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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Non-financial incentives needed to retain staff

By Thanh Ha

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HCMC – Besides competitive salaries, non-financial benefits are also important to retain staff after the Covid-19 pandemic, said experts at a seminar held today, June 14, in Long An Province.

At the seminar themed, “Post-pandemic employee retention”, jointly held by ManpowerGroup Vietnam and the Long An Economic Zone Authority (LAEZA), Nguyen Thu Trang, country head of Permanent Recruitment and Executive Search Services at ManpowerGroup Vietnam, said the pandemic had caused major disturbances to the labor market and severely affected businesses and workers across the country.

According to the General Statistics Office, in the first quarter of this year, over 16.9 million people aged 15 and over were negatively affected by the pandemic in Vietnam.

A survey conducted by ManpowerGroup and the Institute of Labor and Social Affairs in 2021 found that more than one-fifth of FDI manufacturing enterprises (21%) have had difficulty recruiting skilled workers who meet the company’s hiring requirements.

Meanwhile, the labor demand is forecast to continue increasing to keep up with the development requirements.

She cited a ManpowerGroup report as saying that 49% of workers would move to other organizations for better well-being.

“Now, perhaps more than ever, people want their employers to offer more. They want their mental health and well-being prioritized, while also looking for flexibility, competitive pay, good working conditions, an inspiring corporate culture and skills development opportunities.

Employers who acknowledge the emerging needs of workers and turn them into action will win in this era of talent shortage,” Trang added.

In addition to incomes, employees are paying much attention to other benefits and considering them important factors to apply to and stay in a company. Therefore, companies should diversify their benefits for employees in their HR strategies.

Specifically, employees prefer choosing their place of work and time and want more days off. Seven out of every 10 workers expected their contributions to be recognized by managers, while 81% expected enterprises to hold training courses, according to a survey by ManpowerGroup.

Sharing the view, Dang Thi Hai Ha, founder of Respect Vietnam & Weatwork.co, said up to 95% of enterprises assessed non-monetary benefits as necessary for employees.

Enterprises have worked out many solutions to retain employees but they should consider which solutions need to be prioritized.

Some employees leave their companies due to their direct managers. Therefore, employers must determine their employees’ demands to offer appropriate benefits.

Employers in Long An are facing difficulties in HR management, as reported in a quick survey by the ManpowerGroup Vietnam from June 1 to 10. Nearly 40% of the surveyed businesses said they couldn’t recruit the desired staff, 31% said the salary and benefits offered aren’t competitive enough, and about one-third (32%) of the employers admitted their turnover rate is quite high, Ha noted.

Nguyen Tam Thanh, business HR director of Cargill Animal Nutrition/Cargill Aquaculture Nutrition in Thailand and Vietnam, said it was important to determine the demands of enterprises and the market trends. However, understanding employees’ demands is also needed.

The pandemic has changed employees’ thoughts, so non-financial benefits are no longer nice-to-have, but must-have factors.

Meanwhile, Huynh Thi Ngoc Truc, vice president, country head of People, Coca-Cola Vietnam, said enterprises should determine their core workforce and the workforce that will be important in the future, and work out appropriate policies for each group.

Pham Anh Thang, head of the representative office of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs in the south, said the pandemic had slowed down Vietnam’s economy, disrupted production and business activities and negatively affected the labor market.

Specifically, the number of employees aged 15 and older plunged from 56 million in the last quarter of 2019 to 50.7 million in the last quarter of last year.

The jobless rate soared from 1.22% in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 4.46% in the third quarter of 2021. In addition, employees’ average monthly income fell from VND6.7 million in 2019 to VND5.3 million in 2021, putting them at a disadvantage.

However, as the pandemic has been brought under control, both the labor supply and demand have increased again.

In the first three months of this year, there were 51.2 million workers, up 160,000 year-on-year and 440,000 versus the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, enterprises were set to recruit nearly 1.3 million laborers this year, up 18% over 2021.

Furthermore, the number of jobless workers in the first quarter of this year fell by 489,000 over the previous quarter to 1.1 million.

Speaking at the seminar, Mai Van Nhieu, vice chairman of the Long An People’s Council, said enterprises should distinguish solutions to recruit and retain laborers. They should not apply recruitment policies to retain laborers.

Specifically, when recruiting workers, they must weigh their demands if they want their employees to share the companies’ difficulties and work for the companies for a long time. For example, new employees may need high salaries and attractive benefits, while senior employees will need respect and recognition.

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