Lessons From May Day Rally 2015
Lessons From May Day Rally 2015

Posted on 05 May 2015

Celebrated on 1 May annually, Labour Day gives us the opportunity to cherish the solidarity of workers and democratic trade unions. It allows us a chance to reflect on our past achievements and strive towards creating an ideal society where all parties enjoy the taste of their fruits of labour.
Singapore has achieved immense success with its policy of tripartism – where government, unions, and workers collaborate to boost economic planning – since the first May Day rally held 56 years ago. This system has guided us through many ups and downs and helped us create a stable economy, which thrives on a fair wage framework, opportunities for skills advancement and legislature that protects workers’ rights.
At this year’s rally, Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong reminded us not to take advantage of this “magic” trust between these organisations, but to build on what we have achieved so far.
He also underlined the importance of a strong education foundation, continued skills advancement for workers, and grooming of outstanding leaders to keep our nation successful for the next generation and beyond.
Continued Education & Training
Although the Prime Minister was speaking about nation-building as a whole, these guidelines can also be adopted by organisations looking to keep themselves strong and on par with global companies. For example, in our previous articles, we have shared (here, here and here) how both organisations and employees can tap on schemes provided by the government to spur continued learning and skills development.
Additionally, employers can tap on the JobsCentral Learning portal for industry-related training. These corporate training courses, which are sourced from a range of accredited public and private institutions, equip employees with up-to-date skills that will benefit them as they carry out their job functions.   
The Need For Strong Leadership
On grooming talent for continued leadership, PM Lee stressed on the need for strong leaders “to set the direction, to guide, to work, to inspire, and to deliver results”. While this may seem like a tall order, organisations need to constantly groom their pool of talent and leaders in order to stay relevant and competitive.
Companies will need to identify talented individuals from the start and give them every opportunity to learn the ropes from fellow employees and managers. These include effective internal cross-training and mentorship programmes to ensure that candidates have a good understanding about the company’s roots and develop the necessary skills to lead the organisation forward into the future.
Moving forward, we should learn from our past leaders, who have sought to groom ordinary workers into successful individuals. By ensuring that we continue to improve ourselves, we can help to keep our companies strong, develop new ideas and stay on par with global industry heavyweights.
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