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HR news in brief: Malaysia, September 2015

The 10 hottest employers in Malaysia today

PETRONAS has emerged as Malaysia's most attractive employer for engineering students for the second year in a row, according to Universum’s Top 100 IDEAL Employers survey.

Shell and Sime Darby rounded up the top three employers in the country respectively.

Business students had a slightly different preference in choosing their most desired firms, with Bank Negara Malaysia in top spot, followed by PETRONAS and Lembaga Tabung Haji respectively.

Among both business and engineering students, the rankings were dominated by domestic companies.

"What’s clear from this year’s data is that Malaysian Millennials share many of the same goals, aspirations and fears as the majority of their regional and global peers," Kit Foong, regional business development director Universum Malaysia, said,

Like their counterparts in Singapore, students in Malaysia stated their most important career goal upon graduation was to have a work-life balance (63.2%).

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Want to earn more? Have more sex

A little more activity in the bedroom might just make you one of the highest-earning members in the boardroom, is what Dr. Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University found in a new study with 7,500 respondents.

The study concluded people who have sex two or three times a week, regardless of their physical or mental health, earn 4.5% higher wages than people who have sex less often.

"Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory claims the happier and more fulfilled individuals are in their lives, the more productive and successful they will be in their work, translating to higher wages," Dr. Drydakis stated.

"In the absence of these elements, people may become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety and depression – all factors that can affect their working life."

The report added that sexually-active employees who are health-impaired earn 1.5% more than people with similar symptoms who are not sexually active.

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How to avoid hiring toxic employees

Next time a potential job candidate boasts about his or her technical skills in the job interview, you might want to sit up. Chances are, that candidate is likely to indulge in toxic behaviour when hired.

That’s according to research from Cornerstone OnDemand, which looked at a dataset of 63,000 hired employees, identifying those who were terminated for toxic behaviour.

Individuals who were notably over-confident about their technical proficiencies were 43% more likely to engage in toxic behaviour, which was defined as policy violations such as workplace violence, drug or alcohol abuse, sexual harassment, falsification of documents, and fraud.

Another way to identify potentially unpleasant employees was to question their inclination to follow rules, with those claiming to be rule followers 33% more likely to break the rules.

The cost of hiring a toxic employee to a team of 20 workers was approximately $12,800, the report found.

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Female bosses drive higher employee engagement

A new report by Gallup found employees who work for a female manager in the U.S. are six percentage points more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager (33% to 27% respectively).

Female employees who worked for a female manager were the most engaged, at 35%, while male employees reporting to a male manager were the least engaged, at 25%.

The survey also delved into how exactly female managers were increasing engagement levels of staff.

Employees who worked for a female manager were 1.26 times more likely than employees who worked for a male manager to strongly agree "there is someone at work who encourages my development."

Additionally, those led by female bosses were 1.17 times more likely than those with a male manager to strongly agree that "in the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work."

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Would you ask these 10 questions in a job interview?

Job candidates must be prepared for anything during an interview, but would have rehearsed an answer to: "Who’s your favourite Disney princess?"

In its annual list of the top 10 oddball interview questions, Glassdoor found that’s exactly what candidates applying at Cold Stone Creamery can expect during the recruitment process.

Other bizarre questions included the following:

Asked at Airbnb: "What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?"

Asked at Squarespace: "What’s your favorite 90s jam?"

Asked at Dropbox: "If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?"

Asked at Stanford University: "Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?"

Asked at Banana Republic: "What did you have for breakfast?"

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Don’t want to be a bad boss? Look where you sit

Middle managers are prone to mirroring their rapport with senior bosses when they interact with their subordinates, but did you know they are more likely to copy their bosses if they sit near them?

Research from Erasmus University and Cambridge University found that middle managers will mirror top management’s bad behaviours, regardless of how ethical they are outside of the office, if they sit near a mean boss.

On the other hand, sitting further away from bad bosses makes managers behave more fairly with junior members of staff.

Researchers undertook five studies among business students and professionals to find middle managers who are treated unfairly by their bosses will treat their employees fairer if, they are in different offices from their managers, and the social distance is high.

The researchers added it is vital organisations understand the threats of overly close and highly interdependent relationships between lower and higher management.

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Signs your employees are unhappy in their job

Do your team members prefer to eat alone rather than with each other? Do they work the bare minimum number of hours before rushing out at 6 pm?

These are the signs of a disengaged employee, and if you don’t take corrective action, they may put in their papers sooner than you realise, to work for themselves.

New research by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) in Britain found that more than one in four British workers want to leave their job (27%).

The survey uncovered a surprising list of signs implying that employees dislike their current job:

  • Get anxious about work on a Sunday night
  • Have lunch on their own to get away from colleagues
  • Work the minimum number of hours required
  • Are constantly looking at the clock
  • Often moan about their job to friends and family

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Reasons why staff are wasting time at work

If you’re wondering why your employees are not contributing effectively to the business, it might be because they are wasting their time on administrative tasks.

A survey by ServiceNow found that 9 in 10 managers are spending time out of their core job roles, providing status updates, filling out forms, requesting support and updating spreadsheets.

Fulfilling these tasks takes an average of more than 2 days a week, with 20% of staff saying they spend 3 or more days on them. As a result, half said they lack time for more strategic initiatives.

The report hinted that this lack of time could be attributed to the inefficiency of tools used in the work environment to fulfill these tasks.

More than 80% of those surveyed rely on manual tools such as email, phone calls and personal visits.

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