Employees in Singapore are among most disgruntled in the region – and it’s getting worse

Are you a disgruntled employee? Well, you’re definitely not alone.

According to a new report, employees working in Singapore have become increasingly dissatisfied over the last three years.

While global employee engagement has risen in recent years to 82% in 2016, only 73% of the 42,000 employees surveyed in Singapore were satisfied with the companies they worked for.


In fact, Singapore is in the bottom three regionally when in comes to employee engagement.


The Singapore Employee Engagement Index published by human resource consulting firm Mercer also reported that Singaporeans were less likely to endorse their organisations as good employers. Only 68% of Singapore employees surveyed by Mercer said they were willing to do so, compared to 76% in APAC.

Many employees in Singapore are also not getting the right opportunities to learn and grow, with 20% of employees indicating that they were not receiving necessary feedback from their immediate managers to improve themselves. And despite strong government support for innovation, one in three employees here indicated that their company did not support the development of new ideas.

Although 85% of employees said they were proud of the products and services their organisations offered, 30% felt that there weren’t continual efforts to innovate these products.

With such figures, it doesn’t come as a surprise that for every three employees in Singapore, there was one who said that it was difficult to meet personal career goals in the organisations they worked for.

At the same time, 95% of employees surveyed said that they wanted to be recognised and rewarded for a wider range of contributions.

“Improving employee engagement continues to represent a significant opportunity – not just for businesses but also for the economy as a whole, this is widely acknowledged.” said Kulshaan Singh, CEO of Mercer in Singapore.

“The decline (in productivity) is primarily due to the lower feelings of pride in and satisfaction with organisations and our analysis shows that such views are largely driven by the employees’ concerns about innovation and career development.”

But its not all bad news. Around 70% of employees here said they were sufficiently involved in decision-making for matters that may affect them. This is higher than the global figure of 67%.

It seems immediate managers play a critical role in employees’ perceptions of their involvement, with 80% of employees saying that their immediate managers notify them of important information related to their work.

“Engagement represents the best opportunity for Singapore to optimise the human capital it has. If performance and productivity are a combination of individual talent and engagement, the best way to optimise talent is to ensure it’s engaged. Although this seems obvious, many organizations still struggle to build the work environment they need to fully realize engagement in the workplace,” Mr Singh said.