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Asia–Pacific – Job satisfaction directly linked to supervisors

27 September 2013

Employees in the Asia Pacific region have indicated that their direct supervisors are a key influencer when it comes to job satisfaction and engagement, according to the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI).

The survey found that 68% of respondents believe their direct manager or supervisor has a significant impact on their job satisfaction and engagement. The latest findings from the KGWI also show that 64% of respondents in the Asia Pacific who switched jobs in the past year are happy in their new roles.

The survey canvassed responses from more than 120,000 respondents in 31 countries, including approximately 28,000 in Asia Pacific.

Wanna Assavakarint, Managing Director of Kelly Services in Thailand, said direct managers and supervisors have a pivotal role in influencing job satisfaction and retention, but many are not heeding the warnings.

“It is sometimes said that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. What employees are saying is that they want their managers to open up with them and better explain responsibilities and expectations,” she said.

When asked what direct managers and supervisors could do better, apart from salary/benefits or promotion, employees most frequently cited clearer responsibilities, goals and objectives, more training opportunities, and more transparent communications.

Results of the survey in Asia Pacific also show:

  • Just over one-third (34%) of workers feel totally committed to their current employer.
  • The highest levels of employee commitment are in India (50% are totally committed), Indonesia (43%) and Malaysia (34%). The lowest are in Hong Kong (15%), Thailand (20%) and Singapore (22%).
  • “Higher salary and benefits” is identified as the top factor that makes employees feel more committed or “engaged” with their job.
  • More than half (57%) say they actively look for better job opportunities or evaluate the external job market, even when they are happy in their job.
  • Just 28% said that they would be likely to recommend their employer to a friend or colleague as an employment opportunity, with company culture/reputation noted most frequently as the most influential factor.

Ms Assavakarint said there is clearly a significant share of the workforce that is not fulfilled in their jobs, and this suggests the need for managers to take proactive steps to address this underlying discontent.

“Managers who concentrate on improving communications and providing more opportunities for personal development will have a better chance of maximising their investment in people and skills,” she concluded. 

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