SICC | Singapore International Chamber Of Commerce | Raffles Quay – The voice of international business in singapore
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12 JULY 2022  |  ISSUE 409

Dear Members and Friends

In this issue we celebrate our member-exclusive Human Capital Interest Group (HCIG) chaired by Helena Santos of the German European School Singapore.

Every business needs talented people to help achieve its commercial goals. The best way to attract and retain talented humans is for every business leader to co-create and sustain a positive workplace culture with their teams. It just makes commercial sense to provide an optimal environment where people can bring their full selves to work and where they are enabled and developed to excel and thrive. This produces happy, engaged teams, happy repeat customers and commercial success. So why do too few business leaders do this?

There are multiple reasons. Ego can often get in the way of perception. A lack of self-awareness about how employees see their leaders is a big drawback to any leader’s progress. Another impediment is a lack of true appreciation by leaders for the importance of their oft-cited “greatest assets” – that is, their colleagues. Perhaps, most critical of all, is the lack of a clearly articulated and understood set of company values and behaviours to demonstrate those values along with whistleblowing mechanisms and penalties for non-compliance with the desired behaviours irrespective of seniority or revenue generation.

These are some of the many topics which our HCIG grapple with, debate and share ideas, perspectives, practices and solutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of leadership by C suite executives and people managers but it has also highlighted the necessity for self-leadership by every team member. There is a greater sense of work as a collaboration and that is a good thing. So, too, is the greater understanding of the importance of everyone’s mental wellbeing whatever their role in a company.

Another insight is the importance of connection – not the transactional connections so often experienced and seen before the pandemic but of human connections and friendships underpinned by relationships which take time to build and mature.

Perhaps most transformational of all pandemic illumination in Singapore is the realization by so many more people of the dignity and importance of every essential worker; from the heroes of our Health and Frontline Services to our train and bus drivers, to food delivery men and women and of the contributions of migrant workers. They are human capital too and they enable all of us.

Look after yourselves and your teams.

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive

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