Employees ‘not very satisfied’ with their jobs

Thursday, March 11, 2010
Issue 960, Page 3
Word count: 846
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A recent Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) survey indicated an increase in Macau employees’ confidence but a decrease in satisfaction, which the researchers said suggested that the local economy is on the road of recovery but salaries generally did not change correspondingly.

The “Macao Employee Confidence and Satisfaction Index”, which was launched in 2007, aims to evaluate how local employees see themselves and their working environment, carry out a regular scientific comparison as well as to reinforce communication between employers and employees.

The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) of MUST held a press conference yesterday to announce findings of the 2010 Index.

Between February 4 and 13, the ISD successfully interviewed 1,033 Macau residents who were 16 years old or above and had a full-time job.

The respondents were given a rating scale of 1 to 5, and the higher the score was, the more positive the evaluation represented.

The overall 2010 employee confidence index was up 1.7 percent or 0.05 over 2009 to 2.95, which was still below the “general level” of 3.

As for the overall employee satisfaction index, it was reported at 3.22, down 2.1 percent or 0.07 compared to 2009.

According to project consultant Sun Li Yun, who is also the associate professor of the Faculty of Management and Administration, said the results showed that Macau employees had restored confidence in the prospect of the labour market and individual employment, following “an improving economic environment and employment situation”.

Looking at the sub-indices, the confidence index represented how easy/difficult it was for a normal person to find a job, the opportunities for getting new jobs with better benefits, employment situation in the next five years, if employees agreed with company management’s ways of work, how they saw their companies’ prospects, if they felt proud of their jobs, chances for promotion/pay rise/not losing jobs within a year, opportunities for upgrading personal knowledge and skills, if they were appreciated by bosses, their working pressure and also the relationships with colleagues.

In terms of the satisfaction index, it showed how employees saw their salaries and other job benefits, working hours, workloads, working environment, the jobs’ impact to their health, social and family lives, opportunities to use individual talents, training opportunities, the relationships with bosses and management, if the management welcomed suggestions, as well as whether or not the employees could get rewards and a sense of accomplishment.

The findings indicated that the respondents reported highest confidence in the relationships with colleagues, the chances of not losing their jobs within a year and the prospect of their companies.

This result was the same as in the last three years.

In addition, the respondents were mostly satisfied with the job impact brought to their social and family lives, and also their working hours.

In regard to the items that gained the lowest employee confidence and satisfaction, they were respectively the opportunities for promotion, pay rise and finding a better pay job, and the job impact to health, training opportunities and getting rewards at work.

The results were identical to those of the last three years since 2007.

Associate Prof. Sun said both profit and non-profit organisations needed to provide enough support for employees, such as “be concerned about their health, value their contribution and work performances”.

In addition, more employees believed that it got easier for normal people to get a job nowadays, there were more opportunities out there for a better pay job, and they might get a pay rise within a year.

However, the most significant decrease was reported in the sub indices concerning whether or not employees felt proud of their jobs, a sense of accomplishment and the job impact to their family lives.

According to the official statistics, the median monthly income of local residents was 10,000 patacas in the fourth quarter of 2009, which held steady as the same period of 2008.

Since the survey found that the respondents were less satisfied with their salaries and other job benefits than in 2009, Associate Prof. Sun said it might imply that locals were worried about the return of inflation whereas their pay would not be able to cope with the rising price levels of goods and services in Macau.

On the other hand, among the 1,033 respondents, 21.3 percent of 215 engaged in the gaming industry.

It found that gaming workers had lower confidence and satisfaction than non-gaming employees. The project consultant attributed the difference to the global financial crisis which greatly hit the gaming and tourism industries, and also the competition brought by Singapore that affected gaming workers’ confidence in their companies’ development.

He advised employees to give importance to education and self-upgrade, as the four annual surveys all reported that the higher the education level employees had, the more confident and satisfied they were at work.

He also said that the government and enterprises have to consider providing more on the job training and learning opportunities for employees especially gaming personnel, so that they can apply what they’ve learned in real lives and thus boost their overall confidence and morale.

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