Category Archives: Food for Thought

Terminating employee based on assumed gender

A candidate came in for interview. Short hair, with neatly trimmed moustache, wore a formal black shirt accompanied with slim fit formal pants.

Fast forward, candidate offered the job and had accepted. On the very first day, application form was given for the candidate to fill in. It was then the HR was shocked when she received the completed form – Gender was female. All along, both the hiring unit and the HR personnel thought the candidate was male.

Now, they are thinking of terminating this employee for dishonestly declaring her particulars. What is your advice?

Let’s start off with my very own, open to discussion and advice.

  1. Firstly, application form should be filled in way before the interview commences instead of when the candidate joined on the very first day. There is so much information to be declared which we can then proceed with any necessary verification and checks.
  2. Terminating an employee due to false declaration? Did the company have the candidate declare such information prior to joining? All is about assumption, and that, if proceed, will be an wrongly termination.
  3. Are we terminating based on false declaration or are we terminating because we want to hire a male employee instead of a female one? What’s the justification for that – purely discrimination?

I would say termination is a no go. What’s your take?


Meaningful Argument

Argue Based on Facts.jpg

Do you realise at times, meetings are becoming more like a waste of time than meaningful discussions?

There is a lot of “I feel”, “I think”, “I believe” kind of argument to push initiatives or solutions through. Should we provide evidence – concrete ones – to support our points instead? Not withstanding the fact that at times, assumption is necessary, but if facts are readily available (if one does his/her homework), should we then base on that to come to better solutions?

Some quick examples:
“Why do people leave our organisation?”
“What is the best engagement activity for employees?”

Let’s take about the first example. I had one Head of Department who immediately comes to a conclusion that it was about the salary, and he can do nothing about it unless our company provide him with a bigger budget. But with a quick sample size interview, that is not even in the top 3 reasons for their resignation! In fact, I had read a research study before and generally salary is not the top reason for resignation as well.

We got to be really rationale. I admit I have room for improvement on this, and I will work on it, always.

What about you?

Blending In

Most people are afraid of being different, and tried their best to blend in. At times, we do have the urge, but we do decide to not do so, for we believe, that is not us, that is them.
One such situation is when ethics comes into play.


Deserving a Promotion


When someone more junior than the others got a promotion, gossip will fly. In fact, I would say anyone who was promoted, are bound to attract jealousy, anger, etc.

Common remarks?

“I have been here for 2 years and she just joined 6 months ago. What is this?”
“I am leaving, this company is not recognising my efforts.”
“She must have did something with the boss.”

Not withstanding the fact that there are people who really don’t deserve a promotion, there are those who work hard for it. Acknowledge that, shall we?

Disciplinary Action for Taking Medical Leave

I am a member of a HR community forum, and there was a question posted recently, “How can we prevent people from taking Medical Leave (MC)?”

There is one who shared that they counsel staff, and verbally warning them that if they continue to take Medical Leave excessively, their performance will be affected, so does their Bonus.

From my experience, I had heads of departments telling me the same thing – warning for staff who took a huge number of Medical Leave.

Firstly, Medical Leave is an entitlement under the Employment Act. As long as it is a legit claim (e.g. from appointed doctors), we have to honor and not fault our employees.
Secondly, why are we faulting employees from consuming their entitlements? No doubt it is a cost, but we have to acknowledge it IS an entitlement.
Lastly, not withstanding the fact that there will be a couple of employees who will abuse the system, but if there is no evidence of misconduct, there should be no Disciplinary Action, isn’t it?

What do you think?