Why workers are the 2nd “least engaged”?

Photo:TODAY filePhoto:TODAY file

Why are workers in Singapore “least engaged”?

I refer to the article “Singaporeans less happy with employers than global average: Poll” ( Straits Times, Aug 16).

Employee engagement declined?

It states that “It found that employee engagement here has declined consistently over the past three years, in stark contrast to the upward trend observed across the globe.

The poll showed 73 per cent of Singaporeans are satisfied with the firms they work for, compared with the global average of 82 per cent.”

2nd lowest in Asia-pacific?

If you look at the accompanying chart – Singapore is ranked joint second from the bottom.


I asked a few friends why do they think that employees in Singapore feel this way?

Here’s a collation of what they said:-

… Singaporean workers see increasingly – foreigners being paid relatively higher salaries (“PRs earn 48% more than Singaporeans?, Aug 16, 2014)

… Singaporean workers see increasingly – foreigners replacing Singaporeans’ jobs

… Singaporean workers see increasingly – discrimination against Singaporeans in favour of foreigners, such as employers’ preference for foreigners who may be more willing to work for lower pay

… Singaporean workers see increasingly – foreigners being hired over Singaporeans because the playing is not level – no employer’s CPF contribution, national service reservist training, maternity leave (work permits), etc

… Singaporean workers see increasingly – foreigners hired because of lower turnover problems because they are on typically  two-year contracts

weak labour laws that allow employers to hire and fire at will – sometimes avoiding to pay retrenchment benefits as well

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.