Intent to stay report

Leaders are leaders only as long as they have
the respect and loyalty of their followers.
— Hans Seliye

Other reports:

Methodological notes

  • Intent-to-stay (ISS) is measured using a scale developed by Hunt, Osborn & Martin (1981) and is assessed as the average level of agreement with four survey items: “I will definitely leave this organization in the next year”, “It is very unlikely that I would ever consider leaving this company”, “If I were completely free to choose, I would prefer very much not to continue working for this organization”, and “It is very important for me to spend my career in this organization.” ISS can be considered a proxy for employee loyalty (though loyalty itself is a far more multi-dimensional concept) and may be able to predict short- to medium-term turnover levels at organizations.
  • Respondents’ agreement with each of the above statements is measured using a 5-point Likert scale with 5 indicating strong agreement and 1 indicating strong disagreementAll scales reported in the charts below correspond to this 5-point agreement scale, unless otherwise indicated.

  • Data is collected via field survey that take place in major transportation hubs in Macao as well as several residential areas. Respondents are selected following a systematic random sampling technique and interviews are conducted face-to-face with the help of a structured questionnaire. Interviews are conducted in either English or Chinese. Respondents are interviewed if they are permanent or non-permanent residents, or hold non-resident worker’s permit, and are employed full-time in Macao at the time of the survey. 

  • Total number of respondents for the 2012 survey wave was 525 and 1,046 for 2013. Description of the sample’s  characteristics can be found here.


1.0  Overall intent-to-stay

Survey respondents in 2012 and 2013 did not seem to indicate a strong propensity to stay nor leave their organizations, with the overall average in the ISS scale hovering near the 5-point scale mid-point value of 3.00. Average score for the ISS in 2013 was 3.32 and hardly differed statistically from the 3.27 average recorded in 2012.

2.0 Intent-to-stay by industry sector

Across different industries, employees’ intent-to-stay at their organizations vary considerably. Those working in the gaming and casino  and in the transport, storage and communication sectors tend to “sit on the fence”most (see bottom of the chart on the right). Somewhat close to this level of indifference are workers in the food and beverage and hotels and resort sectors. Sectors with high-levels of intent-to-stay include public administration and the construction, manufacturing and utilities sectors. 

(Note: the industry classification system in this chart follows that of the Census and Statistics Bureau of Macau or DSEC.) 

3.0 Intent-to-stay by monthly income

The MHR Monitor shows a possible relationship with income and intent-to-stay, with those receiving higher monthly income expressing higher levels of ISS than those with lower monthly income. This relationship seems consistent during both survey waves conducted in 2012 and 2013.

4.0 Intent-to-stay by level of educational attainment

Survey data shows that workers with educational attainment at the Master’s level or above tend to have significantly higher intent-to-stay than those with Bachelor’s level of education or below. There appears to be no difference in this relationship between the two survey waves conducted in 2012 and 2013.

5.0 Intent-to-stay by residency status

There is no statistical difference in the intent-to-stay between permanent and non-permanent resident workers. However, non-resident workers reported significantly lower ISS in 2012, though their average improved considerably in 2013. 

6.0 Intent-to-stay by marital status

Workers who are married reported significantly higher intention-to-stay at their organizations in 2013 than they did in 2012. For workers who are single or unattached, their intent-to-stay is generally and significantly lower than married workers and this sentiment remained the same across both survey years in 2012 and 2013.

7.0 Intent-to-stay by presence of children

Workers without children generally report significantly lower intention to stay at their organizations than workers with children. This was observed in both survey years 2012 and 2013. For some reasons, however, this sentiment was enhanced in 2013, with workers with children expressing significantly greater intent-to-stay in 2013 than in 2012.

8.0 Intent-to-stay by gender

Though general levels of intentions to stay at their organizations remained the same for both 2012 and 2013, there seemed to have been a reversal in opinion for male and female workers. In 2012, male workers expressed greater intent-to-stay at their organizations than did female workers; in 2013, however, this sentiment was reversed, with female workers expressing significantly greater intent-to-stay at organizations compared to male workers. It is incumbent for organizations to determine possible internal and external causes to this reversal in gender sentiments regarding continuing their careers at their current organizations.

9.0 Intent-to-stay by shift work duty

Workers in shift duties or irregular scheduled work hours show significantly lower intent-to-stay at their organizations than those working regular hours. This sentiment was consistent for both survey years 2012 and 2013. Generally, therefore, shift workers have greater propensity toward leaving their organizations at any time. 

End of report.