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Singapore companies positive over economic outlook: survey

Anushkar Mohinani | Nov. 14, 2011
They are looking to reach their ambitions through staff productivity.

In a survey conducted last month, 44 percent of 200 Singapore companies comprising small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises indicated that they had a positive outlook on the current economic climate, while a small 14 percent expressed a negative view.

“Despite the US and Europe economic climate being negative, the over all sentiment of the Singapore business is relatively positive,” said AMI Partners’ Venu Reddy, who presented key findings from the second edition of the Canon Ambition Gap survey last week (9 November).  Moreover, 39 percent of the respondents said business conditions would improve in the coming months compared to 14 percent who said it would worsen, added the Asia Pacific vice president of the analyst firm.

Administered by Canon in conjunction with AMI Partners, the Singapore-based survey provides insights on the current business environment and measures the ambition gap between companies’ expectations and their achievements.

The survey further revealed that smaller companies with between 50 to 199 employees were more optimistic about the economy than bigger companies with between 200 to 999 employees.

The survey also reflected that smaller companies exhibited a greater ambition gap because they had bigger expectations for growth.

Smaller companies are more aggressive in their growth targets due to their dependence on the stronger local economy. Bigger companies, on the other hand, with their relatively high exposure to the global economy, have been conservative with their expectations and needs, Reddy explained.

Accordingly, these bigger companies with lower expectations showed the highest levels of satisfaction with their business performance, Reddy added.

Staff productivity
Based on the findings, the individual ambition gap, at 29.2 percent, was larger than company ambition gap at 24.5 percent.

The desired situation is a strong alignment between individual ambitions and corporate ambitions resulting in a highly dynamic organisation where employees are the most productive, said Lim Kok Hin, vice president, business imaging solutions group at Canon Singapore, who also presented at the event.

Companies need to better enable their staff to be more productive and in sync with the company ambition, added Lim.

Lim, however, noted that companies in Singapore are becoming more “matured” and less rigid with their staff to create and ideal working environment and nurture a happy and productive workforce.

Fifty-one percent of the companies surveyed said their staff could perform their task at any location and 57 percent said they encouraged their staff to take responsibility for their tasks and work independently.

The overall productivity is increased when employees are empowered to take ownership of their work and complete tasks under their responsibility, said Lim.


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