These insights seemed to be an upward trend as proven by the total value added figure of 133,119 million in 2009 to 53,339 million in 2010 and ultimately 165,743 million at the end of 2011 (Ministry Of Trade Industry 2012). Such staggering figures therefore show the dire needs for Singapore to remain relevant to the volatile and competitive nature of the service- producing sector.
In order to retain our competitive edge over our regional as well as global competitors and maintain the longevity of the service sector in Singapore, it is essential for both the government as well as proprietors to ensure excellent service is provided through a reliable and efficient workforce. 2. 0 FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS The key to maintaining such competitive level of service in Singapore is through the employment of the 24-hour workforce, which is most prevalently seen in the management of hotels and food and beverage establishments.
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Despite the widespread practice of using machinery and technology in replacing human labor, a total eradication of a 24-hour workforce cannot be realized due to the nature of the industry need for the personal touch (Inform Development Authority of Singapore 2006). It is therefore due to our innate distrust of technology from the disruptive nature of the Internet that has led to the need for flexible working hours in he service sector.
The rising trend of flexible working arrangement is seen most prevalently in the food and retail sector where Restaurants (34%)and Retail Trade (25%)had the greatest proportion of employees on flexible working arrangement (Ministry of Manpower 2001). Despite the constant progression in technology, it was identified that Singapore are still clocking up to 12 hours at work daily.
While the original intention of flexible working hours seeks to resolve the issue with the provision of a 24-hour workforce that does not compromise interpersonal customer interaction, it have however led to the unfortunate rise of work satisfaction due to the working of odd shifts and unfair work practice in shift allocation where shifts are scheduled according to seniority.
This work dissatisfaction is supported by Abraham Moscow (1943) works on hierarchy of needs where an employee’s Job safety and esteem needs might have been compromised from bureaucracy induced unfair work practices and highly replaceable positions of ‘informal” workers.
Although the effects of work dissatisfaction from shift work have flexible working hours Singapore By rainbow’s yet reach a level where it NAS led to Singapore credibility as a sate environment tort creation and business, recurring episodes of the SMART bus drivers strikes will most certainly create speculation on the supposedly ;reliability and effectiveness’ ‘Singapore workforce.
While a total eradication of shift work is still an unrealized and potentially naive concept, by enhancing current shift work allocation through better pay schemes or annual Job training or courses aimed to reduce absenteeism and staff turnover as well as to ensure maximum labor retention. 3. 0 DISPLAYING POSITIVE EMOTIONS As a service oriented culture country, it is thus important to seek continuous improvement in the service industry. Singapore has since then introduces the Go The Extra Mile Service (GEMS) award to motivate employees and take service delivery to a higher level (Singapore Tourism Board 2009).
In certain organization, GEMS award serve as a reward to employees when they go the extra miles for customers. Some organizations offer monetary rewards while there are others, which have a board of ’employees of the month’ in their office to honor those employees whom have work hard to achieve the GEMS attitude. Going The Extra Mile Service can be beneficial to both employers and employees. Employees are rewarded while organizations successfully build up customer loyalty. After all, maintaining old customers is still more cost effective than acquiring new customers.
Rules in displaying emotions are now commonly seen setting up in organization and employees have been sent for training by organizations, usually with communication techniques being the focus of the workshop, to improve on their service delivery (.NET Learning Hub 2012). These rules are set to foster good customer relationship and build rapport between service provider and customers (Grosgrain & Different 2005 & Grandee 2000). Grandee (2000) further discussed that these rules can encourage customer loyalty that benefits the organization.
Different, Richard, and Creole (2006) did a study which shows that 89% of employees from various service occupations sees the set of rules as displays of positive emotions while 72% sees it as the suppression of negative emotions. This shows that there are a high percentage of employees whom are not satisfied with the rules and they have to conform to deep acting if there is discrepancies between their natural emotions felt and displayed emotions (Grandee 2003 & Household 1983). Steinberg and Figaro (1999) came up with a quote saying that as a service provider, your smile is a mask and beneath the mask lays your troubles and sorrow.
It is important to remember that once an unhappy customer walks out of the door, they are gone forever. Thus, deep acting is crucial in the service industry. On the other hand, there are other theorists whom have different opinions. Studies show that people who are willing to display positive emotions are generally more favorable than those who refused to (Clark & Turban, 1991). However, the display must be genuine; Gardner and Martinet (1988) gave an example that ‘if the audience knows that the image claimed is false, the actor may be discredited. Standing in the customer’s point of view, even though a genuine gesture will be greatly appreciated but a tales display tot positive emotions is better than none. Nonetheless, while deep acting may cause dissatisfaction among employees, it is agreeable to a large extend that the display of positive emotions when facing customers is very important. The presence of positive first impression can potentially cause any negative issues that are encountered later, to be generously overlooked (Campbell & Fisherman 1996). 4.
This approach can be supported by the term “Nationalization” used y George Ritzier where efficiency, calculability, predictability and control can be seen in the benefits for both the employers and employees of a company in Singapore. Short-term employers are able to substitute an employee on long-term sick leave or maternity leave effectively, alleviating extra strain on the present teams (Atkinson et al. 1996). The contract serves as a bridge to resolve resource gap for a fixed period of time without increasing headcount. HRS administrations can easily managed manpower problem by hiring talents on contract basis.
Skilled mavens can assist to Andre a particular project for the required time and it would also welcome a new industry and provide for people involved in in-between roles (Brannon et al. 1996). Moreover, short-term employment resources offer more flexibility in maintaining the work-force balance during a downturn (Graham & Bennett 1995). Likewise, it would open up greater possibilities for people getting their career ongoing like trailing spouses, or foreign employees establishing themselves in Singapore, or a mother coming back to work.
As part-time work is relatively limited in Singapore, shorter employment contracts allows people in between Jobs to spend time with family (Callaghan , 1991), or to further improve and develop their skills, or to settle down; allowing them to have stability and order. In addition, organizations are able to have the flexibility to reassign contracted talents from assignments with regards to their suitable skills necessary for the respective relevant assignments. Short-term contract employees could become “tried-and-tested” full-time employees.
Contract workers that have performed well can be given an offer by the organization tort a dull-time position at he end tot the contract. A relevant example would include internships, which local polytechnics offer. From an employee’s point of view, it is also a chance to assess the position, before choosing a long-term similar role, with no committed obligation to an employer. These gives control to the organization at choosing the appropriate employees for the Job. However, there are several disadvantages for short-term employment contract even though it may seems to be beneficial for both employers and employees.
Breach & Starker (2000) suggest that due to organizations inability to manage short-term employees, they may experience greater level of unplanned turnover, resulting in failure to reach mutual understanding and expectations, therefore denying the firm to maximize productivity. Despite having the similar workload as permanent staff, employees’ morale can be affected due to differing welfare benefits received. In addition, short-term employees may not undergo the same training, consequently resulting in unequal level of output in same Jobs. (Fibrous & Will 2001).