83 per cent of Singaporean employees are anticipating a bonus in 2019, but may have to manage their expectations: Survey

Only 17 per cent of companies’ bonus payouts would meet the expectations of employees who anticipate a bigger bonus of between three and five months.
The Straits Times

Employees in Singapore are more positive about receiving bonuses for their hard work this year, but their expectations may not mirror those of their employers.

Employer-employee expectations not aligned

In a survey conducted by recruitment firm Randstad Singapore, results showed that 83 per cent of employees were expecting a bonus this year.

The 2019 Bonus Expectations Survey published on Tuesday (April 2), was conducted with 100 employers and 400 locally-based professionals over a six-week period from January to February 2019.

Of 83 per cent of the respondents, 69 per cent said they are looking forward to an annual bonus of between one and two months, while 27 per cent of them are anticipating a bonus of between three and five months.

However, the reality is that only 17 per cent of companies’ bonus payouts would meet the expectations of employees who anticipate a bigger bonus of between three and five months.

The survey showed that 81 per cent of Singapore-based companies plan to give their employees a bonus of between one and two months.

Stark mismatch in expectations of those in banking and finance

In particular, the banking and finance industry has the largest mismatch in bonus expectations.

Out of the 84 per cent of employees in the finance industry who want a bonus, 65 per cent of them anticipate bonus of between one and two months. The remaining 31 per cent expect a bonus of between three and five months.

But only 12 per cent of employers are able to meet the expectations of employees who anticipate a bonus of between three and five months, highlighting a difference in expectations of 19 points.

Director of banking and financial services of Randstad Singapore, Lim Chai Leng, said: “If companies know that they are unable to meet the employees’ expectations, they will need to be transparent during performance reviews.”

Lim also suggested for managers to talk about the other rewards that employees could receive from the company. Some examples Lim cited were the opportunities to upgrade their skills or work in a regional remit as these activities can help employees accelerate their personal development.

Bonuses are not a deal breaker for employees

The report stated that 64 per cent of employees said that while bonuses are important to them, it is not the only factor to consider if they wanted a new job with a new employer.

The remaining 36 per cent indicated that they would look for a new job if they did not receive a bonus.

Out of this 36 per cent, 78 per cent of respondents were from the banking and financial services industry, while the remaining 22 per cent work in the construction, property and engineering industries.

Jaya Dass, managing director of Randstad Singapore said: “Employees choose to stay with their employers because of a number of reasons. They include the feeling of job satisfaction and having a strong sense of belonging in a community.”

Dass suggested companies have regular meetings to understand the challenges the team is facing and resolve them together.

Dass added: “People who feel supported in their career tend to produce higher quality work and are more engaged with the company.

“As long as they are receiving a competitive salary and bonus, it is more likely that these engaged employees will choose to stay.”

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