Pay And Benefits: Key drivers of employee turnover in Malaysia

Dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, and limited career advancement has emerged as the primary drivers of higher-than-usual attrition levels.

Faced with a growing shortage of skilled workers and the challenging reality of transitioning employees back to on-site work, companies in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines) are finding it more difficult to attract and retain talent.

This is according to Mercer’s latest COVID-19 pulse survey that polled more than 850 employers globally. Employers now have to deal with labour shortages and return to worksite plans, including vaccination policies and worksite safety protocols that are constantly evolving as a result of the pandemic.

Higher turnover but harder to hire mid-career professionals Most of the respondents in Malaysia observed a higher turnover rate, especially at the mid-career level when compared to past years. 57% of the employers listed employee dissatisfaction with pay as the main cause for attrition, followed by limited career advancement (41%) and the employee’s ability to get better benefits at another company (32%).

With more mid-career professionals leaving their jobs, employers are also finding it more difficult to recruit them, primarily because of the inability to find the right skills at the right price.

About 4 in 10 of the survey’s respondents experienced moderate to significant difficulty in attracting senior and mid-career hires, compared to recruiting entry-level positions (10%).

Koay Gim Soon, Malaysia Career Business Leader, Mercer, said: “Companies in Malaysia, especially small to medium enterprises, have had to deal with higher turnover and retrenchment rates in these difficult times.

 However, we see more multi-national companies stepping up their recruitment this year to support business recovery and growth. In a market that is still short of skilled workers, mid-career hires are in demand because they have considerable experience as well as the potential to be groomed as future leaders.

Employees look for more than just financial incentives Looking at factors that influence a company’s ability to retain workers, employers have been using financial incentives such as increasing promotion opportunities (31%), paying higher than market rate wages (29%) and implementing

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