With a majority of Singaporeans unhappy with their salary, it is no surprise that higher salary is among the top priorities for the nation's job seekers -and it seems like employers are getting the hint.
According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2016 Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report, employees in Singapore are set to see an overall growth of 4.0% in their salaries in 2017.
After taking into account the projected inflation of 0.8%, Singaporean employees are likely to see a salary increase of 3.2% in real terms.
By industry, the highest projected salary increase of 2017 can be seen in the insurance (4.5%), consumer products (4.4%), media (4.4%), pharmaceutical and health sciences (4.4%), leisure and hospitality (4.4%), consumer product retail (4.3%), and retail (4.2%) industries.
On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest projected increase are from the banking (3%), and energy and natural resources (3.5%) industries.
Rakyan added that, as the available budget shrinks, companies need to be smarter about how they use them to retain talent. “It’s important to prioritise the best performers and also to review how employees are rewarded with other incentives, such as more attractive benefits,” he said.
Rakyan added: “The data clearly shows a greater emphasis on rewarding high performers rather than across-the-board increases for all. Without such differentiation, companies will face pressure in attracting and retaining talent, especially for in-demand areas, such as sales and digital roles.”
“Employers have to think beyond inflationlinking and look at more nuanced factors such as affordability, growth expectations, both employee and company performance, and specific talent and skills needs,” he said.
Maggy Fang, head of talent and rewards, Asia Pacific, at Willis Towers Watson, said: “It is important for companies to improve transparency in their communications with employees about salary increases. Then, even if they don’t like the outcome, employees will at least understand the rationale behind it. Our experience is that they appreciate this.”
“Nowadays people are looking for other options besides a standard annual pay rise. Employees are looking at how and when their performance is rated, and also for more flexibility in their benefits packages. Therefore companies need to adopt a more holistic approach and consider total rewards factors such as career development opportunities, recognitions, ongoing communications, and flexible working arrangements,” Fang added.
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