As Singapore continues to face a labour shortage, the challenge for today’s managers is how to be labour lean. Foreign workers already account for one-third of the country’s labour force. Businesses have to learn to treat labour as a precious factor of production and find ways to be more judicious in the use of manpower.
Fortunately, help is at hand through the government’s Lean Enterprise Development (LED) scheme.
New technologies, new analytical tools, good human resource practices, leadership commitment, and a culture of sustained improvement can help SMEs to transform and grow in an increasingly manpower lean, muscular environment.
To be labour lean while improving quality and efficiency is the mantra that all businesses, big and small, will have to learn. The sooner they do so, the faster they will be able to successfully achieve improvements in productivity and manpower savings.
Given the current economic state, not just in Singapore but glo-bally, retrenchments are unavoidable. Many big players in the market, ranging from information technology companies to banks are letting employees go. It is sad but true.
Those who remain, may in some ways feel stretched as they have to cover their own duties as well as those who have left, mainly due to no replacement for headcount. It is even more important than ever for companies to find ways to be even more productive with a leaner taskforce and find opportunities to be innovative.
This issue discusses how to be labour lean. And as always, it features a number of articles that range from what it is like to be an audiobook reader amongst other interesting stories. Oh and I had the opportunity to interview the charismatic and innovative owner of PestBusters, Mr Thomas Fernandez, who shares his views on leadership and management.
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