It isn’t just about the money any more
Employees say they value new skills development and work-life balance more highly than remuneration packages and prospects for promotion
TAFFING specialist company Kelly, recently issued a media statement on its fourth and final Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) for 2014.
The Index is a worldwide survey that reveals the opinions of over 230 000 people about the workplace and workplace issues.
This latest Kelly Global Workforce Index shows that money and pay isn’t everything to the modern employee.
In fact, nearly six out of 10 of the survey participants confirmed that they view skills development as their “golden ticket” and would set aside higher pay in favour of a brighter future.
Some 52 percent also indicated the desire to achieve a greater work-life balance and viewed time to enjoy their leisure activities as more important than the next step up the corporate ladder.
“The workplace is certainly changing and it seems that money doesn’t necessarily dictate as a motivating factor for employee job-changing habits,” says Kelly Group sales executive Tracey Czakan.
“While salary remains the main driver of attraction and retention, employers now need to consider how they can assist their employees to prioritise their professional growth while achieving personal fulfilment.
“This is vital to establishing and maintaining a reputation as a company for which candidates wish to work.”
The index further reveals that geographically speaking, more employees from the Asia Pacific and China (Apac) region seek work-life balance (65 percent Apac versus 52 percent global) and skills development ahead of higher pay and career advancement (66 percent Apac versus 57 percent global).
An interesting fact is that Apac-based employees are also more likely to trade in larger salaries and promotions in return for a flexible work schedule (48 percent) and the opportunity to start their own businesses (47 percent).
When viewed by generations, the statistics show that Gen X employees place their work-life balance higher on their list of priorities, at 55 percent, than Gen Y and Baby Boomers, at 52 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
Furthermore, an entrepreneurial spirit is more evident in Gen Y (45 percent) and Gen X (41 percent) than their Baby Boomer (30 percent) and Silent Generation (19 percent) counterparts.
Professionals in engineer-
Sing, IT (63 percent each), science (61 percent), as well as finance and accounting (60 percent) all follow the global trend of placing increasing emphasis on skills development and a healthier work-life balance.
“Essentially, attracting the right talent goes beyond a number at the bottom of an employee’s payslip, promotions, work-life balance and skills development,” says Czakan.
“The geographic presence, size and type of an organisation factor highly on the wish lists of candidates. Responses to the 2014 study reveal that companies that are the most appealing to work for, are those that are large or mid-sized established firms with a global presence.”
The Kelly Global Workforce Index reveals that companies with an international footprint are three times more likely to attract employees when compared to national or regional organisations.
Furthermore, 23 percent and 27 percent of candidates show a preference for large and mid-sized companies respectively, while only 9 percent favour working for smaller businesses.
Established firms with longevity are more attractive to 41 percent of the global talent pool with listed companies appealing to 16 percent and start-ups to 4 percent of candidates.
“Globally, there is hope for employers facing geographic talent shortages because the study reveals that 70 percent of candidates are willing to relocate if they feel the job opportunity will advance their careers,” Czakan explains.
“In SA, however, this statistic is slightly different with 20 percent indicating an unwillingness to move for a job opportunity. Of those who expressed an interest in relocating countries for the purposes of work, 40 percent indicated Europe as their destination of choice,” adds Czakan.
With skills development at a high point on the South African national agenda, it’s not surprising that 44 percent of those surveyed by Kelly agreed that they would give up higher pay in exchange for the opportunity to learn new skills.
Locally, we also value our work-life balance with just under a third of respondents indicating that they would definitely exchange career advancement for time to focus on their personal activities.
The opportunity to start a business also rates highly on the scale with 34 percent citing their entrepreneurial spirit as more important than career growth and advancement.
Czakan points out that while giving employees higher pay and promotions may improve retention, candidates are willing to make compromises that lead to a greater sense of personal fulfilment.
“Employers who stay in tune with their employees’ needs will maintain the competitive edge when it comes to attracting top talent no matter where in the world they are.”
For more information, visit www.kelly.co.za.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE: A survey has shown that employees across the world are looking for more than just money to make them happy and engaged in the workplace.