Generally, employees in Malaysia are more likely to look at factors such as strong management, financial status, good reputation, and more, when compared to the APAC average.

When interviewed on the employee value proposition (EVP) factors they look for in a company, more than seven in 10 (74%) workers in Malaysia cited salary & benefits as the most important, new research by Randstad Malaysia has shown.

According to the 2022 Employer Brand Research, released today (Tuesday, 14 June 2022), work-life balance came in as the second-most important factor, cited by 70% of respondents. 

Overall, the top 10 EVP factors employees in Malaysia seek in 2022 are:

  1. Salary & benefits (74%)
    • APAC 2022: 56% 
    • Malaysia 2021: 72%
  2. Work-life balance (70%)
    • APAC 2022: 55%
    • Malaysia 2021: 69%
  3. Strong management (64%)
    • APAC 2022: 43%
    • Malaysia 2021: 64%
  4. Financially healthy (61%)
    • APAC 2022: 50%
    • Malaysia 2021: 62%
  5. Pleasant work atmosphere (61%)
    • APAC 2022: 51%
    • Malaysia 2021: 59%
  6. Career progression (60%)
    • APAC 2022: 48%
    • Malaysia 2021: 61%
  7. Job security (59%)
    • APAC 2022: 55%
    • Malaysia 2021: 61%
  8. Good training (57%)
    • APAC 2022: 41%
    • Malaysia 2021: 55%
  9. Good reputation (49%)
    • APAC 2022: 32%
    • Malaysia 2021: 50%
  10. Location (47%)
    • APAC 2022: 38%
    • Malaysia 2021: 47%

As seen in the data above, in general, employees surveyed in Malaysia were more likely to look at factors such as strong management, financial health, good reputation, and more, when compared to the APAC average.

However, work-life balance was seen to be the "most unmet" workforce expectation in Malaysia, per the research. In particular, while it ranked as the second-most important EVP factor, it came in ninth among the EVP factors that Malaysia employers are perceived to offer:

  1. Financially healthy
  2. Good repoutation
  3. Job security
  4. Career progression
  5. Salary & benefits
  6. Pleasant work atmosphere
  7. Interesting job content
  8. Gives back to society
  9. Work-life balance
  10. Possibility to work remotely

What employees are doing (and want) in order to improve their work-life balance 

Looking deeper into the work-life balance aspect, the research highlighted that in total, 51% of employees in Malaysia worked remotely (be it fully or partially) in January this year, an 18% drop year-on-year. That said, Malaysia still ranks higher than the APAC average (42%) when it comes to hybrid and remote work.

The data further revealed that of the 51% of the respondents who worked remotely in January, 3% expect to be working remotely 10% of the time, or less, in the future; while 74% expect to have a blend of working remotely and on-site (20-80%), and 23% believe they will be working remotely at least 90% of the time.

The research also showed that on average, employees took two key actions to improve their work-life balance on their own:

  • Worked flexible timeslots (44%)
  • Worked more remotely (33%)
  • Worked fewer overtime hours (23%)
  • Negotiated their existing role (23%)
  • Changed jobs (20%)
  • Changed roles within the organisation (14%)
  • Worked fewer contractual hours (12%)

On the other hand, 9% did not take any.

Coming to what employees seek in their employers in helping them improve their work-life balance, most employees surveyed (55%) said they are seeking better healthcare benefits. This comes not just in light of the pandemic, but also following the rising cost of healthcare in the country.

On a whole, these are what employees are after:

  • Healthcare benefits (55)%
  • Flexible work arrangements (54)%
  • Fair compensation (50%)
  • Compensation beyond salary (47%)
  • Wellness and mental health resources (47%)
  • Training & development (45%)
  • Career development (44%)
  • Employee perks (42%)
  • Health policies and protocols (38%)
  • Family/childcare support (34%)
  • More purposeful paid time off (34%)

Another key expectation: Learning & development

The above aside, respondents were also asked to share more about their priorities around learning & development. Of all, personal career growth was cited as an important factor to 79% of employees in Malaysia, 3% above the APAC average. 

What is also key to note is that, while 85% of respondents said it is important for their employers to offer them upskilling opportunities, just 59% said they receive adequate chances to do so. In that vein, 74% of employees said they will stay with their current employer if upskilling opportunities are offered to them.

3 ways to strengthen your employer branding  

Keeping the above findings in mind, the research showcased three quick tips for employers to strengthen their employer brand, in order to attract and retain more talent over time. 

#1 Look after your employees, and they will look after you

As shared above, salary & benefits, as well as work-life balance are by far the most important EVP drivers for Malaysia employees.

Noting that is difficult for companies to adjust salaries quickly, the research shared that employers can develop and introduce new HR initiatives and policies to improve overall work-life balance, such as flexible work arrangements and better healthcare benefits.

#2 A strong management team can help attract talent

Malaysia is the only country in APAC that ranked 'strong management' in its top five things respondents look for in ideal employers.

Thus, to attract more talent, business leaders should strive to be both competent and charismatic. This means developing comprehensive strategies, being thorough throughout the implementation process, as well as transparently communicating the results to employees.

It was added that senior executives should also connect with their employees frequently to help them manage their workloads, cultivate a healthy and safe environment, and achieve their career goals.

#3 Communicate your EVP factors

As employers, you can communicate and promote HR initiatives such as employee benefits and team expansions on job advertisements, social media, and your website. However, other EVP factors such as financial health and long-term job security are most effective when communicated to your talent pool through word of mouth.

Business leaders who are transparent about the company’s performance to their workforce not only provide better job assurance to their employees, but will also gain access to a larger talent pool.


Close to 163,000 respondents from around the world were involved in the research, representing a total of 5,944 companies. 

In Malaysia, this involved online interviews with 2,524 respondents aged 18 to 64, with an overrepresentation of respondents aged 25-44. 


Lead image / 123RF

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!