HR Asia, Asia’s most authoritative publication for HR professionals once again completed the HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia Awards and announced 45 winners at the ceremony. Over 500 guests congregated at the Palace of The Golden Horses for the event. Also present at the event was CEO of Mercer, whose organisation is Knowledge Partner for the Awards since the program was launched in 2012.

In its fourth year running, the award has attracted the attention and active participation of over 280 companies, in a survey to identify the most conducive environment for retaining talents. Compiling the results from 8,960 employees taking part in the HR Asia Employee Input Survey (EIS) contributed to the outlining of determining factors sought after by the workforce of 2016.

The award covers 12 markets across Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Undefined by Generic Employer’s Trend
In his opening speech, Group-Publisher and Chief-in-Editor of organiser Business Media International says “Given the increasing racial polarisation in Malaysia, there is no better time than now for us in the corporate sector to be champions of diversity and inclusion. By encouraging and promoting a diversified and inclusive workplace, we are playing a direct and leading role in being the change that
all of us want to be.”

In times of dire for the employees of Malaysia, where major companies across industries are downsizing their workforce, some companies have opted against common practise and continued to invest resources in developing and retaining their workforce. Factors underwriting a conducive human resource environment includes the opportunity professional ownership among employees of Malaysia the ability to meet or exceed customer expectations, and finally peer interaction at the company. Each factor was rated as priority by over 80% of the respondents respectively.

Employee and Employer Expectation
The survey results managed to outline how employee and employer differ in expectations, with the following reflecting how both parties correlate in shaping the market trends of Malaysia in 2016.

What Employees are Happy About
The leading sentiment across all surveyed companies is “It is important to me that I meet or exceed my customers’ expectations”, followed by “I have good friends at work” and “I am willing to go for the extra mile if I can contribute to the success of the organisation”.

1. Employees know clearly what is expected from them at work (Average score of 3.99)

2. Having good friends at work (Average score of 3.89)

3. Willing to go the extra mile if I can contribute to the success of the organisation (Average score of 3.88)

On the Employees Wish List
Rating lowest in the survey were sentiments such as “I think that I am fully informed about what is going on in the organisation”, “In the last month, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work” and “I receive enough support to do my job effectively”.

1. Employees feel that they do not knowing what is going on in the organisation (Average score of 3.33)

2. Employees feel that their superiors do not give them recognition or praise for their performance in the last month (Average score of 3.44)

3. Employees feel that they do not receive support on their job (Average score of 3.48)

What Employers Think
The leading sentiment across all surveyed companies was “Safety at workplace is one of the top concerns in our company” followed by “The size of our organisation grows healthy each year” and “Performance appraisals are conducted individually at predetermined time intervals”.

92% of the participating companies felt that safety was top priority in their respective companies. It is essential for employees to have a safe environment in which they will be comfortable to work in and for employers to provide this necessary safety with regards to operation, procedures and policies. A safe workplace is conducive in creating positive productivity where employees not only perform better but also feel they matter to their organisation.

Proceeding this, 86% of employers expressed a healthy annual growth of their organisations. This positive result indicates that despite the many economic hurdles, organisations are still continually experiencing an influx of new and potential talents. In a fluctuating job market, an annual company growth provides a favourable outlook of the talent industry.

82% of the companies surveyed felt that they conducted regular performance appraisals. Appraisals bring employers and employees together to discuss and identify work responsibilities while correcting weaknesses and recognising good performance.

Words of Wisdom
Some of the winners for the HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia Award offered their quotes on the meaning of their participation and what the award meant to them;

“What makes a great workplace is the people and their bond. I am grateful to have a close knitted team that not only achieved the Best Place to Work in Asia, but also created a family here. We would like to thank HR Asia for giving us this recognition. The award has bolstered all our internal efforts in making our workplace happy and safe for all our employees,” says HK Koay, President of AUO SunPower.

“To be accorded this honor reaffirms our belief in taking care of our employees first, so they can take care of the business as customers will never love our bank until our employees love it first,” says Farid Basir, Chief Human Capital Officer of Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad.

“I am very proud that Experian Malaysia has been presented with this award, which recognises the hard work and consistent effort of our team and reflects the best of their combined skills and capabilities,” says Lysette Randall, Human Resources Director for Asia Pacific of Experian (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

“For 50 years, we’ve been nurturing Malaysian talent in Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Healthcare, Manufacturing and Business Services. We want our career development and employee care to be the best in Malaysia, so that our people can work every day to build healthy communities through helping people do more, feel better and live longer,” says Stacy Wallace, General Manager of Glaxosmithkline Malaysia.

“Life as you know with a LIFE Company, is precious. Therefore engaging with and nurturing the growth potential of its staff remains central to Great Eastern Life’s talent agenda. We are delighted that our efforts in providing a conducive work climate for our employees have been recognised with this award. We will continue to champion Making Life Great (MLG) initiatives that promote meaningful relationships and work-life balance to enhance the lives of the Company’s greatest assets – its people,” says Dennis Tan, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Capital of Great Eastern Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad.

“At Habib, our loyal employees are our greatest asset. We are true to our core values in encouraging personal development and giving our employees the experience that Habib offers which is strongly guided by our Brand Promise: Investing in Happiness,” says Dato’ Sri Meer Habib, Group Managing Director of Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd.

“Hatten Group’s success story is as great as the people who work with us and strongly believe inwhat the company’s vision, mission and values stand for. The hearts of all our employees beatas one in togetherness to propel the company forward,” says Dato’ Colin Tan June Teng, Executive Chairman and Group Managing Director of Hatten Group Sdn Bhd.

“We are honored to receive the HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2016 Awards and we are elated and grateful for being acknowledged for the second time. This award is dedicated to our people who have given their full commitment and devotion in driving the Company to where it is today. With this recognition, we will continuously strive to create an organization with an enviable working culture and one that assures career as well as personal development growth for our people,” says Dato’ Ahmad Zaini Othman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Building Society Berhad.

“HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia – 2016 award for Sysmex Malaysia will certainly complement the recent announcement from Forbes magazine ranking Sysmex Corporation as # 28 on the 2016 List of Most Innovative Companies in the world,” says Albert Tan, Managing Director of Sysmex (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

“This award has given us a yardstick to measure our achievement, not in sales performance, but in the ways we make our employees feel towards their work, our relationships and the connections we have with each other. Looking forward, there are so many things we definitely could do to improve work-life balance. Thanks for this Best Employer Award,” says Leon Chuan, Managing Director of Thai Odyssey Sdn Bhd.