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UK – Managers in the dark, warns Adecco

20 March 2013

Failure to manage today's diverse workforce is a threat to employers, said Adecco in a new research report. This warned employers of failing to engage, motivate and retain their employees which could damage productivity and competitiveness of companies.

It said that employers must change their working practices if they are to appeal to employees with a much wider range of personalities, skills, interests and beliefs.

Peter Searle, CEO of Adecco Group in the UK and Ireland, said: “Employers in general face a serious set of challenges and cannot risk alienating any section of their workforce. They must instead appeal to and cater for a multitude of conflicting needs across different generations. Embracing and managing the expectations of today's younger workforce will be critical for future business success.

“With more women in the workplace, increased numbers of older workers, more part-timers and more migrant workers, modern working practices are almost unrecognisable from those in the 1970s. The report warns that many employers have failed to keep pace and, as a result, employers are managing in the dark.”

The report showed that half (47%) of those aged 34 and under, the so-called Generation Y, want a promotion every two years, compared to just a fifth (22%) of workers as a whole, and 16% expect a promotion every year.

Demands for flexible working are also greater among younger workers. Well over three quarters (84%) of Generation Y believe they have a right to work from home, compared to only two thirds (68%) of the over 55s.

Adecco called on employers to tackle these issues and recognise the diverse nature of their workforces and the differing expectations, especially regarding flexible working.

“Employers must continually reassess existing practices to ensure they are meeting demands for flexible working while navigating a complex set of employment legislation. As all these challenges collide, employers are currently faced with a situation where they are effectively managing blind,” said Mr Searle. 

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