. . .what they've wanted throughout a couple of decades of surveys:
- Interesting, challenging work
- Recognition and rewards for accomplishments
- A chance for fast career growth and advancement
These were the top employer attributes cited in an Accenture survey of 4,139 job seekers in 21 countries. FYI: Those surveyed included both entry level and experienced workers in North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. The results published by Accenture are shown on the chart.
Does this mean that money and benefits don't matter?
No. Like vitamins,when it comes to compensation we all have our minimum daily requirement. Once that is met, though, professional satisfaction and recognition for a job well done make a job--and therefore an employer--more or less appealing.
Most large corporations peg their compensation packages to some percentile of the competition. They'll decided to be in the top 15%, 25%, 30% and so forth. Job seekers can find that information either before or during the interview process. Once they realize their basic financial needs can be met, they start moving to the intrinsic motivators to make their decisions.
This is why good managers are so important!
If you look at most of the characteristics, the manager is the mediator of satisfaction. Challenging assignments, professional development, rewards and recognition, approachable, team orientation--all of these are within the purview of managers. That means that managers need to be tuned in to this kind of information. At least one of the implications for companies is to develop managers who can deliver the kind of "people focus" as well as financial and other metrics. I know that's nothing new. But neither are the results of the survey. Which is why I'm thinking that we still have a way to go with applied management.
Another thought: job design.
If challenging work is ranked so high then maybe part of the solution is to look at how work is designed and what can be changed, expanded, or even narrowed. As a manager, any time I had people in the right roles with the right mix of challenges they required less direct supervision but more recognition. Finding the right recognition is a pleasant price to pay.
Take a look at the complete results. Job seekers and employers, what do you think?
Chart source: Accenture