SINGAPORE: SEEK, the company behind Asia’s popular Jobstreet and Jobsdb websites, has released its Southeast Asia Hiring, Compensation, and Benefits Report 2024.

The report reveals a key trend: many Southeast Asian companies prioritised salary increases and promotions in 2023 to retain talent, but Singapore lagged behind its regional peers.

In 2023, 85% of Southeast Asian companies chose to share their improved business profits by increasing employee salaries.

The average salary increment for the region was 7%. Leading the way were companies in the Philippines, with an average increase of 10.2% and Indonesia, with a 7.6% increment.

In contrast, Singapore’s average salary increment was just 5.8%, below the regional average.

Performance bonuses and promotions

Besides salary increments, performance bonuses have become a popular way for companies to reward their employees. In 2023, the average bonus payout across Southeast Asia was 1.86 months of salary.

Malaysia led the region with an average bonus of 2.4 months’ salary, closely followed by the Philippines at 2.3 months.

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Promotions have also played a crucial role in employee retention. The report notes that 64% of employees across Southeast Asia experienced promotions in 2023.

The Philippines and Indonesia again showed higher rates of career advancement, with 70% and 67% of employees, respectively, being promoted. In comparison, Singapore had a lower rate of 59%.

Singapore firms have highest stress levels in Southeast Asia

While companies are making strides in financial compensation, the report also highlights workplace stress and mental health.

Singapore workers reported the highest stress levels in the region, mainly due to heavy workloads, pressure from management, and lack of career development opportunities.

Approximately 71% of respondents across Southeast Asia described their workplace as moderately stressful, but only 48% of companies offer sufficient support for managing this stress.

Encouragingly, 46% of companies in Southeast Asia introduced new mental health initiatives in 2023.

The Philippines (30%) and Indonesia (15%) have prioritised mental health and wellness counselling, while Malaysia (17%) and Singapore (11%) have focused more on activities to boost employee engagement.

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The report projects a decline in job market confidence for the second half of 2024, dropping to 37% from 52% in the first half.

This drop is likely due to uncertainties around economic conditions and global events. Notably, Indonesia (44%) and the Philippines (41%) maintain higher confidence levels compared to the more cautious outlook in Singapore (32%) and Malaysia (32%).

For more detailed findings from the report, check here. /TISG

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