Workers in Asia are more unhappy than the global average: Survey

Workers in Asia are more unhappy than the global average: Survey
PHOTO: Reuters

Employees in Asia are more downbeat about their jobs than the global average, with a survey showing slightly less than one-third of those polled were happy in their work and pointing to uneasy communications with bosses as one factor.

Human resource solutions firm TinyPulse said only 28 per cent of employees in Asia Pacific reported feeling happy at work, while 30 per cent of employees around the world said they were happy at work, said Ketti Salemme, a communications manager at TinyPulse.

"There is not a huge difference, but it does show that (the) majority of employees, (both) in and out of the Asia Pacific region, do not feel happy at work," Salemme added.

More than one million responses from employees across 1,000 organisations were collected for the 2017 Employee Engagement Report, which uncovered several noticeable disparities between employees in the region and their counterparts around the world.

The largest variation in responses came from whether employees could recite their organisation's vision, mission and cultural values, with nearly 54 per cent of employees in Asia Pacific responded that they were able to do this, beating the global average of 32.50 per cent handily.

But the big rub in Asia was internal communication, according to TinyPulse with 40 per cent of employees ranking interactions with bosses at 9 out of 10 or higher, a figure nearly 15 percentage points below the global average.

The survey noted that employee satisfaction in these areas also affects customer service outcomes with Asia Pacific workers saying there was uneven attention to detail and strong client relationships.

Among the specific issues raised by Asia Pacific respondents were:

"The level of service varies from staff member to staff member. Ideally, it should be consistent across the whole brand."

"Less site visits and interactions with customers are major (reasons) for poor performance."

"Our service is alright but much needs to be improved. We're in too much of a hurry with clients to really spen(d) some time with them to build a relationship and get to know the client."

Despite the pitfalls in communication and customer service, employee engagement in the region improved in the past few years, according to the insurance and professional services firm Aon Hewitt.

A 2016 Aon Hewitt report found that employee engagement in Asia Pacific improved by 5 percentage points in 2015 -- the largest rise across regions.

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