Light At The End of The Tunnel
Light At The End of The Tunnel

Light At The End of The Tunnel

Finally the city (of Hong Kong) shows a glimmer of returning to life. Civil servants are back at work this week, schools are opening at the end of the month (May) and even cinemas are opening this Friday. Hoorah! Although Hong Kong did not have a total lockdown, the social distancing still did a number on us mentally and emotionally. Now even as we leave our homes, besides our keys and hand phones, we will never leave home without our masks. Secretly fearing when the next wave is going to return. If the next person we meet is a carrier who can infect us and turn our lives upside down.

What’s Next for Business Owners, Business Managers and HR Leaders

The private sector has implemented #WFH and are now gradually returning to full force in the office. The business community has been hit hard during this crisis. The loss of revenue whilst maintaining sky high expenses is not sustainable. Whilst sales dwindle, rents and salary must still be paid. Many businesses are thinking about ways to protect profit margin given the dampen revenue expectations at least this and next year. There are only 2 ways to achieve this: increase sales or reduce expenses.

To Increase Revenue

You just have to Be better and Be faster. It doesn’t mean just launching more and better products but also better and more effective ways of selling. Better and faster way of knowing what your clients want, the problems they face and the solutions you have to help them solve it. Better and faster way to communicate that message to your clients. The core of this is your frontline client facing team. They are the feedback loop to help you get the clients, get the message delivered and get your products in their hands.

To Decrease Expense

It doesn’t mean you have to cull and operate on a shoestring. But it does mean that you have to get more bang for the buck. Every expense you incur, you have to expect increase output. All your resources have to be working full steam ahead in order to navigate through this crisis. It’s more straight forward with machines but how do you increase performance from your human capital? After all, everyone has been through a rough patch (with the #hkprotests and #covid19) and yet it is not sustainable to dangle massive pay rise and promotion in this economic environment.

Intrinsic Motivation

So how do we motivate our best talents to help us drive performance and profitability upwards? In times when pay and promotion is a scarce option. There are many reasons that employees work. The main driver is money. It is after all a contract to exchange their time and talents for a pay check. But have you wondered why they choose to work in your company and in your team rather than somewhere else? The answer is in understanding the human mind and what #motivate people. The field of psychology has done multiple studies on #IntrinsicMotivation and found that people do things not just for money but for the enjoyment of it. Companies can provide Intrinsic Motivation by creating environment that enhances Flow.


Have you ever built a 7,500 piece LEGO building or play a golf game where you lost track of time? You may even skipped a meal in order to finish the game. At the end of it, you felt really energized despite not having eaten! That is a mental state called Flow. First discovered by an American-Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. So how do companies create an environment for employees who enjoy their work and feel energized by it? In such a way that they want to do even more? Because it gives them a sense of accomplishment and brings meaning to their work.

It starts by helping employees discover their best skills, putting a program in place to utilize those skills purposefully and you will have a team who inherently want to excel. Why? Because it makes them feel good. This is Intrinsic #Motivation. This is #Flow. Research has shown that people’s satisfaction rank high when they are doing tasks that utilize their higher level skill sets in more challenging environment. I have utilized this in my own organization to match highest level skill sets to challenging tasks and have seen the results. Companies that have understood this and utilize it in a systematic way is reaping the rewards and thriving in this economic and health crisis. Try it and see the results. If you don’t know where or how to start, drop me an email at and I can share some resources and insight with you.

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