Singapore’s workforce has high expectations in 2019 with particularly high bonus expectations, but will Singaporean companies fulfill those expectations? The country’s labor market has in the past proven that companies that have highly productive employees are those that consistently cater to employee expectations.
The bonus expectations of Singaporeans
The Bonus Expectations 2019 survey carried out by Randstad Singapore claims that 83% of employees in Singapore expect to be rewarded with a bonus in 2019. 69% of those who participated in the survey expect a bonus in one or two months while just 27% believe that they will receive their annual bonus in the next three to five months.
Randstad Singapore launched the Bonus Expectations 2019 survey so that they could determine employee expectations as far as bonuses are concerned. It also sought to establish the impact of those bonus expectations on employer engagement while also seeking to establish the plans that Singapore companies have for their employee bonuses.
36% say they are prepared to leave if no bonus received
Despite the views by a majority of the respondents, only 36% of the participants view bonuses as a vital factor in employee retention. They also claim that they would entertain the possibility of switching to adifferent job if they do not receive any bonus in 2019. Randstad Singapore’s Managing Director Jaya Dass stated that employees choose to stick with their employers for various reasons. A sense of being part of a strong community and job satisfaction are among the key factors.
Mr. Dass also encouraged employers to maintain consistent communication especially on how their employees can benefit from HR initiatives, especially in the long haul. He added that employers should worktowards creating new employee relationships while also promoting an atmospherethat makes employees feel proud of their work.
“This fosters a positive working culture that promotes collaboration, productivity, and efficiency,” stated Mr. Dass.
The misalignment between employee bonus expectations and conservative employee nature
It looks like employers do not see eye to eye on the views expressed by Singaporean employees in the survey on employee bonuses in 2018. According to the survey, 82% of employers in Singapore plan to give out bonusesto their employees in 2019 as part of their reward system.
Just 17% of the employers plan to reward their employees with 3 to 5 months’ bonuses for their dedication and performance in 2019. Meanwhile, 27% of workers expect a 3 to 5 month bonus and only two out of more than 100 employers are willing to give five month-plus bonuses. Additionally, just 81% of employers plan to pay out bonus for two to three months. This means that there is a disparity in the employee bonus and what employers are willing to give.
Singapore-based employers plan to share profits with theiremployees this year as part of their efforts to give back to their employeesand to boost performance. Company managers have to make sure that they providestrong support to company employees. They should also make sure that they hold regular meetings so that they have a clearer understanding of the challenges that their employees face.
It is only logical that people are more productive when theyare rewarded with bonuses and competitive salaries. Proper employee compensation will thus make workers feel appreciated, therefore encouragingthem to work harder and also to stay at their respective jobs. Many companies may end up losing some of their employees if they fail to provide bonuses.
Singapore’s civil servant bonuses for 2018
Singapore’s civil servants enjoyed a bonus that was distributed as an extra month’s salary in December 2018. The bonus termed asthe Annual Variable Component (AVC). This means that civil servants in thecountry received their regular salary for the month, an added amount equivalentto the 13th-month salary and then a year-end bonus. Keep in mind that the AVC is calculated separately from the 13th-month salaryknown as the (Non-Pensionable Annual Allowance).
These bonuses are however exclusive only to civil servants.This means that those in the private sector is not guaranteed any bonus andshould actually feel lucky if they get one. Fortunately, the private sector also rewards its employees to motivatethem.
Korn Ferry consultancy projections
The Korn Ferry consultancy planreleased a report in January this year, in which it revealed that 2019 salariesare projected to grow by 3% in line with growing inflation levels. This is slightly higher than the 2.3% salaries growth figure projected for 2018 courtesy of the demand for highly skilled labor.
The Korn Ferry report also claimsthat the highest estimated base salary increases will come from the oil and gasindustry whose 2019 growth has been projected at 3%. Other industries such asthe public sector, the technology sector, and the transportation sector are allexpected to grow at 2% this year. Unfortunately, pay increments do not seem toalign with the demand that has been observed from some industries. Roughly 29%of Singapore companies claim that they do not have adequate information technology while 38% lack engineering talent.
The bonuses and salary incrementsfor IT and engineering employees are not as appealing compared to the generalmarket. For example, salary increments for workers in two sectors range from 2.8% compared to 3.4% which means that the increments are lower than the rates offeredin other industries. This might be discouraging people from pursuing careers inthe two sectors.
Wage increment comparison between Asia and the rest of the world
Wages in China are expected to go up by 2.6% this year which is higher than the wage growth rate in the rest of the world although it weakened compared to the 2.8% growth projected for the previous year. China, for example, has a projected growth rate of 3.2% which was lower than the 4.2% wage growth predicted for the previous year.
Japan’s wage growth predictionfor 2019 was also lower at 0.1% compared to 1.6% in 2018. The average predictedglobal wage/salaries growth rate for 2019 is 1% whichis slightly lower than the 1.5 predicted in 2018.
(By Neha Gupta)