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Published in Straits Times 6 Jan: A positive step towards an innovative work culture

I applaud the Government’s efforts to move away from paper qualifications when grouping civil servants (“Civil servants no longer grouped by education level”; Jan 5).
Having excellent paper qualifications is no doubt important for it reflects the learning abilities and attitude of an individual. But grades cannot dictate an individual’s career path once he or she enters the workforce.

With the old system, a worker with poorer paper qualifications may find that despite his best efforts, his career progression is still hampered. As a result, he will eventually lose his motivation and not do his best. These individuals are also unlikely to actively contribute ideas for the benefit of the organisation. After all, what is the point of contributing good ideas if individuals are not assessed based on their performance?

Compared with their peers who have better paper qualifications, their innovative ideas may be ignored. In any organisation, the last thing we want is to develop a culture that is stifling and uninnovative. As employees become less willing to contribute, they also tend to become less resourceful when it comes to problem solving.

Changing the grouping is just one way to de-emphasise paper qualifications.
More must be done to develop a positive and innovative culture.

Darren Chow Weng Kin

As published in Straits Times: A positive step towards an innovative work culture