On 30 June 2020, Mr Lim Tean, chief of People Voice Party made mention in an interview that if his party was “…to form the government……. no HR manager’s job would go to a foreigner…”
It certainly cause some eyebrow raising moments among our consultants. We have a mix bag of thoughts and feelings towards this statement, agreement from some perspective and uncertainties looking at it from other angles.
So why did Mr Lim Tean make such a statement and why is it causing such a stir? The reasons are quite simply;
With rapid globalization of markets and consumption activities, National cultural differences are one of the facet that creates significant conflict. When a corporation bring in foreign and unfamiliar operating environments, with often very different practices than the company’s local workforce, there is an inevitable conflict with culture, corporate social responsibility, and operating practices of local employees
It is just human to want to protect your own. Given that, locals born and bred in their own countries will always view their own people more favorably than a foreigner. This is not just true for Singapore but for most of the countries around us.
We tried to research on why stereotype exist and from all the resources we could find, there were no satisfactory answers, but few things are true. It’s unconscious. It’s very powerful. And it is extremely persuasive to help you make up your mind about someone or something. This is what happens when we already made up our mind that something is or isn’t going to work in the workplace or whether we are going to be happy or unhappy working with someone.
So what can you do if you could be going into that situation or are already in that situation?
Each team player must be encouraged to identify and fully understand his or her co-workers’ drivers (motivations, frustrations, needs) as well as skills and strengths. Role-playing in teambuilding programs helps people realize how, and often why, their colleagues react: What puts them off? What kind of criticism is hard to take? What behaviour hurts—or helps?
Because “different” does not mean “dangerous,” companies must vigorously establish and actively promote an atmosphere free of ethnocentrism, value judgments and stereotypes—one that favors exchange of viewpoints, capitalizes on best customs (local or not) and reinforces the truism that no culture is “right” or “wrong.”
The most successful cross-cultural-team managers are those who understand not only the process of adaptation (frequently, those who have gone this route themselves) but also the seemingly endless length of time that full integration requires—and often not only for the team members themselves, but also for their newly expatriated spouses and children, whose own adaptation processes cannot help but drain the employee’s concentration, energy and sometimes even sense of commitment to the job at hand.
About Enable Consulting
Established in 2013, enable Consulting is a specialised HR solutions provider for small and medium-sized enterprises.
We believe that having a strong and robust HR function is a key driver for continuous growth in any successful business. It is on this belief that we have built many successful partnerships with clients across different industries.
We are a people business and it is our talent pool that defines us. Each and every one of our consultants is highly professional with many years of experience in HR management and services.
Our Consultants are PMC certified to further be able to help local SMEs improve and optimise their HR operational efficiency through Singapore Grants. enable is about offering affordable, high value adding solutions to improve business performance; while at the same time nurturing and inspiring a fair and respectful working environment. But above all, enable is about enabling you.
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