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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
A look at current trends and data
Article Type: Research and results From: Strategic HR Review, Volume 11, Issue 6
Employees value purpose over promotion
A report by global brand consultancy Calling Brands has revealed that working for an organization with a clearly defined purpose – an underlying ethos that goes beyond commercial and operational goals – is second most important to people after pay, ranking ahead of other factors such as level of responsibility and even career progression.
As part of the Crunch Time: The Power of Purpose report, investigating the impact of corporate purpose on employee attitudes, a research study was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Calling Brands. In total, 4,202 people in the UK, Germany and the USA were asked about their attitudes to motivation at work.
Respondents were asked to rank in order of importance workplace culture, purpose of the organization, level of responsibility in their role, pay and benefits and opportunity for promotion. Across the UK, the USA and Germany, an average of 52 percent of respondents ranked pay and benefits as most important, with purpose ranked as next most important (18 percent) ahead of work culture (17 percent), responsibility (7 percent) and opportunity for promotion (6 percent). Interestingly, opportunity for promotion was ranked as least important by respondents in the USA (26 percent) and Germany (33 percent). Only 4 percent of UK respondents judged it as most important.
Employees seek greater and deeper fulfilment
Additionally, an average of 65 percent of respondents (70 percent Germany, 65 percent USA and 59 percent UK) said that working for an organization with purpose would motivate them to go the “extra mile” in their jobs and an average of 64 percent (71 percent Germany, 63 percent USA and 58 percent UK) claimed it would engender a greater sense of loyalty towards the organization for which they work.
Furthermore, an average of 57 percent of respondents (64 percent Germany, 58 percent USA and 48 percent UK) said they would favor joining an organization that has a clearly defined purpose.
The report also reveals the views of HR and communications chiefs from multinational organizations, including Unilever, Time Warner, BUPA, Santander and Experian, given in interviews conducted by Calling Brands. The consensus among the interviewees was that employees now seek greater and deeper fulfilment from the working day, but many organizations have yet to respond to this recent shift in attitude.
For more information
The report is available for download at: www.callingbrands.com/uk
Six areas that influence change management success
Companies that manage change effectively are more likely to have a formal, systematic process and a dedicated staff that includes internal communicators compared to organizations that manage change less well, according to research by global professional services company Towers Watson. The research, from Towers Watson’s Change and Communication ROI Study, identified six activities – leading, measuring, communicating, involving, learning and sustaining – that have a significant impact on a company’s overall success in managing change.
Phil Merrell, Towers Watson’s UK Director of Change Management, says: “When it comes to managing major organizational change, many companies have a difficult time getting it right. In fact, our research shows that less than half stay on schedule, come in on budget, or hold people accountable for deadlines. Our research found that businesses went through an average of three major changes in the past two years and that effective change management practices can have a major impact on the bottom line, so there is plenty of reason to share how the best organizations manage change”.
Following are the key findings from the report:
Sixty-five percent of companies with the best change management practices follow a formal, systematic process compared with just 14 percent of companies with low change effectiveness. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents with high change effectiveness have a staff dedicated to change management efforts versus just 16 percent with a lower level of change effectiveness.
Leadership activities, which include executive sponsorship for organizational change, developing a clear vision of desired organizational change, creating an integrated communication and change management strategy, and creating strong employee motivation for making organizational change, have the most influence in the overall success of an organization’s change.
Eighty-four percent of highly effective companies have a clear vision of what their organizational change is intended to achieve, compared with just 19 percent of companies with low change effectiveness. Notably, both senior leaders and communication and change management professionals have an important role to play in these leading activities.
Measuring activities were also among the top drivers of change success. Seventy-six percent of highly effective companies set clear, measurable goals up front for the impact of changes, compared with just 14 percent of low-effectiveness companies. Seventy-three percent of highly effective companies measure their progress against goals, versus 12 percent of companies with low-change-effectiveness practices.
The study also found that effective companies incorporate programs to sustain the positive effects of change over time. Sixty-four percent of highly effective companies continue to exhibit new behaviors and use new skills after changes have been made, compared with eight percent of low-effectiveness companies.
For more information
The 2011-2012 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Study includes responses from 604 organizations in various industries from around the world. For more information, visit Towers Watson on www.towerswatson.com
International assignment activity on the rise
After three years of contraction, international assignment activity is now rising, according to a trends survey from Brookfield Global Relocation Services. The survey shows that 64 percent of global companies report sending more employees on overseas assignments in 2011, and 63 percent expected this upward trend to continue in 2012. Research for the report was compiled from 123 companies around the world, which, combined, manage a worldwide employee population of 6.9 million.
Companies reporting growth in international assignee populations jumped nearly 50 percent from 2011 and well beyond what has been reported in Brookfield Global Relocation Services’ previous three annual trends reports. The 2012 results indicate a return to activity levels not seen since 2007 suggesting that, regardless of regional economic woes, multinational corporations are mobilizing workers to fill skills gaps and develop talent, especially in emerging and developing markets.
Notably, assignment activity outside the headquarter country location continued to rise hitting 46 percent, an all-time high, and another sign that companies are diversifying their sources for talent and looking farther afield for new market opportunities. Many new locations were cited as top destinations for international assignments including Malaysia, Spain, Indonesia, Argentina, Kazakhstan and Colombia.
The right fit
Finding the right talent topped cost as the most common assignment management challenge faced by companies in 2011 and was cited as the second most important factor for success in the global marketplace. Even with the high general unemployment rates in many countries, the lack of technical and management skills remains the top reason for relocating employees. Additionally, employees with international work experience are more highly valued. Other findings include:
Twenty-one percent of all employees had previous international assignee experience (significantly higher than 12 percent in the 2011 report).
The 4 percent increase in the 20-29 year-old assignee demographic points to increased investment in developmental assignments for young, high potential employees.
Building international management expertise was the third most important assignment objective reported.
Forty percent of the respondents felt that employees with international work experience get promoted faster than employees without it.
The right formula
This year’s survey also shed light on the ongoing struggle in justifying costs and how to quantify return on investment. Findings include the following:
While there is a greater emphasis on measurements, none of the respondents rated their companies’ return on investment (ROI) as excellent; 22 percent rated their companies’ international assignment ROI as very good; 22 percent as good; 45 percent as fair; and 11 percent as poor. These are the lowest ROI ratings in the history of this report.
Fifty-one percent of companies required a cost-benefit analysis to justify an assignment – a 10 percent increase over the 2011 report.
Forty-three percent of respondents compared estimated with actual costs, 18 percent higher than in the 2011 report.
The USA and China held their positions as the top destinations for international assignments, with 20 percent of respondents listing the USA and 14 percent listing China as the top destination. Historically the USA, China and the UK, when combined as the top three destinations, represented 77 percent of the destinations. Now, however, when combined, they represent only 44 percent of the respondents’ top destinations, indicating that companies are sending international assignees to a more diverse group of countries than ever before.
For more information
A full copy of the report can be downloaded at http://knowledge.brookfieldgrs.com/content/insights_ideas-grts_2012
Study explores reasons employees depart
As the economy begins to improve, employers across the board are finding it more difficult to retain key talent – employees who are the strongest performers, have high potential or are in critical jobs. The Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Rewards study by WorldatWork, Hay Group and Dow Scott, PhD, Professor of Human Resources at Loyola University, Chicago, found that a majority of respondents (83 percent) think retention of key talent is “very costly”, and two out of three agree retention of key talent is a major concern of senior management.
Survey data was gathered from 526 participants, from a range of different types of organizations. Respondents reported that the number one reason key talent departs is to earn better pay elsewhere. Other reasons include a lack of promotional opportunities, the perception that pay is unfair and dissatisfaction with job and work responsibilities.
Dr Scott comments: “Talent wars are going to become intense, not just this year but for at least a decade, because jobs are becoming more complex and demanding, Baby Boomers are retiring and Generation X has far fewer people who can fill this gap, and other countries are retaining their most talented people with great job opportunities of their own”.
Focusing on retention
Tom McMullen, North America reward practice leader for Hay Group, says: “Top talent can easily compare the ‘deal’ or pay package they get from their employer with other organizations through Salary.com, Vault.com and O’net.gov, etc. If a company is to survive and hopefully thrive in the next decade it must learn how to recruit, develop and retain key talent”.
The most effective methods for retaining key talent are:
identify key employees and discuss with them their future opportunities with the organization;
pay key employees above the labor market; and
allow flexible hours or telecommuting.
The least effective employee retention methods are:
provide tuition reimbursement and other educational opportunities;
provide pay communications, including total compensation statements; and
assign mentors for key employees.
For more information