Singaporeans less satisfied with their employers than workers globally

95 per cent of employees in Singapore want to be recognised and rewarded for a wider range of contributions. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans are less satisfied with their employers compared to their global counterparts, according to a survey released on Tuesday (Aug 15) by human resources consulting firm Mercer.

Its findings show that employee engagement in Singapore has declined consistently over the last three years - in stark contrast to the upward trend observed across the globe. In last year's survey, 73 per cent of Singaporeans said they were satisfied with the companies they work for compared to 82 per cent for the global average.

In addition to that, Singaporeans are less likely to endorse their organizations as good employers - 76 per cent of employees in the Asia Pacific region would advocate for their companies as good places to work, while only 68 per cent of Singapore employees are willing to do so.

"Improving employee engagement continues to represent a significant opportunity - not just for businesses but also for the economy as a whole, this is widely acknowledged." said Kulshaan Singh, CEO of Mercer in Singapore.

"The decline is primarily due to the lower feelings of pride in and satisfaction with organizations and our analysis shows that such views are largely driven by the employees' concerns about innovation and career development."

Mercer's Singapore Employee Engagement Index surveyed more than 42,000 employees in Singapore, representing various industries and jobs from global and local multinationals. It assessed employee engagement by measuring the level of pride, motivation and commitment employees have toward the organizations they work for.

Mercer said an increasing number of employees in Singapore are not getting the right opportunities to learn and grow. Twenty per cent of employees in Singapore say they are not receiving the necessary feedback from their immediate managers to improve themselves.

Even more worrying is that one in three feels that personal career goals are difficult to meet in his or her organization. At the same time, 95 per cent of employees in Singapore want to be recognized and rewarded for a wider range of contributions.

Although 85 per cent of employees are proud of the products and services they currently offer, 30 per cent feel their organizations are not continually innovating these products and services.

Notably, one out of every three employees feels that the company doesn't support the development of new ideas. This is in contrast to the strong government commitment and support around driving innovation.

Attitudes toward employee involvement are notably more positive in Singapore. Seven out of 10 employees feel they are sufficiently involved in the decision-making process on matters that may affect them as compared to 67 per cent globally. Immediate managers play a critical role in this perception, with 80 per cent of employees saying their immediate managers notify them of important information related to their work.

"Engagement represents the best opportunity for Singapore to optimize the human capital it has. If performance and productivity are a combination of individual talent and engagement, the best way to optimize talent is to ensure it's engaged. Although this seems obvious, many organizations still struggle to build the work environment they need to fully realize engagement in the workplace," concluded Mr Singh.

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