Kiwi employers are a demanding lot

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A lot has changed in the workplace in the last five years including employers’ expectations. New research shows that almost nine out of 10 Kiwis feel their employers make greater demands on their skills and competencies than in 2008.

The Randstad Workmonitor report shows that demand on digital skills is even higher with 87% of New Zealand employees stating that more importance has been placed on their digital skills than five years ago. The demand of their social skills, education levels and experience has also risen.

Paul Robinson, New Zealand Director of Randstad told HRM Online while there may be some surprise with the numbers of workers reporting an increase of pressure, as a whole the result is not so surprising.

“Increasing productivity is a key challenge for most employers these days, and there’s a higher expectation for greater delivery from employees. This is why we are seeing the increasing demand on employee skills and time,” Robinson said.

Being aware of the demands being exerted on employees is the key to helping ease workplace pressure said Grant Sexton from Leadership Management Australasia.

Sexton previously told HRM Online this knowledge not only helps manage it but ensures it is not negatively impacting performance or productivity.

To best deal with workplace pressure, Sexton recommended that HR should:

  • Develop a clearer understanding of the pressures that all employees (including managers) are under and look for ways to relieve those pressures.
  • Explore avenues to reduce and minimise pressure by working collaboratively on strategies and approaches.
  • Identify how to manage personal pressure and, through better pressure management, demonstrate the value of reducing pressure to a manageable level.
  • Be prepared to review and discuss pressure regularly to ensure it remains manageable and acceptable at all levels.

Another finding in the report of interest to HR is an attitude shift towards the employer carrying more responsibility for the development of employees.

“A huge 86% of New Zealanders believe it’s their bosses’ job to ensure their skills and competencies correspond with the requirements of the job,” Robinson said.

Despite the findings, Robinson said up skilling was a “joint responsibility”.

“Employees need to play a significant part in looking after their own professional development to further their career. They need to put their hand up and look for opportunities to grow and up skill themselves at work. If you sit and wait for opportunities to simply fall in your lap, thinking its someone else’s responsibility, you might be disappointed.”

The report is not all doom and gloom - despite the pressure seven out of 10 workers are happy where they work and have a high level of job satisfaction.

And the country’s workers confidence of finding a comparable job within six months has increased to 68% while the overall fear of job loss has decreased to 15% and those with significant fear of losing their jobs has dropped to three per cent.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Kiwis are ambitious with 58% focused on getting a promotion, but the Danish are the most aspiring at 73%.
  • 91% of Kiwi employees say they will do anything to meet their job requirements, however more than a quarter (28) of employees fear they will no longer be able to meet their job requirements in due time.
  • 82% of Kiwis expect their job requirements to become more demanding in the coming years

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