More than half of Singaporean Companies Have ‘Mentally Absent’ Employees

August 19, 20168:50 am1297 views

More than half (57 percent) of Singaporean companies have experienced ‘inner resignation’, where staff members are present physically but are mentally absent from their job, these are findings according to an independent research by specialist recruiter, Robert Half.

Inner resignation tends to be more common in medium-sized and larger companies with 68 percent saying, they have seen it happen versus 32 percent of small organisations. Only 33 percent of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance directors say their business is not impacted by inner resignation – a figure that rises to 68 percent in SMEs.

Businesses adopt multiple strategies to keep employees engaged

The vast majority (97 percent) of finance leaders use a range of strategies to prevent inner resignation. Over half (67 percent) of businesses promote employee appreciation, rewards and recognition. This is followed by 49 percent who encourage open communication.

Less than half (47 percent) ensure that the employee fits the job and 35 percent provide feedback to make sure they are aware if employees are doubting of their decision to stay at the company.

Initiatives undertaken to avoid inner resignation

Employee appreciation, rewards and recognition 67%
Foster open communication and feedback 49%
Ensure job fits the employee 47%
Provide personal development and training 35%
Avoid passing on pressure to employees 25%
Promote top employees 21%
Run internal employee survey 14%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 150 Singaporean CFOs and finance directors

David Jones, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “Inner resignation is often overlooked by employers, especially in workplaces where employees are left alone to get on with their job. Employers need to be more vigilant in looking for signs that an employee is mentally disengaged, such as a lack of motivation for bonuses or advancement or a drop in productivity.”

See: Singapore Employees Remain Confident Despite Slower Economic and Employment Growth

“To reduce the risk of inner resignation, employers need to keep the lines of communication open with their staff so that the employees feel confident they can raise their concerns without fear of reprisals.  If workplace concerns are responded to early, then there is less chance of employees becoming disengaged from their work.”

Here are some tips for both employers and employees to avoid/address inner resignation:

For employers

  • Foster a workplace where employees are able to express their views with confidence.
  • Provide constructive feedback.
  • Take an interest in your employees – and treat workplace complaints seriously.
  • Emphasise common goals.
  • Improve office culture by creating a positive work environment.
  • Ensure salaries are adequate.

For employees 

  • Set personal goals.
  • Challenge yourself.
  • Speak up if you have concerns.
  • Offer suggestions for positive change.
  • Let your employer know what motivates you.

“Employees also need to take responsibility for their satisfaction at work.  If an employee finds they have accepted inner resignation, then they should identify the cause of their dissatisfaction and raise the matter with their employer during their performance review.  If the issue cannot be resolved then they are better off seeking a new job than lingering in a role they are unhappy with,” added David Jones.

Also read: Technology is on the Top of Mind for Singapore Employees. Is it for Better or for Worse?

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