By John Kam
1.You think employees should be allowed to exercise their civil rights? To what extent?
Yes. I think so. After all they are called civil rights. But then there is also the interest of the company at stake and the problem arises if there is a conflict. Then I guess the question of what do you stand for more? No point cursing the company who feeds you and then staying there to be fed. Hypocritical if you ask me.
2.How would you deal with an employee who wants to or has attended an anti-establishment rally?
Openness and maturity is key. The question of values whether personal or corporate also comes in. After all if your company is against what you are fighting for then why are you still in the company? But if someone attends anti-establishment rallies aren’t necessarily against the rules. They are usually fighting for better things. Aren’t we all? So as long as it’s not against what the company believes in I have no objections. In fact I’d like to find out more why the person feels so strongly about the particular cause. Knowing what they fight for and the motivators in their lives helps you engage them into the team. That’s what’s important.
3.How would you, as a boss, engage your staff in occasions like the recent Bersih rally? How can we turn such events into something positive/constructive? Or use as training tools? I think the critical thing about Bersih is not so much that people want to rally. It’s what people are rallying for. Justice and democracy is worth fighting for. All I ask is that they conduct themselves with dignity and in a manner that the company would be proud of. Not hooliganism or childishness but with dignity and respect. Represent what you are fighting for. That’s what all organizations should strive for. Employees who are willing to act on their values. Using this platform as a teachable moment also helps young ones understand longer term thinking. Topple government? Really? What will you do if you succeed? What happens the next day? It’s all very romantic and passionate. But reality then sets in. So either way there are fantastic learning opportunities that many people can use to stimulate thinking and growth so that they are not governed by emotions but by mature rational thought.