The largest obstacle to competitiveness among small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) is the availability of a qualified workforce, according to research. In 2007 Australian SMEs expect to:
Maintain current staff levels 53%
Increase hiring 42%
See a drop in employee numbers 5%
The survey of 1,200 SME leaders revealed retention of a skilled workforce was also a major issue for 100 of the Australian SMEs surveyed (50 per cent of the Australian sample).
Parents forced to miss children’s big days
FORTY-NINE per cent of Australian employers have been denying parents time off work to attend their children’s school and extra curricular activities. According to a survey of 1,675 people, 88 per cent of workers without children agreed that their colleagues should be given time off to attend events such as child’s first day of school, a concert or sports carnival.
US: CEOs enjoy increased bonuses
Annual bonuses of CEOs of large companies in the US have risen by 13 per cent. An analysis of 92 large companies whose CEOs remained in their positions in 2005 and 2006 revealed base salaries also grew by a more modest 4 percent to a median $1.1 million. For CEOs at high-performing companies, equity compensation nearly doubled last year to $31.3 million, while CEOs at low-performing companies saw their equity compensation increase by 13 percent to $25.3 million.
Source: Watson Wyatt Worldwide
Aussies not satisfied with bonuses
SIXTY-FIVE per cent of Australian workers were not satisfied with their annual bonus this year. The survey revealed that across Australia only 10 per cent of employees said they were very satisfied with the monetary recognition that they received, while 22 per cent said that they are satisfied. However, on a global scale, Australian workers were more satisfied as 10 per cent claimed they were very satisfied compared to 9 per cent globally.
Source: Robert Walters
Disabilities do not hinder work
NINETY PER CENT of people with disabilities rated average or better on job performance. Research showed that employing people with disabilities has a distinct, positive effect on staff and staff morale and provides evidence of workplace diversity. Moreover, staff retention rates for people with a disability were 72 per cent higher than for those without (saving millions of dollars each year in recruitment and training). A further 98 per cent of staff with a disability rate as high or higher than their co-workers in workplace safety while 86 per cent of people with disabilities rated average or better on attendance.
Source: Disability Services Australia
Executives avoiding retirement
FIFTY-EIGHT per cent of international recruiters have reported a rise in the number of executives changing professions when faced with the prospect of impending retirement. In comparing the number of job opportunities available today to re-careering executives versus a decade ago, the vast majority of recruiters (84 per cent) indicated there are at least the same number, if not more, opportunities. Motivators include insufficient retirement savings (13 per cent) and the need for personal interaction with others (13 per cent).
Source: Korn/Ferry International
Smokers more likely to take sickies
SMOKERS take almost eight days more sick leave than non-smoking co workers. The study, based on data of the absence for sickness among more than 14,000 workers between 1988 and 1991 revealed that while the average total of days taken as sick leave was 25, smokers took 34 days off per year on sick leave on average while those who have never smoked took 20 days and former smokers took 25 days.
Source: Free University Amsterdam
Record keeping set to cause issues
FORTY PER CENT of Australian employers remain unclear about record-keeping obligations under the amended WorkChoices regime. The survey of more than 300 organisations found 39 per cent of employers were unaware of their legal obligations under the legislation. The survey revealed employers anticipated record-keeping requirements would have a negative impact on:
Source: Drake International
Aussie companies to go more green
FIFTY-NINE per cent of Australians said local companies are not as environmentally friendly as they could be. Of the 1,509 respondents, 89 per cent said they would like to see their company doing more to help save the planet. Interestingly, 49 per cent of Australians say that a company’s environmental responsibility is a factor in deciding whether to apply for, or accept, a job. For those organisations that have taken this responsibility on board, techniques such as half flush toilets (60 per cent), skylights (20 per cent) and paper recycling (68 per cent) are being used.