Poll: Unhappy workers on the rise in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Singapore, once a haven of full employment and a utopian economic vision, is increasingly becoming a home for angry and disenchanted workers, an international management consulting firm said yesterday. 

Some 17% of all employees in Singapore are fed up with their jobs and the way they are being treated at work, the Gallup Organisation said. 

This category, known as actively disengaged, has grown by 5% since May last year and is costing the national economy at least S$4.9bil (RM105bil) a year, the Gallup report said. 

Gallup's regional practice co-ordinator, Ashok Gopal, said the S$4.9bil figure, arrived at by including factors such as the number of days employees take off because of their attitude, was conservative. 

“In company after company, we have found the costs of disengagement is really high and it has very serious financial implications for business,” Gopal said.  

The Gallup report said of 11 countries it surveyed – including the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain and Australia – Singapore ranked with France as having the worst record for a loyal, productive and satisfied workforce. 

A Gallup survey used to determine the findings found 52% of all Singapore respondents felt they had no career development opportunities last year. 

The survey was carried out as Singapore struggles through serious economic challenges that have forced the nation's leaders to tell the workforce they must accept lower wa- 

ges and do jobs they may not like. 

Gopal said the paternalistic attitude the Singapore government has employed to run the country since nationhood 38 years ago could be a factor in the disenchantment now the tiger economy has stopped roaring. 

“My own take is that it may well have to do with psyche of the country that the onus for change needs to be with the leadership (and not the individual),” he said. – AFP  

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