How employers can support their Lower Wage Workers

arclab webinar summary
Jie Ying

Jie Ying

[Summary: Within the next two years, Singapore companies hiring Lower-Wage Workers will see the extension of progressive wages to better uplift and support this group of workers. Companies hiring foreigners will also have to pay their local employees a Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) of S$1,400. How would the higher wage bill affect businesses? We speak with our industry leaders to find out how companies can better prepare and support the upcoming higher wage bill and remain profitable. We discussed topics on providing mobile training for blue-collar workers, job redesign, and automation of workflow.]

Many of our Deskless Workers are also Lower-Wage Workers. To uplift our Lower-Wage Workers requires a concerted effort from the government, employers, unions, service buyers, and fellow citizens. 

At Singapore’s 2021 National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced three key measures to support our Lower-Wage Workers.

Businesses would have to fund a part of the higher wages, as they are unlikely to be able to pass on the full magnitude of the wage increases to buyers. So how can businesses sustainably fund the wage increases?

To address this question, ArcLab hosted a webinar speaking to industry leaders from Singapore Productivity Centre, Institute for Human Resource Professionals, F&B companies Fei Siong Group & Kiosks Collective, and HRTech platform StaffAny.

Here are the 3 ways Employers can support their Lower Wage Workers –

1. Find ways to redesign jobs and automate work processes

The purpose of job redesign is to tailor employee job scope to a business’s current needs. During times of change, job redesign can help to ensure business needs are filled by competent workers. When employees tasks and abilities are aligned, this can increase their job satisfaction and workplace experience. 

Danny Khoo, Director of Operations at Kiosks Collective (operator of food favourites like Pezzo, Crave Nasi Lemak, Ya Lor Braised Duck etc.) shared how they make job tasks “bite-sized” so they can easily train workers to do them. Pieced together, the various job tasks translate into a job well done. This increases productivity and reduces costs, a win-win for the business and the worker.

Digital transformation does NOT have to be expensive, and there are many technology solutions that companies can adapt to upskill their deskless workforce.

2. Measure so you can manage

Peter Drucker, one of the most widely known management consultant, is often quoted saying that "You can't manage what you can't measure."

Work process should also include an assessment of performance. An assessment of employee performance can help workers self-monitor their performance and adjust when needed. There are many ways to measure performance, and employers should research to find the best one to suit their companies objectives and need.

Janson Seah, co-founder of StaffAny, a business solution that provides automatic scheduling software for companies hiring hourly workers shared that assessing sales / labour performance helps companies to more holistically increase overall productivity and profitability.

Companies can make use of analytics to guide future efforts in increasing productivity in the workforce.

3. Training underpins any new system or tech

Business changes require a competent workforce to support. By providing ongoing workforce training that is scheduled consistently, workers can continuously increase their skills and reach a better understanding of their job scope.

Adrian Tan, Future of Work Strategist at IHRP, advised that training should be prioritised and ‘scheduled’, so that it is not put off whenever work gets busy. In fact, training can be conducted in bite-sizes, digitally delivered in the “flow of work”.

Indeed, employee training when done right can improve workforce productivity and performance. Mervin Lee, VP of Fei Siong Group (owner of casual dining eateries like Encik Tan, Malaysia Boleh!, EAT. etc.) also shared that companies should also consider factors such as employee education background, languages and experience when designing their training programs.

Fei Siong Group used ArcLab’s mobile-learning platform for employee onboarding and training, via modules sent directly to their worker’s mobile phones. They continually helping over 1,000 of their workers stay upskilled on topics such as customer service, safety, and quality standards, with training customised to suit staffs’ language preferences. This has helped Fei Siong Group improve training while cutting 90% in training time compared with traditional methods. Staff are also updated with messages from their founder, Mr Tan Kim Siong, a practice that garnered positive responses from their many on-site workers who would not otherwise have the chance to hear from their founder first-hand.

Employee training that resonates with staff can provide a wide host of benefits, from boosting employee performance and productivity, reducing turnover, and improving company culture. This leads to better business performance and better business profitability.

The time to upskill and train your workers is now.

arclab webinar summary

Thank you to our speakers (clockwise from top to bottom), Michael Tan, James Chia, Mervin Lee, Janson Seah, Chu Jie Ying, Danny Khoo, Adrian Tan, and Sim Siling.

Looking for workforce productivity solutions? Check out ArcLab on how you can up-skill your team effectively in a cost-friendly manner.

Get in touch today at

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