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New AIF study reveals only one-third of financial sector employees are highly engaged at work

In the rapidly changing world of work, factors that motivate employees and drive job satisfaction and organisational commitment are becoming more complex. Changing workforce dynamics, evolving business models and technological developments are trends that are placing pressures on organisations in formulating an effective talent management strategy. Given this new workplace reality, a revised approach to managing talent is required and that is the focus of a new Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) report entitled “The 3Es of Talent Management”.

This new report presents the results of a survey involving over 3,000 finance professionals and is aimed at analysing the state of the 3Es of talent management – Engagement, Enrichment and Empowerment – across the financial services industry in Malaysia. It aims to help organisations understand how best to enhance employee productivity and optimise organisational performance.

Dr Raymond Madden, Chief Executive Officer of AIF, said, “The 3Es can provide a metric for understanding how effective an organisation is in managing its employees and creating an environmental culture that keeps employees motivated and productive. As the talent challenge intensifies, organisations need to rethink their approach beyond the traditional ethos of focusing all efforts and resources on employee satisfaction. The chances are that work itself is not the main driver of dissatisfaction.”

In terms of current levels of employee engagement in the Malaysian financial services industry, the report reveals that:

  • Only 33% of employees are “highly engaged” at work. In other words, only about one third of employees envisage a long-term future with their current employer and are strong advocates for their organisation.
  • The majority of employees (45%) are “moderately engaged”, suggesting that financial institutions need to do more to ensure employees are fully engaged.
  • Another 16% are “partially disengaged” – unmotivated, outwardly negative and feeling unvalued by their organisation.
  • Although only a very small minority (6%) are “highly disengaged”, they are potentially major disruptors in organisations. They are not only negative, but can be hostile to the organisation.

According to AIF’s “The 3Es of Talent Management” report, there are four key drivers which organisations striving to have an effective engagement programme should focus on – clarity of purpose and direction, leadership, pride and advocacy, and rewards. These drivers have a significant impact on the overall level of commitment and satisfaction of employees.

Enrichment and Empowerment

The report highlights that the intrinsic aspects of work such as opportunities for advancement, a sense of accomplishment and the opportunity for employees to make full use of their skills and abilities are important elements in any employee enrichment strategy. While empowerment is about giving employees some degree of authority, autonomy and responsibility over their work and decision-making. Only 28% of those surveyed expressed views that suggest an intrinsic psychological empowerment with work and day-to-day decision-making. In most Asian cultures, employees feel that it is the managers’ prerogative to make decisions and solve problems.

Hamidah Naziadin, Group Chief People Officer and Head of Group Corporate Resources at CIMB Group, commented, “The 3Es recommendations have prompted me to reflect upon our people strategies and practices to ensure that we have adequately put in place the necessary steps to see our people flourish and be at their best. I cannot agree more when the report highlights that talent management should be owned by business leaders and the board and facilitated by the HR function across the business and that this requires a mind-set shift to see a positive outcome.”

Antony Lee, Chief Executive Officer of AIG Malaysia Insurance, also commented that, “Talent is a critical success factor for the future of the entire insurance industry, particularly in an era of rapid change. This report provides very valuable insights into what we need to focus on to be able to attract and retain the best talent.”

High performers gravitate to organisations that successfully incorporate best practices in the 3Es of talent management and these organisations will attract the highest quality recruits and retain highly motivated workers. “Organisations that successfully incorporate the ‘3Es’ in their business approach to managing people will become talent magnets. We hope the findings of this report will inspire business leaders to reflect on their own talent management practices and hopefully deliver even greater impact and value as a result,” Madden added.

For more information about the AIF, visit www.aif.org.my.

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Notes to Editor:

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About Asian Institute of Finance

Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) is a think tank jointly established by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia, to enhance human capital development and talent management across the financial services industry in Asia.

The Institute believes in the importance of attracting, developing and retaining talented individuals towards ensuring the development and sustainability of the industry. It advocates these principles via domestic and regional alliances with industry, multilateral organisations and applied research institutes with the sole aim of researching and producing thought leadership on human capital and talent management.

AIF works closely with our Affiliate Institutes, namely Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers and Asian Banking School, Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals, Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia, The Malaysian Insurance Institute and Securities Industry Development Corporation, through our research, thought leadership, professional standards and capacity building initiatives.

For more information, please visit www.aif.org.my.


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