How en­gaged are Sin­ga­pore work­ers?

Singapore Business Review - - FIRST -

It turns out em­ploy­ees in Sin­ga­pore are amongst the least en­gaged, with the citys­tate’s em­ployee en­gage­ment score fall­ing by 4 points to 59%. Ac­cord­ing to the 2017 Trends in Global Em­ployee En­gage­ment Re­port from Aon He­witt, Sin­ga­pore’s de­cline is sig­nif­i­cant when com­pared to the 3-point in­crease last year.

Per­cep­tion scores amongst Sin­ga­pore’s mil­len­ni­als fell by an alarming 7 points in the area of ‘Tal­ent and Staffing’ – which refers to the tal­ent at­trac­tion, pro­mo­tion, and re­ten­tion prac­tices of an or­gan­i­sa­tion, as well as its abil­ity to al­lo­cate ap­pro­pri­ate and ad­e­quate re­sources to get the job done. Per­cep­tion scores also fell by 5 points in the area of Em­ployer Brand.

Em­ploy­ees in Sin­ga­pore join their Malaysian coun­ter­parts in be­ing the least en­gaged amongst ma­jor Asian mar­kets. En­gage­ment scores for In­dia are 69%, fol­lowed by China (67%), Thai­land (65%), Philip­pines (65%), In­done­sia (61%), and Malaysia (59%).

Over­all en­gage­ment scores for em­ploy­ees in Asia Pa­cific dropped from 65% to 62% a year ago. Aon He­witt’s anal­y­sis found re­gional vari­a­tions in en­gage­ment are driven by re­gional and coun­try-spe­cific eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal, and cul­tural dif­fer­ences.

Aon He­witt re­search shows that a

5-point in­crease in em­ployee en­gage­ment is linked to a 3-point in­crease in rev­enue growth in the sub­se­quent year. The in­verse hap­pens when en­gage­ment lev­els fall – busi­nesses ex­pe­ri­ence greater turnover, higher ab­sen­teeism, and lower cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, and ul­ti­mately, poor fi­nan­cial per­for­mance.

Im­prov­ing em­ployee en­gage­ment

Em­ploy­ees in the re­gion ranked re­wards and recog­ni­tion pro­grammes as a top op­por­tu­nity to im­prove en­gage­ment. Stephen Hickey, part­ner and ex­ec­u­tive spon­sor, em­ployee en­gage­ment prac­tice – Asia Pa­cific, Mid­dle East & Africa, Aon He­witt, says, “As or­gan­i­sa­tions strive to fuel growth, they must un­der­stand how their work­force pro­duc­tiv­ity and pay pro­grammes – both fixed and vari­able, com­pare to mar­ket. They must ed­u­cate their peo­ple on how they im­ple­ment ‘pay for per­for­mance’, and recog­nise top con­trib­u­tors us­ing a blend of fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial re­wards such as devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

He adds that fair­ness in re­ward pro­grammes and suc­cess in col­league recog­ni­tion are in­creas­ingly crit­i­cal to achiev­ing a highly en­gaged and high per­form­ing work­force in APAC. “Taken to the ex­tremes we see sub­stan­tially dif­fer­ent lev­els of em­ployee en­gage­ment in Asia when we con­trast per­cep­tions of re­ward and recog­ni­tion with lev­els of em­ployee en­gage­ment. Our 2016 Asia Best Em­ploy­ers re­search found that a suc­cess­ful re­ward and recog­ni­tion pro­gramme is essen­tial.”

Asia Pa­cific recorded a 3-point drop this year, fol­low­ing a 5-point im­prove­ment seen in last year’s re­port. In the re­gion, only 62% of em­ploy­ees can be cat­e­gorised as en­gaged com­pared to 65% a year ago. Aon He­witt notes that the drop in en­gage­ment was largely a func­tion of de­creases in en­gage­ment in four of the re­gion’s largest mar­kets: China (-3 pts), In­dia (-2 pts), Ja­pan (-2 pts), and In­done­sia (-1 pt). Of the largest APAC mar­kets, en­gage­ment in­creased in only Aus­tralia

(+3 pts) and South Korea (+2 pts). Of the 15 di­men­sions mea­sured in the study, only per­cep­tions of Em­ployee Value Propo­si­tion rose, and just with a mea­ger one-point im­prove­ment.

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