Europan work survey: success @ work  

"The European world of work” by IPSOS for Steelcase International 

Why do Europeans go to work everyday? European white collars want to meet or even exceed their performance objectives and improve customer satisfaction.

Schiltigheim, France, 26th November 2007 - Steelcase International, the EMEA division of Steelcase Inc., the global leader in the office furniture industry, disclosed today the first part of the results of a new survey related to "The European world of work”. Conducted in September 2007 by IPSOS Public Affairs, the study examined several issues such as the storage, comfort and ergonomics as well as success at work.The survey was conducted by interviews of more than 2400 European white collars from France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.

Who cares about money?
It won't come as a surprise to learn that the main motivation for people when it comes to their daily work is money. "I want to get my pay cheque" is mentioned as the first reason by 67% of all European white collars (66% for men, 67.5% for women). There are differences, though, according to the countries. Money seems to be really important for the Spanish: 75% of them mentioned it as the main reason. The Dutch, on the opposite, are only 56% to admit pay cheque as their first motivation. The biggest surprise may be that 17% of all interviewed people do not mention salary as one of their 10 main triggers to come to work.

What else, then? 48% of all interviewed white collars indicate achieving personal fulfilment as one of the main reasons. Not so much amongst the youngest (41% of the 18-24 years old) than the eldest: 55% of the 55-60 years old. Gender also motivates different reasons. 52% of the women talk about achieving personal fulfilment. Only 45% of the men do.

A pleasurable work environment is mentioned by 32% of European white collars as a motivation to come to work everyday. With 43%, Dutch are the one giving the most importance to a pleasurable work environment.
In a country where colleagues meet almost daily after work in pubs, it is not a surprise to learn that British insist on the opportunity to meet and socialize with their colleagues (41%). This aspect is not very important for the Dutch (18%). Italians are the keenest to achieve social recognition (23%) and to create new-to-the-world-ideas (15%).

Performance, objectives and rewards
The survey "The European world of work” conducted for Steelcase International also studies what "success at work" means for white collars. With 41% of European white collars mentioning it, “achieve a good work/private life balance ratio” is the top reason. 59% of the French insist on that aspect, much more than the Germans: 31%. To learn new skills or new knowledge comes second with 40%. It is mentioned by 48% of the Dutch while 45% of the Italians talk about meeting their performance objectives.

The British go a step further: for 43% of them, success at work means exceeding their performance objectives. But then a success should not remain hidden for Spanish and French, as 46% of them want to be rewarded and recognised by their peers. Just 15% of the Italians share the same approach. It is interesting to see that exceeding their performance objectives and be rewarded and recognised by their peers are tied equal at the third place and mentioned by 32% of European white collars.

The most keen to exceed their performance objectives are to be found amongst the youngest (26% of the 18-24 years old). But nobody is perfect: they also are the least dedicated to improve company's customer satisfaction (less than 4%)

Globally, men tend more than women to meet (20%) or exceed (17%) their performance objectives, to create new ideas (8%) and to improve company's processes (6%). Women, on the other hand, associate more often success at work with an improvement of company's customer satisfaction (10.5%).

Tell us what YOU did!
As a third aspect, the survey "The European world of work” conducted for Steelcase International asked European white collars to select the main indicators of their company's overall business performance that their work has significantly contributed to improving. 52% of interviewed people mention the level of customer satisfaction, 48% talk about an improvement in organizational processes, 36% a growth of company's business.

A contribution to the company's business growth seems to be more of a male objective (24% vs. 15 % for women), while women are more concerned by improving the customer satisfaction (23% vs. 20% for men).

But then again, we can see differences from one country to the other. The French are the most enthusiastic about improving customer satisfaction (55%), grow company's business (45%) and improve company's image and brand (36%). The German white collars are above European average for improving customer satisfaction and organizational processes as well as reducing company's costs.

Finally, amongst all European white collars, the Italians are the most interested by a development of the intellectual capital (22%) and an improvement of the corporate environmental performance (16%).