A recent international survey reveals that morale among Hong Kong's finance and accounting professionals rank among the lowest of the 14 countries polled. The Financial Directions Survey 2009, commissioned by banking and finance hiring specialist Robert Half International, showed that a startling 49 per cent of Hong Kong respondents claimed that their company did not care about its people and that only 48 per cent of finance and accounting professionals got a sense of personal accomplishment from their work. This was much lower than Singapore (56 per cent) and Britain (65 per cent). Only 44 per cent of Hong Kong professionals felt fairly compensated while only 54 per cent believed their views and participation were valued in the workplace. Alarmingly, only 55 per cent of professionals in this sector were proud to work for their company, which contrasted starkly with Australia (73 per cent), Singapore (63 per cent) and Britain (68 per cent), suggesting that there was a high chance they would consider switching companies when the economy gets better. Completed last November by market research firm InSites Consulting, the survey polled a global audience of 3,556 professionals working in the banking sector from Belgium, France, Spain, Ireland, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Dubai. The survey suggested that many managers had lost sight of what their top talent needed to have job satisfaction. While this comes as no surprise, considering there has been a lot of negative activity in the sector in recent months such as job uncertainty, public scrutiny, and the tightening up of laws and systems, according to Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Hong Kong, 'now is the time to nurture the talent your company has and invest in your core team'. To come out ahead, Mr Morris said: 'Talent is a company's greatest asset to generate revenue growth and market share. If the company cuts their benefits or does not value them, they will go to the competitors. Good talent is always welcomed by competitors.' To avoid the costly error of losing top staff, Robert Half International issued a 15-point tip sheet pointing out mistakes typically made by managers supplemented by recommendations on how to rectify problems. The tips included: Show appreciation and recognition - don't take the attitude that employees are lucky to stay with the company; open communication; don't assume employees know everything, and never downplay or ignore rumours; don't cut company benefits and training because they are the best way to nurture future managers and increase productivity, so there is an advantage in the long run; and don't increase the workload after layoffs and budget cuts, but rather prioritise critical missions and delegate remaining tasks or consider temporary workers.