Recognition at work more valued than pay: ACCA survey

  • Survey finds that finance pros usually least motivated by monetary rewards
  • To foster ethical behaviour, open-ness and leadership by example needed
Recognition at work more valued than pay: ACCA survey

A NEW report, Culture and Channelling Corporate Behaviour published by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), has found that recognition at work is the highest motivator, even outstripping monetary reward.
This is true regardless of age, industry or location, ACCA said in a statement.
The survey harnessed the views of almost 2,000 ACCA finance professionals from across the globe, and the report was compiled after roundtable discussions with 150 industry experts.
The results also highlighted geographical variations, including the desire to reach a more senior position as being a stronger motivator in Asia and Africa while having a more challenging role was most important for employees in the Americas.
“The survey highlighted some clear distinctions between employees across regions,” said ACCA’s head of Corporate Governance Jo Iwasaki (pic above).
“For example, in Asia and Africa, rules and procedures play a larger role than for respondents in Europe.
“However, the tone of corporate leadership is vitally important in channelling the overall culture of an organisation in any region,” she added.

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Recognition at work more valued than pay: ACCA survey 

The issue of performance management will be of particular interest to business leaders, according to ACCA.
Although half of the respondents conceded that performance-related pay schemes could help foster best performance, up to 70% of respondents in East Asia, the Pacific and Africa agreed or strongly agreed that people may exaggerate or otherwise falsify their performance measures to meet their targets, it said.
This shows the fine line employers need to tread when putting in place performance-related targets and the need for careful consideration when linking them to pay.

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Recognition at work more valued than pay: ACCA survey 

Fostering ethical behaviour
The survey report also noted that 74% of respondents argued that the creation of an environment where people can comfortably discuss any concerns was the most effective way of promoting ethics in an organisation.
This is supported by calls for unethical conduct to be punished (58%) and to reward ethical behaviour (55%) as effective means of fostering ethical conduct in the workplace.
Not surprisingly, there were calls for upper management to send the right signals by behaving ethically themselves, thereby reinforcing the idea of ‘walking the talk’ and not allowing double standards to persist.
“The survey results reveal there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy when it comes to building corporate culture and behaviour,” said Konstantinos Stathopoulos, Professor of Accounting and Finance at Manchester Business School and co-author of the report.
“Even though the role of leadership in setting the tone is highlighted in most responses, the survey uncovers significant differences in attitudes and perceptions regarding effective channels of corporate behaviour.
“These disparities are also intensified by differences in respondents’ geographic location, industry and characteristics,” he added.
This is the final part in a series of four reports designed to help boards understand what constitutes corporate culture and how functional behaviours at work can better be promoted, ACCA said. The report was co-funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council).
A PDF copy of the report is available for free download from the ACCA website here.
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