Malaysians spend more time at work than at home, but what keeps them motivated and happy at work? In the recent Employee Job Happiness Index 2017 survey conducted by JobStreet.com, Malaysia ranked fourth out of seven countries within the same region for employees who are happy at their workplace, scoring 4.65 on a 10-point scale.

With 10,143 Malaysian employees surveyed, more than half of the respondents (58%) reported that they are neutral to happy with their job. Market intelligence garnered from this survey indicated that gender and civil status of employees do not cause them to perceive happiness differently. Malaysian employees reported that having a good work location, having good colleagues and company reputation are the top three key factors that affects their job happiness. The survey results also showed that those employees working in the civil service, food and beverage, and medical industries are the happiest. Breaking down into specialisation, the happiest employees turned out to specialise in sales (Telesales/Telemarketing), engineering (Electrical & Civil Engineering) and healthcare (Nurses, medical support & assistant).

In contrast, poor leadership, a lack of career development and training opportunities were flagged by respondents as the top three factors contributing to job unhappiness. “We see that ‘career development’ and ‘training opportunities’ are key areas whose growing importance cannot be neglected.

The same trend was observed in the JobStreet.com Top 10 Companies 2017 report where Malaysian candidates placed high importance in these two closely related factors affecting their job prospects. Therefore, it is understandable that Malaysian employees would feel frustrated and unhappy at their workplace if they find opportunities in these two key areas lacking,” said Chook Yuh Yng, Country Manager of JobStreet.com Malaysia.

Reflecting the key factors of job unhappiness, one out of three of Malaysian respondents (29%) expressed their thirst for rewards, which mainly includes salary increase; and some said receiving recognition from the company may also help to increase job happiness (7%). Moreover, 27% of Malaysian employees said that they would consider leaving their current jobs and opt for new opportunities in pursuit of greater job happiness. “We believe that employers with good leadership practices and attractive rewards can make a critical difference in motivating and driving job happiness amongst the employees in the region.

To instill a greater sense of confidence in the leadership of a company, employers should practice transparency in communication, at the same time, schedule regular skills upgrading programmesto engage and retain top talent. As Malaysian talent today are increasingly becoming clear on what they want, we hope companies can fully utilise market intelligence insights from our Employee Job Happiness Index 2017 to be a step ahead in talent retention for upcoming 2018,” added Chook. As Asia’s best talent sourcing partner, JobStreet.com is committed to improving lives through better careers. The Employee Job Happiness Index 2017 conducted by JobStreet.com provides market intelligence with insights about the aspirations and motivations of employees which is aimed to help employers develop and enhance initiatives to attract, engage and retain talent. In the region, the happiest country of 2017 Index was Indonesia (5.27). With more than three out of four people being happy at work, Vietnam (5.19) ranked the second, followed by the Philippines (4.97) as the third. Thailand (4.55), Hong Kong (4.45) and Singapore (4.31) took the fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively. A total of 35,513 people were surveyed from seven countries, namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, across 20 industries, including fresh graduates and those in top management positions. The respondents were asked to rate their job satisfaction in 2017 with a 10- point scale for the Job Happiness Index, where 5 was considered neutral, and a 7-point Likert scale to measure satisfaction with the various job qualities.

As part of JobStreet.com’s continuous commitment to enhance jobseekers’ career journey, JobStreet.com is hosting the Malaysia Career and Training Fair 2018 (MCTF’18). In collaboration with AIC Exhibitions, Malaysia’s No.1 career fair is a platform for jobseekers to explore career opportunities in one location and make important and valuable career decisions. Be a part of this event and meet Malaysia’s top employers under one roof on 10 to 11 February 2018, from 10.00am to 7.00pm, at MidValley Exhibition Centre. Admission is free.