SME employees expect support for career growth


WORKERS employed in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expect better support from their employees to progress further in their careers.

According to a survey titled “Employment and Recruitment Trends for Malaysia SMEs” by online human resource platform Employment Hero, 87% of respondents said employers should cultivate talent and provide the necessary support for employees’ growth.

The survey revealed that 58% of respondents said career growth is the top consideration when looking at job changes next year, while other top motivators include work-life balance at 49% and more rewards and recognition at 31%.

Employment Hero CEO Ben Thompson said the pandemic has changed the way employers and employees approach the working environment as priorities continue to shift.

“Professional career growth has always been a key motivator for Malaysian talent, but it’s interesting to note from our survey that salary is not as high a priority moving into 2021, but rather overall support, recognition and autonomy to choose the way they want to work and balance their responsibilities,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The survey involved more than 500 local respondents employed by local SMEs. It was conducted last month and was aimed at better understanding employees’ expectations and employment factors that impact SMEs.

Additionally, 69% of Generation Z and Millennials said a flexible working arrangement is critical. In comparison, 85% of Baby Boomers (those aged 55 and above) expressed concerns about working arrangements post-Covid, the survey stated.

Overall, 52% of SME employees indicated the need for employers to be flexible about working arrangements, while 47% wanted additional financial support to improve the work-life balance.

The survey also noted that 28% from Generation X (35-44 years old) and 23% of Baby Boomers, who are typically resistance to change, indicated flexible work arrangement support as one of the top priorities.

Meanwhile, 62% of Baby Boomers placed home-based office support as a priority for 2021.

Thompson said digital tools for home-offices are a better way to support employees at home moving into 2021.

“SMEs must revisit what proactive incentives and programmes they have in place that benefits the overall wellbeing of their workforce. With strong support from the government through programmes such as Penjana, SMEs can drive positive change in the way they support their employees,” he said.