Managers urged to put all the cards on table

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 March, 2006, 12:00am

An overall picture of what Hong Kong employees truly want emerged from the Watson Wyatt WorkHongKong report, based on nearly 4,000 responses from 36 organisations.

These ranged from financial services to regulatory bodies, manufacturing and construction businesses with about half local and half foreign firms.

They want fair pay relative to other companies and management that communicates openly, as opposed to being mysterious, said Gabriela Domicelj, principal consultant with Watson Wyatt.

'They also want strong, trusted leadership who can motivate people, who can manage talent and change. Thirdly, they want internal career paths, options for changing jobs at their current employer and transparent promotion processes.'

Fourthly, workers want empowerment and involvement in decision making and to be encouraged to give suggestions. 'It's about respect. They want to be at the table. They want to work where strong performance is valued, but also to feel that poor performance is dealt with. Trust is a big problem here - employees are afraid of hidden agendas,' she adds.

According to one respondent: 'My company is too hierarchical. It's top-heavy with senior management making policies and ramming them down the employees' throats.'

When asked what help they needed, 45 per cent cited training in technical skills, while 40 per cent asked for computer training. Others sought training in leadership and people management.

'People want formal training in leadership. A second tier of training wishes included professional capabilities, such as coaching in presentation skills, time management and team building. Interestingly, only 14 per cent ticked customer service training,' says Ms Domicelj.