Singapore’s workforce ranks the unhappiest amongst Asian counterparts

Singapore’s workforce ranks the unhappiest amongst Asian counterparts
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 10 March, 2022


Singapore's workforce ranks the unhappiest amongst her Asian counterparts

  • Office location, good colleagues and company reputation are important drivers of job happiness
  • Fresh graduates are happiest at work and C-suites the unhappiest
  • Poor Leadership and lack of training and development opportunities are main cause of unhappiness

SINGAPORE, 29 September 2016 - Where job happiness indices are concerned, Singapore ranks last when compared with her six neighbours, a survey by has found. The Philippines comes in first place, with Indonesia in second and Thailand in third. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore take the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively.

Job Happiness Index

A 10-point scale rating, the Job Happiness Index reveals candidates' sentiment ratings and future outlooks as to how happy and satisfied they are and will be with their jobs. Singaporeans averaged a score of 5.09.

These are some of the key findings from's 2016 Job Happiness Index that was conducted in June 2016 with 67,764 participants across 7 countries. Respondents are a good mix of position levels ranging from fresh graduates to supervisorial and managerial positions and even top management, from all around the country, having stayed in their current jobs for varying lengths of time, and representing various specializations and industries. The survey clues in companies on the factors that make employees leave or stay in a company and the programs and systems they can create to establish a better working environment.

Vietnamese were found to be among the most optimistic with the nation's Job Happiness Index expecting a 15% increase from the score of 5.48 to 6.30 in the next 6 months. Prominent regional financial centers such as Hong Kong and Singapore are expecting a 5% and 3% drop respectively in the next 6 months.

Job Optimism

According to the survey, convenient work location, having good colleagues and company reputation are three key factors underpinning job happiness. This points to the importance of building a strong company culture and assembling the right team of talents who work well with one another.

Other reasons for employee happiness are salary, benefits, leadership, career development, job security, culture, corporate values, trainings, work schedule, and immediate superior.

Conversely, a lack of training and career development and poor leadership were identified as the causes of unhappiness. For top management, this underscores the need to invest in employees and their long-term career advancement. It is also necessary to place competent and well-respected employees in leadership positions —and further groom them so they can undertake their new responsibilities.

To increase job happiness, Singaporean respondents recommend getting a new job (30 percent), desire a higher salary (19 percent), and receiving recognition from the company (9 percent).

Among the Singaporean respondents, fresh graduates (5.3) are found to be the happiest employees in the Singapore workforce. This is in contrast to the lowest-scoring C-suites, who averaged a 4.4. Personnel working in the sciences, hotels and restaurants as well as admin/human resources sectors are found to be the happiest.

Pushing for a happier workforce

The nation's Job Happiness Index is expected to drop further in the next six months, as evident by the score of 4.93. In view of these findings, employers are encouraged to take stock of their HR practices and address the factors causing employee dissatisfaction. "Good leadership can be manifested by keeping employees informed on company directions, strategies and even challenges that the company may be facing particularly during an economy slowdown like currently," said Ms Chook Yuh Yng, country manager of Singapore.

"Leaders who place facilitating employee development as a focus will tend to enjoy better employee satisfaction. Learning can be facilitated all the time and not just in the classroom. Dissatisfaction with employee-development efforts usually stem from employees feeling that they are not getting much of what they value highly, such as the ability to grow in their jobs," added Ms Chook.

About is a leading online job board presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. currently services over 230,000 corporate hirers and over 15 million jobseekers in its database.

About SEEK Asia and jobsDB are part of SEEK Asia, which is the leading online employment market place in Asia. SEEK Asia covers 7 countries namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

SEEK Asia is the extension of the Australian Securities Exchange listed company called SEEK. The company's purpose is to help improve people's lives through a better career. SEEK Asia's database consist of over 500,000 corporate hirers and over 24 million candidates.

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