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Filipino workers dissatisfied with compensation, benefits

February 7, 2008 11:24pm
FILIPINO WORKERS are most unhappy about generally low domestic compensation and benefit levels, prompting them to seek better working and living conditions abroad, a new study by global consulting firm Watson Wyatt showed.

The WorkAsia Survey Report 2007-2008, titled "Increasing Employee Engagement: Strategies for Enhancing Business and Individual Performance," said in particular that Filipino employees were also concerned about the lack of strategic direction and leadership and effective internal communication practices in their companies.

The study, conducted last year, surveyed more than 6,500 full-time employees covering all major employment sectors in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

"We looked closely at what makes employees tick ... what drives them. In Manila, there are three things that engage employees — customer focus, getting the right compensation and benefits and having good leadership in place," Watson Wyatt Regional Practice Director for Asia-Pacific Andrew Heard told BusinessWorld.

But the survey also showed Filipino workers were dissatisfied with present compensation and benefit packages.

"In Manila, people are driven by good compensation but the research is saying there are no good programs in place here. These results should concern Philippines-based employers," Mr. Heard said.

The Asia-Pacific as a whole also regarded compensation and benefits as one of the top concerns among employees, followed by internal communication practices as well as strategic direction and leadership.

"In the Philippines, allowances, fixed and guaranteed bonuses are important components for employees. Highly-engaged employees are products of companies who truly value and reward employees based on their performance," Watson Wyatt said.

Prof. Jorge V. Sibal, dean of the University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations, said economic factors are the main cause of migration.

"Another problem here is the high level of unemployment and underemployment which are indicators of excessive supply of available people for a limited number of jobs," he said. — B. S. Sto. Domingo, BusinessWorld
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