Majority of Singapore Employees Anticipate Salary Increases in 2013

Majority of Singapore employees are expecting salary increases in 2013, with only 12.3% expecting more. This is in anticipation for the non increment in 2012 where 28.6% of employees surveyed received 5% or more increment in the 2012 salary reviews while 29% received no salary increments.


These are the findings of a survey released by recruitment firm Ambition.


Justifying the higher expectation in salary increments, 44.4% of employees think their salaries are not on par with the market while 30.3% of employers believe that to be the case too.


Bonus payouts in the year 2012 fell short of the majority expectations as 62.5% of employees did not have their expectations met. 34.2% did not receive any bonuses while 28.6% received bonuses that are 20% and above of their base salaries.


For 2013, 28.5% are expecting bonuses between 0-5%, while 38.7% are expecting bonuses between 6-15%. 32.9% are expecting bonuses of 16% and above.


Market Rate Remuneration VS Relocation
Closely reflecting a similar percentage of employees who feel underpaid, 49% of employees feel that they could earn more in another city. In pursuit for higher pay and career advancements, 77.2% of employees are willing to relocate, which places further emphasis on global opportunities available and policies (both company and government) to attract and retain these talented individuals.


48.1% of senior management staff who have also responded that they are willing to relocate to further their careers, are looking to relocate within the year. Thus, if the survey result is an accurate indication of what is to come, we could possibly see an increase in job movements not just between companies, but also geographies.

In a bid to retain talent, companies are adopting more and various benefits that break away from the conventional mandatory benefits. Pension schemes are also gaining in popularity to retain staff over longer periods of employment. Some company benefits that employers are giving include coverage of children tuition fees, birthday leave, country club memberships and even meal subsidies at Macdonalds.


More than half (59.8%) of employees worked between 40-50 hours a week while 27.9% put in 50-60 hours. Despite only 18.3% of employees constantly feeling the pressure to work more hours, 36.7% of respondents still end up working in excess of 50 hours a week.


In addition, even though 64.6% of employers say that they do offer flexible working hours, employees are either not utilising the benefit due to pressures of having to work longer hours or are unaware that it is offered.


Morale & Job Security
42.4% of employees have responded that there were layoffs in their business areas in the last 12 months and 30.9% of employees feel that staff morale is low or very low. This could be because despite most companies exceeding or hitting expectations for 2012, 25.9% still performed worse than anticipated. This sentiment of low morale is also shared by 30.9% of employers.


In addition, a huge percentage (62.6%) of employees feel that their companies are not investing enough in training and developing their staff. This could also affect morale as staff investment reflects how much a company values its people and concerns itself with their professional development.


91.1% of employees have responded that it would be competitive or difficult for them to find a new job in the current market, with 11.8% constantly worry about losing their jobs.


When asked to rank what they think attract employees, employers listed, in order: salary, bonus, relationship with manager, and company culture.


What employees really want, however, are: salary, career advancement, benefits and company culture.


Contrary to popular belief, of the 8 factors given 25.9% of employees ranked company brand as the least important as long as the salary is attractive. This could be due to current market conditions coupled with practicality on salary expectations.

Career Progression & Work Life Balance
Even though 'career advancement' has consistently ranked high on the level of importance for employees, 38.7% of employees feel that there is no career progression in their current company while only 31.5% are confident of a career progression.


To further emphasise the importance of career advancement, 64.8% of employees have responded that they would rather forgo flexible working hours (for work life balance) than to give up on career progression. 64.6% of employers have also indicated that they will not be willing to forgo career progression for worklife balance.


59.9% of employees are looking to change jobs within the year, closely reflecting the percentage of employees who have responded that they are looking to relocate within the year for career advancements.

Social Media

Even though LinkedIn remains the most popular platform for job seekers and recruiters, recent cases of top executives being fired due to improper conduct on social media have also prompted 83.5% of employees to be conscious of how their behaviour on other social media platforms could potentially impact their careers.
This wariness of personal usage of social media is no surprise with 48.8% of employees having responded that their companies have implemented guidelines and rules on employee social media behaviour. Likewise, 56% of employers have responded that they do view social media profiles of potential employees to assess them.


Outlook for 2013
For 2013 outlook, 23.2 % of employees expect business to contract. Up from 19.7% of employees who expected businesses to contract for the year 2012.


A majority (46.8%) of total respondents are staying positive on possible business growth for 2013.


More than half (57.6%) of employees say that global economic conditions have “some impact” on their business, while 35.6% indicated “significant impact.” Only 6.8% said that global economic conditions don’t have any impact at all.


Meanwhile, 43.1% of employees feel that the global economic conditions do have “significant impact” while 55.7% said global conditions are having “some impact.”  Only 1.1% indicated that global conditions are not affecting their business.


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