HR in the News | November 2022

Katie Ash

Nov 30, 2022

Here's the latest news insights and HR stories from the past month in Singapore:

🟡 Why HR leadership is the key to organisational change

Whether by design or through circumstance, many organisations have been offering flexible work arrangements to their employees over the last few years and are likely to continue doing so in the foreseeable future.

The question many HR leaders are asking themselves as they seek a winning formula for flexible work, is, “How can we boost employee experience in a flexible working environment to create more productive employees?”



Flexible Working

🟡 Singapore seen as APAC's 'champion' of hybrid work

Singapore has emerged as one of the "strongest champions" of hybrid work arrangements across the Asia Pacific region, according to a new report that sheds light on the uneven implementation of the work arrangement in the region.

Researchers from the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) surveyed 2,200 people across APAC. They found that fewer than one in 10 leaders in Singapore expect employees to be on-site 100% of the time. They were the most open to granting complete flexibility to employees.


🟡 94% of Singapore's hybrid workers suffer from stress: report

Despite the promise of better work-life balance, a new report has found that 94% of Singaporean hybrid workers are suffering from stress, well above the global average of 86%.

The findings come as Singapore recently emerged as the strongest champion of hybrid work across the Asia-Pacific region, with leaders there being more open to granting complete flexibility to employees.

However, research from Cigna found that employees are suffering from "virtual overload or fatigue" amid hybrid work, with 90% saying they work outside normal hours at least once a week.


🟡 How to simplify the hybrid workplace: Strategies on usage of tech tools

IR and Ecosystm have launched a hybrid workplace guide, called Your ultimate guide to future-proofing the hybrid workplace 2.0, which explores how organisations can consider employee preferences by listening to their feedback, and deliver a more engaging and efficient hybrid work model.


🟡 Always-on mobile lifestyles in Southeast Asia, and how they're impacting work performance

The work landscape today is very different from the one we knew at the end of 2019. Mobile devices, virtual meetings, and digital collaboration tools are enabling employees to spend at least some of their week working away from the office. As we emerge from the pandemic, it is clear that our working lives will not return to the way they were.

According to a study, 8 out of 10 respondents felt their performance and productivity had somewhat or significantly improved as a result of using mobile technology.



Labour Market

🟡 Organisations face hiring challenges as employee’s market remains

Amid recession fears, workers are still set to have the upper hand in the job market as demographic changes make it harder for employers to hire and retain staff, according to a global study by Glassdoor and Indeed.

Fears of a potential upcoming recession may temporarily curb businesses’ hiring in the short term, but long-term effects are likely to skew market power toward jobseekers.


🟡 Singapore's retail industry is facing a manpower shortage

The retail industry in Singapore is grappling with a manpower shortage, with nine in 10 retail employees either ‘somewhat agreeing’ (48%) or ‘strongly agreeing’ (45%) that there is a manpower shortage.

Such a trend emphasises the need for retailers to address workforce concerns — two in five (44%) retail employees plan to leave the sector in the next year, citing low salaries (56%), dealing with unreasonable customers (52%), and long working hours (46%) as the top push factors. Moreover, 50% of retail employees say that their employer has not offered any support in terms of career development, with seven in 10 employees (69%) reporting that they have not attended any training programmes in the last two years.


🟡 Organisations should take a people-first approach to attract talent

To establish workplaces that attract talent, firms need to place employees first and adopt human-centric strategies in productivity and infrastructure, and employee engagement and culture.

Ways to foster attractive workplaces include investing in digital tech that could foster collaborative and remote work, leveraging flexible work options to provide employees with more autonomy, upskilling and training existing workers, and prioritising diversity and inclusion initiatives.


🟡 Employee benefits strategy key to talent retention

Companies operating in the Asia-Pacific region recognise that they need to improve their employee benefits strategy to hire and retain top talent. Attracting and retaining the best talent will be a key priority for companies in the Asia-Pacific region in 2023, with 28% reporting an increase in turnover of more than 5% in 2022.

Employers are offering holistic compensation packages, including benefits to attract and retain people with the right skills, as they face challenges such as inflation and skills shortages.

However, 41% of employers reported that their benefits were not sufficient to fulfil employees’ needs and 45% found that their benefits were perceived as “below market”.


Swingvy’s Employee Benefit survey found the 5 most wanted benefits of Singapore employees.


Employee Retention

🟡 7 in 10 workers believe pay gaps exist in Singapore

According to workers, the most common type of pay gap is based on age. Most (70%) Singaporeans believe that pay gaps exist in the state, a survey by Milieu Insight showed. According to workers, the most common types of pay gaps are based on age (73%), gender (69%), and nationality (61%). A quarter of employees (25%) believe that a way to tackle the issue of discriminatory pay gaps is by having pay transparency in job listings.


🟡 Over 5 in 10 employees will likely leave employers over mismatched values

Singaporeans want their employers to speak up on social, environmental, and political issues.

More than half of employees (54%) will likely quit their jobs if their values do not match their employers.


🟡 79% of millennials want re-skilling and upskilling opportunities from employers

More than seven in 10 millennials find it important for their employees to offer them opportunities to re-skills, a Randstad survey has found.

Employees belonging to the Generation Z  (77%) and Generation X (66%) age groups shared the sentiment.

The eagerness of employees, particularly millennials, to upskill is likely driven by the competitive labour market.


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