FORTY-SIX per cent of US and Canadian employers are planning to spend more money on training. A survey of 580 North American employers also found that 51 per cent also planned to spend more on career development. The most pressing challenges for employers with respect to workforce and rewards strategies reported were:
Attracting and retaining the right talent 88%
Engaging employees 76%
Keeping total rewards costs affordable/sustainable 74%
Other areas in which employers plan to increase spending are non-cash recognition (33 per cent) and work-life balance (32 per cent).
International aspirations for young accountants
FORTY-THREE per cent of young Australian accountants plan to travel overseas in the next two years. A survey of 680 accountants aged between 21 and 30 years old found that of those intending to go overseas, 50 per cent were male and just less than half were younger than 25 years old. The most popular destination was the UK at 66 per cent. Victoria had the highest number of young accountants wanting to work overseas (51 per cent), followed by Western Australia (44 per cent).
Source: Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
Ageism an issue for the young
EIGHTY-NINE per cent of Australian workers believe younger employees can be unfairly stereotyped or taken less seriously in the workplace because of their age, regardless of their skill level or experience. Only 45 per cent of workers over the age of 45 agreed. Fifty-three per cent of 18–24 year old workers said they’ve personally witnessed an incident where either themselves or a colleague had been treated unfairly because of their younger age. Meanwhile, 35 per cent of all respondents reported seeing or experiencing incidents of unequal treatment towards younger employees.
Top management talent a major concern
FINDING QUALIFIED managerial talent and top management succession have become the dominant people issues for US CEOs. A survey of 769 CEOs from 40 countries has also found that CEOs in Asia ranked finding qualified managerial talent as their top concern (39 per cent). The survey also found that CEOs from less successful companies felt more pressure from the costs of healthcare benefits (18 per cent) than CEOs from more successful companies (10 per cent).
Source: The Conference Board
Male secretaries on the rise
EIGHTY-SEVEN per cent of Australian employees believe there should be more male secretaries in the workplace. The survey revealed that most Australians (59 per cent) have encountered a male secretary in their current or previous workplace. In the banking and finance sector, 28 per cent revealed they have male secretaries, executive and personal assistants in their ranks. The media, advertising and entertainment industry followed with 18 per cent, closely followed by the IT and HR sectors.
US: Employers to think about healthcare coverage
UP TO 60 per cent of privately insured workers in the US (120 million people) will be enrolled in some form of high-cost health plan by 2020. More than 15 per cent of privately insured were already enrolled in a high-deductible health plan - including coverage acquired through an employer or individually. Calls for mandatory coverage may force more employers and individuals to buy high-cost plans, which may not improve access to care. As employer coverage declines, the number of uninsured people in the US grew nearly 5 per cent from 2005 to 47 million in 2006, according to data from the US Census Bureau.
Source: Booze Allen
Executives make poor management decisions
SIXTY-ONE per cent of executives characterise management decision-making at their firms as moderately efficient or worse. This figure climbed to 72 per cent for large firms, and the following issues were cited as the main reasons behind poor decision-making by executives:
Faulty, inaccurate or incomplete data 56%
Large volumes of data 46%
Timeliness of information 10%
The survey also found that senior management decision-making is informal and unstructured at 55 per cent of companies, with executives tending to consult others on an ad hoc basis.
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
US: Email mishaps
TEN PER CENT of US workers said their organisation had used email as a means to sack employees. A survey of 752 workers in full- or part-time employment revealed 17 per cent of respondents had received emails had been used to avoid other difficult communications. Other inappropriate emails received included those that were humiliating and forwarded to others (5 per cent), politically incorrect (23 per cent), sent in anger (15 per cent) and flirtatious (13 per cent). The survey also found 19 per cent of respondents said they had sent an email to the wrong person.
Source: Harris Interactive
Innovation needs more than money
Australasian organisations are facing declining innovation performance, despite spending 37 per cent more on innovation the previous year. A survey of 271 organisations in Australia and New Zealand found the following were seen as barriers to innovation:
Lack of dedicated personnel 41%
Insufficient budget 38%
Resistance to change 13%
Other barriers included short-term mind sets (10 per cent), while the two biggest drivers of innovation were the need to meet customer demand (40 per cent) and increase operational efficiency (25 per cent).