Employee engagement among Indonesian workers is high – but not their intention to stay. Their engagement score continues to exceed the Asia Pacific and global averages, but a high score doesn’t equal loyalty. A study conducted by Mercer revealed that while 9 in 10 employees surveyed are motivated and proud of what they do, only 67% indicated they are likely to stay in their jobs. This contrast finding is a reflection of the lack of perceived career growth opportunities in their current organizations.
The stressors of the pandemic and limited career advancement have emerged as primary drivers of higher-than-usual attrition levels. 30% of employees in Indonesia feel that they cannot meet their career goals in the company they are in, while one in four say they cannot maintain a reasonable work-life balance. With the lack of upskilling opportunities limiting their potential to develop and grow, mid-career professionals in their 30s who have more than half of their work lives ahead of them, are the least likely to stay in their jobs.
Commenting on the findings, Isdar Marwan, Mercer’s Director of Career Services in Indonesia, said: “There seems to be a gap in employee expectations for career advancement in Indonesia vis-à-vis the global workforce. Taking compensation and benefits out of the equation, employees believe they can seek better and greater opportunities outside of their current organization, hence they often choose not to stay. It is telling that 40% of employees do not have a good understanding of possible career paths within their company. Therefore, companies should take more active steps to connect with their employees to make their career goals real, which could mean introducing clear career paths, talent matching platforms for employees to temporarily take on new projects or implementing cross-function rotation programs.”
Apart from the lack of career planning and assistance, not having the right tools and resources, plus difficulty in maintaining work-life balance, are three areas that require the most attention from employers in Indonesia.
35% of employees reported that a lot of time and effort is wasted on redundant work, unnecessary paperwork, or poor quality work that has to be redone. Three in 10 indicated they have not received the relevant training to perform well at work while 23% feel that work is not well organized and they do not have the right tools and resources to do their jobs properly.
Moreover, employees reported feeling overworked and burdened by their job-related responsibilities in today’s complex business environment. One in four employees highlighted that the amount of work that is expected of them is unreasonable.
Mr Marwan added: “It is critical to give employees a voice, now more than ever. The pandemic is prompting many employees to rethink what they value in their lives and jobs, and employers need to listen. While it is encouraging to see more organizations increasing their employee listening efforts, they need to truly connect with a diverse range of employee aspirations and translate feedback into meaningful action. Well-being, digital transformation for efficiency and reskilling for better career advancement need to be at the top of employers’ agendas.”
Employees in Indonesia have also identified three areas where their employers have been getting right and should continue to do more of.
More than 80% of the employees surveyed said they are treated with respect and valued at work, and that they are encouraged to be innovative in their jobs, with sufficient autonomy to try new ways of doing things.
In terms of priorities and expectations, close to nine in 10 employees reported understanding how their job contributes to company goals and how they are being held accountable for delivering what they have promised.
Four in five employees thought they were supported, motivated and encouraged by close emotional connections at work, that they can trust their immediate manager and that they are recognized for their contributions. These are factors that have helped them build a strong spirit of cooperation and teamwork within the organizations they work for.
Mr Marwan said: “Understanding the employee experience requires a holistic approach to manage the expectations, environment, and events that shape an employee’s journey with the organization. There could be particular experiences, such as flexible working policies which are creating friction for particular employees, like working parents, who may need greater clarity around working hours and choices they can make. Digital tools like pulse surveys or digital focus groups can be organized more regularly to spot patterns and identify priority areas for employers to take targeted and informed actions which resonate with their employees. Doing this well lays the foundation for building a resilient and engaged workforce.”