While the pandemic has disrupted businesses globally, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are among the worst hit. As Singapore enters into the recovery phase, SMEs are advised to focus on employee engagement as they prepare for an uptick in demand.

The recently concluded SME100 – WTW Employee Experience Study discovered that employees in SMEs are generally proud of their companies as they trust the vision of their leaders and understand how their work contributed to broader goals. Hence, 3 out of 5 surveyed are willing to recommend their company as a good place to work.

However, 2 out of 3 employees surveyed reported high stress levels. These SME employees are concerned about their financial situation, less than ideal working arrangements and not having the right enablement and support on a daily basis.

The Study was conducted by Business Media International (BMI) in collaboration with Willis Tower Watsons, the global leader in HR consulting, across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, to provide SME owners with a yardstick for their employee engagement and to raise awareness around the importance of developing strong employee experience.

William Ng, group publisher of Business Media International said, “Our ability to retain and rally our talents is of utmost importance if we are to retake the grounds lost during the pandemic. This is why the focus must now be on employee engagement, which in turn would support the entire business operations”.

Yeo Ooi Keong, practice leader and organisational psychologist at Willis Towers Watson said, “We are glad to have partnered with BMI to conduct this first-ever regional study on SMEs. Our data shows that the ability to build trust and belief within a company is largely driven by how connected employees feel towards their leaders. A leader’s ability to communicate a clear direction, walk the talk and empathise are all critical factors that impact an employee’s willingness to trust and believe in the company. This in turn, impacts their motivation to do better for your customers and the company as a whole.”

Ng added, “SME owners must actively protect the wellbeing of their employees. Watch out for signs of ‘burnt-out’ among employees, empathise with and help employees better balance their work/life commitments and provide them with the right knowledge to manage their personal finance. This will help reduce the risk of losing our top talents and protect our recovery efforts.”


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