For Indonesian Employers, Getting EX Right Is Not Enough

Image credit: iStockphoto/Reezky Pradata

While Asian employers across the region fret over their employees’ lack of engagement, Indonesian employees are different.

According to Mercer, employee engagement scores in Indonesia continue to exceed the Asia Pacific and global averages. Nine in 10 employees said they are motivated and proud of what they do.
But there is no reason to celebrate. The same data also noted that only 67% indicated they are likely to stay in their jobs. They see a lack of career growth opportunities in their current companies and are prepared to jump ship. In fact, 30% of the employees surveyed felt that they could not meet their career goals in their company, while one in four say they cannot maintain a reasonable work-life balance.

Another issue is the lack of upskilling opportunities that limit employees’ potential to develop and grow. As a result, mid-career professionals in their 30s who have more than half of their work lives ahead of them are most likely to leave.

“There seems to be a gap in employee expectations for career advancement in Indonesia vis-à-vis the global workforce. Taking compensation and benefits out of the equation, employees believe they can seek better and greater opportunities outside their current organization; hence they often choose not to stay. It is telling that 40% of employees do not have a good understanding of possible career paths within their company,” said Isdar Marwan, Mercer’s director of career services in Indonesia.

“Therefore, companies should take more active steps to connect with their employees to make their career goals real, which could mean introducing clear career paths, talent matching platforms for employees to temporarily take on new projects or implementing cross-function rotation programs,” he added.

Understanding where companies are overlooking

Redundant work is another pain point for employees. Nearly one-third of employees (35%) felt that a lot of time and effort was wasted on redundant work, unnecessary paperwork, or poor quality work that had to be redone. Three in 10 indicated they had not received the relevant training to perform well at work, while 23% feel that work is not well organized and they do not have the right tools and resources to do their jobs properly.

Employees also reported feeling overworked and burdened by their job-related responsibilities in today’s complex business environment. One in four employees highlighted that the amount of work expected of them is unreasonable.

“It is critical to give employees a voice, now more than ever. The pandemic is prompting many employees to rethink what they value in their lives and jobs, and employers need to listen. While it is encouraging to see more organizations increasing their employee listening efforts, they need to truly connect with a diverse range of employee aspirations and translate feedback into meaningful action. Well-being, digital transformation for efficiency and reskilling for better career advancement need to be at the top of employers’ agendas,” said Marwan.

Where Indonesian employers are getting it right

It’s not all bad news. Indonesian employees also identified three areas their employers have been getting right in the Mercer survey.

 More than 80% of the surveyed employees said they were treated with respect and valued at work and that they were encouraged to be innovative in their jobs, with sufficient autonomy to try new ways of doing things.

Regarding priorities and expectations, close to nine in 10 employees understood how their job contributed to company goals and how they were being held accountable for delivering what they had promised.

Four in five employees thought they were supported, motivated, and encouraged by close emotional connections at work, that they could trust their immediate managers and that they were recognized for their contributions.

These factors have helped Indonesian employees to build a strong spirit of cooperation and teamwork within the organizations they work for.

 “Understanding the employee experience requires a holistic approach to manage the expectations, environment, and events that shape an employee’s journey with the organization. There could be particular experiences, such as flexible working policies which are creating friction for particular employees, like working parents, who may need greater clarity around working hours and choices they can make,” said Marwan.

“Digital tools like pulse surveys or digital focus groups can be organized more regularly to spot patterns and identify priority areas for employers to take targeted and informed actions which resonate with their employees. Doing this well lays the foundation for building a resilient and engaged workforce,” he added.

Image credit: iStockphoto/Reezky Pradata