‘Sense of Belonging’ Key to Employee Engagement among Singaporeans in 2021

February 8, 20214:31 pm1897 views
‘Sense of Belonging’ Key to Employee Engagement among Singaporeans in 2021
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The changing landscape of work due to the pandemic has been dramatically changing employee’s expectations as well. New research commissioned by Qualtrics has revealed significant shifts to the drivers of employee engagement in Singapore in 2021.

In its report entitled 2021 Singapore Employee Experience Trends Report Qualtrics found that one out of five employee engagement drivers have changed over the last year. Creating a sense of belonging and continually improving ways of working emerged as the top two drivers of employee engagement. Meanwhile, confidence in senior leadership – which was second in last year’s list – ranked third, followed by managers role modeling effective collaboration with other teams, and effective collaboration between teams.

The engagement drivers to drop out of the top five were a clear link between work and the company’s strategic objectives, managers who help employees with career development, opportunities for learning and development, and recognition for good work.

Employee engagement in Singapore on the rise 

Despite the challenges faced by businesses and government in 2020, overall levels of employee engagement in Singapore increased to 56% in 2020, from 47% in 2019. This is in line with the global average, which rose 13% in the last year (66% vs. 53%). Intent to stay with an organisation for three years or more also increased to 56%, from 43% in 2019.

Well-being, which is an important contributor to overall EX, continues to be a priority for workers and is predicted to be a key trend for organisations in 2021. A sense of belonging is of particular importance in the context of well-being. Singapore employees who feel like they belong are more than 4x more likely to rate their well-being favourably than those who feel like they don’t belong (75% vs. 18%).

Despite this, only 56% of employees in Singapore rated their overall well-being as favourable, down 13% from mid-2020, and below the global average of 67%.

See also: Singapore Sees Growing Demand for Hybrid Executive and Team Assistants: Study

Lauren Huntington, EX Solutions Strategy, Qualtrics Southeast Asia, said: “2020 has irreversibly changed the working world, and so it is unsurprising we have seen engagement drivers shift considerably this year. As businesses and governments look forward to 2021 we expect to see these engagement drivers change once again as restrictions continue to change. To ensure teams are provided with the support and services they need in fast-changing situations it is critical leaders are able to understand how emerging trends are reshaping the workplace, and what they can do to design and improve the employee experience.”

“As a hybrid work arrangement takes hold across the globe, it is important that organisations coach and equip their frontline managers to effectively support their teams,” said Mayank Parekh, CEO, Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP). “Organisations should take a holistic view of the employee life cycle, leveraging data insights to deliver a more compelling employee experience. This survey reinforces the vital role of HR’s in building competency in areas such as employee belonging, collaboration and ways of working, as well as supporting the well-being of employees.”

Listening up, positive action down

According to the Qualtrics study, more than nine in 10 Singaporean employees (93%) believe it’s important their company listens to feedback. Compared to 12 months previously more employees are being listened to, with the volume of respondents saying they have an opportunity to feedback increasing to 74% in 2020 (up from 65%). However, only 21% say their company acts on it very well – which is a 4% decrease over the same period.

“While it’s pleasing to see more employers listening to their teams, the study outlines the critical importance of acting on feedback. There is no one size fits all approach to improving the employee experience. By capturing responses from their teams across the entire employee lifecycle and in key moments that matter, businesses are able to design improved experiences.”

“The business impact of listening and acting on feedback is huge. When organisations do take action, scores increase across employee engagement (90%), wellbeing (88%) and intent to stay (87%),” said Huntington. 

Read also: Asian Workers are Desperate to Get Back to the Office, Demanding Hybrid Workplace Model

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