Article: How Malaysian employers score on Asia/global standards

Talent Management

How Malaysian employers score on Asia/global standards

Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Study 2023 reveals how organisations are adapting to socio-political and economic changes by redesigning work and the workplace. It also identifies talent-related trends that can help organisations thrive in the future of work.
How Malaysian employers score on Asia/global standards

Despite economic headwinds, nearly six in 10 executives globally expect their firms to post stable or high growth. Yet, when planning for the year, leaders in Asia are most concerned about the increasing cost of capital and debt, tight labour market, and competition for talent.  

HR leaders in Malaysia – representing 83 companies – are responding to these challenges by doubling down on improving the employee experience for key talent (69 per cent), designing talent processes around skills (61 per cent),  improving total rewards strategies and practices (61 per cent), and delivering total well-being strategies (54 per cent) this year, reveals Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Study 2023.

The study, , which includes a pulse survey conducted with close to 2,500 HR leaders globally, uncovers the ways organisations are redesigning work and the workplace, especially in light of socio-political and economic changes, and identifies talent-related trends to enable organisations to thrive in the future of work.

Key findings of this year’s survey include the need for employers in Malaysia to enable or build skills-based organisations to future-proof themselves in an increasingly complex environment.

Enhance collaboration

Nearly seven in 10 employees said last year that not being able to work remotely or hybrid permanently is a deal breaker when considering whether to join or stay with an organisation. In Malaysia, 63 per cent of the companies surveyed provide flexible working options for all their employees. This is significantly higher than Asia (50 per cent) and global (56 per cent) averages.

Employers in Malaysia are also more responsive in combatting an inflationary environment with 35 per cent  (versus an Asia average of 20 per cent) adjusting pay or offering cost-of-living adjustments to those earning below the market median. They also fare better in providing wage increases for employees in the most impacted markets (30 per cent versus 22 per cent).

But more can be done to provide job security for gig/freelance workers, as 71 per cent of employers (versus an Asia average of 46 per cent) indicated that they do not have such initiatives on their agenda.

Deliver on total well-being

To attract and retain talent, organisations need to differentiate themselves beyond having fair pay policies, and also prioritise employee well-being, which encompasses physical, mental, social, and financial well-being. Employers will need to partner with employees to offer benefits that are relevant.  

Companies in Malaysia (45 per cent) lagged slightly in delivering total well-being initiatives for all their employees, as compared to Asia (48 per cent). For example, 35 per cent are redesigning work with well-being in mind, such as introducing no-meeting days (versus an Asia average of 39 per cent), and only 21 per cent of companies in Malaysia (versus an Asia average of 26 per cent) have provided on-demand access to virtual mental healthcare.

On the flipside, Malaysia (18 per cent) fared better than Asia (14 per cent) in investing in financial wellness programmes that boost long-term financial security for their employees.

Build employability

Major shifts, such as the impact of a global pandemic, workplace transformation, and technology disruptions, continue to affect the employability of the local workforce. Companies in Malaysia (61 per cent) outperform Asia (56 per cent) in understanding the talent development needs across the organisation. In fact, 47 per cent of employers reported that their upskilling and reskilling programmes were effective at preparing talent to move into new areas (versus an Asia average of 33 per cent).

However, more can be done to leverage tools and technology to meet current and future skill needs, both in Malaysia and throughout the region. Just one in 10 companies use AI to map out skills requirements while one in five conduct robust assessments of technical skills.

“As companies in Malaysia are establishing a firm footing in a competitive landscape, we urge leaders to not be blindsided by the need to transform their businesses radically. Instead, they should focus on prioritising employees’ needs, experience, and well-being, and provide the necessary social, emotional, mental, and financial support, especially to the special populations like older employees and gig workers,” said Koay Gim Soon, Mercer’s Career Business Leader for Malaysia.

“HR professionals should also alleviate manpower and resource constraints by introducing automation tools and technology to aid in their transition to skills-based organisations. With more partnerships forged between employers and employees, companies will be  more well-placed to thrive and succeed.”

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Topics: Talent Management, Employee Engagement, #Future of Work, #Wellbeing, #Flexibility

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