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  • Nigel Nolan

A lot of Singapore professionals “thought about” resigning over the last year

The latest report from Robert Walters recruitment agency titled: The ‘Not So Great’ Resignation, looked at what both employees and employers thought about staff quitting or changing jobs, and staff turnover over the previous year. While the report looked at the experience of professions throughout South-East Asia and surveyed 2,638 professionals and 1,131 companies, this article focuses on the Singapore experience.

The survey report revealed that a whopping 80% of professionals had been thinking of resigning or changing jobs in the past year. This has to be a startling figure for employers and a stark reminder that they need to do a lot, lot more to retain talent.

A somewhat comforting figure for employers though, is that 36% of those employees did not follow through on their thoughts and did not actually resign. The main reasons given for this was that they hadn’t found a suitable replacement job (50% of them); or that they were uncertain about the new company’s culture, environment and suitability for them (29%); or that they were concerned about job security at the new company (28%).

The survey also uncovered changing employee preferences about work and that many people had reassessed their work-life priorities – 87% of professionals in Singapore had done so. While salary is still a critical factor in career decisions for professionals, their well-being, both mental and physical, is an increasingly important factor for 73% of them. Work-life balance continues to increase in importance, with 69% of those surveyed stating that time spent with their family and friends was important. Also very important to professionals is greater meaning, fulfilment and empowerment in their work (67%).

What professionals value most in a company over the last year are colleagues and a culture that inspires them to do their best (48%); excellent compensation and benefits (47%); and flexible work arrangements (42%).

This report has a lot of critical information for employers in Singapore to consider in terms of retaining essential staff and their talent management practices. In particular, employers need to take note that salary is not the only attraction for professions, and that the work environment is crucial too.

The survey report highlighted a gap between what employers say they are doing about greater work flexibility, increasing salaries, and providing more training & development opportunities, and what employees experience of these are. Companies maintain that they are increasing all of these, but employees state that they see little or no changes.

So what about the future?

67% of professionals state that they are looking to change jobs in 2023, but, as in 2022, many of them can be persuaded to stay by a salary increase (45%); a promotion (28%); or a change in job scope and/or responsibilities (25%).


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