The retention equation: What makes employees stay?

Work-life balance and flexible arrangements are some of the top retention drivers today—share what matters most to you in HRM Asia’s poll.
By: | July 9, 2024

Keeping employees happy is no easy feat in today’s competitive talent market. While competitive salaries and benefits are a baseline expectation, recent surveys paint a more nuanced picture.

One of the strongest drivers of employee satisfaction today is the ability to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Recent surveys like Randstad’s Singapore 2024 Workmonitor highlight a growing preference for flexible work arrangements, especially among younger generations. Nearly half of employees surveyed in Singapore indicated they would leave employers who require them to be in the office more often. This sentiment is particularly strong among Gen Z, with almost 70% willing to walk away from jobs lacking flexibility.

This trend can be attributed, in part, to the life choices younger employees are making. Many have settled into new homes or taken on pet ownership, and they expect these choices to be compatible with a hybrid or remote work arrangement. However, there seems to be a growing disconnect between employee expectations and employer mandates. The same Randstad survey found that 67% of respondents reported a rise in on-site work requirements, with Gen Z and millennials feeling this pressure most acutely.

Adding another layer to the retention challenge, an ADP report found that nearly half (48%) of Singapore’s workforce feels unpaid, the highest dissatisfaction rate in the Asia-Pacific region. This suggests that competitive salaries are no longer enough. Employees are looking for compensation packages that reflect the rising cost of living and their overall value to the organisation. The ADP report also explored alternative forms of compensation that could improve employee satisfaction, such as one-off bonuses, additional paid time off, or help with living expenses.

READ MORE: The four-day workweek: Why it is more than just a number

To win the war for talent, organisations need to prioritise strategies that create a supportive and flexible work environment. This includes offering flexible work arrangements, generous paid time off, and a culture that respects personal boundaries. While competitive salaries remain important, organisations need a broader focus. Offering flexible work arrangements, investing in learning and development opportunities, fostering a positive organisational culture, and recognising employee contributions are all crucial for retention.

By understanding what motivates your employees, you can develop a comprehensive retention strategy that keeps your top talent engaged and thriving. Take our LinkedIn poll and share what factors most influence your decision to stay with your current employer.

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