Employees in Singapore consider DE&I a key part of employer branding, according to findings from Randstad's 2023 Employer Brand Research Singapore report.
57% of Singapore-based respondents said it is 'critical' for them to work for an employer that actively promotes equity, diversity and inclusion, with the number jumping to over 65% for Gen Z employees (defined in Randstad's survey as those aged 18-24).
For Singapore employees, DE&I starts with mental health
The survey also identified what employees consider to be promotion of DE&I, highlighting six particular values that employees agree with:
- Support for mental health and well-being (66%)
- An equal pay policy (gender and ethnicity) (63%)
- Alignment with employees' personal values (62%)
- Taking a stand on equity and inclusion (61%)
- Taking action to limit the business's impact on the environment (51%)
- Supporting protection and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ employees (42%)
Considering that Singaporean employees are among the most stressed in the region, it's not surprising that mental health and well-being rank high among their priorities. It's also clear that the stigma around discussing mental health in the workplace is shrinking, such that mental well-being is now being considered a marker of how well an employer handles DE&I.
The importance of working for a company that is aligned with one's personal values - whether in terms of sustainability, social consciousness, inclusion, or support for the LGBTQ community - is also noticeable, with the survey finding that 21% of respondents - again, especially Gen Z - would rather be unemployed than work for an employer that does not align with their personal values.
That said, support for the LGBTQ community still seems to be in a transitory phase as far as employer branding goes. Despite an increasing swing in public opinion and even regulatory initiatives - with the discriminatory Section 377A struck off just this January, and the annual Pink Dot event seeing steady support - 18% of respondents still believe that their employers do not support the protection and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ employees.
Pay is important, but so are non-monetary benefits
In this stress-filled city-state with a high cost of living, salary and benefits have always been the number one proposition for employees. But the Randstad report found that for the first time in the last few years, pay has been eclipsed by a good work-life balance - to the point where 41% of respondents said they are planning to leave their jobs in search of better work-life balance.
Singapore employees are also looking for non-monetary benefits that can improve that elusive work-life balance, with the most important being amiable colleagues and managers with whom they can get along. That pleasant work atmosphere and good team relationship ranks even above a convenient work location and flexible working arrangements.
That said, the majority of respondents clearly feel their current employer is not up to scratch in this regard, with work-life balance at current workplaces given only a middling rating.
"Employees want to work in a harmonious workplace where they are treated with respect and can build meaningful relationships that go beyond work," said Jaya Dass, Managing Director of Permanent Recruitment at Randstad Singapore. "Focusing solely on compensation is no longer the be-all and end-all to attracting top talent in a hyper-competitive talent market. Rather, employees are increasingly prioritising cultural factors such as having good workplace relationships and the autonomy to complete tasks on their own schedules."