Employees put most value on social aspects of work – report
(29 October 2008)
Companies looking to attract and retain talent would be well advised to focus on providing a supportive, respectful and friendly place to work, according to research by Durham Business School.
A survey of over 1000 managers and professionals based in the North East of England carried out with recruitment consultants Nigel Wright found that the five most important factors attracting people to companies and keeping them there were all about relationships and feeling respected. Eighty-five per cent of respondents reported that having a good relationship with colleagues was important to them; 81% said that having a good relationship with their boss was important. Economic values were also important. Receiving an attractive overall compensation package was rated highly for importance by 79% of respondents in their choice of employer. But it came only eighth in the list of priorities. Ian Scott Bell, head of marketing at Nigel Wright, said: “The research showed that in the war for talent a strong employer brand and perceived external prestige associated with a company are both important, but there are also other factors which determine success in recruiting and retaining the best people. “Making themselves attractive to the top talent can be a real issue for companies. We needed data to understand more deeply why some organisations are simply not liked by prospective employees. “This research by Durham Business School has shown employers the importance of meeting the basic human needs of their top people. The issue then is: How do you demonstrate that before someone comes to work for you? “Access to information is therefore a big issue for candidates. Some companies encourage their employees to blog about their working lives while others discourage it. The more open companies will be the more successful at recruitment and retention. “There is also a danger in employer branding that you overpromise in an attempt to attract the best candidates. That can be even more damaging.” The research was carried out by Prof Tom Redman and Dr Graham Dietz of Durham Business School. They looked at five key areas or ‘values’ important to prospective applicants. The order of importance placed on them by potential employees were: 1.Social value - the extent to which an individual is attracted to an employer who provides a working environment that is fun, happy, and provides a supportive team atmosphere 2.Economic value – the extent to which an individual is attracted to an employer who provides above average salary, an attractive overall compensation package, job security and promotion opportunities. 3.Development value – the extent to which an individual is attracted to an employer who provides recognition, self-worth, and confidence coupled with career-enhancing experiences and a base for future employability. 4.Interest value – the extent to which an individual is attracted to an employer who provides an exciting work environment, has novel work practices, and makes use of its employees’ creativity 5.Application value – the extent to which the employer provides an opportunity for the employee to apply what they have learned, and to develop others in a customer orientated and humanitarian environment.