Malaysian companies prepare to reward staff, staff are expecting bonuses.

Bonus material.

More than eight in 10 Malaysia-based employees (83 per cent) are expecting to receive a bonus this year. The figure from Randstad’s Bonus Expectations survey in Malaysia, marks a six-point increase from 2018, out of which, 60 per cent of the respondents said that they are anticipating an annual bonus averaging one to two months. 

Ryan Carroll, country director of Randstad Malaysia said: “Employees are looking forward to be rewarded for their contributions and loyalty to the organisations they work for, especially if they had stayed with their employers amid major political changes and business transformation projects last year. While a bonus payout may be a fair expectation in these circumstances, employees should also think about upskilling themselves to demonstrate their worth. This will help them stay relevant and employable, as well as allow them to advance their careers more quickly.” 

While almost all of the survey respondents (98 per cent) agreed that receiving a bonus is important to their engagement with the company, 59 per cent said that it is not the only factor that will make them start considering the possibility of a job change. 

“There is always a combination of factors that motivates a valued employee to leave the company,” said Carroll. “Our 2018 Employer Brand Research found that the top reason people gave for resigning is a ‘limited career path’. Companies that are able to benefit from a highly engaged workforce are those that continuously present their staff with opportunities to develop and grow within the organisation,” Ryan added. 

Close to 39 per cent said that they will start a new job search if they did not receive a bonus this year, with a majority of these respondents working in the construction, property and engineering (53 per cent) as well as information technology (19 per cent) sectors. 

However, Malaysia-based companies plan to share profits with their staff this year in an effort to boost employee engagement and improve retention. Eighty-five per cent of the companies surveyed had planned for a bonus payout this year. Out of which, 79 per cent are prepared to reward their staff with a bonus averaging one to two months and 20 per cent are rewarding their staff three to five months bonuses. Only one company of those surveyed is giving five months or more in annual bonus. 

However, 33 per cent of the employees surveyed are expecting an annual bonus averaging three to five months. This indicates that employees’ expectations of bonuses are not aligned with their employers, with many expecting a higher payout than what they may receive in reality. 

“Some companies within manufacturing, construction, property and engineering sectors will likely not budget for large bonuses this year due to the economic slowdown, which will have a direct impact on the business‟s ability to earn a healthy profit,” said Carroll. “Organisations will also be investing more in large capital activities such as digital transformation projects to stay ahead of the competition and achieve higher workplace productivity. As a result of these different business priorities, companies are likely to have a limited budget for bonus payout this year.” 

Moving forward, Randstad says more companies will introduce inclusive HR policies that will promote work/life balance and learning opportunities to attain a highly skilled and productive workforce. “Employees should also learn to value intrinsic rewards such as development opportunities and being able to work in a collaborative and positive culture,” Carroll said. 

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