Singapore – Around one third of Asian employees are frustrated in their jobs despite being highly engaged at work and it all boils down to the lack of empowerment and professional development.
According to new research from Hay Group Insight, 35% of Asian workers are found to be detached from work due to the lack of support in the workplace and only 16% of those surveyed feel competent in their jobs. However, employers’ warning bells should start ringing as the detached employees say they will only perform the minimum to meet work requirements. Furthermore, 60% of them want to leave their companies, despite being highly groomed and well-utilised by employers.
Dr Stephen Choo, regional director (Southeast Asia) at Hay Group Insight, attributes the high frustration factor to “the lack of empowerment to make decisions and constantly having to refer upwards”.
Once employees feel held back by jobs that do not suit them or a work environment that gets in their way, their disgruntlement does pose as a significant business risk as the war for talent intensifies. To prevent their efforts of retaining and engaging talent from going down the drain, Dr Choo suggests companies back their high engagement factors with “a supportive environment that enables employees to do their jobs”.
The study also finds that having highly motivated employees is not a guarantee of high performance, especially if the corporate structure and policies do not encourage effectiveness. Besides the desire for a challenging job, the modern employee wants enough resources to accomplish it and unhelpful managers to get out of the way.
Hence, companies need to understand the talent’s needs well in order to spark their enthusiasm and it starts from the manager. “Part of a manager’s responsibility should include removing procedural barriers and providing employees with the tools, technology, information, support and other resources they need do their jobs well,” advises Dr Choo.
Dr Choo further recommends Asian leaders to practice less of the traditional authoritarian leadership style and take a softer approach instead. “In times of economic uncertainty, organisations can ill-afford to frustrate their employees, particularly the high-performing talent, with unnecessary bureaucracy.”