31 July 2015
Launch of an ASME-SHRI Accolade: SME HR Award

New accolade to recognise local SMEs that adopt and implement effective HR practices, enabling them to attract and retain employees in today’s tight labour market

Singapore, 31 July 2015 – The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) and the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) have partnered up today to establish a new accolade - the SME HR Award. The Award seeks to acknowledge small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have implemented relevant and productive strategies, thus enhancing their HR practices and overall work environment.

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Mr Kurt Wee, President of ASME said, “From our feedback sessions with SMEs, the association learnt that manpower issues continue to be a concern for local business owners. There is a need to aid these enterprises in their goals to hire the right people for the right jobs and to form a local management core to implement effective business strategies for the company. As such, ASME is proud to collaborate with SHRI on the inception of this new Award for SMEs, to reward local businesses for their achievements in human resource and for other small enterprises to emulate their good examples.”

“SMEs form the core of Singapore’s economy, employing 70% of the workforce and contributing more than 50% of the nation’s economic output. Through the SME HR Award, SHRI aims to recognise and showcase exemplary HR practices, as well as develop untapped potential in SMEs. The ultimate goal is for these small enterprises to learn from the best practices featured and grow the local business community towards a more productive, lean and competent Singapore workforce,” added Mr Erman Tan, President of SHRI. As many employees and job-seekers possess a negative perception towards SMEs, many local enterprises have been working on implementing appropriate schemes within the office to aid talent recruitment and retention in the long run.

Commenting on the need to support these SMEs, Mr Francis Koh, Award Co-Chairman and ASME Council Member said, “As the owner of a staffing firm, I am keenly aware of the difficulties SMEs face in sourcing for talent to grow with their enterprises. Finding a suitable fit for job positions is incredibly crucial for SMEs looking for dedicated individuals, and there have been SMEs who have successfully acquired new hires and retained them, due to their commitment to building a conducive work environment for these employees and grooming them for the future. These exemplary companies deserve every bit of acknowledgment and are definite contenders for the SME HR Award.”

The key qualifying criteria for the Award is that participants must be local SMEs, the definition of an SME being the SPRING Singapore standard. Permanent staff head count equates to the number of employees in a company and business owners must note that all HR consultants and consultancies will be excluded from the Award for to ensure a fair judging process as some SMEs have tapped on external HR capabilities.

Winners will be selected according to a holistic assessment of the local enterprises’ human resource processes and initiative in introducing such policies in their workplace. Participating SMEs will be evaluated in ten different categories and only the companies that achieve a score of 70% or more in 5 categories and above will advance to achieve the three tiers of prestigious SME HR Award.

In addition to the main Awards, SMEs will be acknowledged for their endeavours in nurturing students to learn new skillset and preparing them for the workforce, as well as honouring micro-enterprises that have made great strides in their companies’ HR processes. As an advocate of quality human resource management and development, SHRI endorses the continuous upgrading of skills to help employees stay relevant in the labour market.

SHRI provides a development, certification and accreditation road map that is flexible to support the changing needs of the business operating environment and the different phases of SME business growth, locally and overseas. We hope to address the different needs of SMEs through blended self-learning, workplace learning, part-time scheduling, through peer learning and sharing, mentoring and coaching and tapping on course material developed to meet HR future skills and global standards.

Ms Lynn Gan, Award Co-Chairman and SHRI Executive Council Member mentioned, “We are aware that SMEs are one of the major engines of growth in Singapore, as they contribute to our GDP and labour market. It is a challenge today for SMEs to stay competitive in the economy, hence one key area SHRI focuses on is raising the human capabilities in SMEs continuously. The Award is a good platform to emphasise the benefits of investing in people management and how critical human resource is to businesses. The award provides the opportunity for workplace practices to be evaluated, to benchmark, learn and share successful HR initiatives by SMEs to other SMEs. Through the award, SHRI looks forward to more SMEs being inspired and empowered to continuously improve and innovate their HR processes and practices.”

Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer of e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) said, “With a tight labour market, SMEs will face challenges in attracting the right talents and retaining them. We are committed to work with partners like ASME and SHRI to connect SMEs with recruitment, training and productivity solutions. This inaugural award is a good platform to recognise outstanding SMEs, and continue our efforts with them to improve talent management and address productivity gaps so as to ensure competitiveness of our local SMEs.”

The SME HR Award is supported by e2i, SPRING Singapore, STJobs and Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP).

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