The Unhappiest and Happiest Employees in Asia-Pacific

Employees in Singapore are the unhappiest in Asia Pacific with 23 percent feeling unmotivated in their jobs and that their skills that are not being used effectively. The majority (64 percent) plan to leave their current job in the next 12 months.


Game-changer #3 of the 2013/14 Randstad World of Work Report released today reveals that the top three reasons that cause job dissatisfaction include misalignment with the company culture, having a difficult boss (18 percent respectively) and being asked to do more in their role with less (13 percent).


At the other end of the scale, Indian workers are the happiest employees, with seven in ten satisfied at work, saying they feel challenged, motivated and are mentored to learn new skills.


Michael Smith, Country Director of Randstad Singapore, said that these findings send a strong signal to organisations in Singapore that more needs to be done to engage current and prospective talent.


“The Randstad World of Work Report findings show that employee engagement in Singapore has declined over the last 12 months, as cost-conscious employers cut back on company events and forums.


“For example, the percentage of organisations that hold regular events to communicate strategic vision and listen to employee feedback has dropped from 48 percent in 2012 to 39 percent in 2013, and the percentage of organisations conducting regular employee satisfaction surveys has also dropped from 59 percent in 2012 to 53 percent last year.


“While these seem like easy targets for cost-cutting, forgoing opportunities to connect with employees and listen to their feedback comes at a high price – impacting productivity, retention and an organisations reputation. The strong reputation of an employer brand is cited as the single biggest reason (54 percent) for an organisation’s success in attracting talent,” said Smith.


The good news is that the business leaders surveyed are ready to respond, with two thirds (67 percent) planning to strengthen employee engagement and collaboration in the next five years to improve productivity.


“There is no magic equation for retention, but having career development opportunities readily available is a great start. Good opportunities for career growth and advancement – or lack of – are repeatedly cited as the key reason employees will remain loyal to their current organisation or leave to develop their career elsewhere,” continued Smith.


The findings also revealed that Singaporean employees place increasing importance on achieving work life balance, with the percentage of employees ranking it as one of the main reasons to stay with their organisation jumping from 15 percent in 2012 to 50 percent in 2013.


Yet more than half (55 percent) of employers admit their organisation’s performance in creating flexible work options, such as variable work hours, job-sharing or working from home, is average or poor.


“In a salary driven market with high employee mobility, leadership, flexibility, trust and communication are all key factors that contribute to employee satisfaction and maintaining a strong employer brand.


“For the employees who intend to leave their jobs in the next 12 months, a large number of them will directly approach companies (58 percent) or seek a referral from a colleague or friend (48 percent), further highlighting the critical importance of having a strong employer brand in attracting and retaining talent,” concluded Smith.


The report also revealed that nearly six in ten (59 percent) employees in Singapore enjoyed a pay increase during the last 12 months. Sixty-seven percent of employees expect their salary to increase by more than five percent over the next 12 months, and among them, nearly half (43 percent) expect the increase to be more than 10 percent.


For employees, the biggest motivators to perform well in their role is a need to feel valued and recognised for their contribution (30%), and have a strong understanding of how their role contributes to achieving organisational goals (21%).


Singapore employers say that the top three channels they currently use to measure employee engagement and satisfaction are: exit interviews (54 percent), employee satisfaction surveys (53 percent) and events to communicate strategic vision/goals and listen to employee feedback (39 percent).


Employer adoption of social media is constantly evolving, with three quarters (76 percent) of employers now using online social and professional networks to attract talent.


The majority (71 percent) of employers said that managing a multi-generational workforce is one of the biggest challenges they face.

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