This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 13, 2013

Creating a Culture for Today's Employees

In celebration of International Women's Day, the consulting firm Accenture released its latest report providing valuable insights into what employees of the three main generations (Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y---equally sampled) value from their employers. Titled, "Defining Success", this global research study resulted from surveys, conducted globally*, of over 4000 professionals to define "success" for today's employees. The implications are fascinating.

More than two-thirds of both women and men (70 percent) believe they can "have it all"---a successful career as well as a full life outside of work.

Work-life balance (56 percent) topped respondents' definitions of career success, followed by Money (46 percent), Recognition (42 percent), and Autonomy (42 percent). Other factors that are worth mentioning include Advancement (31 percent), Making a Difference (29 percent), Title (25 percent), and Status (24 percent).

In fact, work life balance is so important that more than half (52 percent) said they have "turned down a job due to concerns about its impact on work-life balance". A full 80 percent reported that having flexibility in their work schedule was extremely or very important to work-life balance. Yet 70 percent said "technology brings work into their personal lives". Employers simply cannot afford to ignore this critical area.

More than three-quarters (78 percent) agreed technology enabled them to be more flexible with their schedules

When asked what words describe a "good work environment", "rewarding" was cited by the most respondents (59 percent), while "honest", "flexible" and "interesting" followed at 54 percent, 50 percent, and 49 percent, respectively.

However by far, the most interesting statistics for us were in the area of expectations of tenure. Over 20 percent (22) were "Looking for another opportunity outside the company", while 11 percent are "Dissatisfied, but not seeking new opportunities" and 5 percent were "Looking to start their own company".

This study represents the first time that work-life balance has emerged as more important than career pathing and training and development. This shift is note-worthy. Employers that ignore these statistics do so at their own peril. The skills war is heating up and companies that do not pay attention to these issues will find themselves unable to attract and retain the people they need.

* Surveys were administered across 33 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

Special thanks to Nellie Borrero at for raising our consciousness to this important issue.

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