Employee turnover: A critical post-pandemic priority

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Employers in the Next Normal will need to reassess their strategies in attracting and retaining talent, according to a study by professional services Mercer.

The study found that employee dissatisfaction, pay and benefits, as well as limited opportunities to advance, were the key reasons for attrition as employees return to their physical workplaces.

The survey found higher turnover in the most challenging segment to hire: the mid-career professionals.

The pulse survey was conducted in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

It incorporated inputs from more than 850 employers worldwide amid labour shortages and back-to-work office plans, including Covid vaccination policy and workplace safety protocols.

Mercer CEO for the South East Asia Growth Markets Godelieve van Dooren said, “If a company wants to retain talent, it should focus on understanding why employees want to stay and work on those motivations. If competitors for talent offer more benefits in the same areas, the inertia for employees to stay is weakened, outside job opportunities become more attractive and it will be more difficult to attract and retain talent.

“Companies must reinforce the right reasons and take a positive approach to manage retention, which will be more effective over the long run than simply reducing turnover.”

Mercer said financial incentives such as employee referral bonuses (48%) are being widely implemented to attract talent, but added that reputation (69%) and culture (86%) are also significant, including practices like workplace flexibility and support for employees’ well-being.

Mercer Philippines CEO Maria Theresa Alday added, “For organizations to thrive in this new work environment, it is important to look beyond the pandemic and understand what is needed to address workforce challenges. This means that there is a need to review the organization’s trajectory, reset priorities, and redirect attention to key issues that matter — taking care of the workforce’s needs today and leading on tomorrow’s transformation.

“Companies can no longer take business, workforce, culture or HR transformation in isolation. The future of work is no longer about gaining a competitive advantage, It is about staying relevant.”

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