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It's one of Asia's wealthiest countries and has one the region's lowest unemployment rates. Yet a new survey shows that workers in Singapore feel less committed to their jobs than their Asian peers.
Just 20 percent of employees in the Southeast Asian city-state are totally committed to their work compared with 41 percent in Indonesia, 28 percent in Malaysia and 27 percent in China, according to a global workforce survey by recruitment firm Kelly.
That number for Singapore has declined steadily since 2010 when 38 percent of employees indicated a total commitment to their jobs, Kelly said in the report released late Thursday.
The findings could have implications for a country that is trying to raise its productivity levels to maintain economic growth against a backdrop of an aging population.
"Employee engagement indicates how interested and committed people are in their jobs. Our survey shows it is lower than ever in Singapore and this has upshots for workplace performance and productivity," said Mark Hall, vice president country general manager for Kelly Services Singapore.
"It is interesting to note that only just over a third of people said their job provides them with a sense of meaning, however when asked which would be the most likely factors for leaving their job very few (21 percent) said they would actually move to get more meaning from work," said Hall.
He added, "In fact, the most prevalent reason for changing job was salary and benefits (66 percent). This suggests that while money remains a major factor in attracting and retaining talent, it doesn't guarantee an engaged and productive workforce."
Singapore's unemployment rate inched up to 2.1 percent in the first quarter of the year from 1.8 percent in the final quarter of last year. Still, Singapore has one of the world's lowest unemployment rates, which compares with 3.6 percent in Japan, 6.3 percent in the U.S. and 6.9 percent in the U.K.
The Kelly survey, which polled over 1,500 workers in Singapore, showed that workers were less likely to resign than their Asian peers despite feeling less valued.
When it comes to loyalty, half said they planned to look for a new job this year, the survey showed. That compared with an average in Asia of 64 percent.