More than eight in 10 (83%) of Malaysia-based employees surveyed expect to receive a bonus this year, a six-point increase from 2018. This was revealed in the Randstad Bonus Expectations Survey 2019,which surveyed 415 employees and 165 companies.
Of these respondents, 60% anticipate an annual bonus averaging one to two months, while 33% expect a payout averaging three to five months.
On the expectations, Ryan Carroll, Country Director of Randstad Malaysia said: "Employees are looking forward to be rewarded for their contributions and loyalty to the organisations they work for, especially if they had stayed with their employers amid major political changes and business transformation projects last year."
However, he stressed that while a bonus payout may be a fair expectation in such circumstances, employees should also upskill themselves to demonstrate their worth. "This will help them stay relevant and employable, as well as allow them to advance their careers more quickly."
Further, 98% of the employees surveyed agreed a bonus is important to their engagement with the company, while 59% said not receiving a bonus is not the only factor that will make them consider a possible job change.
At the same time, nearly 39% said they will start looking for a new job if they do not receive a bonus this year. A majority of these respondents work in the construction, property and engineering (53%) as well as information technology (19%) sectors.
On the employer front, it was found that Malaysia-based companies plan to share profits with their staff this year in an effort to boost employee engagement and improve retention.
In fact, 85% of the companies surveyed had planned a bonus payout this year, of which 79% are prepared to reward their staff with a bonus averaging one to two months and 20 per cent are rewarding their staff three to five months bonuses.
Just one of the companies surveyed is giving five months or more in annual bonus.
These results have indicated a misalignment between employees' and employers' expectations.
Carroll said: "Some companies within manufacturing, construction, property and engineering sectors will likely not budget for large bonuses this year due to the economic slowdown, which will have a direct impact on the business‟s ability to earn a healthy profit.
"Organisations will also be investing more in large capital activities such as digital transformation projects to stay ahead of the competition and achieve higher workplace productivity."
Lead image / provided