HR professionals understand that happy employees are the most productive individuals. Happy employees are also have bigger chance to retain at the company they are working for. But, which countries are the best at creating happy workforces?
Universum’s latest research report, The Global Workforce Happiness Index, shows it is time to take a data-driven approach to attracting and retaining top talent. They found that Thailand, Australia and Singapore have the most satisfied workforces in the region, but satisfaction doesn’t necessarily mean loyalty
Within the 11 Asia Pacific markets covered by the global survey, Thailand, Australia and Singapore had the most satisfied workforces, respectively. These three markets are also the only within the region to sit above the global average level for satisfaction, with all other remaining APAC markets covered by the survey falling short.
The other APAC markets covered by the survey were China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Vietnam. The least satisfied workers were those from Japan, followed by those from India.
However, when asked whether they would recommend their employer to a friend, the happy folk from Australia were the only within Asia Pacific to be more inclined to make that recommendation than the global average. Second and third within the region, and both below the global average, were Vietnam and Pakistan.
The employees least likely to recommend their employers to a friend were those from Hong Kong, followed by those from Japan. This points to possible cultural challenges for any employers keen to boost employee advocacy in these markets.
Interestingly, although Japan has some of the least satisfied workers, who are also among the least likely to recommend their employer, they are some of the most loyal. Within the region Japanese professionals were only surpassed by their Australian counterparts in terms of not planning to seek alternative employment. Is this possible suffering in silence something that’s culturally driven, or is it a byproduct of the prevailing labor conditions within Japan? Whatever the cause, this information is invaluable to employers around the world who are still taking a unilateral approach to talent attraction and retention.
In fact, in terms of loyalty, this is another area of concern for the Asia Pacific region. Only professionals from Australia and Japan were more loyal than the global average. Followed by Singapore, Vietnam and Pakistan, who are all above the regional average. Thailand, who are shown to have the most satisfied workforce in Asia Pacific, had the lowest number of professionals who had no intention of looking for another job. Clearly employers in Thailand have to be very strategic when it comes to employee retention and look below the surface.
Although there are some interesting differences between markets, the three biggest drivers for wanting to seek a new employer were found to be compensation and benefits, better opportunities for advancement and increased learning opportunities.
The Global Workforce Happiness Index clearly shows that the ability to retain experienced talent is no longer a matter of employee satisfaction alone; it is also tied to how employees compare to their peers in other organisations.
This research has found that a negative gap between peers from one company to the next is often a signal that less satisfied employees are ripe for poaching. In fact, in 2018, 49 million more workers will leave their current employers than did in 2012 – a total turnover of 192 million workers worldwide.
The Global Workforce Happiness Index uses a scoring system that tracks three factors:
Companies can use the index to identify the specific drivers of employee satisfaction in their environments and the speed of addressing lapses between their performance and that of other companies. When in the negative, and combined with the cost of recruiting and hiring, these factors can cost a company.
The index can provide a roadmap for improvement. Once achieved, positioning a company as an attractive place to work based on authentic data enables differentiation, more accurate candidate screens and reduced turnover.
See also: Happy Employees, But Not Costly