Salaries projected to rise in coming year

Singaporeans may be in for a salary increase in 2017 so the time to prioritise your budget for your best performers is now

Salaries projected to rise in coming year
Singaporeans may have something to look forward to as a newly released survey showed that salaries are projected to rise 4% in the coming year.

However, the report released by Willis Towers Watson cautioned that given the country’s inflation forecast, actual numbers may be lower.

“[The report] is designed to provide companies with guidance for their annual salary forecasting for the year ahead,” they said in a statement.

Sambhav Rakyan, data services practice leader, APAC at Willis Towers Watson, said that despite the projected increase, the trend across Asia Pacific has actually shown a drop in numbers. 

“We are seeing lower salary increase budgets across much of the region,” he said.

“Back around 2012 and 2013, companies in Asia pumped a lot of money into their salary budgets and drove salaries up, but they didn’t see the revenues rise in tandem, so it made such increases unsustainable. Now these companies are being much more prudent.”

His advice is for companies to be wiser about how they use their budgets in retaining good workers.

“It’s important to prioritise the best performers and also to review how employees are rewarded with other incentives, such as more attractive benefits,” he said.   

Maggy Fang, head of talent and rewards, APAC at Willis Towers Watson concurred and added that companies should consider just how effective an increase in base salaries is as an incentive. 

“Nowadays people are looking for other options besides a standard annual pay rise. Employees are looking at how and when their performance is rated, and also for more flexibility in their benefits packages,” she said.

She advocated for career development opportunities, recognitions, and flexible work arrangements as incentives companies could consider instead, adding that companies should “adopt a more holistic approach and consider total rewards factors”.

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