SICC | Singapore International Chamber Of Commerce | Raffles Quay – The voice of international business in Singapore
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4 OCT 2022  |  ISSUE 421

Dear Members and Friends

Next Monday is World Mental Health Day. Its existence underscores the importance of mental health each and every day. It is as important as physical health for everyone of us.

I’ve lived close to 40 years in Singapore and have witnessed the increase in mental ill health in the business community at first hand. My own mental wellbeing was badly affected by reporting to a toxic, insecure boss for years whose idea of a good time was to undermine me at every turn while he micromanaged. In the end I got professional help and left that boss and know how to deal with the next toxic boss I have the misfortune to meet.

My own experience, and that of many friends, is too many businesses have toxic workplace culture where people are abused, bullied, discriminated against, harassed and undermined. Where there is little or no recourse for these ills and where the more senior you are, and the higher your revenue generating value is to the company, the more you can get away with blue murder. This sort of culture is bad for everyone in a business and the business itself. It is not sustainable, does not retain talent and does real harm to people and society precisely because it is not an example of people-centric governance.

Younger people will rightly not put up with this sort of nonsense. They want to be developed not bullied. They want to learn not be undermined. They and we should always want to be the best we can be for ourselves and for the business we work for. The best way to achieve these goals is for Boards to accept their responsibility to ensure their business has a positive workplace culture. I urge all employees to demand nothing else. That’s the best way we can mark World Mental Health Day and keep progressing rather than regressing.

If you want any help in how to create and sustain a positive workplace culture for your business, contact us at [email protected].

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive

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