Overall employee engagement in Asia Pacific region has bounced back to its highest levels at 65 percent after a three-point drop last year, found the latest study commissioned by professional services firm Aon.
The study findings noted that while employee engagement in Singapore remained unchanged from last year, companies in Malaysia and the Philippines saw an increasing engagement by 4 and 6 percentage points respectively, while Indonesia showed improvement by a whopping 15 points.
According to the Aon study, Singapore has the least engaged workforce in Asia, with only about 3 in 5 employees in the country are engaged (59 percent). Employee engagement level is highest in Indonesia at 76 percent, followed by India and the Philippines at 71 percent, China at 69 percent, Thailand at 64 percent, then Malaysia at 63 percent.
The engagement level is even lower among younger employees, as only 56 percent full-time millennial staff in Singapore is actively engaged at work – indicating a 2 point drop from last year. In addition, the number of actively disengaged millennials increased by 2 percent.
With the rise of internet-powered platforms and the gif economy, the survey found that about 10 percent new graduates opt to take freelance, part-time, or temporary jobs than settling in a full-time and permanent ones. This trend has presented a growing challenge for Singapore employers to find the best strategy to engage the millennial workforce.
Across Asia Pacific, having a highly engaged workforce has never been more important to driving business performance.
Regarding the findings, Partner and Aon’s Head of Employee Engagement and Culture for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Stephen Hickey said, “Aon’s research shows that organisations with above average engagement levels see better employee productivity and higher customer satisfaction scores — factors that can significantly improve performance and decrease volatility in business outcomes. This is why many organisations are undertaking transformational change programmes as they manage their way through digital disruption, macroeconomic challenges, and needing to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.”
Besides measuring the engagement level among employees, the study also charted out the top 5 engagement opportunities in Asia Pacific countries. In Singapore, ‘career opportunities’ is seen as the main engagement drivers, with ‘senior leadership’ and ‘enabling infrastructure’ rounding up the top three.
Top 5 Engagement Opportunities in Singapore
Boon Chong Na, Managing Director and Partner for Aon Hewitt Singapore, said, “While there is no one-size-fits-all employee experience that will maximise engagement, forward-thinking organisations can identify the drivers that are most important for their employees and create a fit-for-purpose experience.”
“What’s more, increasing engagement is a shared responsibility — senior leadership must encourage their team members to own their engagement levels, by creating an environment where employees are empowered to develop new skills, chart their career journeys, and maximise their potential,” he added.