How engaged are Singapore workers?
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.