Singapore’s Changing Employment Landscape: Employee Turnover and Learning and Development Concerns


With the ever increasing impact of the global economic forces, the Singapore employment landscape is becoming increasingly dynamic. Such dynamism are subject to many predicaments. Driven by technological advancements and fierce competition, Singapore’s economy continues to restructure. On one hand, the tight labour market and changing industry demands are triggering employee mobility from one industry to another, on the other hand, it is also emphasising the learning and development to embark on the concept of lifelong learning, enabling enhanced employability in order to stay relevant in the modern economy.

The companies in Singapore are concerned about dealing with ’employee turnover’. They are also apprehensive about the impact of ‘Training and development’ to be imparted to their employees. A few questions that are yet to be answered are: Who to train? How to assess the training needs? Is there a possibility of the competitors reaping the benefits from the talent pool trained by the company?

Executive Summary

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This study assessed Singapore’s Changing Employment Landscape with an emphasis on employee turnover and learning & development concerns. The study attempted to understand issues and challenges organisations in Singapore face particularly in retaining their employees and providing the employees with learning and development facilities.

A summary of the key findings

1) 57.44% of the respondents believe that employee turnover has a serious negative effect on organisational performance.

2) The average lengths of stay for majority of the respondents (78%) were between two to five years.

3) The top five reasons for changing a job are:

  • Unsure of career progress;
  • Lack of career opportunity;
  • Achievement not recognised;
  • Lack of learning opportunity, challenge in the job and expertise not valued; and
  • Dissatisfied with the boss.

4) Exit interviews conducted by the HR department are the most popular way to measure why people leave.

5) The top three actions being or planned to be taken by organisations to address employee turnover are:

  • Improved employee communication/involvement;
  • Increased learning and development opportunities; and
  • Increased pay.

6) 54% of the respondents mentioned that their organisation do not calculate Employee turnover cost.

7) As per majority of the respondents Learning and development needs are assessed on a yearly basis.

8) According to majority (nearly 80%) of the respondents line managers are responsible for identifying and recommending learning and development programmes for the employees.

9) The top three factors on which the learning and development functions are dependent on arecurrent and future business needs, budget and performance appraisal of the employee.

10) Recommendation by management shared in the form of direct communications is the most preferred channel for obtaining information about learning and development programmes

11) Majority of the respondents mentioned that learning and development budget in their organisations remained the same as compared to the previous year.

12) According to nearly 70% of the respondents, on-the-job and workshop based learning is the most preferred methodologies of learning.

13) 64% of the respondents mentioned that their organisation do not measure the return on investment on learning and development programmes.

14) More that 60% of the respondents mentioned that retention of the employee after learning and development investment is one of the major challenges faced by their organisation.