SINGAPORE: A new study has shown that almost all Singaporeans find meaning at work is important but only a dismal one in five, or 20 per cent, claim they’re “very satisfied” with the level of purpose in their jobs at present.

Results from the study “The quest for meaning at work,” is from job platform Jobs_that_makesense Asia, and global recruitment agency Manpower, was published on Thursday (25 Apr).

It’s based on a survey of working adults and tertiary students about to join the workforce across six Southeast Asia, including respondents from Singapore and its goal is to define what meaningful work means to today’s workforce.

Among the respondents from Singapore, 48 per cent said that salary and job stability are the top priorities they have when job searching. Significantly, a third of the survey’s Singapore participants said that keeping a positive work-life balance is growing more and more important in terms of professional fulfillment.

Also, the respondents said that their desire to earn a high salary is not due to wanting amass more wealth but to ensure their families have comfort and security.

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The report added that the low percentage of Singaporeans who say they’re “very satisfied” with how much purpose and meaning their current jobs have demonstrates “a significant opportunity for organizations who want to set themselves apart in the tight talent market.”

When asked what employers can do to increase workers’ sense of meaning and purpose, enhancing working conditions with flexible hours, comprehensive health insurance and equal pay (82 per cent), took first place, followed by advocacy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and other social causes (65 per cent), and creating more opportunities dedicated to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) (56 per cent).

As for the biggest challenges respondents face in finding jobs with meaning and purpose, they listed the limited availability of green and social-driven job opportunities (33 per cent), the need to balance personal life responsibilities with professional aspirations (20 per cent), and lack of skills and experience (15 per cent).

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Interestingly, a high number of respondents from Singapore (73 per cent) said they would consider the reputation of a firm for social responsibility as they decide to take a job.

“Whenever the topic of meaning at work is discussed, Gen Z usually comes to mind. However, the report shows that it’s not just Gen Z who wants to work in jobs that combine passion with purpose, but workers across different age groups,” said ManpowerGroup’s Country Manager for Singapore Linda Teo.

“Notably, the report reveals that majority of Singapore believe that having more flexibility in their work improves their working conditions, giving them greater job fulfillment. Employers who have been slow to roll out flexible work arrangements should take note or risk falling behind in the race for talent.” /TISG

Read also: Hybrid work key to attracting Gen Z talent: Survey