Lack of Career Progression and Flexibility to Staying Employed: Randstad Employer Brand Research


Even though having attractive salary and benefits is the number one criteria that employees in Malaysia look for in an ideal employer, the most common reason they chose for why they would leave their current company is in fact the lack of career progression opportunities.

Out of the 37% of respondents who said that they plan to leave their current employers, 44% said limited career path as the key reason, followed by insufficient compensation (41%) and work-life balance issues (31%).

Besides salary and benefits, the research also found that men are more likely to stay with their employers if they have good career progression opportunities. This further suggests that men are more motivated to deepen their capabilities and expand their knowledge to command better career opportunities and a higher salary.

Uncertainty in career progression is influenced by several factors such as having insufficient challenges at the job and misalignment on career expectations. The findings suggest that employers should focus more on understanding the employees’ motivations if they want to improve their retention rate.

Flexibility is the key to staying employed

The research further suggests that employees in Malaysia understand that they need to stay competitive to maintain their employment status, as companies continue to undergo digital transformation and business restructuring. Six in 10 employees are open and flexible to change at work to ensure their employability and this indicates that they are adaptable to changes in job responsibilities and are willing to embrace new technology to help them be more productive. This is followed by upskilling (49%) and working flexible hours (45%).

How employees in Malaysia stay employable:
Being open and flexible to change (60%)
Keep skills up-to-date through training and courses (49%)
Working flexible hours (45%)
Be sociable with colleagues, managers and professional network (43%)
Willing to switch career (37%)

Technology in the workplace in Malaysia can impact both men and women differently. The results suggest that men are more adaptable in the workplace when compared to women, with a higher percentage being more eager to adopt the latest technicals and technologies (men – 39%; women – 32%). On the contrary, women are more likely to focus on developing their soft skills or seek career opportunities through networking.

The Employer Brand Research captured the views of 3,308 employees and job seekers in Malaysia between the ages of 18 and 65. It provides insights into the perceptions and drivers of choice of employees and job seekers to inform employers of their human resources capital strategies. The Employer Brand Research is completed by Kantar TNS, a global insights and consultancy agency. Interviews were conducted online between November and December 2017 with controlled samples to ensure a nationally representative survey sample of the online population in each country (age and gender).