Attitudes and methods in the workplace differ from region to region, and this is readily apparent when you compare employment in Asia to employment in the Western world. Something that’s particularly worth considering is employee engagement — how motivated do workers feel to contribute to company performance? To what extent do they feel important?
Notably, this 2018 study found that Asian employees are more engaged than those from other continents, with a 75% engagement rate leading North America at 72% and Europe and Oceania each at 70%. This leads to an obvious question: what’s driving this level?
In this piece, we’re going to take a look at some of the employee engagement trends proving impactful in Asia today. Let’s get started:
Mobile-friendly workplace communications
The old-fashioned working model involves clocking in, working your hours, and then going home — and while it’s usually a good thing to maintain some distance between your personal life and your professional life, this inflexible model doesn’t work very well for people who work extremely long hours, have disabilities, deal with a lot of stress, or have unpleasant commutes.
That’s why the rollout of mobile-friendly communication tools throughout Asia has been so influential. Combined with slowly-changing attitudes to employment flexibility (accepting remote working as a viable approach), these tools have started empowering employees to work and stay connected from locations of their choosing.
Since this freedom typically pushes people to feel more loyal to their employers, and allows them to help out throughout the day (not just during set office hours), it leads to employees feeling more attached to their businesses and doing more to assist their colleagues.
Advancements in HR time-saving
One of the fastest ways to demoralize employees is to mishandle HR, because they will have various reasonable expectations about their working conditions. If you don’t treat them well, they’ll inevitably lose their investment in the company’s fortunes, and even think about leaving.
Thankfully, automation is surging throughout Asia Pacific, and it’s saving huge amounts of time and energy in the HR world. Everything from employee training to payroll can be scheduled, automated, and left to run with little manual input.
There is a disconnect when it comes to software access, because many of the solutions used heavily in the West aren’t available in Asian countries (for example, Wave’s popular payroll automation tool is currently only usable in North America), but this isn’t majorly holding things back. In fact, it’s proving to be quite positive for Asian developers.
Prioritizing employee feedback
You can’t keep employees happy and engaged if you don’t understand them, and you can’t understand them if you don’t listen to them. This is why paying close attention to employee feedback is becoming a core business priority across the board in Asia — and once again, it’s a development buoyed by technology.
To an increasing extent, employees are being given convenient ways to get across their requirements and complaints, all without having to deal directly with their superiors. This makes communication of sensitive topics significantly easier, allowing problems to be addressed and resolved much more promptly.
Given the criticism often leveled at workplace conditions in countries such as Japan, this is a much-needed change that should help employers and employees alike through making productivity levels massively more sustainable.
Employee engagement is essential when trying to get optimal performance from a business, because the more engaged an employee becomes, the harder and more effectively they’ll work to support their company. These trends are currently driving change throughout Asia, and will continue to prove significant in coming years.
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio