Tag: employees

Research highlights retirement perceptions as Europe becomes more grey

According to new research by Alight Solutions, in collaboration with the University of Granada, 27% of European employees lack confidence that they will receive a pension when they retire. Furthermore, almost two-thirds believe their pensions will not be enough, meaning they will have to drop their standard of living.

Alight’s Retirement Perception Index was carried out amongst 2,400 employees in companies across multiple sectors from the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. The research highlights the state of retirement perceptions in the region.

The topic of employees’ trust in their state pension systems and interest in additional support for retirement planning is growing in importance, especially as persons over 60 are likely to account for 35% of the population in the region by 2050.

The research found that the lack of confidence in receiving state pensions was highest in Italy (38%), followed by Germany (32%) and Spain (30%), the UK (25%), and France (24%).

Dutch employees were the most confident because they had the best understanding of their pension systems.

According to the research, confidence levels differ regionally, depending on factors such as generation and gender. For example, boomers have the highest confidence in national pension systems, whereas Generation Z has the lowest confidence level among all generations.

Regarding gender, men showed higher mean values across all aspects of the index, indicating that men are more confident in the national pension systems and are more interested in employer-sponsored pension plans than women.

More than half of European workers know they need to make additional contributions but either cannot afford it or lack knowledge on where to invest. More than half of the respondents indicated that they would like to work for companies that can offer them professional advice on managing their pension plans.

Results indicate that UK employees are most interested in employer-provided retirement contributions and advice, and 29% believe they will have enough pension funds available to maintain their standard of living. Fifty percent of respondents believe they won’t be able to retire until after 66, which is when people can start claiming State Pension in the UK.

Ken Brotherston, CEO at TALiNT Partners made comment: “The issue of pensions has long been a ticking time bomb for many western economies and presents significant challenges for governments. On a more positive note, there is a growing recognition that a huge number of older people can still be econimically productive and fulfill meaninful jobs. Organisations like 55/Redefined are at the vanguard of this movement and deserve a lots of support.”

 

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Support must encompass all four pillars of health and well-being

A recent survey among 500 HR decision-makers in the UK has revealed that health and well-being support is essential in recruiting and retaining talent.

The survey, undertaken for Towergate Health & Protection, found that

  • 42% said supporting the health and well-being of staff is key to retaining talent
  • 31% said health and well-being support is a major factor in attracting new staff
  • 18% of employers said that insufficient health and well-being support impacts their ability to recruit and retain people
  • 26% of employers agreed that support for mental health had increased most in importance
  • 19% felt that the overall health and well-being package had grown most in importance

The research also indicated that the support on offer needs to be wide and holistic. Other important factors included:

  • Social interaction through work (11%)
  • Communication of support offered (9%)
  • Support for financial health (9%)
  • An environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy (8%)

The survey results, together with anecdotal evidence from Towergate Health & Protection’s client base, showed that while implementing a strong health and well-being programme is essential, communication of the programme must be wide and easily accessed and managed by employees and employers to make a difference.

The research also revealed that all four pillars of health and well-being – emotional, physical, financial, and social – are vital to adding the most value to recruitment and retention.

Debra Clark, Head of Specialist Consulting, Towergate Health & Protection, says: “The research supports our anecdotal evidence of the wider reaches of health and wellbeing support, and why it is so important that employers have a clear and well-communicated strategy. The wider the health and well-being support offered, the better the array of talent it will attract and retain.”

“Employees’ needs and demands have shifted dramatically since before the pandemic struck. We have all had a realignment of priorities, and employers need to match these if they are to attract and retain the best staff, which is only going to become more important.”

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Businesses called on to look at maternity pay policies and working models

The 2022 Parental Leave Study, conducted by Fertility Family, has found that one in five women are delaying having children due to work. The new study also revealed that half of new mothers need flexible working hours compared to less than two in five fathers. The belief is that flexible working hours would combat the increasing cost of childcare.

The study demonstrated that mothers struggle to balance work and family life after maternity leave. Twenty-four percent agree that maternity leave should last longer. And

As inflation hits new highs of 6.2%, 27% of women believe that maternity pay should be higher. In comparison, 15% of men want higher paternity pay.

The survey of employees at 116 UK companies also found that only 11% of mothers are happy with the parental leave policies at their companies and their company’s support of new parents.

The study also revealed that 21% of women would appreciate longer paid paternity leave for fathers. Fifteen percent of men feel the same. When asked whether working from home was a policy that new parents would appreciate, 46% of men and 44% of women agreed that it would.

With flexible working hours (45%) and remote working (45%) being the most popular wishes from both males and females, companies are called on to embrace employee-focused working models and increased maternity and paternity pay rates.

Gill McAteer, Director of Employment Law at Citation, commented: “Those who feel supported by their employers, and are clear about what their entitlements are, will feel much more comfortable making plans to start a family. Employees who are unsure of their workplace’s policy can often feel disengaged and stressed, which may lead to them putting off plans to have children as they feel like they are not ready.”

“Parental leave policies should be clear on employee entitlements and be available to everyone, with the aim of creating a supportive working environment. For employers looking to enhance their policies, they may consider adopting a family-friendly approach, with flexible or hybrid working, which would be well received by many of those who have families or are planning to do so.”

Lucinda Quigley, Head of Working Parents at Talking Talent, says: “The pandemic has led many people to re-examine their careers, futures and the way they want to work. Any companies not offering the right support and company culture could find their high-talent individuals eschew them in favour of more forward-thinking firms – which will be disastrous for long-term company success.”

“Now is the time for bold and honest conversations. Businesses must be ready to listen and create real change, especially given that the pandemic has transformed people’s thinking about the companies they work for, whilst also shifting family priorities.”

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43% set to quit jobs for improved working conditions

EY has released their 2022 Work Reimagined Survey, showing that 43% of employees are likely to quit their jobs, motivated by higher salaries, better career opportunities, and increased flexibility.

The survey canvassed over 1,500 business leaders and 17,000 employees across 22 countries and 26 industry sectors and found that employees have significant influence amid a shrinking labour market and rising inflation.

According to the survey, 35% of employees say that their main motivation for quitting their jobs is a desire for higher pay. This is likely due to record inflation numbers in many countries. Twenty-five percent are looking for career growth, while 42% believe that pay increases will address high staff turnover. However, only 18% of employers agree with this statement.

Last year’s survey found that flexible working arrangements were the biggest driver in employee moves. However, with many companies now offering some flexibility, remote work is less of a factor, at 19%. Seventeen percent say they would leave for well-being programs.

When looking at age groups in the various countries, the survey found that 53% of Gen Z employees and millennials in the US are the most likely to quit their jobs this year. In addition, across all sectors, 60% of employees with technology and hardware jobs are eager to leave.

Despite an improved outlook on company culture, many employees are keen to job hunt. In contrast, employers are less confident about company culture. Similarly, while many employees feel that the new ways of working increased their productivity, employers’ confidence in productivity decreased from 77% to 57%.

In looking at growing skills and the talent gap, findings among employers are:

  • 58% agree that it is important to have a strategy that matches talent and skills to business needs.
  • 74% are prepared to hire employees from other countries and allow remote work if their skills are critical or scarce.
  • 21% believe that improving opportunities to build skills will help address turnover.

In respect of flexible working models, the survey shows that:

  • 22% of employer respondents want employees back in the office five days a week.
  • Reluctance to work remotely among employees fell from 34% to 20%.
  • 80% of employees would like to work remotely at least two days per week.

The survey also examines whether new ways of working boost culture and productivity. It reveals that 32% of “optimist” employers have improved culture and productivity by ensuring that their leaders understand company issues, external practices, and strategies. Other drivers of success are hybrid work, investing in on-site amenities, enhancing workplace technology, and empowering employees.

Liz Fealy, EY Global People Advisory Services Deputy Leader and Workforce Advisory Leader, commented: “This latest survey shows that employees around the world are feeling empowered to leave jobs if their expectations are not met. As employers have increasingly provided flexible work approaches, higher pay is now the biggest motivation for changing jobs, particularly given rising inflation and available unfilled roles.”

Roselyn Feinsod, EY Work Reimagined Leader, commented: “We are seeing a top third of companies successfully navigating these divergent positions on pay, career opportunities and flexibility. They have moved from ‘resistance’ to ‘renaissance’ and that’s a win-win for their companies and their workforce. Organizations have to work to retain their employees, instill trust and provide a package that takes into account total pay, career path and flexibility to balance market concerns and risks.”

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Does your company suffer from toxic positivity?

A recent study by Leadership IQ, an employee engagement and leadership training company, found that an organization that pretends everything is fine or sends companywide memos avoiding topics that can’t be positively spun might be suffering from “toxic positivity”.

Toxic positivity in organizations is often seen when leaders avoid sharing or discussing the tough challenges they’re facing. The study showed that only 15% of employees believe that their organization always openly shares the challenges facing it. By contrast, 42% said their company never or rarely shares its challenges.

There’s a long-standing belief among many leaders that talking about tough issues scares people and worsens the situation where the reality is the opposite. The study found that if an employee believes their company openly shares the challenges facing it, they’re about 10 times more likely to recommend it as a great employer.

It’s not just sharing organizational challenges where toxic positivity appears, however.

In a complementary study, The State of Leadership Development, more than 21,000 employees were asked to what extent their leader responded well to hearing about problems. Disturbingly, a mere 26% of employees said that their leader always responds constructively when employees share their work problems.

Developing resilience

The key to developing resilience, optimism, self-efficacy, and a host of other emotional-wellness skills is to acknowledge reality, not to deny, avoid, or dismiss it. Wallowing in misery will, of course, increase negative feelings. But denying misery or tough challenges is even worse.

To avoid toxic positivity, leaders need to accept that their employees are not clueless and can’t handle reality. In fact, ignoring or dismissing reality is one of the fastest ways to undermine employees’ trust in leadership. Instead, leaders should acknowledge reality and then focus their efforts on developing and explaining plans to make that reality better.

“Toxic positivity is an excessive and distorted form of positive thinking. It’s putting a positive spin on all experiences, no matter how dire or tragic,” explains clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Burgio-Murphy. “For example, you could be experiencing toxic positivity when a friend or boss minimizes or refuses to acknowledge your negative feelings. Or perhaps they go further and try to spin your dire situation in a positive way, like ‘this is a blessing in disguise’ or ‘all things happen for a reason.”

Please share any newsworthy content with debbie@talintpartners.com 

 

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