Workers rate training provision and good working environment most important
A recent study by the temporary work agency Adecco reveals that Spanish workers regard training, health insurance, financial subsidies for children’s education and pension schemes as the most important provisions offered by their employers. The study also finds that workers consider recognition by their superiors and a good team spirit among colleagues as the most essential aspects for a good working environment.
In December 2007, the temporary work agency Adecco presented the results of a survey on the main preferences of Spanish workers in relation to their working and employment conditions. The Adecco survey, entitled ‘What would you ask your company at Christmas time?’ (¿Qué le pedirías a tu empresa por navidad? (Summary, 67Kb PDF)), was conducted among 2,000 Spanish workers and covers different aspects relating to the workplace – such as salary, social benefits, working environment, and conciliation between work and personal life. The survey also reports on what Spanish workers hope and wish for their company in the next year.
Spanish workers’ preference for pay and social benefits
The survey found that 39.6% of Spanish workers would prefer a salary increase in the next year, while 38% of workers would welcome a regular revision of salaries. Some 10.1% of the workers surveyed would prefer to have a variable salary linked to company profits, while 12.3% of workers would opt for a performance-based salary scheme.
The survey findings also reveal that workers do not only regard their salary as an important factor contributing to their satisfaction with working and employment conditions. A staggering 89.5% of respondents identify training provision as the most valued aspect in this regard, followed by health insurance (73%), financial subsidies for children’s education (71.1%) and pension schemes (70.2%). Other aspects contributing to workers’ job satisfaction are luncheon vouchers, with 68.4% of respondents indicating that these are important or very important to them, childcare facilities (64.8%), provision of catering services (54.4%) and company mobile phones (51%). Measures such as a company credit card or special company discounts for leisure activities or at retail outlets are valued much less by Spanish workers.
Important or very important social benefits for Spanish workers (%)
Source: Adecco, 2007
Importance of recognition and a good working environment
It is generally accepted that a good working environment is one of the key elements for establishing and maintaining workers’ commitment and loyalty to the company. According to the survey results, Spanish workers identify recognition by their superiors and a good team spirit among colleagues as even more important in this regard, with 95.3% and 94.1% of Spanish workers respectively indicating that these aspects are important or very important.
The availability of required resources for carrying out their jobs is another element which 90.1% of the survey respondents consider as important or very important. Interestingly, aspects such as autonomy in decision-making and the existence of occupational risk prevention measures are believed to be ‘not important’ for a good working environment by 25.3% and 18.9% of workers, respectively.
Finally, a good work-life balance is regarded as being increasingly important among Spanish workers. The survey shows that 57% of respondents would prefer an intensive working day – without long lunch breaks, for example – while 37.8% of survey respondents would prefer flexible working times – with flexible arrangements for break, start and end times. A further 5.13% of workers would opt for teleworking as the best way for successfully reconciling work and family life.
Individual areas for improvement in working relationship
Another interesting aspect of the survey relates to the findings concerning Spanish workers’ relationship with the company for which they work. The survey responses were positive in this regard: workers identified the need to be a better colleague and the ability to recognise their own mistakes as two elements that could be improved, with 78.2% and 77.7% respectively of Spanish workers indicating these two elements as being important or very important. Moreover, 75.3% of survey respondents consider improvements in terms of future planning as important, while 71.5% of workers mentioned taking initiatives as essential. In contrast, only 60.7% of Spanish workers expressed a wish to improve their punctuality.
Iñigo Isusi, IKEI