Good news - Malaysians are more engaged than their global peers. The average employee engagement score across Malaysia is 54%, slightly above the global average of 53%, a new Qualtrics study found.

According to the study titled "2020 Employee Experience Trends: Malaysia", key drivers of employee engagement in Malaysia included:

  • Listening to their feedback (67%)
  • Opportunities for learning and development  (67%)
  • Recognition for good work (62%)
  • A clear link between the work and the company’s strategic objectives (62%)
  • Confidence in senior leadership to make the right decisions (62%)
  • Managers who help employees with career development (59%)

In particular, the report pointed out that businesses providing a feedback programme achieved an engagement score of 58%, as compared to 42% for those who do not.

Stephen Choo, EX Senior Solutions Strategist APJ, Qualtrics, said: "Our study shows that asking for employee feedback and the frequency with which organisations ask have a direct impact on employee engagement scores. However, what really moves the needle is whether employees feel the company turns their feedback into tangible actions."

The report also revealed that when it comes to changing employers, 16% of workers in Malaysia intended to stay with their current employer for less than a year. The number of employees looking to change jobs almost doubles (30%) when the period is extended to two years.

This is lower than the global average, where 18% of workers intended to remain with their current employer for less than a year.

Employee engagement tends to increase the longer an employee remains at the company in Malaysia, peaking around four years, the report noted. However, engagement drivers change over time, reflecting the need to continually understand and act on important issues.



The key engagement driver for employees with less than two years tenure is training. Whereas for employees with 4+ years of tenure, engagement is mostly driven by a clear link between the work and the company’s strategic objectives.

“As Malaysia steers towards building a digital economy, it’s important for companies to create an agile workforce. Leaders and managers must invest in their employees’ career development, quickly resolve workplace issues and understand what matters most to teams at different stages of the employee lifecycle. This helps companies to retain exceptional talent and reduce employee churn, making it a win-win situation for everyone,” said Choo.

Global trends

Globally, countries with the highest engagement scores were India (79%), Thailand (72%) and Hong Kong (63%). While neighbouring Singapore registered an employee engagement score of 47%.

Similar to Malaysia, global employee engagement rises significantly to 79% when employee feedback is well-received and acted on. It falls to 47% when feedback is not acted on.

The Qualtrics report also found that the frequency at which feedback is collected and acted on also impacts employee engagement. When the frequency is at least quarterly, employee engagement is 62%, however when the frequency is 1-2 times a year, engagement drops to 55%.

In terms of tenure, on average 18% of workers globally intended to remain with their current employer for less than a year.

The regions with the highest attrition levels were Australia & New Zealand (23%) and the United Kingdom (23%). Other regions above the average include the USA (21%), Eastern Europe (21%), and Canada (19%). In Singapore, 18% of workers intended to remain with their current employer for less than a year. While the lowest attrition risk was found in Germany (13%), Japan (11%), and Thailand (8%) enjoy the lowest attrition risk.

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