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Four out of 10 workers in Singapore have changed job during the last two years, and 71% are looking for a job at the moment, according to the Salary & Employment Insights 2014 report published today by global recruitment firm Hudson.
The findings of the annual remuneration report demonstrate the importance that Singapore workers place on strong leadership and that there is a gap in the quality of the managerial leadership in their organisations. This and the desire to earn higher wages are the primary drivers for Singaporeans to look for new jobs in the coming year.
The importance of effective and inspiring leadership is clear. The survey showed that 57% of employees rated the quality of their current manager as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while 43% rated their current manager as being ‘average’, ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Over two-thirds (68%) of the professionals surveyed have left a job because of a poor manager, 63% are currently thinking about leaving their job because of their poor manager, and 46% of those that currently have a poor manager are actively looking for a new job because of it.
Almost three-quarters (74%) would reject a job offer if they felt the quality of their manager was below average while 60% of managers also cited that they would prefer to take leadership training in place of a standard pay rise.
Conversely, the report shows that the strong leadership positively impacts engagement, productivity, and is a great retention tool in a climate where there is significant fluidity in the workforce. Four out of 10 (42%) employees plan to stay in their current role because of the quality of their manager, with 39% saying their productivity has increased as a result of having a quality manager, and 70% feeling motivated and engaged because of their manager.
Andrew Tomich, Executive General Manager of Hudson Singapore, commented: “There is a potentially significant issue regarding the need for more effective leadership within Singaporean organisations. It’s clear that the strong leadership impacts engagements, driving productivity, and increased employee retention. This is something that should not be ignored, particularly in a climate where there is increasingly high potential for movement within the workforce.”
“Our findings clearly demonstrate that the workforce is willing to move, and move quickly. The impact to the business and cost of replacing, training, and up-skilling new workers is likely to be much higher than retaining and developing staff that are already performing well; particularly when high performing individuals leave the business,” he added.
Salary expectations are another key driver affecting the big increase in intentions for employees to change jobs. The vast majority (86%) of employees expect an increase in salary next year, with 19% wanting an increase in excess of +10%. Salary is clearly the most influential factor when looking for a new job, with 43% citing it as the most important aspect, followed by working for an organisation with values the employee believes in (10%).
Salary is also a major influencing factor when an employee is deciding whether to stay in their current role for the next 12 months, with 31% citing increased salary/benefits as most important, behind a clear career path, and prospect of promotion (37%).
In terms of the broader employment outlook for Singapore, Hudson also announced today the findings of its long-standing quarterly Hudson Report: Employment Trends Q1 2014, which highlights some tightening in the labour market, with 40% of employers intending to increase headcount this quarter. At the same time expectations to decrease headcount have risen to 7.3%. Just over half (53%) of employers intend to keep headcount steady.
This is the second successive quarter where there has been downward movement in the overall hiring outlook; with Banking and Financial Services being the only industry to demonstrate an increase in positive hiring expectations.
Mr Tomich commented: “While overall employment expectations in Singapore remain optimistic it does suggest that businesses are trying to grow while paying great attention to cost containment, which is putting pressure on wages. Looking at the findings from both reports together, they indicate there is fluidity in the market and both employers and employees are expecting change. However, businesses must remain focused on nurturing workforces capable of supporting business growth. Retaining and recruiting high performers and high potential individuals that add real value to business productivity is key to driving competitiveness in today’s market.”
“Job change is on the mind of most people as they battle rising living costs and seek remuneration for taking on greater responsibilities in today’s tougher climate. Those organisations that don’t invest in their workforce, both in terms of remuneration and effective leadership and mentoring, put themselves at risk. We could well see growing separation between successful and less successful organisations, primarily influenced by their attention to, and investment in, correctly resourcing their business and developing their staff,” Mr Tomich concluded.