In the early days of Optima, Ung says he worked closely with staff, spending long hours with them. As the company grew with new contracts and increasing staff numbers, he admits there was no way he was able to meet with staff and mentor them.
“I guess we have to work harder to ensure that information and message will pass through to the bottom level of the staff and make them also understand the value of the company and what’s their value to the company as well,” he says. “I think that was missing in the past and we’ve tried to improve that.”
Three senior Optima staff resigned last November. Company managing director Douglas Wong resigned along with channel sales manager Michael Calculli and CFO and company secretary Justin Taylor.
“We’ve had major interruptions -- we had some changes last year in terms of management structure. We appointed a managing director but the person left after three months and that caused some impact to us,” he says.
“Some of the people didn’t necessarily understand the direction of the company. Yes we can develop the HR process but I think the issue is that I just don’t have enough time to talk to them more often, mentor them and explain to them what is the value of this company. I think that’s something that has been missing.”
He admits that when management make changes, people do not feel “settled” within their jobs. “That’s a moral issue. Even though you assure them, they want to sit tight and see,” he says. “That’s something we have to deal with at the moment. What we promised, we are able to deliver. We have a quarterly meeting [with staff], we have an intranet in-house so we can communicate with the staff. It’s something that’s just recently developed -- it had never been fully utilised in the past.”
Also, he prides himself on having the capability to provide the right direction for the company.
“If we can foresee what’s going on, we have to make a change and decision at the right time and make sure that the direction we are taking on is going to be of benefit for the company in the future. I’ve got to be in the front line and understand what’s going on in the market and make a decision for change,” he says.
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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