Study shows that improving management practices is key to boosting productivity levels in Singapore companies

Ministry Of Manpower (25 October 2013): Study shows that improving management practices is key to boosting productivity levels in Singapore companies

World Management Survey reveals that Singapore is ranked sixth for management practices among 22 countries just behind USA, Japan and Germany.

1. The National Productivity and Continuing Education Council (NPCEC) announced today, key findings of the World Management Survey (WMS) in Singapore, conducted by the Council’s Policy, Research and Benchmarking Working Group. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF)’s Singapore Innovation and Productivity Conference 2013, which was graced by Acting Minister for Manpower, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin. WMS aims to benchmark the management quality of manufacturing firms in Singapore against that of 21 other countries (refer to Annex A for background information on the existing study).

2. Conducted last year, the study assessed the management quality of 408 manufacturing firms located in Singapore. Using standard scoring criteria across countries, the study took stock of 18 management elements, classified into four dimensions. The dimensions were Operations Management; Monitoring Management; Targets Management and People Management (refer to Annex B for details on methodology).

Insights to Management Practices in Singapore Companies

3. The study revealed a relatively high overall management score for Singapore, which ranked sixth among 22 countries. The Republic’s performance is on par with other developed countries such as England and Australia, and is just behind top countries such as the United States of America, Japan and Germany (refer to Annex C for full country rankings). Singapore’s strong score can be attributed to the relatively large presence of multi-national corporations (MNCs) in the manufacturing sector in Singapore.

4. Of the four dimensions, Singapore’s firms achieved the highest ranking in People Management, coming in fourth among all countries surveyed. The Republic’s strength was in “rewarding high performance” and “retaining talent” – aspects under the People Management dimension which entail the optimising of workforce quality and maximising of human capital (refer to Annex D for chart on People Management).

5. Singapore also ranked among the top 10 among all countries studied for the other dimensions (refer to Annex E for charts on Operations, Monitoring and Targets Management). The favourable score in Operations Management can be attributed to the wide practice of lean manufacturing in Singapore. For monitoring management, Singapore managers were found to effectively identify employees’ weaknesses and send them for skills upgrading through training. With regard to targets management, Singapore managers were generally able to communicate well-defined targets to their employees.

Local SMEs encouraged to review its management practices

6. The study also revealed room for improvement within each dimension, especially for local SMEs. Some of these areas include instilling a talent mindset among senior management, better tracking and communicating of key performance indicators (KPIs) and setting goals that strike a balance between financial and non-financial objectives (refer to Figures 6 to 9 in Annex F on Singapore’s management practices performance for each element).

7. Local SMEs are also encouraged to review its management practices and boost productivity levels, as the studies showed that management quality is positively correlated with firms’ performance. This is similar to other countries, and was the case even after controlling for factors such as employee size, amount of physical assets, and other attributes of the firm (see Figure 10, under Annex G).

8. Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also a member of NPCEC, said, “The findings suggest that firms in Singapore scored well in all aspects of management especially in promoting high achievers. However, more needs to be done for other indicators such as setting holistic targets. Good managers will be the forerunners for game-changing ideas which form the basis for the company’s next competitive advantage. Therefore, improving the quality of management is just as important as undertaking other productivity improvements in order to entrench a productive culture. It is against the backdrop of economic challenges that it has become more pressing, locally and globally, for SMEs to step up and review their business and management models.”

Joining hands to raise the game

9. The Government encourages all firms to professionalise their management through training and upgrading schemes. These include WDA’s Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Certified Productivity & Innovation (CPI) Manager and SMF’s SME Quality Initiatives to Assist, Nurture and Grow (SME QIANG) programmes. Larger firms are encouraged to join hands with SMEs to lift the overall standards and productivity of Singapore’s industries. For example, the Singapore Innovation and Productivity Institute (SiPi), a centre under SMF reached out to more than 200 companies to provide productivity advisory. SiPi has also assisted more than 40 companies in business diagnostics and productivity improvement projects.

10. More information on the WMS report and Mr Tan’s speech are at the national productivity portal,
The article above was released by the Ministry Of Manpower on 25 October 2013.

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Firms must show they tried to hire S’poreans first

Article from Straits Times, Breaking News (23 September 2013): Firms must show they tried to hire S’poreans first.
By Toh Yong Chuan

From August next year, firms that want to hire foreign professionals must prove that they have tried to hire Singaporeans.

These employers have to advertise for Singaporeans to fill the vacancies in a national jobs bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, the Manpower Ministry said on Monday. Firms with 25 or fewer staff will be exempted from advertising rule, or those hiring for jobs paying $12,000 and above a month.

Those who do not advertise in the national job bank will have the foreigners’ Employment Pass (EP) applications rejected. The move is part of a Fair Consideration Framework announced by the ministry that requires employers to consider Singaporeans fairly before hiring foreigners.

Besides the advertising rule, firms that have “disproportionately low concentration of Singaporeans” holding professional, managerial and executives jobs will have their hiring practices come under greater scrutiny by the ministry. The MOM will however not name these firms.

The article above was released by the Straits Times on 23 September 2013. To view the full article, visit,

Top 3 Resume No-nos.

Here at Greatstar Resource Management, our consultants have seen their fair share of resumes and have come up with a list of quirky things they have seen listed on resumes.

1. Unless you are interviewing for a position as a Rock star, always remember to use a clean cut and well groomed picture on your resume.

Many a times, our consultants have come across candidates who chose to use pictures that only showed parts of their faces; Too much hair was covering big portions of their face. Although the picture on your resume will not affect your chances from getting a callback opportunity, looking neat and well groomed always helps. If you wouldn’t go to a job interview looking untidy, your resume picture should reflect the same. Always remember that the first impression counts.

2. Always remember that a resume is not a memoir. Keep it concise and showcase your accomplishments.

Always remember that Hiring Managers and consultants can go through up to 100 resumes a day- Taking up to only 8 to 10 seconds to glance through your resume and see what you have accomplished and what you’re good at. Instead of listing the duties you have done in your previous positions, write the accomplishments or value added services you have done for your past organizations.

3. Always remember to proofread your resume to avoid grammatical errors.

Although it might seem redundant, proofreading is a very essential action to take before you send out your resume. A slight typo or grammatical error could affect your chances in getting your dream job. Proofread your resume at least twice before you send it in and make sure that the information presented is accurate and legible.