"New year new job" is certainly a phrase that resonates with the majority of Singaporeans.
According to a Robert Half survey of 500 employees in Singapore, more than a quarter of office workers (27%) plan to look for a new job in 2020.
While that percentage is quite small, that doesn't mean companies can breathe a sigh of relief yet.
Of those not actively looking for a new job, 61% would be open to a new role if approached by a recruiter, highlighting the willingness of Singaporean employees to leave their organisation for better opportunities.
Segmenting the respondents by age group, Robert Half found that younger employees are more likely to seek new roles in 2020.
More than a third of those aged 18 to 34 (37%) and those aged 35 to 54 (34%) revealed they plan to look for a new job, versus only 15% of those aged 55 and above.
Of those not actively looking for a new role, the younger employees were also more open to new opportunities.
About two thirds of those aged 18 to 34 (68%) and those aged 35 to 54 (57%) revealed they plan to look for a new job, compared with 46% of those aged 55 and above.
Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half, said: "While attracting talented professionals in a skills-short market is challenging, retaining employees is equally as challenging. Job hopping has become more common, especially with millennial employees who tend to switch jobs on average every three to four years."
With employees being generally open to discussing new career opportunities (even when not actively looking), employers need to work on their attraction and retention strategies in tandem, Imbert-Bouchard added.
He explained: "The same qualities that can attract top talent can also act as barriers to existing talent moving to a competitor. Employers can carve a competitive point of difference from other organisations who are fighting for the same top talent by learning what motivates their most valued employees and customising their recruitment and retention strategies."
In that line, Robert Half shared five tips to help organisations retain valued employees:
1. Start with your salaries With salary remaining one of the most convincing factors for attraction and retention, it’s crucial to offer compensation that is at least in line with that of other firms in the industry and region, or just a little higher than what competitors are offering.
2. Recognise employees’ personal lives Helping staff to reconcile their work with personal duties can act as a major barrier to the lure of a higher salary from a competitor. Effective tools to accommodate employees' work-life balance needs include flextime, working from home, a compressed workweek, and job sharing.
3. Help them work happy A key part of any serious retention effort is ensuring employees feel actively engaged in their role. Discontentment or ambivalence are often precursors to change, so have discussions to find out if staff think they are still being challenged in their role, what they enjoy most about the job and find opportunities to help them develop and grow.
4. Promote growth through professional development Encouraging and facilitating employees’ professional and career development sends the message that you care about it as much as they do. Moreover, the value of a long-term investment in career growth can often outweigh the short-term appeal of a competing offer and creates a compelling reason for employees to stay with your company.
5. Create a positive work environment Employees spend a lot of time in the office, so don't underestimate the effect of the social and physical environment on their likelihood to stay in a role. Those who have good relationships with colleagues and work in a comfortable and dynamic environment are far more likely to be happy on the job than those who do not get along with others on their team.
Imbert-Bouchard concluded: "While money is an important motivator, offering a high salary alone often means an employee will jump ship for the next dollar sign. Flexible working arrangements, professional development opportunities, and a positive workplace environment are all strong enticements which lay the foundation for a more engaged and loyal employee in the long term."