Negative sentiment common in region
Putting the Hong Kong survey into a regional context, similar studies in Japan and South Korea usually generate fairly negative responses, too, said Gabriela Domicelj, with Indonesia and the Philippines the exceptions, typically emerging more positively.
But Hong Kong also came out with scores below Watson Wyatt's Work China and Work Taiwan surveys in most categories.
'In particular, Hong Kong employees have rated leadership and management effectiveness, employee development and training, and performance and management and supervision as the lowest categories after compensation and benefits,' she said.
One key tool for improving communication between bosses and employees is an employee opinion survey which may or may not exist, said Ms Domicelj. A large number of those surveyed did not know if their firm conducted one.
'Then we asked if you have one, to what extent have you seen constructive change occurring after surveys?' she said. 'The answers were very negative. Only 11 per cent who responded said something came out of it.' Nearly 90 per cent were neutral or unfavourable about the whole process.
Other interesting findings to emerge were subtle differences between local and foreign companies. Local firms were more negative about performance management with 29 per cent responding favourably compared with 35 per cent of foreigners.
Foreign companies were more satisfied with how performance is managed in their organisation, said Ms Domicelj.
If the study results are analysed by sector, employees from the construction industry are, at 24 per cent, the least satisfied, while 44 per cent of those in the financial services industry say they are happy with their lot.
The results were also segmented into small firms with fewer than 100 employees, medium and large with the smallest firms having the lowest scores. 'This probably reflects their degree of sophistication,' she said.