Malaysia’s Employee Experience Decline

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Kuala Lumpur, Nov 8: In the ever-evolving landscape of hybrid work arrangements, the Qualtrics 2024 Employee Experience Trends Report sheds light on a concerning trend in Malaysia.
The report reveals that the indicators of an optimal employee experience in the country have declined over the past year.
Based on insights gathered from nearly 37,000 employees worldwide, including over 500 from Malaysia, all leading employee experience indicators have shown a noticeable dip from the previous year.
These indicators encompass employee engagement (76 percent vs. 82 percent), the experience exceeding employee expectations (47 percent vs. 58 percent), the intent to stay (76 percent vs. 82 percent), inclusion (82 percent vs. 87 percent), and well-being (75 percent vs. 84 percent).
This decline is not unique to Malaysia but resonates across Southeast Asia. It underscores the need for organizations to refocus on prioritizing their people.
Dr. Cecelia Herbert, Principal XM Catalyst at Qualtrics XM Institute, emphasizes the significance of employee experience in enhancing organizational performance.
The connection between employee engagement and performance is well-established, spanning from innovation and profitability to customer service and employee well-being.
Organizations that maintain a people-centric focus and enable their teams to excel are poised to outperform their peers in the years to come.
As discussions continue about the ideal number of days employees should spend in the office, the Qualtrics research unveils that Malaysian employees prefer a hybrid model.
Most prefer spending two to four days in the office, as opposed to working fully remotely or fully in the office.
Employees in hybrid working arrangements exhibit the highest levels of engagement (76 percent), feelings of inclusion (73 percent), and intent to stay for three years or longer (62 percent).
On the other hand, those in fully remote arrangements reported the highest levels of well-being (75 percent) and an experience exceeding their expectations (39 percent).
AI’s presence in the workplace has grown significantly, with applications like ChatGPT gaining attention. In Malaysia, 45 percent of respondents express openness to embracing AI at work, slightly higher than the global average of 42 percent. Workers are more comfortable with AI when they have control over it, such as for writing tasks (66 percent), as a personal assistant (55 percent), and contacting support functions (51 percent). However, they are less enthusiastic about receiving education from an AI bot (37 percent) or having their performance assessed by AI (26 percent).
Frontline workers, essential to business results and customer experiences, express dissatisfaction compared to office workers.
They believe their basic pay and benefits aren’t adequately met, and they lack support in carrying out their duties. Importantly, they feel they can’t propose changes to traditional processes.
Historically, employees tend to be more engaged during their first year in a new role.
However, new hires in Malaysia with less than six months of tenure exhibit lower levels of engagement (68 percent), intent to stay (35 percent), well-being (59 percent), and inclusion (56 percent) compared to more tenured employees.
The report reveals the critical importance of the first few months in a new job for building committed and loyal employees.
Surprisingly, only 41 percent of HR leaders prioritize onboarding new employees fully into the company.
Employees are comfortable with employers passively monitoring work emails and chats to enhance the employee experience.

Dr. Cecelia Herbert, Principal XM Catalyst, Qualtrics XM Institute.

However, they are ambivalent about social media posts being used for this purpose.
In today’s workplace, employees are at ease with their employers passively monitoring their work-related data, such as work emails, interview notes, virtual meeting transcripts, and chat messages, to improve their experience.
Approximately 66 percent of workers are comfortable with organizations using email data to understand and enhance their workplace experience.
Conversely, only 35 percent of employees are comfortable with the use of social media posts, whether anonymous or not.
This shift comes as advances in feedback technology provide organizations with new avenues to gauge employee well-being and engagement beyond traditional surveys.
Passive listening, in particular, offers critical insights without requiring additional effort from employees.
The Qualtrics 2024 Employee Experience Trends Report offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of employee experience in Malaysia and beyond.
You can read the full report here for a comprehensive understanding of the changing dynamics in the world of work.

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