A parody on the problem with lack of pride, ownership and passion at work. Featuring Michelle Chong, Lulu and Elaine Seah (our fun-seeking director).

It would appear that the nation was not laughing this time round when Michelle Chong aired her thoughts on a Facebook on 22 July 2017.The multi-talented Singaporean entertainer who cameo-ed as Ah Lian in the promo for Orange is the New Black, triggered a plethora of arguments on work ethics, corporate culture and even an opportunity for insurance sales.

While everyone was riled up by the post, chiming in with their own two cents, we could not help but imagine a conversation on the topic of workplace apathy with Fasionhistar, Lulu, and our fun-seeking boss, Elaine Seah. If you don’t know who Lulu is, watch “Lulu The Movie” on DVD before you proceed!

Lack of pride …

Michelle Chong: I honestly think Singapore would be a better place if people really just take pride in their work …

Lulu: Nowsadayse, plide ise vely vely the esipensivese!

Elaine Seah: Indeed, pride does not come cheap. A great deal of time, attention, strategic and even creative thinking are invested to ensure the outcome is not just good but superior. This is especially important in our line of work as public relations consultants. The repercussions of substandard work impact not only the agency, but also the clients and their stakeholders. Many who fail to take pride in their work see this kind of investment as unnecessary. However, it is the same logic as self-love, if we cannot take pride in our work, how can we expect anyone else to appreciate our efforts?

Lack of ownership …

Michelle Chong: … just have a “pass up homework” heck care attitude, how do they get any enjoyment or fulfillment out of their jobs? …

Lulu: Likke Lulu, I vely ploude offe my job as fasionhistar, sooper star.

Elaine Seah: Ownership is part provision and part attitude. While some (less precocious) employees misconstrue that ownership is to be given, it is undeniable that this quality is an extension of attitude. What management can do to increase ownership is to empower individuals to be accountable and take charge of their work. Micromanaging is tiring and frustrating on all parties. Therefore, we always ensure that we establish a common understanding of the desired outcome, appropriate guidelines and leave ample flexibility for everyone to do their best. Always collaborate (or create), not suffocate! Giving credit and showing appreciation when due is an easy start as such positive reinforcements encourage people to take ownership of their work.

Lack of passion …

Michelle Chong: … It’s not like I’m getting paid very much for this job” or “please lah it’s just a job right?” or “do extra for what? I’m still getting the same salary right?” attitude…

Lulu: We mustse pin pin pin pin pin! Notte for the money and the pinkke IC only. Butte pinkke IC also the vely the importantte.

Elaine Seah: Definitely any company would be inclined to recruit someone who is passionate. Imagine a colleague who is always MIA (missing in action) when work needs to be done. It would be an absolute nightmare. Matching the right talent with the right attitude to the right position is the first step to avoiding an apathetic worker. Many stumbled into their first job just because of pay. While this may seem like the common rite of passage, we question where passion is because work to them is not their source of fulfillment. When the right talent is recruited, it is up to the management to  foster an encouraging workplace culture that constantly fuels enthusiasm. Achievements mean a lot more when business goals are aligned with personal goals because work can have a greater purpose than to merely put food on the table. 

If you prefer advice in a more colloquial tone, no one puts it better than Lulu:

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