Singapore - Employees in Singapore can expect a favourable base salary increase this year as three-quarters of companies polled are on track to achieve their business targets in 2010.
Results of a snap poll conducted by global management consultancy Hay Group in March revealed that 74% of over 300 Singapore-based companies in both private and public sectors have predicted an optimistic outlook on their business targets. This is a positive sign, compared to 51% of companies that felt the same way last year. Not only has 93% of respondents remove wage freezes, average salary increases are now forecasted at 3.2% for 2010. While this is over two-thirds more than what was given in 2009, employees who are expecting to receive pay raises at pre-recession levels of 4.4% can only do so in two to three years time.
Victor Chan, country manager for Hay Group's reward information services in Singapore, says the slow restoration during this timeframe helps "minimise the bottom-line impact, which is critical for companies coming out of the recession".
The top three sectors with highest pay increase forecasts, excluding salary freezes, are pharmaceuticals at 4.2%, industrial activities at 3.5% and oil & gas at 3.2%.
Performance-linked bonuses are also looking up for employees with more companies looking to reward and retain top performers accordingly. According to Hay Group's survey, variable bonuses for 2010 are forecasted at 2.5 months, compared to the projected 2.1 months in 2009.
However, Chan says attrition rates for high potentials and top performers will remain as these are the "core group of employees who would always be in demand in good times and bad". He recommends organisations to consider the "fifth C" of retention - coaching. Chan says this would be the "key differentiating factor in retaining valued employees".
With 84% of companies polled taking proactive retention measures, Hay Group listed a few approaches HR could take a leaf from. They are:
- Include retention bonuses, higher increments, and extra benefits in compensation
- Accelerate career development and progression
- Communicate to employees on how much they are valued
- Demonstrate company's commitment to the long-term development of high-potentials and top performers