Optimal Employee Experience in Malaysia Declines, Says Qualtrics’ 2024 Report

The Qualtrics 2024 Employee Experience Trends Report reveals a decline in several key indicators of an optimal employee experience in Malaysia, including employee engagement, well-being, and intent to stay. The report also highlights a preference among Malaysian employees for spending two to four days in the office, as well as a willingness to embrace AI assistance in the workplace.

8 November 2023 – The Qualtrics 2024 Employee Experience Trends Report has revealed that the indicators of an optimal employee experience in Malaysia have decreased over the last year as the workforce adapts to evolving hybrid work arrangements amidst economic uncertainties.

Drawing responses from nearly 37,000 employees worldwide, including over 500 from Malaysia, the study showed a decline in all leading employee experience indicators compared to 2023. These indicators include employee engagement (76% vs. 82%), experience exceeding employee expectations (47% vs. 58%), intent to stay (76% vs. 82%), inclusion (82% vs. 87%), and well-being (75% vs. 84%).

This trend is not unique to Malaysia but is reflected across Southeast Asia, underlining the need for organizations to shift their focus towards prioritizing a people-centric approach.

Dr. Cecelia Herbert, Principal XM Catalyst at Qualtrics XM Institute, emphasized the significance of maintaining a people-centric focus, as there is a well-established connection between employee engagement and organizational performance, spanning from innovation and profitability to better customer service and employee health outcomes.

Furthermore, the study delved into the ongoing debate on how many days employees should spend in the office. Malaysian employees showed a preference for spending two to four days in the office compared to working fully remote or fully on-site. Those in hybrid work arrangements reported higher levels of engagement (76%), inclusion (73%), and intent to stay for three years or longer (62%). However, employees in fully remote arrangements reported the highest levels of well-being (75%) and an experience exceeding their expectations (39%).

The research also touched on the acceptance of AI assistance in the workplace, with 45% of Malaysian respondents being open to utilizing AI to aid them at work. This openness is higher than the global average of 42%. The study revealed that workers are more comfortable with AI in the workplace when they have a sense of control over it, such as using AI for writing tasks (66%) or as a personal assistant (55%). They are less in favor of receiving education or performance appraisals from AI.

A striking difference was observed in the job satisfaction of frontline workers compared to office workers. Frontline workers expressed unhappiness and a lack of support in terms of basic pay and benefits, as well as the inability to propose changes to their work environment.

The study also found that the honeymoon phase for new hires has vanished, as employees with less than six months of tenure reported lower levels of engagement, intent to stay, well-being, and inclusion compared to more tenured employees.

Finally, the report highlighted that employees are comfortable with their employers passively listening to work emails, chat messages, and work processes to improve their experience. They were less comfortable with their employers using social media posts, whether anonymous or not, for this purpose.

In a world of evolving work arrangements and uncertainties, understanding the nuances of employee experience becomes more crucial than ever for organizations aiming to improve productivity and resilience.

Author: Terry KS

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