Productivity linked to profit share – survey

9 Aug 2010

Almost two-thirds of Irish workers (62pc) believe they would be more productive if they were able to share in profits or have an ownership stake in their employer’s business, a new survey has found.

The findings were part of Kelly Services’ Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people across countries in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, including Ireland.

The survey also found 36pc of workers are currently in an arrangement where some of their pay is tied to performance targets. Generation X employees (aged 30-47) are more likely to be on some form of performance-based pay than those in the Baby Boomer generation (aged 48-65) and Generation Y (aged 18-29), the survey showed.

However, of those not receiving performance pay, more than a third (42pc) say they would be more productive if they had their earnings linked to performance outcomes.

Additionally, the survey found there is strong support for employers to take a greater role in improving the health of their workforce, with almost half (49pc) of workers surveyed saying employers should actually provide incentives to encourage a healthier lifestyle for such changes as quitting smoking, losing weight, or taking up exercise.

“Many employees are actually quite comfortable about some element of their compensation being tied to their individual or group performance,” said Karen Power, Kelly Services’ operations manager in Ireland. “This indicates that many are confident in their ability to perform their jobs well and believe they can share in the rewards of improved workplace productivity.

“Interestingly, we are also seeing a real groundswell of opinion urging employers to not only support, but to actively promote healthy employees and healthy workplaces, something that can produce a positive outcome for employers and employees alike.”

Looking specifically at Ireland, the survey revealed that those industries with the highest rates of performance-based pay were transport/distribution, IT, financial services and manufacturing.

Aside from salary, the benefit that rates most highly with employees is training, followed by health benefits, flexible hours, retirement benefits, and vacation or personal time-off.

Some 82pc of Irish workers surveyed also said that employer-provided health initiatives should be part of their employment package. The employer-provided health benefit that is most attractive is health insurance, followed by gym access or discounts, onsite health screening, a smoke-free environment, and corporate exercise programmes.

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