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Survey Says Salary No Longer A Priority For Malaysian Workers Leaving A Company

More employees are prioritising flexibility and career advancement in shaping employment decisions.

Cover image via The Edge & HRM Asia

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According to the latest Hays survey, salary is no longer a priority for employees when deciding whether to stay at or leave a company in Malaysia

The 2024 Hays Asia Salary Guide β€” which covered nearly 9,000 employers and professionals across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and Japan β€” found that factors like work-life balance, flexibility, and positive company culture play a bigger role in attracting and retaining employees.

However, despite a changing landscape in the Malaysian job market, competitive salaries continue to be an important consideration for employees throughout the region, the survey stated.

Here's what the survey revealed about Malaysian employees:

Shifting priorities

The desire for new challenges has become a bigger factor when looking for new opportunities. This is a change from previous surveys where low salary was the primary reason for job hopping.

According to the survey, this change in attitude signals a broader reevaluation of professional goals that underscores the growing importance of career advancement in shaping employment decisions.

What's making employees stay with their current employers?

Flexible work options are the most important factor, even outweighing salary.

A good work-life balance and feeling like a good fit with the team are also highly valued.

As is the case in Singapore, employees place a unique emphasis on interpersonal dynamics within the workplace, underscoring the significance of positive relationships to continue staying with their current employers.

Similarly, in Malaysia, for those who remain with their current employers, flexible work options emerged as the most crucial factor, followed by experiencing a good fit in the organisation.

According to Hays Asia managing director Marc Burrage, a healthy working environment, positive values, and a sufficiently challenging role will go a long way towards winning the hearts of employees in Malaysia.

"Leaders need to have these discussions with their workforce, and employees need to examine how they can enhance their value in this period of disruption. Collaboration is the key to survival, and both parties will need to face these challenges with open minds and a willingness to adapt," Marc said.

Speaking of which, employees in Singapore can look forward to having more control over their work schedules and locations:

Meanwhile, another survey found that employers are now prioritising factors like work ethic, practical experience, and cultural fit:

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