Dream Employer list highlights need for competitive pay
21 September 2011 8:25am
Economic conditions mean that prospective employees are more likely to value an attractive pay packet over a company's brand or culture when considering where they'd like to work, according to a new report.
The Dream Employers 2011 study, by Insync Surveys, RedBalloon and Drake International, found that pay, benefits and conditions were the biggest motivating factors behind respondents' choice of ideal employers, with 38 per cent nominating it as one of their top three reasons for choosing a particular organisation (up from 27% last year).
(The report explains the change as driven by the economy, and economist Saul Eslake says it "gel[s] with other evidence that people are becoming more anxious about their finances in the face of rising costs of living, increased taxes, fears of higher interest rates, and declines in personal wealth...".)
Some 37 per cent of the study's 7,157 respondents said work/life balance made their top three (up from 28%), while work culture came in third with 36 per cent of votes (down from 39%).
Last year's top factor, company reputation, was nominated by only 27 per cent of respondents, down from 41 per cent in 2010.
While their "dream employer" lists were virtually identical, there were important differences between men's and women's motivations for choosing them, the study found.
The results showed stereotypical gender preferences in that men were more likely to want to work in the automotive, sports and construction industries, and women in travel, healthcare and with animals.
Dr Karen Morley, co-founder of Gender Worx, said the results confirmed that organisations that want to achieve a better gender balance should:
ensure the CEO demonstrates inclusion and articulation of its benefits;
promote an integrative and inclusive culture; and
explore the biases that limit acceptance of difference.
In response to the finding that men prioritise pay, benefits and conditions over workplace culture (which is favoured by women), Morley said: "This finding echoes longstanding research that shows that women are more likely to define career success in terms of intrinsic rewards such as personal achievements, professional development and the achievement of work/life balance, while men are more likely to define career success in terms of higher salaries, promotion and achievement of status symbols. And that's a paradox, because these different motivations mean that women end up often being paid less, and knowing you get paid less than the people around you lowers morale, which negatively impacts engagement."
Only 45 per cent of the study's employed respondents said they were satisfied with their current job, and the biggest gripe was their employers' "systems and processes".
Some 41 per cent of respondents nominated this aspect of work in the top three things they wanted to change, followed by communication (39%) and rewards and recognition (38%).
On the topic of communication, Insync Surveys CEO James Garriock says employees value being respected and informed about things that matter to them. "Being included in decisions is empowering. Effective communication sends the message that an organisation cares about and is committed to employees, which is the single biggest driver of engagement."
2011 Dream Employers
The Australian Dream Employers list for 2011 comprises:
The Walt Disney Company;
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