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Developing Communication Skills for the Workplace

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Developing Communication Skills for the Workplace

ES2002 AY2015-16 Semester 2


Effective communication skills have constantly been identified as one of the critical skill employees need. Gregory Berns, the distinguished neuroscientist, once said, “A person can have the greatest idea in the world—completely different and novel—but if that person can’t convince enough other people, it doesn’t matter.”[1] Consequently, acquiring written and oral communication skills will prepare you to succeed and lead in your future career.[pic 1]

This semester’s focus is on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The term CSR has been used in various contexts, and so its meaning is not clearly understood. In essence, it concerns
 three key areas that measure responsible organisational success — social, economic and environmental (http://singaporemagazine.sif.org.sg/csr-in-singapore). This semester's emphasis will be on the social aspects of CSR in Singapore

Your task for the series of assignments will therefore be to discover how companies practise CSR within a business context in Singapore, and communicate that to an audience.

Read the information from the following websites to obtain a better understanding of CSR in Singapore:

  1. Singapore Magazine  (http://singaporemagazine.sif.org.sg/csr-in-singapore)  
  2. The Straits Times (http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the-evolution-of-csr-in-singapore)
  3. Eco-Business (http://www.eco-business.com/news/singapore-compact-renamed-global-compact-network-singapore/ )
  4. Network Singapore (http://www.csrsingapore.org/c/about)

Having looked at these resources, generate a list of ideas about how CSR is observed in Singapore and discuss them with your classmates.

Research Questions and Data

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby companies decide voluntarily to contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment. Corporate social responsibility is represented by the contributions undertaken by companies to society through their business activities and social investment2.

One way to discover what aspects of CSR are important in a business context is to interview people. Therefore, your initial task will be to interview two people in any industry about how CSR is practised in their line of work. The interviewees need not be from the same company or industry. Choose individuals who have worked for at least one year in their current job/company.

In order to combine the data into a useful database, please use the interview form which is available in the Workbin. The following are a few of the areas* you might explore:

  • Employing the elderly
  • Employing the disabled
  • Amenities for the elderly
  • Amenities for the  disabled
  • Services for the elderly
  • Services for the disabled
  • Helping the underprivileged
  • Employee welfare
  • Workplace harmony
  • Supporting the arts
  • Encouraging healthy lifestyle practices

Short Talk (ST)

It is now your turn to communicate your interview findings. From the interview data you gathered, prepare a three-minute short talk to share your findings. Remember to keep your Short Talk focussed only on the social aspect of CSR. [pic 2]

Your talk should have a clear structure, and include a brief background of your interviewees, as well as efforts undertaken by companies regarding social CSR. The audience for this presentation is your ES2002 classmates. Do not prepare any visual aids for this. Attire for this talk is formal (without a jacket). There will be no Q & A after your talk.

Report Writing (RW)

Global Compact Network Singapore has been actively seeking to raise awareness of CSR in Singapore. Set up in 2005, the national society encourages CSR practices across the island. However, a lack of awareness has meant poor CSR adoption in spite of seminars, training programmes, awards and other events promoting it to the business community. With only 420 businesses signed up as members out of 130,000 Singapore registered businesses, there is much room for improvement ( http://singaporemagazine.sif.org.sg/csr-in-singapore)  



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