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What will get you that promotion?

Promotions Report by JobStreet.com shows that employees and employers view promotion processes very differently

What do you need to get that promotion?

Some employees would argue on the need to establish a strong network to assist them in climbing the corporate ladder. Others may believe in getting into their superior's good books. Some may just leave it all to luck.

A Promotions Report by JobStreet.com revealed that there is a mismatch between Singapore employers' and employees' perceptions on job promotions.

While Singapore employees believe the human quotient is the top factor for promotion, hirers believe on-the-job skills are the most important.

Companies in Singapore also take the longest time to offer promotions to employees, registering an average of 46 months to extend an offer, 13 months longer than the region's average of 33 months.

The report aims to understand the promotion process through examining nascent trends and factors influencing promotions as well as employees' attitudes towards promotion practices.

More than 10,000 employees and 518 employers were surveyed, from a blend of industries across seven countries: Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Employees in Singapore believe that one's circle of influence has the most impact on his promotion. They rated it ahead of leadership traits, performance/attitude, on-the-job skills and tenure.

Hirers believe on-the-job skills are the most important and place circle of influence as the least important.

Employees' experiences in different work environments and cultures may contribute to this mismatch.

Different opinions on promotion can be troubling for employers and employees.

Though more than 75 per cent of Singapore employees said they are being given more responsibilities, only 41 per cent reported receiving a formal promotion for such work.

The report also revealed that Singapore companies offer the lowest salary increase, an average of 14 per cent, compared with the region's 16 per cent to 24 per cent.

Such discrepancy may affect morale.

Employees and employers also differ in who they think should most heavily influence promotions.

Singapore hirers agreed on top management as the top influencer, while employees think the department head should be the most influential person.

Other key highlights of the survey revealed that:

  • 58.4 per cent of respondents who received a promotion did not gain additional benefit apart from a salary increase.
  • Majority of promotions across the seven countries occurred in January, June and December.
  • 50 per cent of hirers in Singapore reported that the budget for promotions is not cast in stone, indicating that promotion opportunities are available for those who perform well.

Also, in Singapore, employees rated the fairness of promotion processes a 2.64 out of seven and the fairness of promotion outcomes a 3.23.

This is below the regional averages of 3.48 and 4.11 for the respective categories.

These results can be a good reference point for hirers and employees.

Hirers should look at this to improve talent management strategies and consider being more open about promotions to build up morale.

Employees can take note of factors that influence promotions to hone their skills.

After all, a happy work environment and teamwork between employers and employees make a successful company.

The writer is the country sales manager of JobStreet.com Singapore

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