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Singapore workers among the most motivated employees in Asia: Study

Zafar Anjum | April 24, 2012
59 per cent of respondents working in Singapore are “quite” or “very” motivated, as compared with 55 per cent for the regional average.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents working in Singapore are "quite" or "very" motivated, as compared with 55 per cent for the regional average.

This is according to a study by AchieveGlobal, one of the world's largest providers of corporate soft-skills training.

The results of the study were announced today. This was a new Asia-wide study conducted to measure the extent to which employees are motivated in their jobs, and how often their managers and supervisors are engaged in motivating behaviours with them.

The study also investigated the state of employee motivation in Singapore, through a cross-section of the survey administered with 177 employees working here.

An interesting nugget from the study is this: respondents in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with less than 1,000 employees in Singapore were significantly more likely to say their managers "usually" or "always" listen attentively (71 per cent), versus those from larger companies (60 per cent).

Asia Pacific results

The AchieveGlobal study was conducted over a span of three months from October to December 2011, with more than 1,000 individuals across 10 locations including Australia, India, China, Singapore and Taiwan.

Fifty-five percent of the respondents across Asia said they were "quite" or "very" motivated, the study found.

The study also found that respondents from companies with 500 employees or less were more motivated than those from larger organisations.

In terms of organisational rank, 33 per cent of vice president- or C- level executives said they were "very" motivated in their jobs versus just 14 percent of those in managerial positions. This is natural given the greater job responsibilities of senior executives.

Raising employee motivation in Singapore

Based on the research findings, AchieveGlobal has made the following recommendations for raising employee motivation in Singapore:

  • When communicating decisions, managers should share the reasons, facts and data behind each decision to their direct reports. This will not just help employees understand and accept the decision, but will also keep them motivated.
  • Involve employees in decision-making whenever possible as it is important for them to feel part of the process.
  • Ask for employees' opinions more frequently, and listen attentively to them as well.
  • Choose words carefully when communicating with employees. Saying "should", "ought" and "have to" too frequently can disengage the organisation or manager from employees and make them appear too directive.

"The study has once again validated the fact that employee motivation is largely intrinsic and it is vital for organisations to constantly satisfy the three psychological needs of competence, relatedness and autonomy of their employees, which are fundamentally different from the need to gain a reward or avoid a punishment," said Andrew Calvert, regional director and solution architect at AchieveGlobal Singapore. "The Singapore workforce is largely motivated by responsibility, autonomy and knowledge sharing. It is important for employers here to create conditions that allow employees to meet these needs so as to raise and sustain performance and teamwork at the workplace."


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