Only 68 per cent of Singaporeans would recommend their employer, compared to 76 per cent across Asia Pacific as a whole, according to Mercer’s new Singapore Employee Engagement Index.

The research also shows employee engagement in the country has declined consistently over the last three years —in stark contrast to the upward trend observed in employee engagement across the globe.

In total, 73 per cent of Singaporeans are satisfied with the organisations they work for, compared to 82 per cent of their global counterparts in 2016.

“Improving employee engagement continues to represent a significant opportunity — not just for businesses but also for the economy as a whole. This is widely acknowledged,” said Kulshaan Singh, CEO of Mercer in Singapore.

“The decline is primarily due to the lower feelings of pride in and satisfaction with organisations, and our analysis shows that such views are largely driven by employees’ concerns about innovation and career development.”

An increasing number of employees in Singapore are not getting the right opportunities to learn and grow, said Mercer. One in five employees say they are not receiving the necessary feedback from their managers to improve themselves. And a third feel that personal career goals are difficult to meet in their organisation, according to the research.

At a recent HR conference in China, attendees heard David Schoch, president of Ford Motor Company Asia Pacific explain the importance of employee engagement: “A high engagement organisation is a vibrant organisation,” he said. You feel the energy, and people want to come in to work. They understand their mission and the value of themselves.”

Mercer’s Singh said he believes engagement is the best opportunity for Singapore to make the most of its human capital in a manpower-lean economy.

“If performance and productivity are a combination of individual talent and engagement, the best way to optimise talent is to ensure it’s engaged,” said Singh. “Although this seems obvious, many organisations still struggle to build the work environment they need to fully realise engagement in the workplace.”

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