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Malaysia – Ambitious workers more likely to quit to advance their careers

23 January 2014

Almost seven in 10 (66%) employees in Malaysia plan to leave their job in the next 12 months to advance their career, according to the Game-Changer #3 survey from the 2013/2014 Randstad World of Work Report.

The report found that Malaysian employees are among the most ambitious in the region, on par with Singapore (70%) and more than their regional counterparts; such as Australia (57%), China (61%), New Zealand (63%) and India (64%).

Other reasons influencing an employee’s decision to leave their job are uncompetitive salary (55%); lack of recognition at the workplace (35%); and lack of trust in senior leaders

Jasmin Kaur, Director of Randstad Malaysia, said these findings provide useful insights for employers to improve their talent attraction, engagement and retention strategies, and most importantly, combat Malaysia’s high staff turnover.

She added that the figures show that career advancement is really important to Malaysian employees; yet, only one in four (39%) received training and development opportunities in their current roles.

“Only 35% have been provided with leadership training to take the next step in their careers. To engage their employees, business leaders in Malaysia should invest in talent management strategies which provide learning and development programmes to upskill employees,” she said.

Ms Kaur said employers can also fast-track high-potential talent into leadership roles and help staff create meaningful career growth plans that can enable them to have an on-going sense of purpose in the company.

Adding that it is important that employers understand what motivates their employees and engage with these motivations: “This will help business leaders inspire their staff to perform at their best, remain in the company and protect very valuable intellectual property,” she said.

The report also found the biggest motivators for employees to do well and stay in their job are having a strong understanding of how their role contributes to achieving organisational goals (30%); and a strong feeling of being valued and recognised (16%).

Ms Kaur noted that communicating effectively about employee progress and development is crucial to positive workforce engagement, especially given Malaysia’s tight labour market and heated war for talent.

She said by providing positive recognition and consistent feedback to employees, business leaders are more likely to motivate and retain top talent: “However, it’s important to note that employee recognition is not only limited to verbal affirmations or monetary incentives.

“Employers need to balance the different motivations of their staff – not all employees want public praise, higher salaries and bonuses. Some employees may prefer having flexible work options or the opportunity to lead a new project,” she added.

The report also highlights that wage growth in Malaysia is among the highest in the region, with close to two-thirds (62%) of employees receiving an increase in the last year.

The annual Randstad World of Work Report is in its eighth year and covers Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, India, Australia and New Zealand. The 2013/14 Randstad World of Work Report surveyed over 14,000 employers and professionals across Asia Pacific.

To access the Game-Changer #3 report, please click here

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