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HK workers want security

Published on Friday, 16 Apr 2010
Workers feel the recession has affected their well-being.
Kate Moss "has beauty but lacks charisma".

HK workers want security 

There is a gap in employee attitudes between what is desirable and achievable in the areas of job security, stability and career expectations, a survey has found.

According to the Towers Watson 2010 Global Workforce study, highest on the wish list of Hong Kong employees is a work environment that offers job security (76 per cent say it is important versus 51 per cent who say it is achievable in their organisation), stability (72 per cent versus 31 per cent) and the opportunity to rapidly develop skills (68 per cent versus 39 per cent).

Hong Kong employees have a relatively low level of engagement, do not have much faith in their leaders and feel a divergence between themselves and their employers in the management of their benefits and financial future. The biennial survey covers 22,000 employees across 22 countries.

Deirdre Lander, director of data, surveys and technology with Towers Watson Hong Kong, says many employees feel the recession has accelerated the decline of the traditional deal between employees and employers.

"Cost, risk and responsibility for employees' financial security, well-being and career development have shifted further to the individual," she says.


Top US firms slash jobs  

The Fortune 500's largest United States companies slashed a record 821,000 jobs last year, even as their collective profit soared more than three-fold to US$391 billion, according to the business magazine.

The companies suffered an 8.7 per cent drop in sales last year as the recession took its toll.

Wal-Mart Stores returns to the top of the list, which ranks US companies by last year's sales, after finishing second last year.

Lower oil prices last year knocked top energy companies, such as No2 ranked Exxon Mobil and No6 ConocoPhillips, down Fortune's list. Exxon topped last year's list and ConocoPhillips fell from No4. Reuters


Beauty carries a premium  

"Erotic capital" has been identified as being the key professional attribute of our times, The Daily Telegraph reports.

According to Dr Catherine Hakim's controversial article in the European Sociological Review, this "beauty premium" can have as big an impact on your career as your educational qualifications or background. Those with erotic capital can expect to earn 10-15 per cent more.

Erotic capital can be acquired. Although appearance may be a central element, good social skills and presentation, sexual competence and liveliness are also factors. "The point about erotic capital is that both sexes immediately warm to people who have it," Hakim says. "Kate Moss, who avoids speaking in public, has erotic capital purely from a visual/behavioural perspective, yet I wouldn't say she has charisma. To have erotic capital, you have to have substance."

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