Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
Global HR leaders rely on connection, compensation, and remuneration to attract and retain talent

Global HR leaders rely on connection, compensation, and remuneration to attract and retain talent


HR leaders have prepared budgets to cope with differentiated salary increases by functions, with the highest being IT, and by positions, with the highest being clerical/operations.

Organisations, and HR professionals across Asia, Europe, Americas, and the Middle East are no longer relying solely on compensation as means to attract, and retain employees. They are looking at other ways to "establish deeper connections" with their employees, and provide them with more opportunities for growth and development, according to Korn Ferry's latest Global Rewards Pulse Survey.

All about the connection

According to the survey findings, close to half (40%) of respondents said they are investing more to improve manager and leader effectiveness in building employee connections and inclusion, while over one in three (36%) respondents said they are engaging more with employees around organisational change priorities.

Other findings revealed that more than three in 10 (31%) are providing more clarity and communication about employee growth and career development opportunities, and a similar number (30%) said they are increasing their efforts to connect the work that employees do to the organisation’s mission, vision, and values.

Don't forget about compensation

Be that as it may, respondents revealed that they are not yet throwing compensation out of the strategy window as:

  • One in five (20%) are looking at special incentives and bonuses outside of regular bonus programmes;
  • Close to one in five (18%) are looking at retention bonuses;
  • More than three in 20 (18%) are looking at sign-on bonuses (18%), and
  • More than three in 20 (17%) are looking at environmental, social & governance (ESG), and corporate social responsibility (CSR) metrics in their incentive programmes.

Remuneration is increasing

On top of that, the survey findings unveiled that respondents have prepared differentiated salary increase budgets by functions. "When it comes to compensation increase budgets, not all roles are created equal," said Don Lowman, Global Leader of Korn Ferry’s Total Rewards Business. "Several hot skills areas were cited as having separate salary increase budgets, including analytics & data science (26%), engineering (36%), IT (39%), and sales (23%)".

Other areas that follow include marketing (14%), research & development (14%), executive management (13%), and human resources (10%).

A similar trend is also witnessed in the base salary increase for employees with different rankings. For instance, a base salary increase of 0 to 25%, is geared more towards employees who are executive/senior management. While of 90 to 95% is more for employees who are middle management/seasoned professionals, and of 100% is for those who are in clerical/operations roles.

Country data

Taking all the aforementioned data into consideration, and splitting it into projected median salary increase across all employee groups according to countries (and territories), they are as follows:

  • Singapore: 3.5%
  • Malaysia: 4.8%
  • Thailand: 4.5%
  • Indonesia: 6.1%
  • The Philippines: 5.5%
  • India: 9.7%
  • Vietnam: 7.3%
  • Hong Kong: 3.4%

Drawing reference to the figures listed, the projected median salary increase (3.5%) in Singapore is equal across all employee groups from executive/senior management, to middle management/seasoned professionals, supervisory/junior professionals, and clerical operations. The same could said in Thailand, and the Philippines albeit at a higher rate - 4.5% for the former, and 5.5% for the latter. In Malaysia, however, the projected median salary increase (4.9%) could be seen more in the supervisory/junior professionals group, followed by middle management/seasoned professionals (4.8%).

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