(File pix) The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019 revealed that close to half (48 per cent) of employees in Malaysia, could receive a salary increase. Pix by NSTP/ Zulfadhli Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian professionals in a wide range of sectors are likely to see wage increment this year.

The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019 revealed that close to half (48 per cent) of employees in Malaysia, could receive a salary increase.

It said the salary increase would be more than three per cent but less than or equal to six per cent.

Salaries remain the primary consideration for employees in Malaysia said the report.

It added that although 55 per cent of employees claim to be ‘satisfied’ with pay levels, only four per cent claim to be ‘very’ satisfied.

According to Hays, employers looking to retain their best talent should review their salary increment plans.

This is because close to seven in ten employees (68 per cent) cite compensation packages as the key reason for seeking out new roles, and it is the top most reason for staying with a current employer.

Malaysian candidates also raised concerns over the transparency of pay level setting.

Although 53 per cent of employees felt that transparency was highly important, only 15 per cent strongly agree and 22 per cent slightly agree that their organisation is transparent in this area.

“With the economy growing, business activity increasing and hiring levels rising, employees may begin to wonder why this improvement is not being passed on to them in terms of compensation packages, perhaps leading them to rival organisations that could meet their salary expectations.

"Employers who are looking to keep employee satisfaction levels on salary matters should, therefore, be more up-front about how the management reviews and distributes employees’ pay rises,” said Managing Director at Hays Malaysia Tom Osborne.

The report also revealed that slightly fewer staff were guaranteed bonuses compared to previous years. While three in five employers (63 per cent) are awarding bonuses to all staff in 2019, this number dropped from 66 per cent in 2017.

On top of offering bonuses, a clear majority of companies (87 per cent) also offer additional benefits to financial packages, with health and medical benefits remain the primary offering.

Malaysia leads the way in Asia in offering a car or car allowances to employees as an added benefit. While the rest of Asia lags in adopting such practice, with only one in five (23 per cent) companies providing it, half (51 per cent) of Malaysia employers offer this benefit.

“For employees who do not feel that their compensation package matches up to their worth, we advise them to reach out to employers and request salary increases.

“More Malaysian employees are also asking for raises, with more than half (55 per cent) of those who do proving successful, the highest number in Asia.

“However, those requesting raises should consider the possibility of rejection and thus keep an open mind to potential responses from employers.

“Instead of salary increments, employees might be offered non-monetary benefits, improved work-life balance or a salary review at a fixed date in the near future. Failing that, employees could stand to benefit in becoming more active in the recruitment market, as the improving economy and optimistic business outlook are leading to greater hiring activity in Malaysia”, he added.

The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019, highlights salary and recruiting trends based on responses from Hays Asia operating markets Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

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