SHRI/RDS Survey May 2010 on Recovery & Productivity Actions.

1.0              Introduction

SHRI in conjunction with RDS surveyed 164 companies in May 2010 to find out about their wage increase; bonus and recruitment plans in the light of the expected economic recovery as well as the actions companies have taken or planned to drive productivity



2.0              Summary of Key Findings

2.1     Due to continuing worries about the strength and sustainability of the recovery, companies are still somewhat cautious about wage increases especially in the light of the impending CPF and foreign worker levy increases. Employees too appear to be somewhat cautious as less are resigning and fewer companies are reporting staff turnover.

2.2     Basic wage increases this year averaged 2.8% significantly higher than the 1.6% projected in September last year.

2.3     Variable bonuses (excluding AWS) will average 2.2 months this year much higher than the 1.4 to 1.7months last year. This will result in a total wage increase of 6% a substantial improvement over last year’s 1% decrease.

2.4     On recruitment, 74% of companies hired or plan to hire this year; higher than the 68% last year.

2.5     This year, 72% of companies experienced staff turnover (compared to 94% last year) and the turnover per company is lower than last year’s.

2.6     Seven out of eleven entry-level salaries increased by 0.5% to 3.9% while the remaining four decreased slightly from the previous six months.

2.7     On productivity, while companies are still relying on the usual business process engineering, automating of work processes and harnessing technology, they are focusing more on intangible factors like improving staff engagement, soft-skills training and changing mindset to drive productivity growth.


3.0    Key Findings

3.1    Business Prospects

Current:                94% of companies reported satisfactory or better prospects (higher than September 2009’s 72%)

The most satisfied sectors were Consumer Products/Retail and Education;

The least satisfied sectors were Aviation & related and Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals.


Next 6 months:       49% of companies expect prospects to improve, 48% expect no change and only 3% expect prospects to worsen

-          most optimistic sector is Financial/Insurance;

-          least optimistic sector is Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals.



Out of the 18 sectors, half of them experienced some form of unsatisfactory business condition.

Asian Pacific and Japanese companies did well (100% satisfied with current prospects).

Japanese companies are the most optimistic over the next six months as 71% expect conditions to improve or better.

In terms of Company size, large companies fared better than the rest (100% satisfied or better) compared to 93% of medium-sized and 91% of smaller companies.

The small companies are the most optimistic over the next six months with 55% expecting conditions to improve compared to 51% and 38% of medium-sized and large companies respectively.

Business Prospects – Recovery Experience

61% of companies experienced steady and strong recovery while 26% felt it was slow.


3.2     Basic Wage Increase

Overall, wages will increase by 2.8% this year for all staff categories, a substantial increase from the 1.3% last year.

Fewer companies are freezing wages this year (18% compared to 26% from last year) while only 1% have cut or planned to cut wages.

79% of companies increased wages this year, a significant increase from the 54% in 2009.

Highest Paying Sector   : IT/Hi Tech (3.8% to 4.5%)
          Lowest Paying Sector   : Construction & Related (1.0%).

Asia Pacific companies paid the highest increases (3.9% to 4.0%) while Local companies paid the lowest (2.4% to 2.6%).

In terms of size, small companies paid the highest increases (2.8% to 2.9%)

The basic wage increase for 2010 is 2.8% for all staff categories.


3.3    Variable Bonus (excluding AWS)

For 2010, the variables bonuses averaged:

2.2 months for Managers
2.2 months for Executives
2.2 months for Non-executives

Highest Paying Sector   - Construction & Related (2.3 to 3.0 months)
Lowest Paying Sector   - Education & Related (0.8 to 0.9 months)

Large companies paid somewhat higher bonuses (2.0 to 2.3 months) than the medium-sized and small companies.

Asia Pacific companies, on the other hand, paid slightly more (1.9 to 2.4 months) than European, Japanese, Local and US companies.


3.4     AWS

Most companies paid AWS averaging 1.0 month of basic salary in the year 2010



3.5     Recruitment

A total of 74% of the companies hired or plan to hire staff this year. While this is only slightly higher than the 68% last year, this is substantially higher than the 34% projected in September last year. The number to be recruited per company also exceeds that of last year.

The numbers recruited per company last year and for this year are:

















3.6     Retrenchment

10% of the companies retrenched or plan to retrench staff this year, lower than the 15% last year.



3.7     Staff Turnover

Less companies (72%) in 2010 experienced staff turnover. The turnover rate was lower than previously reported. Across all sectors, the average staff turnover for 2010 was:

4% for Managers
4% for Executives and
5% for Non-executives. 


3.8     Regular Staff Training Hours 

About 59% of companies reported to have provided regular staff training to their staff but the number of hours per employee was significantly lower than last year’s.

The average numbers of training hours per employee are:
















3.9      Entry-Level Salaries 

Entry-level salaries for Diploma (Engineering), Degree (Engineering), Degree(Others) and MBA increased by 2.0% to 3.9% while those for GCE’N’, Nitec and Higher Nitec increased by 0.5% to 1.5%.

Entry- level salaries for GCE ‘A’ levels had decreased by -3.1%. As for GCE ‘O’ levels, PSC (Secretary) and Diploma (Others), they decreased by -1.1% to -1.9%.


3.10  Actions Taken/Planned to drive Productivity

96% of companies had planned or already taken certain actions to drive their business productivity. The specific actions and the proportion of companies reporting them are:

Improving Staff Engagement                                          59%
Soft-skills/ Collaboration Training                                 
Changing Staff Mindset                                    
Business Process Re-engineering                                 
Improving work-life balance                                          37%
Automating Work Processes                                   
Improving trust/work Relationship                                 34%
Harnessing Technology                                    





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