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The books may balance but expectations don’t

Aug 24th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News, Uncategorized

WORK ethic or a balance between work and lifestyle – which one matters most?

A worldwide survey accounting employers and employees shows they have clashing viewpoints over what they believe is most important in a job.

The illustration below shows what accounting employees want in their work:

The employers think work ethic is the top priority, while their workers want balance.

“Employers encourage staff to work late by providing meals and taxis home, while employees will try to get out of the office as early as possible regardless of the benefits offered for staying late,” says Marcus Emery, a tax manager at FNZ.

The remuneration study – organised by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants as part of a global survey which drew over 9000 replies – asked respondents to list their top three considerations when looking at a job offer or (employers) trying to lure an employee into a role.

More than 60% of the 5547 NZ employees who responded said a “work/life” balance was a priority to them when considering a new position, in contrast to fewer than 10% of employers when offering a job.

After work/life balance, employees chose earning potential.

“It means they want to get paid lots of money for doing not very much,” said one spectator at a results presentation held by the institute in Wellington.

Asked the most important qualities they look for in a new employee, 58% of the 4608 NZ employers ranked work ethic in their top three, with 28% putting it at number one. 

Employers also had to rank the top three offerings they used to attract employees.

Top choice was organisational culture (just under 40%), followed by an even spread between earning potential, career advancement and training and development opportunities (slightly above 20%). 

There were murmurings at the presentation that this represented the current mindset of Generation Y, but the results analysis did not allow age comparisons.

“Younger people often expect to be compensated immediately for going above and beyond and working long hours, where older people see this as part of the job,” says Marcus Emery.

The remuneration survey, in addition to looking at what employers and workers felt was important in a job, examined a number of other parts of the accounting industry, including pay scales with relation to area, age, role and gender.

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is a journalism student at Whitireia who likes nothing more than a good scoop. Except for maybe a double scoop.
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