Sunday, May 2, 2010

Towers Watson 2010 GWS found Malaysians value job security and stability

The Towers Watson Global Workforce Study 2010 claimed to be the most comprehensive study available on employee mindset following the recession. Conducted online from November 2009 to January 2010, the study polled 20,000 full-time employees from 22 countries around the world. In Malaysia, about 600 employees in mid-size to large organisations were polled. The research builds upon several previous Global Workforce Studies to provide companies with actionable insights around employee behaviours, opinions and engagement levels.

Below is derived from their press release on 15 April 2010...

Malaysian employees rank job security and stability as their most important employment criteria. Nonetheless, they remain highly mobile as only 11% plan to remain in their current organization, compared to 42% globally, according to the results of new research from global professional services company Towers Watson.

The Towers Watson Global Workforce Study – a biennial survey of employee attitudes and workplace trends – also finds that while engagement levels remain unaffected by the recession, organizations should continue to focus on career advancement and leadership as the twin factors of engaging and retaining their workforce.

"More than half of the Malaysian workforce prefers to work for 3 or more organizations throughout their career. (While they desire stability and security in their job, they may be inclined to leave the organization if better job stability and security, career advancement and effective leadership are available.) The challenge then lies in employers retaining their top talent and keeping them engaged," said Vivek Nath, Managing Director for Towers Watson Malaysia.

Career advancement opportunities to retain top talent in the workplace

While employees desire job security and stability as a general consideration, the study shows that they specifically cite the availability of career advancement opportunities as the most important reason influencing their decision to join an organization, other factors include an organization’s financial health, and competitive base pay.

In order to attract and retain employees, organizations have to focus on creating career advancement prospects in the work environment. Among the factors that respondents believe will help advance their careers are:
  • having a supportive mentor, aside from their manager;
  • having an immediate manager to provide them with the opportunity to develop their skills;
  • having an immediate manager to provide clear goals for the team; and
  • having an immediate manager to assign tasks that are well suited to their skills and abilities.
It is also interesting to note that Malaysia’s workforce views fostering relationships as an important way of helping them advance their career. 81% of respondents also believe that networking and collaborating with their peers would enhance and develop the necessary skills they need in getting ahead in their careers. 80% of the respondents also view learning opportunities from new job assignments as a way to enhance and develop their skills effectively throughout their career.

At the same time, Malaysian employees are well aware that it is ultimately the merits of their performance that will determine how far they would go in their careers. 73% agree that the results delivered in their job far trumps who they know.

Based on this belief, Malaysian employees also prefer to be assessed and rewarded on their work performance. 68% say that they prefer a pay-for-performance approach based on their individual performance, rather than on the organisation’s performance and 44% would like to receive rewards based primarily on their most recent job performance, rather than their track record of success or tenure with the organisation.

"We find that Malaysian employees are eager to carve out their career roadmap and are willing to put in significant effort to ensure that. However, organisations need to provide opportunities for employees to advance, which in our study shows employees defining advancement as a preference for acquiring new skills, achieving higher status and increasing compensation; to effectively retain their employees," continued Nath.

Engagement levels in Malaysia remain strong, compared to global levels

In addition to career development, effective leadership also plays an important role in engaging and retaining employees. The study shows that the economic downturn did not adversely affect the level of employee engagement in Malaysia. In fact, most Malaysian companies recognise the importance of employee engagement and have moved forward to close the engagement gap. 28% of the Malaysian workforce is engaged, compared to a global figure of 21%.

The higher engagement level is an encouraging indication as engaged employees are less likely to leave their jobs, with the results showing that 41% of engaged employees in Malaysia has no plans to leave, compared to 27% of the overall Malaysia results.

"The impact of the recession on the business should not be used as an excuse to deviate focus from engagement, as there is a risk of talent leaving the organisation once the recession completely lifts, which could affect business performance," Nath continued.

Wanted – Leaders with strong interpersonal sensitivities

Whilst career development is important in engaging and retaining Malaysian employees, leadership also plays a key role in communicating the organization’s values, goals and objectives. Besides demonstrating leadership skills on business and financial management, Malaysian employees need senior leaders to care about their well being, encourage the development of talent in the organization and to be trustworthy.

Only 56% of the respondents believe that their senior leaders have a sincere interest in their satisfaction and well-being, and only 60% agree that their senior leaders currently demonstrate trustworthiness.

In organizations where leaders are perceived to be effective, only 14% of employees are seeking new employment. On the contrary, when leaders are seen to be ineffective, 28% of employees are either actively looking for another job or have already made plans to leave their current job.

Taking these findings into account, Malaysian organizations could be optimistic of the year ahead, due to the relatively high engagement level in the workforce, which impacts the sustainability of business outcomes.

"However, as the economy continues to recover, it is imperative for businesses to focus on engaging their talent and address the gap on career advancement and leadership in order to ensure higher productivity and profitability of their organizations" commented Nath.

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Insights from Towers Watson 2010 Global Workforce Study

The Towers Watson 2010 Global Workforce Study covers more than 20,000 full-time employees of large and midsize organizations in 22 markets around the world (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and US) and was fielded by 3rd party vendor via online questionaire between November 2009 and January 2010.

The report was published in April 2010, and claimed to be the most comprehensive analysis of the post-recession employee mindset available today.


This 24-pages report titled "The New Employment Deal - How Far, How Fast and How Enduring?" which you can download for free after registering with them by clicking here, opined that the recession has accelerated the demise of the traditional employment contract, or "deal", between employees and employers. The Study reveals a recession-weary workforce -- one with lower expectations, increased anxiety and new priorities.

3 themes emerge from the Study as follow:
  • Recession has driven a final wedge into the social contract, or "deal", that has traditionally underpinned the employment relationship.
  • There is a gap between what employees want and expect from this shifting relationship, and what employers can affort to deliver in a highly competitive business climate.
  • Organizations have a unique opportunity to define a new and more sustainable employment deal with their employees, which include fostering towards "self-reliance".
"Few employers will be able to compete effectively in the current environment without policies and practices that recognize and allow for differences in employees' roles, skills and performance, as well as their interests, expectations and needs."

Interested to know more details? Just use the link above to get the 24-pages report for free.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

All eyes on World Expo 2010 Shanghai China

It is about 2 years after China successfully organized the Olympics 2008 in Beijing, now all the eyes are attracted to China again with another worldwide event - Expo 2010 Shanghai China (中国2010年上海世界博览会).

With the theme of "Better City – Better Life", this Expo officially started today 1 May 2010, and will continue on for half a year until 31 October 2010. The venue is on both banks of the Huangpu River (黄浦江) in the city of Shanghai, covering a waterfront area of 5.28 kilometer square.

This Expo has made (or targetted to make) several world records, including:
  • The 1st Expo held in a developing country.
  • The largest world's fair site ever at 5.28 kilometer square.
  • The most expensive Expo in the history of the world's fairs.
  • The most participated Expo from 192 countries and 50 international organizations.
  • Targetted for the largest crowd of visitors of more than 70 million people.
  • The Expo Axis is the world largest membrane construction with a surface of 65,000 meter square in total.
There are 5 zones (from A to E) and 5 themed pavillions in Expo 2010, namely:
  • Urbanian Pavilion
  • Pavilion of City Being
  • Pavilion of Urban Planet
  • Pavilion of Footprint
  • Pavilion of Future
The Expo logo is a Chinese character "世" (means "World") modified to projects the image of 3 people -- you, me and him/her -- throwing arms around each other.

The mascot of this Expo is named as HaiBao (海宝), which means the treasure of the sea. It is created from the Chinese character "人" which means "people".

To recap, the 1st Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, Great Britain in 1851. Since then, this Expo has been taken place from city to city around the world, and has evolved through 3 distinguish eras:
  • Industrialization (1851–1938) - focused on trade and famous for the display of technological inventions and advancements.
  • Cultural exchange (1939–1987) - based on a specific theme of cultural significance, and began to address issues of humankind.
  • Nation branding (1988–present) - used by countries as a platform to improve their national images through their pavilions.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.