Study reveals what makes a ‘highly satisfied’ employee

20 Dec 2016 / 05:36 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Highly satisfied employees, representing more than a third of the total population surveyed, ranked performance management as the top work practice followed by learning and development, according to a new study by the Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) entitled High Performance Work Practices (HPWPs).
    The study suggests that for employees job satisfaction came from “what they could do” rather than “what the organisation can do for them”. Therefore, it is crucial to have a robust performance management system that is able to measure their contributions and achievements.
    The study, which surveyed over 2,000 financial services personnel across the Malaysian financial services industry (FSI), found that the rest of the population surveyed ranked learning and development as the top work practice with performance management second.
    Notably payment systems, or remuneration and incentives practices, were ranked lowest among both highly satisfied employees and the rest of the population surveyed, suggesting that “it is not all about the money”.
    In fact, the survey reveals that what employees want most is to find meaning in their jobs and to have an effective relationship with their manager.
    Adopting HPWPs has been shown to result in a significant improvement in productivity in sectors that are people-centric, such as the FSI.
    HPWPs are workplace initiatives aimed at improving productivity and performance, which focus on creating an engaged and empowered workforce. In the study, a focus group of senior human resources practitioners across the Malaysian FSI identified five HPWPs relevant to the industry: performance management, learning and development, succession planning, employee involvement in decision making and payment systems.
    AIF CEO Dr Raymond Madden said with the shortage of talent across the Malaysian FSI, organisations need to act quickly to identify and implement HPWPs.
    “Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ model for HPWPs, it is hoped that this study can serve as a basis from which each organisation can map their own optimal work practices. Much has been written about the annual performance review recently with many organisations abandoning the formal annual review process. Our research suggests formalised performance management is key to encouraging HPWPs.”

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