Malaysian employers are prioritising skills and financial wellbeing more than their regional and global counterparts, said Mercer recently.
According to Mercer Global Talent Trends Study 2023 based on a survey of close 2500 firms globally, 63% of Malaysian employers surveyed provide flexible working options for all their employees, which is significantly higher than Asia (50%) and Global (56%) averages.
In addition, Malaysian employers are more responsive in combatting an inflationary environment with 35% (versus an Asia average of 20%) adjusting pay or offering cost-of-living adjustments to those earning below the market median, Mercer pointed out.
Malaysian employers also fare better in providing wage increases for employees in the most impacted markets (30% versus 22%), the firm added.
Mercer advised that more can be done to provide job security for gig/freelance workers, as 71% of employers (versus an Asia average of 46%) indicated that they do not have such initiatives on their agenda.
Companies in Malaysia (45%) also lagged slightly in delivering total well-being initiatives for all their employees, as compared to Asia (48%).
For example, 35% are redesigning work with wellbeing in mind, such as introducing no-meeting days (versus an Asia average of 39%), and only 21% of companies in Malaysia (versus an Asia average of 26%) have provided on-demand access to virtual mental healthcare.
On the flipside, Malaysia (18%) fared better than Asia (14%) in investing in financial wellness programs that boost long-term financial security for their employees.
Build employability: Leverage technology more to establish skills-based organisations
According to Mercer, major shifts such as the impact of a global pandemic, workplace transformation, and technology disruptions continue to affect the employability of the local workforce.
Companies in Malaysia (61%) outperform Asia (56%) in understanding the talent development needs across the organization, Mercer said.
In fact, 47% of employers reported that their upskilling and reskilling programs were effective at preparing talent to move into new areas (versus an Asia average of 33%), the firm added.
However, more can be done to leverage tools and technology to meet current and future skill needs, both in Malaysia and throughout the region, Mercer advised.
Just one in 10 companies use AI to map out skills requirements while one in five conduct robust assessments of technical skills, Mercer observed.