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Why Hongkongers think their bosses have ‘small brains’



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It is well-documented that Hongkongers are unhappy with their pay and benefits, but a lack of inspired leadership, shortfalls in career development opportunities and poor training are creating frustration in the workplaces of Hong Kong.

According to the jobsDB “Job Happiness” Index, less than half of local employees expressed happiness with their current position, and the number of satisfied staff is expected to drop further over the next six months.

Conducted by SEEK Asia, and represented by the jobsDB and JobStreet brands, the Job Happiness Index is calculated on a 10-point scale and conducted in seven countries across Asia.

Polling 1,045 respondents, Hong Kong scored 5.56 on current happiness and a 5.25 for potential happiness over the next six months.

The unhappiest group was employees that have been with their firm for between three and five years, or at the manager level, while the happiest were the newest faces – people with a company for six months or less – or after they had reached director/VP/CEO level.

Feeling unhappy at work, 21% of the employees stated the best way to improve their personal job satisfaction was by getting a new job.

“Companies may ask where we could begin the improvement process, and the short answer is ‘everywhere’. In the case of the three to five-year staffers, common causes are a feeling that their career has stalled, so training on management style, better internal communications, demonstrating clearer career paths and providing more employee training and support may resolve the issue,” said Justin Yiu, general manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong.

The survey also found that employees working in the fields of insurance, manufacturing and property or real estate were the unhappiest group. Among the unhappy workers in property and manufacturing, a majority of respondents were intensely disappointed with the management and leadership teams in their firms.

On the other hand, those working in people-oriented professions, such as medical services, beauty care, health, hospitality or F&B were the happiest.

For these happy campers, two thirds of beauty and healthcare respondents mentioned colleagues as a major good morale factor. The same number in medical services cited company reputation, and over half of the people from hospitality and F&B say they were happy to have a great work location.

“Our research found that the top way to increase job happiness was salary increases (29%), although the impact of pay rises is usually temporary. Other significant factors included providing more recognition (9%) and promotion (8%) for employees doing good or great work, which is an easier thing to implement, but can have a far reaching impact,” Yiu added.

On a regional level, Singapore was bottom of the job happiness table at 5.09 and even lower at six months from now at 4.93. The Philippines had the happiest employees, with a score of 6.25, although it was predicted to drop to 6.18 over the next half year.

ALSO READ: What happens when your staff are not happy

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Hong Kong's leading C&B conference Employee Benefits Asia returns on 16 May
Contact us now for the amazing GROUP DISCOUNT

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