Lessons we learnt in 2015

What a year it has been. The past 12 months managed to squeeze in more learning for me than possibly my entire working life.

From taking on a new role, to managing a team, and being part of business expansion, it has been a busy year indeed. And all of these milestones have a way of keeping one engaged in a way that you don’t realise how fast time has flown.

However, some of the most interesting things that my team and I have learnt in the past year have reflected in the most popular stories we’ve all written on our website: www.humanresourcesonline.net.

From understanding how to eliminate antiquated performance reviews to dealing with big egos at the office, the cool thing about being a journalist is learning something new everyday.

So to bring in the New Year, I decided to compile some of our top stories of the year into one quick takeaway, as we usher in 2016.

Lesson 1: Working in HR is making us fat

If you’ve found yourself weighing just a little bit more every month, perhaps you’ll find consolation in that fact that you’re in good company.

According to a survey by JobsCentral, 62% of employees in Singapore claim to have gained weight since starting work, gaining an average of 3kg for each year of work.

While it’s better I don’t comment on the amount of weight I’ve put on since I started working eight years ago, suffice it to say I’ll be spending a lot of my Christmas break in the gym.

Read the story: Working in HR is making you fat

Lesson 2: Despite the weight gain, it pays to be in HR

C&B directors, as well as heads of organisational development (OD) are pulling in the highest salaries within the HR function in Singapore.

A report by FocusCore identified C&B specialists at the director level earn on average $240,000 per year, while OD directors, and HR generalists and HRBPs, receive average annual salaries of $220,000.

At a senior executive level, HRIS specialists earn the highest ($90,000), while organisational development and C&B professionals at the management level were found to be receive $150,000, the highest in the category.

Read the story: Salaries of HR professionals in Singapore

Lesson 3: If there’s one perk employees love, it’s another day of leave 

Adding to the 11 public holidays in Singapore this year, President Tony Tan declared August 7, 2015 as a public holiday, in honour of the SG50 celebrations, making for a four-day jubilee weekend.

Additionally, the long-awaited elections in the city-state called for yet another public holiday on September 11, leading to a long weekend – and we couldn’t rejoice enough.

A recent study by Robert Half Singapore confirmed our suspicions – if employees in Singapore could have just one wish granted, 36% would ask for more annual leave.

In fact, perks such as childcare, laundry services and access to fitness facilities all ranked lowest on the list, proving that nothing beats sleeping-in for an extra day each year.

Read the story: All I really want for Christmas is… more annual leave days

Lesson 4: Mark Zuckerberg’s secret to hiring top talent makes perfect sense

Want the best people to work for you? Then get ready to hire only those who you would be willing to work for. This, Mark Zuckerberg said, is the secret to sifting out top talent during recruitment.

In a townhall with employees and partners, during the Facebook founder and CEO’s trip to Barcelona earlier this year, he was asked about how he recruits right.

“I would only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” was Zuckerberg’s response.

“This rule has served me pretty well,” he said. “I think as long as you have that as your rule for picking the people you work with, you’re not going to go wrong.”

Working with a great bunch of people isn’t just a driver for recruitment, but for retention as well.

The most number of employees (42%), in an Oracle survey, say their peers have the biggest role to play in how engaged they feel at work, well ahead of line managers (21%) and business unit managers (7%).

Makes perfect sense, right?

On that note, I wish you all a wonderful set of colleagues, a better work-life balance, and much professional success in the year ahead. Have a happy new year!

Image: Shutterstock

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