Employee retention, Randstad, workforce trends

In 2022, many job seekers are looking for employers that offer good salary packages and holistic employee wellbeing initiatives such as flexible work arrangements.

Three in 10 employees surveyed in Malaysia recently indicated plans to change employers before June 2022 — a seven-point increase from 2021. Of those who are not afraid of losing their jobs, one in five (20%) plan to switch jobs, a 5% increase from the previous year.

Commissioned by Randstad and independently conducted by Kantar TNS, the 2022 Randstad Employer Brand Research explored the top employee value proposition (EVP) factors that influence employees and job seekers alike in their search for the ideal new employer. The survey involved 163,000 respondents across 31 markets, including 2,524 who were based in Malaysia.

Fahad Naeem, Country Director, Randstad Malaysia commented: “As the labour market recovers from the pandemic and companies hire more headcount to manage increasing business demands, many employees are both tempted and motivated to seek new and better work opportunities.

"Many employees have had the chance to hone their skills over the last two years amid a volatile business climate, and they feel like they are ready for more challenging jobs with employers who not only care about their professional development but their wellbeing."

Ensuing the COVID-19 pandemic, job seekers’ expectations of what they want in an employer have shifted. In 2022, many job seekers are looking for employers that offer good salary packages and holistic employee wellbeing initiatives such as flexible work arrangements, the survey noted. As such, business leaders that proactively implement initiatives to improve work-life balance for their employees are more likely to attract and retain talent.

Looking at the data last year — between the six-month period from July to December 2021, 14% of respondents had changed employers. Per the study, the top three drivers motivating Malaysian employees to search for a new employer are:

  • Attractive salary and benefits (66%)
  • Work-life balance (62%)
  • Strong management (62%)

On the work-life balance aspect, the survey noted that some employees in Malaysia may choose to continue working after dinner because of increased workload, they want to show up for work over their fear of losing their jobs, or simply because they have no other plans that evening.

However, while working overtime may result in more completed tasks, it can also be detrimental to one’s overall mental health and relationships with others and, in the long run, employees may start to feel exhausted and lose their motivation and passion to work, the survey highlighted.

As a result, employees who overwork themselves are more likely to search for a new job opportunity that has a more manageable workload, or a caring employer so that they can regain control of their time to take care of their physical and mental health. Bosses and managers who acknowledge good work performance while looking after their employees wellbeing would thus appeal to more job seekers.

Naeem added: “The salaries of many Malaysian workers may have stayed the same for the past two years as companies tried to cut operating expenses to cope with business losses brought about by the pandemic. However, if employers don’t reward their employees fairly for their work contributions now that the economy has strongly recovered, employees may not feel like there is a good reason for them to stay, especially when there are so many new job opportunities in the market.”

Interestingly, the study also observed how COVID-19 continues to drive fear into the workforce. More than two in five Malaysian workers (43%) were afraid of losing their jobs and intended to change their jobs by June 2022, marking a 17% increase from 2021 (26%).

Additionally, around 37,000 entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium businesses, had closed their businesses as a result of nationwide lockdowns, which may have led to a highly-stressed workforce.

"Even with the economic rebound, many workers are concerned that their employer’s financial health is still not out of the woods yet. Business leaders who want to retain their people should regularly communicate their financial performance and talent development strategies to employees, so they can instil a sense of confidence and create a sense of togetherness in them,” Naeem shared. 

Image / 123rf.com

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