|1 in 2 willing to work for less pay|
|Wednesday, 18 March 2009 08:00|
Those in the baby-boomer generation - aged 48 to 65 - were more likely to make the sacrifice than the younger Generation Y crowd, aged 18 to 29.
The 'value of work' survey, a first by human resources firm Kelly Services, aimed to measure and reflect the value of work in building pride and self-confidence, said Mr Dhirendra Shantilal, the firm's senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific.
The online poll in December involved almost 100,000 respondents from 34 countries, including 3,600 from Singapore.
It found that while 60 per cent of Singapore's baby-boomers said they were willing to take less pay if they felt their work was meaningful, only 47 per cent of Gen Y-ers felt the same.
The Gen X group, those aged 30 to 47, measured at 55 per cent. The global average was 50.6 per cent.
Mr Shantilal said Singapore's baby-boomers were more inclined to take up meaningful work because they were 'generally financially stable' and were the main beneficiaries of Singapore's long periods of economic boom from the 1970s.
'But they have also weathered the storms of the nation's recession in the mid-1980s. Having gone through both stable and challenging times, they have adopted a more balanced and pragmatic view of life,' he added.
Some of the values of baby-boomers include respect, empowerment, challenge and growth. Mr Shantilal said: 'Therefore, they will go for meaningful, emotionally satisfying work, including volunteering their services.'
That Gen Y workers in Singapore are less likely to sacrifice pay is not a big surprise, as the goal-oriented drive of Singaporeans places emphasis on financial stability and independence, he said.
Banker Pang Kai Ying, 26, is one. 'I work just for the money, as nothing can substitute it. I find meaning outside of work.'
Others such as customer relationship manager Teresa Tay, 28, said she would settle for a lower wage if she found a meaningful job - but at a later age.
'When you are young, you really want go out there and blitz your career, before settling down to a simpler life later.'
The survey also found that while many respondents had reservations about the real value of their work, a vast majority performed their tasks to high personal standards.
About 84 per cent of Singaporeans said the work they perform gives them a sense of pride, while 78 per cent said it contributes to their self-confidence.
Mr Shantilal said the survey affirms that pay is not the only key factor to attract and retain talent, even in tough economic conditions.
'It demonstrates that we can motivate employees to take pride in their work, so they can contribute positively to their organisations.'
He also addressed the wider impact of the economic crisis on the job market, pointing out that regardless of age group, employees with 'the right attitude, who possess the relevant competencies...should not be overly worried about sacrificing pay even in challenging times'.
He added that employees and organisations alike should adopt the right attitudes and strategies during this tough period.
'Employees will have to accept that they would be required to work harder, that organisations will take certain cost-cutting measures during this difficult period and that some processes may be interrupted.'
By Jessica Cheam