More SMBs encourage employee independence

New survey finds more small and midsize businesses in Singapore are expecting employees to take responsibility and work independently, a move that signals the city-state's move to becoming a knowledge-based economy, says analyst.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--More than half of employers from small and midsize business (SMB) in the country are encouraging employees to take responsibility for their tasks and work independently without constant supervision, a new survey found.

Released Thursday, preliminary results of "The Ambition Gap" survey showed that 58 percent of SMBs want employees to take ownership of their tasks and to work without constant supervision. The survey also noted that 67 percent of SMB employers agreed that employees should be appraised based on their work and not the time spent in the office.

During the media briefing, Venu Reddy, vice president of AMI-Partners Asia Pacific, said this showed a shift toward a knowledge-based economy for the city-state.

He added that companies will need to provide employees with the right tools to work efficiently, in order to drive employees' satisfaction of their work.

The survey found that SMBs with 100 to 249 employees were the most satisfied with their business performance, followed by firms with 50 to 99 employees. However, businesses with 250 to 499 employees showed the least satisfaction.

Reddy explained that as a company grows bigger, so will its ambitions or business objectives. This will lead to a bigger gap between ambition and achievement, which results in a lower level of satisfaction, he said.

Commissioned by Canon, "The Ambition Gap" survey was conducted by AMI-Partners on companies with 50 to 999 employees. The first phase of the survey was conducted in September and October 2010 and involved 202 Singapore-based companies. A second survey was carried out with 380 employers in the country during October.

The full results of the survey will be released in a few weeks' time, along with an index for companies to measure how far they are from achieving their ambitions and goals, and how they can bridge the gap between ambition and achievement using technologies to enhance productivity.

Lim Kok Hin, senior director and general manager of business imaging solutions and business solutions division at Canon Singapore, said at the briefing that the company is advocating the use of technology tools to drive employees' productivity and work-life balance.

According to the study, employees are giving more importance to personal time. Technology can help staff achieve much more in a shorter time frame, which can allow them to have time to achieve their personal ambitions, said Lim.

Editorial standards