR Management, which was not what I was originally trained in. I am currently pursuing the Chief People Officer Programme at Human Capital Singapore.
How can employees make a lasting impression on you at work?
Nothing touches me more than seeing our Lecturers go all out, beyond their call of duty, to help students achieve their dreams and aspirations. The students, too, will always remember their Lecturers who had encouraged and believed in them, and made a difference in their lives. Our ITE Student Success stories would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our Lecturers to the students.
How can employees add value to their work?
In ITE, we prepare our students for life-long employability in a rapidly-changing business environment. Staff capability development is critical for our Lecturers to stay market-relevant and offer the best value to our students in terms of knowledge and skills, for success in a highly competitive global environment. Our staff have responded very well to this through their involvement in industry projects, collaborations and job attachments, in addition to their teaching duties. This has enabled us to build a team of quality staff, proficient in meeting industry needs.
What are some of your personal goals for yourself when it comes to your career?
Having been in ITE for more than 10 years, my goal is to see the organisation excel and be an institution of choice for technical education among our school leavers. On the HR front, I hope to see more young professionals with the desired passion join ITE and contribute to technical education and training in Singapore. I want ITE to be an employer of choice.
What drives your motivation at work?
My motivation is driven by Our People, who live by our ITE Care Culture ~ an acronym for Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence and Care (which includes care for staff, students, community and others). Our caring, passionate and committed staff, who are all great team players, make my work in ITE highly fulfilling and meaningful.
What makes your organisation a great place to work?
We are now into our fourth five-year roadmap, “ITE Innovate”, to be a Global Leader for Innovations in Technical Education by staying at the forefront of vocational and technical education developments and providing quality“Hands-on, Minds-on, Hearts-on” education to the school leavers who join us. To all our staff, who have a part to play in this exciting journey, ITE offers an open and caring work environment built on our strong ITE Care culture, extensive opportunities for learning and growth, and great work-life balance. In short, at ITE, we help staff find meaning in the work they do, to make a difference to our students.