HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong employees think they are not promoted fairly: survey

They also think that likability and luck are big promotion factors.

According to jobsDB’s latest Job Promotions Report, which polled over 10,000 respondents from seven Asian countries, Hong Kong employees rank “Supervisor liking you” (5.90 out of a 7-point scale) as the most important factor in determining promotion. “Luck” (5.29) and “Good performance reviews” (5.19) come in second and third in Hong Kong. In fact, the top three factors were the same as those chosen by Singaporeans.

Local employees rated “Working long hours” (3.71) and “Length of time since last promotion” (3.73) as the least important factors. Singaporeans were similar, with “Length of time since last promotion” being the most unimportant aspect.

Taking a regional perspective, a total of 10,389 employees from seven Asian countries rated “Good performance reviews,” “Supervisors liking you” and “Leadership ability” as the most important factors in determining promotion prospects. From an enterprise point-of-view, 493 hirers listed their most important factors as “Good performance reviews” (6.38), “Leadership ability” (5.92) and “Exceptional work” (5.79), but saw “Luck” (3.16) and “Having friends or relatives higher up” (2.68) as the least important.

Hong Kong people don’t think they are promoted fairly. Employees feel that the promotion decision-making process isn’t fair in terms of consistency, objectivity and opportunity to appeal. That view is held almost equally by those promoted (3.31 out of 7, with 4 being neutral) as by those not promoted (3.29). Accordingly, HR departments should make their procedures more transparent to employees to enhance motivation and job satisfaction.

“The results indicate that there is a big gap between the perception of employees and hirers on the decision criteria for job promotion. Therefore, some work needs to be done by HR departments to ensure that everyone fully understands what exactly hirers are looking for, such as having measurable key performance indicators, and objective criteria and a clear system for choosing candidates, instead of just supervisor recommendations. That way employees can do their best to impress and win that promotion,” said Justin Yiu, General Manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong Limited.

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