72% employees prefer good salary, work-life balance

by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by TMR FILE

MOST Malaysian employees (72%) want an attractive salary and benefits followed by work-life balance (69%), according to a study.

The Randstad Employer Brand Research explores the top employee value proposition factors that influence employees and jobseekers in their search for a new career.

Based on a research conducted by Kantar TNS and commissioned by Randstad Malaysia, Malaysian employees also seek strong management (64%) and a safe working environment from Covid-19 (63%), as well as 62% who emphasise their financial health (62%).

Randstad Malaysia operations head Fahad Naeem said unmatched salary expectations are not a new thing, but it is difficult to overcome. The research is conducted on more than 190,000 respondents across 34 markets, including 2,523 which are based in Malaysia in January 2021.

“There are many factors that come into play when it comes to salary calculation, such as salary legacy, cost of the rising standard of living, mismatch in skills and experience, gender disparity and more,” he said in a statement yesterday.

To ensure salary equality and competitiveness, Fahad urges employers to conduct regular audits and find out whether their investment in skills development of their workforce is adequate enough to retain their high performing talent.

“Employees and jobseekers are increasingly looking up to their employers to tide them through the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly to protect their income and ensure job stability,” he added.

Companies with strong management are able to maintain good corporate financial performance during difficult times while keeping a safe working environment from Covid-19.

“This means being able to take actions quickly to protect the business and their workforce, even if they have limited information to work with,” he said.

The report also showed that 73% of female respondents want work-life balance compared to the male respondents with only 65% in favour of it.

“As more and more women join the workforce, it is essential for employers to create a safe working environment. As female employees tend to seek different factors than men, it is therefore critical for human resources (HR) professionals to develop fair and equal HR policies and benefits that address the needs and aspirations of both genders,” Fahad explained.

Pre-pandemic, 17% of the respondents switched employers, while only 11% of respondents switched employers between July and December 2020. Meanwhile, 23% of workers plan to do so this year.

With 28%, millennials make up the majority of respondents who are more likely to switch employers, followed by Gen Z (24%).

“Many of our millennials and Gen Z workers are self-taught digital natives. They know the latest social media trends, how to work their way around new technologies and are excited by the idea of being able to try new things,” he said.

When companies bring their digital transformation strategies forward, it creates the perfect moment for millennials and Gen-Zers to explore new job opportunities.

“Companies that are lagging behind their digital initiatives will need to step up quickly in order to attract and engage the younger generation of workers,” Fahad commented.