Employee influence in Phl grows: 41 percent would quit jobs for better pay, career opportunities, flexibility

Employees around the world now hold more sway in the global job market, with 41 percent of Philippine respondents saying they are likely to quit in the next 12 months – driven mostly by a desire for higher total pay, overall well-being, better career opportunities, and flexibility, according to the EY 2022 Work Reimagined Survey.

The survey, one of the largest of its kind, canvassed the views of more than 1,500 business leaders and more than 17,000 employees across 22 countries and 26 industry sectors, including 50 employers and 300 employees from the Philippines. It shows that as many countries emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, employees have gained significant influence over their employers and that their “wish list” from potential employers is changing.

The main motivation for employees seeking new jobs, according to the survey, is now a desire for higher pay. Forty-nine percent of Philippine employees say that a salary increase is their main objective, and 33 percent say they are looking for career growth. Fifty-three percent of employees surveyed say that pay increases are the key to addressing staff turnover – but only 18 percent of employers agree.

Flexible working arrangements – which were by far the biggest factors leading to employee moves according to last year’s EY survey – are now less of a driver given that most are already working for companies that offer flexibility in some form. Only 20 percent are seeking remote-work flexibility from a new job, while 32 percent say that better well-being programs would prompt them to move.

Looking at the various age groups surveyed in the Philippines, millennials (69 percent) and Gen X (18 percent) make up most of the employee respondents. Across the sectors, employees are mostly working in manufacturing (13 percent), technology software (11 percent) and telecommunications (11 percent), while 20 percent of employers come from the banking and capital markets industry.

“This latest survey shows that employees around the world are feeling empowered to leave jobs if their expectations are not met,” says Liz Fealy, EY Global People Advisory Services Deputy Leader and Workforce Advisory Leader. “As employers have increasingly provided flexible work approaches, higher pay is now the biggest motivation for changing jobs, particularly given rising inflation and available unfilled roles.”

Czarina R. Miranda, SGV People Advisory Services–Integrated Mobility Services Leader, adds: “The survey results reflect how much employees are now able to discern what matters most to them, especially when aligning work expectations with their personal preferences. As employee retention and recruitment appears to be a pressing concern for most HR teams these days, employers need to revisit the value proposition offered to employees to address their concerns, which center around compensation, career growth and well-being. Employers who are able to succeed in this will hopefully acquire a competitive advantage in keeping their finest talents and attracting the choicest recruits.”

Shifting views on culture and productivity. Interestingly, the desire among employees to seek out new roles persists even though they hold relatively upbeat views about company culture. The number of employees who believe their organization’s culture has improved has risen to 80 percent. At the same time, only 42 percent of employers have confidence in their own company culture. Additionally, while employees believe new ways of working have increased productivity, companies’ confidence in their own productivity is being eroded by increased turnover.

Growing skills and talent gaps. Sixty-four percent of employer respondents agree it is important to have a strategy in place to match talent and skills to future business needs; and 80 percent say that they are prepared to hire employees from other countries and allow them to work from anywhere if their skills are critical or scarce. Twenty-four percent of employer respondents believe improving opportunities to build skills will help address turnover.

Pressure to return to the office. Despite the continuing shift toward flexible working models, 20 percent of employer respondents say they want employees to come back to the office five days a week. Although reluctance to work remotely among employees has fallen to 24 percent, most employees (96 percent) say they want to work remotely at least two days per week.

Boost to culture and productivity from new ways of working. The survey reveals that a large population of “optimist” employers (32 percent) are managing to improve both culture and productivity. It shows that they are achieving this by ensuring that their leaders have a shared understanding of company issues, external practices and strategies (100 percent). Other factors cited by this group of businesses as drivers of their success include hybrid work (100 percent), investing in on-site amenities (60 percent), enhancing workplace technology (40 percent) and giving employees more empowerment and autonomy (53 percent). By way of contrast, other businesses are continuing to watch and wait, or are only taking selective action.

“We are seeing a top third of companies successfully navigating these divergent positions on pay, career opportunities and flexibility,” notes Roselyn Feinsod, EY Work Reimagined Leader. “They have moved from ‘resistance’ to ‘renaissance’ and that’s a win-win for their companies and their workforce. Organizations have to work to retain their employees, instill trust and provide a package that takes into account total pay, career path and flexibility to balance market concerns and risks.”




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