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

The Star Early Edition - - THE WORKPLACE REPORT -

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

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.

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