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The Quest for Purpose at Work in Southeast Asia

About the Report

How do individuals in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam perceive purpose at work? Get data-driven insights on how people in Southeast Asia view and value meaningful work in this first of its kind report by Jobs_that_makesense Asia and Manpower

A Message from Mr Francois Lancon, ManpowerGroup’s Regional President of Asia Pacific and Middle East

“It is encouraging to see the findings of this report align to our own core belief that meaningful work is a key driver of employee happiness, health and productivity.

Today, as the acceleration of automation, a greater focus on ESG, and the emergence of generative AI reshapes industries and economies, organizations have more ability than ever to create opportunities for people to engage in purposeful and fulfilling work.”

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Key Findings

  • Having a sense of purpose at work matters to many in Southeast Asia, but not many are feeling the sense of fulfillment at work: 98% of participants surveyed from six key SEA countries indicated that having meaning at work was important to them. Only 21% of SEA respondents indicated they feel “very satisfied” with their current level of meaning at work.

  • Top 3 things companies can do to enhance meaning at work for their workforce: Better work conditions (74%), advocacy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and other social causes (72%), are actions respondents in Southeast Asia say can help improve their sense of purpose at work.

  • The significance of a company's reputation, particularly in social responsibility, has become a critical factor for job seekers: In fact, 77% of SEA respondents indicate that a company’s reputation in these areas significantly contributes to their decision to pursue employment with them.

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Jobs_that_makesense Asia and Manpower conducted a survey on 2,023 participants across Southeast Asia, spanning Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, to understand their perspectives on purposeful work.


View Countries’ Findings