However, workers were also found to be ‘stoic’ and disengaged during the crisis
Singaporeans were found to be some of the most resilient employees in the world, according to a recent study.
The city-state came out fourth in a list of 25 countries, with 19% of its workers found to be ‘highly resilient’. India had topped the list with a figure of 32%.
However, Singapore was found to have the sixth least engaged workforce, with only 11% of workers saying they felt ‘fully engaged’ in 2020. This compared with a global average of 14%.
The pandemic could have contributed to the low figures, but the study revealed that Singapore’s engagement levels have been on a steady decline since 2018 – dipping a total of 9% in just two years. Meanwhile the global average dropped just one percent during the same time frame.
Singapore presented a unique case for ADP’s study. Researchers typically found a high correlation between engagement and workplace resilience from their findings across other countries. But they found a disparity with Singapore's figures – there were almost twice as many ‘highly resilient’ as ‘fully engaged’ workers (19% vs 11%).
This suggested that workers were able to withstand challenging times but were likely “not set up to contribute their very best”. Researchers described such workers to be “stoic”.
“They can withstand challenges without breaking,” said researchers. “They’re not brittle but they’re not positioned to be the best version of themselves or bring their best to work.”
Read more: COVID-19: How the best workplaces stepped up
The reason for their resilience was likely based on the idea that the more disruption experienced by workers, the higher chances that they would be able to hone and demonstrate their capabilities to cope with the changes.
ADP found that workers who went through at least five changes at work were 13.2 times more likely to be ‘highly resilient’. Correspondingly, Singapore was in the top third of the table in terms of the number of disruptive changes experienced by workers.
“These findings reinforce the well-known notion that people can often emerge stronger after a setback or crisis,” said Yvonne Teo, VP HR (APAC) at ADP. “It is heartening to know that Singapore has kept up high levels of workplace resilience.
“The figures, for Singapore but also internationally, show there is still work to be done by employers to get employees more engaged and build workplace resilience. To achieve this, employers need to work on improving their communication with employees and to strengthen the relationship to build a bond of trust and mutual sense of appreciation.”