PwC survey illustrates importance of evolving career attitudes for Channel Islands businesses

Posted: 22/05/2013

Businesses in the Channel Islands need to adapt their recruitment and retention strategies to align themselves with the changing attitudes of a new emerging workforce, according to a study completed recently by PwC.

PwC's ‘NexGen' survey highlights that the ‘millennial' generation of workers (those born between 1980 and 1995) would choose workplace flexibility, work-life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards, something that Evelyn Brady, Partner at PwC Channel Islands, believes businesses in Jersey and Guernsey should pay close attention to.

The comprehensive survey of over 44,000 workers, the largest global generational study ever conducted, was undertaken in conjunction with the London Business School and the University of Southern California. It compares attitudes towards careers and the work experience among millennials and non-millennials (those born before 1980) at the same stage of their careers.

The study reveals that millennials are more likely to stay in a job if they feel supported and appreciated, are part of a cohesive team and have greater flexibility over where and how much they work. This contrasts with the non-millennial generation, who place greater importance on pay and development opportunities.

Flexibility is seen as a key priority for both generations of workers, with 21% of female and 15% of male respondents saying they would give up some of their pay and delay a promotion in exchange for more workplace flexibility. However, unlike past generations who were willing to work beyond their contracted hours in the hope of rising to higher-paying positions later on, millennials are largely unwilling to give up a good work-life balance.

Other headlines from PwC's NextGen study include:

• Work/life balance: 71% of millennials (vs. 63% of non-millennials) say that their work demands significantly interfere with their personal lives
• Globally-focused: More than one third (37%) of millennials would like the opportunity to go on a global assignment (vs. 28% of non-millennials)
• Transparent: Almost half (43%) of millennials say they have discussed their pay with co-workers (vs. 24% of non-millennials)
• Commitment: millennials are equally as committed as non-millennials.

PwC's Channel Islands firm sees the study as carrying important messages for the islands, as they continue to target talented local graduates back to join the workforce.

Evelyn Brady, Partner, PwC Channel Islands, said:

“While this is a global study, as international finance centres it's important for the Channel Islands to understand the expectations and aspirations of our local graduates, particularly as the millennial generation is projected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. Having educated and skilled up our local talent, we really want to attract them into our workforce. Both employers and government must continue to understand and adapt to meet the changing attitudes of this new emerging workforce. They should be a key consideration when it comes to both HR policy-making and employment legislation.

“Overall, the study shows millennials want more from their jobs than just financial reward. In light of the findings of the NextGen study, in order for organisations to be an employer of choice they should be considering the flexibility of their work culture, how they leverage technology and how they can build a sense of community. Companies will need to free themselves from the traditional ‘nine to five' mentality and re-think how they attract and reward their workers. Otherwise they risk losing the best talent to other companies either on or off island.”

Mrs Brady says the key to success for PwC in the Channel Islands, has been understanding what is important to each individual and being flexible so that client and employee needs can be met:

• Some employees are allowed to take periods of extended leave, planned around client needs, allowing them to pursue sporting or travel ambitions or participate in philanthropic projects such as VSO, with the security of retaining their job.
• The firm invest in very comprehensive ‘back to work' support for new parents which include mentoring, networking, discussion and information resources to provide advice with practical parenting issues and help maintain the right work-life balance.
• The firm has a flexibly working policy including allowing home working, to empower and facilitate career progression whilst meeting work life balance needs.
• PwC also encourages international cycles of experience and currently have over 20 staff who have completed medium to long term secondments to other firms within their global network, allowing them to build a global perspective into their work and personal experience and credentials. The individuals have then returned to the island, bringing back valuable expertise for the finance industry.

Add a Comment

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Submit

It's easy to stay current with

Just sign up for our email updates!

Yes please! No thanks!