Wed, Nov 07, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Survey points to growing problem in retaining staff

TOP TALENT A report by Watson Wyatt stressed the need for employers to recognize the value of balancing life and work to attract and retain workers

By Joyce huang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH DPA

Taiwan shares other Asia-Pacific countries' difficulty in attracting and retaining top performing employees -- a common challenge facing global companies when economic growth outstrips the supply of skilled staff, a report said yesterday.

The consulting firm Watson Wyatt's 2007/2008 Global Strategic Rewards Report, based on company surveys, said that two-thirds of the Asia-Pacific firms queried had difficulty retaining top employees compared with slightly more than half in other regions.

talent drain

However, Rocky Yang (楊基寬), president of 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行) in Taiwan, said yesterday he believed that less than two-thirds of local companies had suffered from a drain of top managerial talent.

"Top management talent tend to jump ship only when they feel they are less recognized by companies or when their value at certain companies are not maximized," Yang said, adding that top CEOs were often performance-oriented.

Yang said that changing jobs had less to do with salary levels or pressure as it was "the destiny of top management talent to face greater pressure than the day before on a daily basis," slightly disagreeing with Watson Wyatt's report, which he said simplified the reason top management usually chose to leave.

The report found that employees and employers had different views on what keeps staff in their jobs. Employees ranked stress levels as the main factor while bosses cited base pay.

"Employers globally need to recognize the value of having satisfactory levels of stress and work-life balance," Russell Huntington, regional practice leader, said in the report.


"When employees are satisfied with these, organizations will see a return in terms of retention," he said. "Satisfied employees are also more likely to be advocates for their employers."

The report added that it would take a 25 percent pay hike to lure satisfied employees to another organization.

Watson Wyatt's survey of 946 companies in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the US and Canada also said that most firms needed to make their retention efforts more effective.

"Employers need to take a more holistic view of the employee value proposition so they can improve talent acquisition, increase employee engagement and reduce turnover," Huntington said.

Yang agreed, saying the package deals for Taiwanese companies to steal top talent from competitors have to be competitive and attractive and are likely to include a minimal 20 percent salary increase.

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