WOMEN ARE not the only ones to face barriers when it comes to career advancement, according to a survey of more than 200 employees from diverse backgrounds in the UKand USA. Groups discriminated against on the basis of age, disability, religion, ethnicity and parental status said they experienced discrimination in the following forms:
Had to take high risks to get ahead 50%
Placement in risky positions without adequate support 60%
Harder to get leadership positions 81%
Source: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Shared services becomes more common
SEVENTY-FIVE PER CENT of companies have achieved more than 10 per cent savings from shared services. A survey of 130 shared services leaders around the globe revealed that other benefits of using shared benefits centres included increased controls, an improved ability to achieve process efficiency and quality data management and a better platform to execute successful mergers and acquisitions. Eighty per cent of the executives responsible for multifunctional shared service centres were CFOs.
US tops productivity ratings
AMERICANS WORK longer and harder than Australians, according to recent research, which found the average Australian, Canadian and Japanese worker worked two-and-a-half weeks less per year than the average American. The acceleration of productivity growth in the USoutpaced that of other developed economies, with $78,255 of value added per person employed in 2006. Based on value added per hour worked, Norway had the highest labour productivity level per worker at $46.55, followed by the USat $43.66 and France at $42.99.
Spring allergies aggravate productivity
HALF A MILLION Australians take time off work each year due to hay fever, while three in five Australians said their hay fever symptoms affected their work productivity and more than one in three confirmed they suffered from hay fever. Half of those who didn’t suffer from hay fever felt that it was not a valid excuse for lost productivity and a further 14 per cent said those with hay fever exaggerated their symptoms.
Aussie workers go green
EIGHTY-SEVEN per cent of Australian workers believe the government should offer incentives encouraging businesses to have staff work from home. The survey found that 68 per cent of full-time workers drive to work every day, with 30 per cent spending almost an hour to get to work.
Professional skills gaps on the rise
WAGES GROWTH increases of 1 per cent in the June quarter and a 4 per cent increase throughout the year are placing continued pressure on Australian companies experiencing further skills shortages. The upward pressure on wages could lead to wages inflation that will further impact on the critical shortages of professional skills. Research showed 91 per cent of employers predicted staff numbers to increase with demand for skills to intensify in the next 12 months.
Source: Michael Page International and Australian Bureau of Statistics
Excuses, excuses when it comes to fitness
MORE THAN 90 per cent of Australians are too tired, too cold or too busy to exercise. A survey of 1,143 people found 94 per cent of Australians were making excuses for not exercising, while 51 per cent made excuses for not eating more healthily. Furthermore, 91 per cent of respondents believed their fitness needed improving, while 80 per cent believed they should be eating better. About 40 per cent of people said the main barrier to achieving a healthy lifestyle was they did not know where to start or what to do.
Office support gets top pay
EXECUTIVE AND personal assistants are reported to earn salaries of up to $75,000 per annum. Advertising agents also came in at $69,943. Due to additional pressure and stress, other industries such as investment banking are known to offer even larger incomes of around $100,000.
Casuals in demand
THE NUMBER of employers adopting flexible staffing approaches has risen from 65 per cent in 2004 to 80 per cent in 2007. According to a survey of 1,700 employers, the most common approaches were temporary or contract staff through an employment consultancy (66 per cent) followed by employment of part-time staff (61 per cent), employment of casual staff on the employer’s payroll (52 per cent) and job sharing (18 per cent).
Middle East: In search of smoke-free workplaces
NINETY-EIGHT per cent of workers in the Middle East prefer smoke-free workplaces, favouring some form of smoking restriction. Workers preferred a complete ban for smoking inside the office (54 per cent) while 44 per cent believed designated areas for smoking should be set. Those most likely to smoke at work in the Middle East were:
Currently, 10 per cent of companies have no smoking restrictions in place. Seventy-four per cent of health organisations have a complete smoking ban while only 31 per cent of law firms have applied a smoking ban.