The Great Resignation is coming for Singapore's C-Suite

Eight in 10 of Singapore's senior leaders say they're thinking about leaving their role in the next two years

The Great Resignation is coming for Singapore's C-Suite

The Great Resignation is about to hit Singapore’s C-Suite if the latest data from the KellyOCG Global Workforce report comes to fruition. The report shows that many of Singapore’s senior leaders are looking to resign from their organisations in the next two years because they are dissatisfied with their role or have a lack of confidence in their employer.

The report was created to identify the greatest risks facing businesses amidst the global pandemic and explores how companies are transforming across four critical areas of success: workforce fluidty, DEI, employee experience and adoption of technology. 1000 senior executives were surveyed across twelve countries and ten industries.

Globally, 72% of senior leaders said they were thinking about leaving their role in the next 2 years, in Singapore that jumps to 80% of senior leaders.

Read more: Six ways to attract talent in the Great Resignation

"Our research signals there is significant talent demand for a life-work shift. Even senior leaders are experiencing it and acknowledge that employers could be doing more," said Tammy Browning, president of KellyOCG.

"A shift in workplace culture is needed and organizations must evolve to remain competitive, profitable, and attractive to top talent. Organizations that aren't taking action across the four dynamics will continue to see employees at all levels walk out the door."

Browning also indicated the research also uncovered that during heightened employee demand for more work-life balance, senior leaders are in fact demanding more work from their employees.

Singapore businesses are lagging behind their global peers when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Just over half of the sixty-seven senior managers surveyed in Singapore said their DEI strategies did not provide practical support and not even 20% of senior managers were able to confirm a clear process to report discrimination in their organisation.

Singaporean respondents to the survey also highlighted that more work is needed from senior leadership teams to remove the barriers faced by underrepresented talent securing rewarding work. Only 19% confirmed they had such programs in place, compared to 24% globally.

Read more: The Great Resignation: What benefits can help avoid employee turnover?

Despite much work being done in Singapore to promote and encourage workplace mental health, only 28% of survey respondents said their organisation would receive a positive grade when ranking their company’s mental health efforts and less than half (40%) of senior leaders felt that they offer enough resources for mental health wellbeing to their employees. Additionally, 76% of senior managers said the culture at their business did not offer a safe space where employees felt it was acceptable to disclose mental health issues as a reason to take time off.

Another interesting takeaway for Singaporean employers, more than 50% of senior leaders in Singapore said their firms no longer require university degrees from people applying for entry-level, and in some cases, mid-level roles removing academic barriers in the talent crunch.

Key Global findings from the report include

  • Senior executives are dissatisfied in their role and lack confidence in their employer. More than half (54%) of worldwide leaders are unhappy in their current position. 
  • Leaders are struggling to make hybrid work a success. Just 20% believed that hybrid work was having a positive impact on their culture.
  • Hiring contingent talent is increasingly difficult. A third of leaders say they struggle to acquire the contingent talent necessary to be agile in today’s economy.
  • Not enough effort in DEI. Only one-third of respondents had implemented DEI initiatives.
  • Businesses are slow to adopt new technologies. Almost two-thirds of businesses have not got employee retention and productivity technology and 64% report a lack of knowledge sharing and collaboration technology for employees.


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