Why is Asia seeing falling job satisfaction?

Only 54% of people professionals in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei are satisfied in their roles

Why is Asia seeing falling job satisfaction?

Upskilling may be the key that organisations need to address the problem of declining job satisfaction among people professionals in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei, according to a new report.

A survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) among 100 people professionals from the three Southeast Asian nations found that only 54% are satisfied with their roles.

May Leng Kwok, regional head APAC, CIPD, attributed the situation to how people professionals have been front and centre during and after the pandemic.

"Following the pandemic, we have seen an emergence of shifting workplace trends, causing talent retention challenges across Asia Pacific. The people profession has been on the frontline of these changes, and it's clear that this has impacted their job satisfaction and work-life balance," Kwok said in a statement.

Upskilling as the solution

Despite declining satisfaction, the CIPD report underscored how upskilling could address the problem as it found that three in four professionals remain keen to advance their careers.

"Opportunities for learning and progression are important for enhancing practitioners' job satisfaction," the report said.

In fact, 86% of all respondents, including all from senior management roles, recognised the importance of upskilling, attaining certification, and networking as keys for advancing their careers.

The top three skills perceived to support career progression in the profession are:

  • Business partnering (51%)
  • Learning and development (38%)
  • Organisation design and development (34%)

"We see that most people professionals are driven to advance in their careers and stay future proof," Kwok said. "An overwhelming majority are placing importance on building their skills, accreditation and professional networks for career progression, with people leaders paying particular attention to blended forms of learning and long-term skill development."

Priority areas for HR

Aside from enhancing their skills, however, the report also urged people leaders to prioritise the following areas in developing their talent and building "future-fit" people teams:

  • Protecting people practitioners' mental health and wellbeing through a holistic approach
  • Increasing people professionals' exposure to the wider organisation and demonstrating their strategic contribution
  • Enabling job mobility across the function and other business areas, as well as bringing in talent from outside the profession
  • Building their professional network by fostering external relationships, joining professional communities, and engaging in discussion forums

"In addition to supporting the workforce in these demanding times, it's also crucial that people professionals take time to support their own needs and build resilience within their own teams to meet today's challenges and tomorrow's opportunities," Kwok said.

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