Improve employee productivity and increase skills, firms in Singapore told
As businesses raise employees’ wages, they should also endeavour to increase employee productivity to ensure that the higher costs are sustainable and justifiable, expressed Zaqy Mohamad, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Manpower, and Tan Hee Teck, Vice President of the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), at a dialogue session on progressive wage moves.
Rather than give a “free wage rise”, businesses can consider building on their employees’ skills and redeploying them to tap their talents and skills, said Zaqy, reported The Business Times.
Singapore’s progressive wage models (PWMs) for the retail sector took effect in September. The sector-specific framework specifies minimum wage levels and seeks to uplift the wages of lower-wage local workers by training them to increase their skills and productivity.
A food-service PWM and waste management PWM will next be introduced in March and July 2023, respectively.
Attendees in the dialogue, which comprised C-suite executives, and human resource managers, noted that although employees may be satisfied with their current salaries for the work they do, these salaries are below the minimum wages required by the PWM.
The minister also encouraged businesses that have higher proportions of lower-wage workers to rethink their business models. For instance, companies in the security sector can lower reliance on manpower by adopting surveillance tech, he said.