Communication skills the most important trait for employees to earn a promotion
Hong Kong, 19 December 2012 – Four out of five (80%) human resources (HR) directors in Hong Kong said it was common to lose an employee or job candidate when their salary expectations are not met, according to new research released by finance, accounting and technology specialist recruitment firm Robert Half.
“As year end approaches, it is the time of the year when bonuses are paid and salary increases and promotions are announced. However, economic uncertainty remains a concern and many companies faced with budget constraints are unable to provide salary increases or bonuses, placing retention of quality talent at risk,” said Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong.
“Belt tightening is inevitable given the current market environment but there are things that companies can do to keep their staff motivated. In fact, it is at times like this when employers should have a sharp focus on staff retention and keeping morale high. Replacing staff is a costly and time consuming process that can disrupt daily operations and negatively impact productivity.
If there is a lack of budget to raise salaries, employers can still differentiate themselves by focusing on elements that increase the appeal of their workplace, such as flexible work arrangements or additional annual leave.”
Among the 100 HR directors surveyed, 91% found offering non-financial benefits to be an effective way to attract and retain employees. According to the survey, 40% of them have policies in place enabling staff to work remotely while 54% said they would consider allowing individuals to work from home.
Companies in Hong Kong are also making work more convenient for remote workers with 68% providing staff who need to work remotely with mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and iPads.
Earning a raise or promotion
When asked about the three most important traits for employees to earn a promotion, 51% of respondents cited communications skills, followed by leadership skills (42%) and work ethic (26%).
Regarding the best time and way to ask for a raise or promotion, Ms. Anand said, “The key is to make sure that when you deliver your pitch, you back up your request with data and specific examples highlighting your achievements and the value that you delivered to the company this year. In addition, let common sense dictate your course of action. For example, if your company recently announced that profits are down, it is probably not the best time to ask for a pay rise. Your boss will likely be more receptive to discussing a salary raise if the business is doing well or right after a successful project is completed.
“In general, the best way to bolster your case for higher compensation in any scenario is to take a tactful approach. If your manager rejects your request, don’t allow the discussion to get overheated. Instead, ask for a roadmap outlining the steps you must take and set out well-defined measurable objectives that, when met, will result in a financial reward,” Ms. Anand added.