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Services workers most willing to jump ship amid tight labour market: poll

In manufacturing, managers are the least loyal group

(SINGAPORE) Job-hopping is more rampant in the services sector than among manufacturing employees, a survey has found.

But while it is manual and general staff in the services sector who are more ready to jump ship in Singapore’s current tight labour market, in the manufacturing sector, it is employees up the corporate ladder – junior and middle managers – who are the least loyal.

A poll by human resources firm Hewitt Associates between July and September shows that manual workers in services have the highest attrition rate (16.2 per cent) in the sector, followed by general staff (15.8 per cent).

The dubious distinction of being the most frequent job-hoppers in the manufacturing sector belongs to junior managers, supervisors and professionals, who have a turnover rate of 9.9 per cent. Those in middle management positions are not far behind with an attrition rate of 9.6 per cent.

But in both the services and manufacturing sectors, the people at the top are the most loyal to the company – their turnover rate is just under 2 per cent, according to the poll.

Overall, the services sector is losing staff faster than the manufacturing sector in the full employment situation. The attrition rate in the services sector is 8.2 per cent, against 7.4 per cent in manufacturing.

Across the board, junior managers, supervisors and professionals have the highest turnover rate – 11.6 per cent.

Top executives, in contrast, have an attrition rate of 1.7 per cent, the lowest.

According to the poll, higher pay offered by other companies was the most cited reason (71 per cent) offered for job-hopping.

Limited growth opportunities (32 per cent), relationship issues with manager (39 per cent), role stagnation and work-life balance (32 per cent) were other major reasons listed for staff resignations.

The most common measure (56.5 per cent) taken to stem the outflow of employees is ‘accelerated career development opportunities’. Other commonly cited steps taken were short- term incentives (45 per cent), pay above market rates (43.5 per cent), timely and meaningful feedback from managers (45 per cent) and improved work- life balance (40 per cent).

While about two-thirds of the companies polled felt their reward programmes were ‘partially’ successful in attracting and keeping talent, less than 29 per cent thought they had ‘fully achieved’ the goal.

The majority of them (69 per cent) said ‘budgetary constraints’ were the problem. Some (almost 31 per cent) also pointed to the ‘lack of adequate communication’ and ‘administration of the programme’ (23.6 per cent).


Source: Business Times 19 Nov 07


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