While 65% of employees are engaged on average around the world, engagement is Singapore is slightly behind at 63%, according to the 2016 Trends in Global Employee Engagement study by Aon Hewitt.
The survey attributed this lag in the island nation's engagement scores to the dip in perception scores among Millennials who are the largest generation in the country's workforce today (22% of the resident population).
Perception scores in the area of ‘talent & staffing’—which refers to the talent attraction, promotion, and retention practices of an organisation, as well as its ability to allocate resources to get the job done - were found to have dropped by an alarming five points.
At the same time, the demographic's perception scores in terms of diversity and inclusion fell by five points and perception in autonomy as well as work-life balance declined by 3 points.
Overall, the nation's employees were found to be less engaged this year than their Asia Pacific counterparts whose engagement scores rose from 60% in 2014 to 65% in 2015, compared to the score in Singapore which rose by only three points to 63%.
The region's rise was anchored in two massive economies in China (up by eight points) and India (up by five points), as well as in the Philippines (rising a whopping 13 points).
The survey measured engagement via three dimensions - "say" (whether employees say positive things about the organisation and act as advocates), "stay" (employees’ intent to stay at the organisation for a long time), and "strive"(whether employees give their best efforts to help the organisation succeed).
Employees are more likely to Say, Stay, and Strive in APAC, with the first two dimensions rising by three points each and the third one rising by five points - which implies companies will have an easier time attracting, retaining, and getting best efforts from employees.
Additionally, of the 15 different workplace dimensions tracked, Asia Pacific region did not have a single dimension that trended negatively.
Dimensions with the greatest improvement includes rewards and recognition and work life balance both having 6 point improvements to 57% and 69%, respectively. Another dimension with positive movement is the perceptions of senior leadership which went from 60% to 64%.
Stephen Hickey, partner and executive sponsor, employee engagement practice—Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Aon Hewitt said: “More and more companies in Asia are focusing on the overall employee experience, rather than just pay and benefits.
"The slowing of growth in markets such as China has also meant less aggressive hiring. Employees prefer to stay at their organisation longer, so organisations must engage them actively.”
Gitansh Malik, regional leader—Aon Best Employers Asia Programme, Aon Hewitt, observed: "Engagement gets affected due to an employee’s lack of visibility on his career path in the organisation. This is why it’s not enough to just have performance conversations once a year."