Talent Retention May Become a Challenge amid Economic Gloom

by Christine C. Bitoon

As the United States and Europe cut jobs in the recent weeks, the Singapore job market remains steadfast, with banks such as Citibank and     HSBC hiring to bolster their business performance. Companies in the country have to be cautious though, and should give forethought in every  spending, from supply choices to manpower and communication costs. Because we are not as affected as the other side of the world does not  mean that firms can let their guard down.

How do HR executives strike a balance between cost efficiency and talent retention? Simply put, they put a premium on indispensable talent,  giving them unmatchable compensation and opportunities for growth. For top executives who command high salaries, it is either a safe zone or a  significantly shaky one. Are you a key player or someone who can easily be replaced? If push comes to shove, it may be much easier for a  company to let go a single non-performing employee with a high salary than to cut back several performing employees at the lower levels.

Now more than ever, performing well and beyond expectations is important, for not only is it grounds for promotion, but it is also the very thing  that will help you survive in the cut-throat economy of today. Capitalize on all resources you can get a hold of – your time, access to training and  mentorship, money. Because Singapore is on a safer position than most countries, there is a risk for foreign professionals to seek employment in  the country. This increases the level of competition in all tiers as Singapore recruitment braces for possible difficulties.

Maximize your time. Efficiency is the key in juggling skills progression and employment success. Schedule all your tasks well and inform your  team of it. This way, even those under you will be considerate enough of your own schedule. Set certain hours in the day when you can meet  with your team to avoid interruptions for the rest of the day. More importantly, you should also allot time for your career growth. Spend the most  time you can increasing what you know and what you can do, whether it is within our outside office hours.

Mentor others. Training others is a valuable way of spending your time in your profession, as it increases not only what you know and can do,  but also that of your whole staff. Moreover, it hones soft skills such as customer service, leadership and management. This makes you a holistic  executive – one who brings so much to the company. Moreover, in this corporate setting where generation Y professionals give high regard to  bosses that mentor them, executives can definitely gain much in simply being available to younger staff. When it comes to determining who  among the top level staff can be let go, your ability to bring together your whole staff will be more than enough to retain you in your company.  

Pay for up-skilling. You may also take short courses or even a Masters or PhD degree in your field of expertise. Treat it as an investment which  would give you high returns not only financially, but also in terms of expertise and fulfillment.    

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