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Managers in S’pore generally satisfied with their jobs: survey

Gail Chai

Most managers in Singapore feel satisfied with their jobs but remain wary about risks to the global economy, according to a survey.

Conducted by the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), the survey showed 74 per cent of managers in Singapore are satisfied with their current jobs, with C-suite executives expressing the most satisfaction (84 per cent) compared with mid-level management (70 per cent).

When the survey was first done in 2009 during the global recession, only 12 per cent of managers were positive about the economy. This year, the number has increased to 45 per cent.

Nevertheless, a significant 40 per cent surveyed this year are still uncertain about the local economy compared to 27 per cent in 2009.

Regarding the global economy, 16 per cent of the respondents were optimistic about it as compared to only 6 per cent in 2009 but majority of respondents still remain negative about the global economy.

The rise in positive feedback also reflects how the managers feel about their jobs. About half, a slight increase from 2009, of those surveyed were optimistic about the outlook of their career in the future and opportunities in the local job market. A considerable 40 per cent remained ambivalent.

On the results, Wilson Wong, senior lecturer at SIM University's school of Business said, " The increased ambivalence is attributable to the fact that we are still mired in the global economic crisis, more than three years after its onset. This ambivalence is further exacerbated by the inability of leading Western central bankers and governments to achieve robust economic recovery despite injecting trillions into their economies. These economies are key export markets for Singapore."

Managers' main woe

Job satisfaction aside, managers said that their most challenging issue in today's economy is recruiting and holding on to good staff. Managers from across all levels, from C-suite to middle management, agree with this sentiment. Growing the business and addressing customer needs are also other important factors to consider.

"This decline in training sentiment is not unexpected. At the height of the economic crisis in 2009, people were far more apprehensive about losing their jobs. Thus they saw skills upgrading and related training as a means of enhancing their market value should they need to seek alternative employment in the event of retrenchment," said Wong.

40 percent of SMEs face challenges in recruiting and retaining talent, according to a survey, citing salary as key constraint.