Trends in job satisfaction and other key HR indicators



There are 4 key variables monitored by the MHRM Project over time. These are general job satisfaction, perceived fairness of compensation and benefits, job stress, and intent to stay at organizations.  All 4 variables are measured along a 5-point Likert scale ranged from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). For the definition of the concepts used in this report, as well as details of the methodology employed and a profile of the study's respondent characteristics, please visit here.

Global trends

Compared to previous years, all four HR indicators recorded higher ratings in 2015.  In earlier years, however, employees' Perceived Fairness of Compensation and Benefit, General Job Satisfaction and Intent to Stay decreased before recovering. The converse was true for Job Stress which crested in 2013 (score 2.78) and from there improved throughout 2014 and 2015 (2.76 and 2.72 respectively). The overall picture, therefore, shows that employees in Macao's labor force show a favorable situation: Employees feelmore satisfied with their jobs, less stressed, feel more fairly paid, and have higher intent to stay at their organizations.

Trends by Industry

Focusing on the years 2014 and 2015 and viewing the 4 HR indicators across different industries, slightly more differences in the situation can be discerned. To wit:

  • Several industries scored higher in Job Satisfaction rating in 2015.  These include Retail and Wholesale, Finance, Public Administration, Leisure and Entertainment, and Construction, Manufacturing the Utilities sectors.  Although the other sectors did not fare as well, the difference is not significant. The Real Estates sector, in particular, show notable decline in job satisfaction.
  • The Real Estates sector also recorded a dip in ratings of Perceived Fairness of Compensation and Benefit, along with Transport and Storage, Leisure and Entertainment, Travel Agencies, Tour Companies & MICE and Construction. Manufacturing & Utilities however, scored increases in ratings, as did Hotels and Retail sectors.
  • Considering the recent economic adjustment, employees tended to express higher intent to stay in their current jobs.  All but Food and Beverage had a higher Intent to Stay ratings in 2015. Though the F&B sector showed a drop in rating, it is only marginal (3.23 vs 3.22).
  • In terms of Job Stress levels, the F&B and Travel Agencies, Tour Companies & MICE sectors experienced significant rating declines, while the Real Estates sector improved. The hotel sector also recorded an unfavorable trend in this indicator, with reported mean stress ratings higher in 2015 than 2014.

Trends by Personal Monthly Income

Considering these 4 HR indicators relative to different levels of respondents’ personal monthly income, the lowest income group (i.e., those with income less than $10,000) showed lower stress levels (2.58 in 2014 vs 2.44 in 2015). Employees earning at higher income levels generally recorded significant improvements in perceived compensation and benefits, general job satisfaction, and higher intent to stay. With the exception of job stress levels, which tends to be the same across all income levels, the higher the monthly income of employees generates improved ratings across all indicators.

TRENDS BY JOB position

Our latest findings show that the higher an employee is in job position, the higher the rating in all but Job Stress indicators--there is a price to pay for success.  Interestingly on Job Stress, 2014 and 2015 told a different story for the top- and entry-level positions. The former felt the stress rising from 2.72 in 2014 to 2.84 in 2015, while the latter felt lower stress, with the indicator dropping from 2.76 in 2014 to 2.66 in 2015.

Trends by Work arrangement

For employees who need to work in shifts, only the Intent of Stay indicator recorded improved ratings in 2015. For employees not working in shifts, all indicators recorded improvements except Job Stress. Comparing the indicators between these 2 groups in 2014 and 2015, employees who did not need to work in shifts generally had better ratings than those working in shifts.

Trends by Educational attainment

Examining the 4 HR indicators by employees' level of educational attainment, the latest data indicates that the lot of employees with vocational education improved significantly from 2014 to 2015 in terms of their perceived fairness in compensation and benefits, job satisfaction, and intent to stay. This employee group's ratings for stress rose to levels comparable with other employees of different educational attainment. 

Trends by Residence Status

In terms of job stress, work permit holders felt the lowest stress levels across 2014 and 2015 and had higher job satisfaction in 2015. Non-permanent residents, however had lower job satisfaction and higher job stress levels.

Trends by Marital Status

Married employees reported better ratings in perceived fairness, general job satisfaction and intent to stay in 2015, except for job stress, which stayed at the same level as in 2014. Employees who are single, however, tend to report lower or poorer ratings across all indicators.

Trends by Presence of Children

All indicators except Job Stress recorded a rise of value in 2015. Employees with children generally reported better ratings in all 4 indicators.

Trends by Gender

Female employees tend to report generally lower job satisfaction than male employees but in 2015, female employees reported significantly higher intent to stay than male employees.


Overall, employees who felt relatively happier in terms of higher perceived fairness in compensation and benefits, better job satisfaction, higher intent to stay, and lower job stress were those:

  • who work in the public sector
  • with higher education level
  • with higher monthly income levels
  • who occupy top positions at their organizations
  • who do not need to work in shifts, and
  • married with children.

In contrast, employees who are not to happy count those:

  • working in gaming and finance sector,
  • working at entry job level with lower pay, and
  • currently single

Employers may want to to understand their situation in order to improve their psycho-social status and so that companies can retain as many of their talents as possible.