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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        6  June 2011

Employee incentives rise in Malaysia

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High-performing employees are getting better deals in the increasingly competitive job market as Malaysian firms offer higher salaries and more perks. "I got an increment of RM1,000 (US$340) in my recent job change doing almost the same thing," marketing officer Evelyn Hee, 26,said.

"I was headhunted by my current boss as word got around about my performance," she added. Hee said her move also brought her a better working environment and a chance to move up in her career.

Sales manager KC Chang said she got a 30 percent pay rise when a job offer was made to her earlier this year.

"I switched jobs as I did not see much opportunity for growth in my last company," she added. Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said Generation X and Y employees were highly mobile and sought after by companies seeking to expand their businesses. "If these talents leave, they may also take away with them the knowledge that companies have invested in them," he added.

For big firms like Petronas, Maxis Bhd and Bank Negara Malaysia, much emphasis is also placed on grooming and investing in their talent base.

Opportunities like fast-tracking and performance-based compensation are now being adapted by many top firms to keep their talent.

They also benchmark their pay scales to market rates to remain competitive and attractive as the employer of choice.

Reward schemes and differentiated performance remuneration are also given.

"We need to have a readily available succession pool as this is especially critical for senior management and key roles," chief talent officer Kala Kularajah Sundram said.

For Bank Negara Malaysia, incentives have helped to drive productivity and performance while increasing retention of tacit knowledge and talent.

Petronas also is known for offering scholarships for disciplines critical to its operations, including petroleum engineering, geology, mechanical and chemical engineering

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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