A recent Gallup poll found Singaporeans to be some of the most ‘emotionally challenged’ people in the world with only 36% of Singaporean respondents acknowledging to have felt some form of emotion throughout the day. The majority of Singaporean respondents were neutral in reporting negative or positive emotions such as pain, anger or happiness.
Despite being one of the most prosperous nations in the world, Singapore was placed as the most emotionless country out of 152 countries surveyed. While many Singaporeans have questioned the methodology and findings of this poll, there is something to be said about the lack of expressed emotions by locals while going about day-to-day tasks. [more…]
For the working population, this is a worrying trend as we spend the majority of our lives at work. Displays of emotions are another form of communication and can be translated into information and fed back to colleagues and bosses who will be able to make the appropriate changes.
In a culture where long work hours are the norm and there is a pervasive tendency not to articulate feelings of happiness or dissatisfaction, it is little wonder that only 2% of Singaporeans reported feeling engaged at work, compared to the global average of 11%.
This begets the question of how employers can increase employee engagement among Singaporeans? The answer may well lie in technology, which is readily accessible to the average worker and brought closer to them through personal smart devices.
Singapore is one of the most densely digitally connected cities in Asia, and as found by a study by JobsCentral, 77% of employees admitted to spending at least some time at work on the Internet doing non-work related activities, including social networking. However there is a general aversion to mixing the personal with the professional, as most respondents rejected the idea of blogging or talking about work as well as adding their immediate supervisor on social networking platforms.
Therein lies the challenge for HR practitioners in increasing communication between a reserved local workforce and employers, complicated by a reluctance by employees to talk about work. It is not for a lack of trying though, as more firms today are recognising the benefits of social media as an employee engagement tool. A report by Towers Watson found that more than 69% of companies polled were studying the effectiveness, implementation and mix of social and traditional media tools to reach out and connect with their employees.
While a step in the right direction, workers need to have the confidence to speak out, and employers have to be able to know what to do with the feedback received.
Are you a HR practitioner trying out new ways of reaching out to employees?
What have you found that works or doesn’t work? We’d like to hear from you!
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