Final Reflection

Dear Brad,

I started out this module having a mindset that there is nothing much to learn for communication. Through this three months worth of communication classes, I realise that there are many areas that I can learn and adopt.

My greatest learning outcome came from the project. It allowed me to understand the problems in the hospitality industry especially workplace bullying that my team had understudied. It was after much research that we realise the severity of the situation in Singapore. Singapore is known for its safe environment. However, such incidents are happening in the present society and in the hospitality industry. The only way to stop these workplace bullying is from within. We, ourselves, have to be vigilant and make sure that our safety is not at risk. Furthermore, Singapore government provides various channels to extend their help in that area. The project was definitely fun as we got to use our creativity in producing a video to convey the message across to industry players.

At the start of the course, we were told to write our weaknesses of communication. I realised that I am not a good listener. At times, I tend to talk more than listen. Active listening is definitely an important skill in communication. I had the greatest impression of the class activity that we were supposed to share our experiences with the listener while facing the wall and provide solutions to their problems. From that exercise, I realise the art of active listening is that we have to focus on the person communicating and do not have to agree but follow through what he/she is saying. We could register what they are saying by asking questions to reconfirm that the correct message is conveyed. We also have to show interest using our body language. Without being able to see the body language of each other while facing the wall made communication harder.

All in all, this module allowed me to further understand communication, verbal and non-verbal. I believe that these skills will aid me in my future career in the hospitality industry where communication is a significant skill to have. Huge thanks to my professor, Brad, for imparting this knowledge and my classmates for spicing up this course and making it more enjoyable than it seems.

Regards,
Joey Lee

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Project Synopsis- Final Draft

Introduction
As Singapore embarks on a journey to establish itself as a regional hub for the events sector in the years to come, many of the locally-based event organizers and firms are working hard to take on more projects to play their part in growing the industry. However, this surge in productivity and performance comes at a price – stretching limited resources and overworking employees to meet the various deadlines imposed. An event operates like an exponential curve; it starts slowly and gradually as the event nears, the workload builds leading to the event itself. Burnouts happen frequently if the workload is not managed properly. As a result, there is a loss of human touch and staff welfare across the industry, with supervisors and managers pushing their team to the limit in exchange for results and performance.

Problem Statement
While it is heartening to know that the phenomenon does not occur in every workplace, a more pressing issue exists on hand – workplace bullying. Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper (2011) defined this as “harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone’s work tasks repeatedly and regularly, over a period of time.”

It has been reported that many employees in Singapore have seen themselves fall victim to workplace bullying – with 24 percent of local employees indicating so in an online survey conducted by JobsCentral in 2012 (Goh, 2014). Employees reportedly experienced bullying in various manners, and these can be classified as being either clear-cut or subtle.

Problem Definition
Clear-cut examples of workplace bullying would include physical abuse, such as being slapped and pinched, and verbal abuse, in the form of hurling vulgarities or insults. Subtle manners of workplace abuse are harder to identify and would include things such as making degrading remarks and being ostracized at work by colleagues.

Though it may be easy to cast a blind eye to such incidents at work, it is an issue that should not be ignored, as the repercussions can be severe for the targets of bullying. A study has shown, as cited in Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper (2011), some targets may consider suicide as a solution to their problems. Mental well-being can also be affected, where targets may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The same study quoted above on 199 participants, who experienced bullying, has shown that 84 percent of them have PTSD symptoms attributed to workplace bullying by their superiors. Workplace bullying can affect one’s self-esteem, leading to a sense of hopelessness and lower self-worth and even depression (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2011).

This problem may also affect work productivity of the company (Rajalakshmi & Gomathi, 2016). Additionally, there is a co-relation between bullying and absenteeism due to sickness (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2011). As such, this means that victims of bullying are more likely to be absent from work, affecting the overall productivity of the company.

Objective of the Study
The aim of the study is to explore the concept of workplace bullying – specifically in the areas of verbal abuse and being ostracized at work – as these are the most likely scenarios to occur in the events industry.

Through this study, the team hopes to achieve several key objectives. Firstly, the team aims to raise awareness of workplace bullying in Singapore, and inform the relevant stakeholders in the event industry that such situations do exist. According to an interview with an employee at Concepts Events Marketing, most of the workplace bullying that takes place in the events industry includes verbal bullying and ostracising of subordinates. Due to the nature of the work, teamwork is part and parcel of the job. There will always be a few members who cannot work well in a team, and get ostracised. Therefore, it is crucial to make known to relevant stakeholders – human resource managers, managers of different tiers, and employees about the pressing issue.

Secondly, the study will highlight the various signs and symptoms of workplace bullying, which will help stakeholders identify such incidents in the workplace. Lastly, it aims to educate victims on the various platforms to seek help from. This will allow both the victims and witnesses of workplace bullying to understand the seriousness of the issue and help them know how and where to seek help from.

Proposed Solutions
According to the Ministry of Manpower guidelines, every employee can be reminded to take charge of their own personal safety and wellbeing at work. To deal with workplace bullying, the victim should firstly, be familiar with the workplace harassment procedures in the organisation and report it to the appropriate parties. Companies are also advised to implement proper reporting procedures or establish a harassment reporting line with an environment where whistle-blowers will be protected.

Additionally, employees are encouraged to seek help from their colleagues, and a buddy system can be adopted to solve such issues. Alternatively, external help can be sought to resolve workplace bullying. The affected person can consider approaching associations, unions, or professional organisations to seek help from. Some of these avenues include the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), The Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM.)

For employers seeking to create training programs relating to peer support, they can approach the Trauma Recovery and Corporate Solutions (TraCS) for advice, and acquire the required resources. Alternatively, the victim can consider making a police report if the situation escalates. If the victim needs legal advice, they can approach the Community Justice Centre (CJC), who are able to provide legal advice to individuals needing help.

The team firmly believes that the education video produced will be able to aid in raising awareness about the real extent of workplace abuse in a typical workplace within the industry. Also, it serves as an educational tool for both the employers and the employees, in learning about how to identify workplace bullying, and knowing how to handle such situations within the workplace environment.

Research Methodology
In order to better understand the extent and impact of workplace bullying within the various workplaces in local events firms, a series of in-depth interviews were conducted with several employees who have witnessed such incidents first-hand within their companies. However, pseudonyms will be used to protect these individuals, as they have agreed to the interview on the condition that their identities will be kept confidential. In addition, academic papers will be referenced from multiple sources to further strengthen the findings, and provide alternative viewpoints on the topic of workplace bullying as a whole.

Concluding Thoughts
Workplace bullying is a pressing issue that is not commonly highlighted, but yet on ongoing phenomenon that has to be addressed due to the consequences. The team is keen to provide solutions to address this issue and is fully confident that the proposed solution will be effective in resolving the problem of workplace bullying.


Bibliography
Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. (2011). The concept of bullying at work: The European tradition. International perspectives in research and practice, 3 – 30.

Goh, N. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/facing-up-to-bullies-at-the-workplace

Rajalakshmi,M., & S., G. (2016). Relationship between workplace bullying and organisational culture. Global Management Review 10(2), 71-82.

Tripartite Advisory on Managing Workplace Harassment. (2017). Mom.gov.sg. Retrieved 21 March 2017, from http://www.mom.gov.sg/~/media/mom/documents/employment-practices/guidelines/tripartite-advisory-on-managing-workplace-harassment.pdf?la=en

 

Project Synopsis Draft 1

Introduction
As Singapore embarks on a journey to establish itself as a regional hub for the events sector in the years to come, it has meant that many of the locally-based event organizers and firms are working doubly hard to take on more projects to play their part in growing the industry.

However, this surge in productivity and performance has come at a price – stretching limited resources and overworking employees to meet the various deadlines imposed. The event industry is like an exponential curve; it starts slowly and gradually as the events near, the workload builds leading to the event itself. Burnouts happen frequently if it is not managed properly. As a result, there is a loss of human touch and staff welfare across the industry, with supervisors and managers in some companies pushing their team to the limits in exchange for results and performance.

Problem Statement
While it is heartening to know that the phenomenon does not occur in every workplace, there is a need to recognize that a more pressing issue exists on hand – workplace bullying. Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper (2011) defined this as “harassing, offending, socially excluding someone or negatively affecting someone’s work tasks repeatedly and regularly, over a period of time”.

It has been reported by The Straits Times, a local newspaper, that many employees have seen themselves fall victim to workplace bullying – with 24 percent of local employees indicating so in an online survey conducted by JobsCentral in 2012 (Goh, 2014). Employees reportedly experienced bullying in various manners, and these can be classified as being either clear-cut or subtle.

Problem Definition
Workplace bullying that is considered clear-cut would include physical abuse – such as being slapped and pinched, and verbal abuse – in the form of hurling vulgarities, or insults. Subtle manners of workplace abuse are harder to identify and would include things such as sexual harassment – making degrading remarks, molest, and being ostracized at work by colleagues.

Though it may be easy to cast a blind eye to such incidents at work, it is an issue that should not be ignored, as the repercussions can be severe for the targets of bullying. A few studies have shown that some targets may consider suicide as a solution to their problems. Mental well-being can also be affected, where targets may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A study on 199 participants (who experienced bullying) has shown that 84 percent of them have PTSD symptoms attributed to workplace bullying by their superiors. Moreover, workplace bullying can affect an individual self-esteem, leading to a sense of hopelessness and lower self-worth and even depression (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2011).

This problem may also affect work productivity of the company. Research has also shown that victims of workplace bullying are more likely to have sleep difficulties. As sleep is one of the important factors for maintaining health and well-being, the lack of sleep may lead to poorer health which can result in a lower level of productivity from the employee. Additionally, there is a co-relation between bullying and sickness absenteeism (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2011). As such, this means that victims of bullying are more likely to be absent from work, affecting the overall productivity of the company.

Objective of the Study
Hence, the aim of the study is to explore the concept of workplace bullying – specifically in the areas of verbal abuse and being ostracized at work – as these are the most likely scenarios to occur in the events industry.

Through this study, the team hopes to achieve several key objectives. Firstly, the team aims to raise awareness of workplace bullying in Singapore, and inform the public that such situations do exist within the country. Secondly, the study will list the various signs and symptoms of workplace bullying, which will help employees to identify such incidents in the workplace. Lastly, it aims to educate readers on the various platforms to seek help from.

Research Methodology
In order to better understand the extent and impact of workplace bullying within the various workplaces in local events firms, a series of in-depth interviews will be conducted with several employees who have witnessed such incidents first-hand within their companies. However, pseudonyms will be used to protect these individuals, as they have agreed to the interview on the condition that their identities will be kept confidential. In addition, academic papers will be referenced from multiple sources to further strengthen the findings, and provide alternative viewpoints on the topic of workplace bullying as a whole.

Proposed Solutions
To address the problem of workplace bullying, the team will look to produce a short five-minute educational video on the abovementioned topic. In this video, the team will first address the signs and symptoms of workplace bullying by playing out a scenario. After which, the effects on the victims will be shown – to illustrate the sufferings and impacts that bullying causes. Lastly, methods to resolve the situation or avenues to seek help from will be highlighted and mentioned at the end to close off the video.

The team firmly believes that the education video produced will be able to aid in raising awareness about the real extent of workplace abuse in a typical workplace within the industry. Also, it serves as an educational tool for both the employers and the employees, in learning about how to identify workplace bullying, and knowing how to handle such situations within the workplace environment.

Concluding Thoughts
Workplace bullying is a pressing issue that is not commonly highlighted, but yet is an ongoing phenomenon that has to be addressed due to the consequences that are attached to it. The team is keen to provide our solutions to address this issue and is fully confident that the proposed solution will be effective in resolving the problem of workplace bullying.

Letter for Service Recovery

Dear Man,

Thank you for choosing Marina Bay Sands as your preferred accommodation.

I am disheartened to learn about the challenges that you and your family encountered during your recent stay with us. As you know from your experience with us, this is not the level of service we pride ourselves on providing. Please know that we have addressed all the points, which you highlighted, and remedial actions are being taken.

On behalf of my team, I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that you have experienced with us. As a form of service recovery, we would like to provide you with 2 days 1 night complimentary stay at our MBS executive suites. Additionally, breakfast for two will be provided.

Thank you once again for giving us an opportunity to review our processes to understand the missed opportunities and prevent recurrence.

Regards,
Joey Lee
Guest Service Agent

An interpersonal communication reflection

Have you ever been caught in a situation where a conversation ended up as an emotional struggle? I believe we have in a way or another engage in such conversations.

Ariel and I used to be good friends from secondary school. Recently, she introduced me to her event planning company and we planned an event together. During the actual event, I was tasked to generate an excel table containing the VIP guests’ information such as their departure dates and hotel check out dates. Every morning when the day starts, a meeting will be held and the information will be needed. It was already 11pm that night and I had problems with the task. I had no choice but to approach Ariel for help.

When I asked her for help, she snatched my laptop and let out a “tsk” sound, showing her unwillingness to help. Both of us had a long day at work, these actions made it worse. I felt angry and stupid. The negativity and discomfort built up. She taught me how to do it impatiently and made a remark, “Why can’t you just solve such a simple problem?”. I was boiling mad and did not know what to do. A part of me told me I should confront her and the other told me to cool down. The task was solved by the other colleagues instead as they realised the system had an error in generating the information. On our way home, she kept boasting to me how the task was easily solved by her. And I started to shout at her and told her how I felt. Our relationship was affected and turned sour.

She is my good friend and I did not want the relationship to carry on being sour… What should I do?

How communication connects to personal branding?

The 7Cs of communication include being clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous. These 7Cs are important for speaking, emails or even reports. These communication skills allow you to bring your messages across more fluently and effectively, bringing up your personal branding.

The verbal communication skills include the words used and grammar. When you communicate in proper English, you will be seen as more professional as compare to those who do not. Proper words used also creates an impression of oneself.

The non-verbal communication skills include the body language, eye contact, and tone. These skill sets help to create a personal branding. For example, for body language, we sit in an upright position to show our attentiveness in class.  It is important that we use the correct tone in situations such as when speaking to the elders or to teachers. It sets an image for the people around you.

Emotional intelligence is how one can differentiate themselves from the rest. In this current society, many are equipt with the skills set and the knowledge which are forms of the intelligence quotient. However, to stand out from that, good emotional intelligence allows one to handle and be aware in terms of handling emotions.

All in all, these communication skills aid personal branding.

Self Introduction

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To: Brad Blackstone
From: Lee Han You Joey
Date: 17th January 2017
Subject: Self Introduction

Dear Brad,

My name is Joey Lee and I am currently pursuing a bachelor degree in hospitality business with honours in the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). I am writing this email to introduce myself, my educational background, interests and the importance of communication.

Prior to my university education, I pursued a diploma in business administration in Singapore Polytechnic. Ever since I was 12 years old, I was curious how businesses were set up and the story behind every successful business. This spear-headed my interest towards entrepreneurship and I decided to pursue business administration. In my polytechnic days, I was given the opportunity to lead world sporting events such as the HSBC Women’s Champion. My passion for the hospitality industry has grown and I see myself advancing in the events sector for my career path. This propelled me to join the hospitality business course in SIT.

I have a strong interest in traveling, and I strongly believe in this quote by Samuel Johnson: “All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” I will make it a point to travel and explore the colours of countries every year or to attend exhibitions. Some of the exhibitions I have attended include Cosmoprof Asia and Eco Expo Asia International Trade Fair. I met new people from different parts of the world and I realised this exposure has allowed me to be a better listener and enabled me to adapt different communication style to different audiences.

Communication is key to social interaction, and I strongly believe that it determines the first impression. I consider myself as an extrovert and I often speak more than listening. Some of my other weaknesses include subconsciously using qualifiers and hesitating when I speak. For example, “Err, I think maybe we should do this instead”. I will also subconsciously use Singlish in communicating, which is not professional. I would like to learn how to improve my weaknesses and my written communication skills to appear more professional in communicating in a business context.

I hope that this email will allow you to understand more about me. Thank you.

Best Regards,
Joey Lee
15SHB035S

Edited on 4th February 2017