Salary is not the Biggest Driver of Satisfaction Among Singapore Employees: Qualtrics Report

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Home > Articles > Salary is not the Biggest Driver of Satisfaction Among Singapore Employees: Qualtrics Report

 Salary is not the Biggest Driver of Satisfaction Among Singapore Employees: Qualtrics Report

Qualtrics | General
January 17, 2019
​Less than half (49 per cent) of Singapore’s employees are satisfied in their current job and two in five (40 per cent) of Singapore employees do not look forward to going to work in the morning. Healthcare workers have the highest levels of motivation (57 per cent) while workers in the finance industry were the least likely to be happy in their jobs.

LESS than half of Singapore’s employees (49 per cent) are satisfied in their current job, which is below the global average of 62 per cent employee job satisfaction. This was one of the key findings shared in a report titled “State of Play: Employee Experience in Singapore”—based on a Global Employee Pulse Report conducted by Qualtrics, the leader in Experience Management (XM). Additionally, two in five (40 per cent) Singapore employees said they are not motivated to go to work in the morning and only 29 per cent say they ‘always’ or ‘nearly always’ look forward to going to work every morning—16 per cent less than the global average.

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Engaging over 6,000 working professionals across the globe, the report leveraged the Qualtrics XM Platform™ to gather meaningful insights and analyse the data by industry, age range, and salary, among other information. The report provides details of the daily experience of Singapore’s working population, and how key engagement metrics such as work-life balance, job satisfaction, motivation at work, attrition, and retention vary across the working population.

Healthcare workers ranked the highest in terms of motivation to go to work in the morning (57 per cent) and were found to have the least amount of stress among the surveyed working population in Singapore. Interestingly, healthcare workers have also shown the highest levels of contentment with the work-life balance (61 per cent) across all sectors surveyed.

The report found that salary is actually not the key driver of satisfaction among Singaporean employees. In fact, employees who earn salaries of under S$30,000 annually have rated their job satisfaction at 48 per cent, which is just two per cent lower than the highest paid employees earning S$130,000 and above. The main drivers of satisfaction among Singaporean workers are confidence in the company's senior leadership team and a helpful manager in resolving work-related issues. Receiving sufficient training to perform their job effectively has also been listed as one of the key drivers of enhanced job satisfaction, desire to go to work, and staff retention. 

“Contrary to what many employers believe, the results have shown that personal relationships at work are valued over offering pay increments to employees that may only provide a temporary increase in job satisfaction. In fact, it is the type of relationships employees have with their managers and colleagues that most significantly impact job satisfaction and motivation levels,” says Mr Foo Mao Gen, Head of Southeast Asia, Qualtrics. 

"Many successful organisations around the world recognise the importance of manager-employee relationship and empower managers with tools to gain better insights of the team in real-time. Technology can provide managers with data such as how team members are engaging at each stage of the employee lifecycle to understanding their experiences, engagement, and productivity drivers. They are empowered with this data to provide action plans and deliver better experiences for their team.” 

While it comes as no surprise that millennials and Gen Z employees are more likely than any other age group to switch jobs after two years (35 per cent), almost two in five (39 per cent) employees in this age group have shown a reasonable amount of enthusiasm to go to work every morning. Singapore employees aged 55 and above are the most enthusiastic about work, with 47 per cent of them looking forward to going to work. However, this is also the segment of employees who are most stressed.

An environment that provides and supports work-life balance reduces the risk of attrition among employees and delivers a more positive employee experience. The study has found that 71 per cent of those who are happy with their work-life balance will remain in their jobs, while 81 per cent who are dissatisfied with their work-life balance will leave their existing jobs. 

Listening and acting on feedback is nothing new—it is understanding what matters most to employees and applying it to create engaging experiences at work. Mr Foo adds: “Employee experience is more than just a traditional annual survey or twice a year check-in. Organisations must scale their programmes to collect feedback at every moment and experience that matters to the employee lifecycle. It starts with having the right feedback system that has comprehensive features such as the ability to conduct pulse surveys, live dashboard reporting, and driver analysis. These features help organisations understand the experiences your employees have during each stage of their employment, giving you insight into what’s happening, what’s driving engagement, productivity, customer orientation, and more.”


Qualtrics is the technology platform that organisations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data™. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organisations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—on one platform. Over 9,000 enterprises worldwide, including more than 75 per cent of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 US business schools, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee culture, and build iconic brands. To learn more, and for a free account, please visit www.qualtrics.com.

Copyright © 2019 Singapore Institute of Management

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