The opportunity for self expression and the chance to contribute ideas are becoming prime motivators in the workplace, a worldwide study of managers reveals.
Research by Manpower in seven countries found 80-88% of managers believe employees are putting more emphasis on their need for expression.
Between 71% and 88% believe the ability and inclination of employees to contribute ideas for the good of the company is rising.
In Japan the trend is less pronounced, with 52% of managers noting more desire for expression and 55% seeing staff trying to participate more.
The increased need for expression is strongest in Holland, the UK and the US. Even in Italy, where the need for expression is among the lowest, eight out of 10 managers say it is apparent.
Holland has the strongest culture of participation, with 88% of managers saying the ability of their staff to intervene constructively has risen.
The US has the lowest level after Japan, although this is still considerable at 71%.
The survey of 2,000 managers in manufacturing and service companies, conducted between January and April this year, says managers are responding to the culture change.
In Britain, Germany and the US, managers see their main role as encouraging employees to think, while in France and Italy the aim is to get them to react.
Rewarding employees by giving them a stake in the company is becoming more fashionable, with most managers saying stock options and shareholding plans should be expanded. The proportion holding this view varies from 69% of managers in the US to 79% in Germany and France.
But only a minority of companies offer shares to all employees. The practice is most common in Britain and Japan, where three in 10 companies have share programmes. In the US the figure is two in 10, in France and Germany one in 10.
France is most likely to offer profit-sharing, which occurs in half of French companies. The US is second, with a third of companies offering it, followed by Holland with 30%.
Dominique Hammond writes for Personnel Today
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