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Press Release

Malaysia pay raises to remain high in 2024, WTW survey finds

Employers rethink work, total rewards and redefine careers to win talent war

January 8, 2024

Ukupne nagrade

MALAYSIA, January 8, 2024 — A compensation survey by WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, reports that employees in Malaysia working in industries such as Insurance; Banking; Tech, Media & Gaming; Shared Services & Outsourcing; Asset Management; and Oil & Gas, received a more competitive annual base salary in 2023 compared to those in Education; Real Estate, Construction & Engineering; Biopharma & Life Sciences.

This is based on a market competitiveness index where the annual base salaries of jobs across industries were ranked against the base salary of jobs from the General Industry. When benchmarked against the General Industry, companies in Banking; Tech, Media & Gaming; and Shared Services & Outsourcing industries have exceeded expectations, offering annual base salaries that surpass the General Industry overall median. Notably, companies in the Asset Management and Oil & Gas industries paid the highest annual base salaries last year.

On the other hand, companies in the Education; Real Estate, Construction & Engineering; and Biopharma & Life Sciences lagged behind in terms of their annual base salaries’ competitiveness.

For 2024, companies in Malaysia continue to project an overall salary increase of 5% for executives, management and professional employees, and support staff. Although this is slightly lower than the 5.6% of salary increase in 2023, the average salary increase continues to show steady rise over the last few years. Similar trends are observed across various industries in the country this year. However, inflationary pressures and concerns over a tight labor market continue to influence factors beyond salary increase budgets.

Average salary increase in 2023 and 2024 across industries in Malaysia

Average overall salary increase across key industries, including zeros, in Malaysia
Source: WTW 2023 Salary Planning Budget Survey Report - Asia Pacific (Dec 2023 edition)
Industry in Malaysia 2023 Actual Salary Increases 2024 Projected Salary Increases
General Industry 5.6 5.0
Asset Management 5.2 4.9
Banking 5.0 4.7
Insurance 5.3 5.1
Real Estate, Construction & Engineering 5.1 5.1
Oil & Gas 5.2 4.9
Education 5.0 5.0
BioPharma and Life Sciences 5.5 5.2
High Tech 4.9 4.8
Shared Services & Outsourcing 4.9 5.1

“Although inflation is slowing down from the heights of recent years, the labour market in Malaysia is shifting. Voluntary turnover and attrition continue to increase and reaches a high of 18.5% in 2023 compared to 16.5% in 2022. This trend looks set to continue in 2024. Employers in Malaysia will continue to face significant talent challenges including the attraction and retention of key talent. They will need to stay focused on balancing the entire package of rewards they offer, both monetary and non-monetary in order to remain competitive and align with employees’ needs and wants,” said Tan Juan Jim, Head of Work & Rewards, Southeast Asia and Malaysia, WTW.

Employers need to stay focused on balancing the entire package of rewards they offer, both monetary and non-monetary to remain competitive and align with employees’ needs and wants”

Tan Juan Jim | Head of Work & Rewards, Southeast Asia & Malaysia, WTW

WTW survey finds that millennials and Gen Z will form more than 70% of the workforce by 2025

The WTW survey also reveals that industries such as Banking; Insurance; Tech, Media & Gaming; and Shared Services & Outsourcing hired the most number of millennials and Gen Z employees last year. Since 2020, the Gen Z workforce in Malaysia has grown rapidly at a 50% year-on-year increase in terms of percentage of the total workforce. By 2025, WTW expects that millennials and Gen Z will form more than 70% of the workforce in the country.

“The traditional employment model is losing its inevitability as employees now have the options in the gig and passion economy. The passion economy is one where it is built around creators with a purpose and provides alternative ways of making money, innovative paths towards professional fulfilment and unprecedented career opportunities to the future workforce.

“In the context of the passion economy, where job security is no longer the primary focus, understanding the emerging group of Gen Z employees becomes paramount. Organisations that move towards providing greater work flexibility, including offering a choice of remote, onsite or hybrid working will attract and retain more talent. This trend of working offers Gen Z more options to have multiple side hustles while maintaining their traditional economy jobs,” said Jim.

At the same time, the Malaysia’s corporate workforce faces three possible challenges in growing its Gen Z’s population. These include:

  • Young talents seeking opportunities abroad (e.g., to Singapore and the Middle East);
  • Setback in education by two years due to the pandemic impacts and the accelerated career options fueled by technology;
  • Constant lookout for new positions by the same pool of younger workers to satisfy their needs for flexibility, control over their own destiny and scalability of earning through their own efforts, and finding work that provide a sense of purpose.

“Winning the talent race will require employers to leverage on analytics to understand their current workforce and forecast future workforce within their organisation. Developing a compelling employee value proposition that encompasses a comprehensive view of total rewards, including both financial and personal well-being benefits, is important for employers in Malaysia to adapt to the unique attributes of the generational and future workforce,” added Jim.

About the survey

A total of over 600 companies participated in the Malaysia Total Compensation Survey conducted in October 2023. These included organisations in: Financial Services; Tech, Media & Gaming; Shared Services; Real Estate, Construction & Engineering; BioPharma & Life Sciences; Energy & Natural Resources; Education and others. Respondents, who participated in the study, employ 323,837 employees in Malaysia.

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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