A survey by Hays has found the desire for proactive D&I conversations evident among employees in Malaysia. In total, 86 per cent of respondents believed building a positive workplace culture that encourages respect and regard for diversity of opinion has a positive effect on talent retention. At the same time, only 65 per cent said that their organisations already practiced this – the lowest number in Asia after Japan.
In terms of leadership, 72 per cent said their leadership team was diverse, and 80 per cent considered a diverse leadership team to have a positive impact on the retention of more diverse talent. But when it comes to developing under-represented groups into leadership roles, 40 per cent disagreed that their companies did so, a rise from 30 per cent in 2018, with a further 27 per cent unsure of their organisation’s position. Looking to the future and for ways that companies can better support diversity of opinion, Malaysian respondents (47 per cent) were well above the Asia average (40 per cent) in thinking that collaborative roundtable employee forums and discussions are an important strategy.
Tom Osborne, managing director at Hays Malaysia said: “As our knowledge of workplace D&I matures, employees are engaging on a level never seen before, evolving their comprehension of not just how their working lives can be enhanced, but how the organisation too can be improved. The results of our report show an increasing onus on business leaders to match employee expectations by encouraging and rewarding more diversity of opinion and driving change on an organisational level.”