28 October 2016
Most companies in Asia Pacific fail to track their employees' performance and satisfaction, says Workday's Tim Darton. Photos: EJ Insight
Most companies in Asia Pacific fail to track their employees' performance and satisfaction, says Workday's Tim Darton. Photos: EJ Insight

Hong Kong firms must do more to keep employees happy: survey

Hong Kong firms must do more to keep their employees engaged and motivated, an Asia-Pacific survey has suggested, pointing to low levels of work satisfaction in the city.

According to market intelligence firm IDC, only 28 percent of Hong Kong workers said they found their work engaging and satisfactory.

That compares with 59 percent in Philippines and India, and 42 percent in Australia.

Hong Kong, however, fared better when compared to Malaysia and Singapore, where respondents who expressed satisfaction with their work stood at just 23 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

The survey, conducted between December 2015 and January 2016, was sponsored by Workday, a provider of cloud software systems for enterprise businesses and organizations.   

“Tracking employee happiness or satisfaction is important in helping employers understand how employees feel about factors that impact their performance, such as rewards, flexibility and their managers,” said Tim Darton, general manager for North and Southeast Asia at Workday.

Long working hours is one of the biggest reasons why many Hong Kong workers are not so engaged in their jobs, Darton told EJ Insight in an interview.

“Hong Kong employees aren’t that happy… those in the Philippines and India are much happier,” he said.

Hong Kong people rate “enjoyment at work” as more important than “better pay”, while their Asia-Pacific counterparts largely deem salary as the most important factor.

Hong Kong people are spending a lot of time at work and many of them are unhappy, Darton said.

Employee loyalty

Organizations must address their employee needs better if the firms want the staff to be more engaged in their work.

The low level of work satisfaction in Hong Kong, however, doesn’t mean that staff will switch jobs easily. 

According to the survey, only 28 percent of respondents in Hong Kong said they saw a chance of switching jobs.

That compares with 44 percent in India and 41 percent in the Philippines.

In Asia Pacific, the top drivers for employee satisfaction and engagement are better pay and rewards (16 percent), followed by work enjoyment (12 percent) and work-life harmony (8 percent).

Darton said many factors influence an employee’s decision to switch jobs.

Organizations should have a good mix of human resources strategies that incorporate talent management, he said.

The strategies must be aligned to corporate business goals, as well as metrics that will help track employee performance, Darton said.

But many organizations are yet to do this, according to a separate Workday-sponsored survey conducted on top executives in the Asia-Pacific region.

Only 15 percent of respondents said they have a balanced scorecard that combines human resources metrics and organizational metrics, while also tracking the impact of external factors such as partners, suppliers and customers.

Meanwhile, only 7 percent of organizations have end-to-end integrated human resources and talent platforms that are aligned to business needs.

“Exposing individual employees to a better understanding of how they can contribute to the success of their company will help improve their engagement,” Darton said.

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Despite relatively low job satisfaction, not many Hong Kong workers are seeking to shift jobs, a survey showed. Photo: Bloomberg

Intern reporter at EJ Insight

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