2018 Employee Engagement Trends: Malaysian Employee Engagement Increased by 4 percentage points. Singapore Least Engaged Among Major Asian Markets

After a three-point drop in engagement last year, employee engagement in Asia Pacific bounced back to its highest levels at 65 percent, according to a new report from Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.

Aon’s analysis found that while employee engagement in Singapore remained unchanged from last year, companies in Malaysia and the Philippines increased engagement by 4 and 6 percentage points respectively, while Indonesia improved by a whopping 15 points. Only 59% of employees in Singapore are engaged, making them among the least engaged in Asia. Employee engagement is highest in Indonesia at 76%, followed by India and the Philippines (71% each), China (69%), Thailand (64%), and Malaysia (63%).

With the rise of internet platforms and the gig economy, a recent survey found that 10.6% of new graduates are taking on freelance, part-time, or temporary jobs. More than ever, engaging the millennial workforce is the need of the hour–and a growing challenge for Singapore employers.

Millennials At Risk
According to the Aon study, only 56% of the full-time millennial workforce in Singapore is engaged – a 2-point drop from last year. In addition, the number of actively disengaged millennials increased by 2%. Perception scores for millennials plummeted by 7 points in the area of ‘Work Tasks’–which refers to the organisation’s ability to fairly distribute the workload and an employee’s sense of enjoyment and accomplishment from the work they do. Perception scores also fell by 3 points in the area of Employer Brand.

‘Career Opportunities’ a Top Engagement Driver in Singapore
The Aon study finds that ‘Career Opportunities’ tops the list of engagement drivers in Singapore, with ‘Senior Leadership’ and ‘Enabling Infrastructure’ rounding up the top three. This demonstrates the significance of a conducive work environment to Singapore employees.

Boon Chong Na, Managing Director & Partner, Aon Hewitt Singapore, says: “While there is no one-size-fits-all employee experience that will maximise engagement, forward-thinking organisations can identify the drivers that are most important for their employees and create a fit-for-purpose experience. What’s more, increasing engagement is a shared responsibility–senior leadership must encourage their team members to own their engagement levels, by creating an environment where employees are empowered to develop new skills, chart their career journeys, and maximise their potential.”

Across Asia Pacific, having a highly engaged workforce has never been more important to driving business performance. Stephen Hickey, Partner and Aon’s Head of Employee Engagement & Culture, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, says: “Aon’s research shows that organisations with above average engagement levels see better employee productivity and higher customer satisfaction scores–factors that can significantly improve performance and decrease volatility in business outcomes. This is why many organisations are undertaking transformational change programmes as they manage their way through digital disruption, macroeconomic challenges, and needing to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.”

In the 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement study, Aon analysed more than 8 million employees at over 1,000 organisations around the world.