Work Content Most Important for Attracting Public Sector Workers

February 15, 2008 ( - The Segal Public Sector ROW (Rewards of Work) Study found that career opportunity and work content were the most important job aspects for employees under the age of 40.

The study report said 77% of younger employees ranked these two aspects as “very important” or “extremely important.” Segal conducted the study to determine what public sector employers needed to offer to attract new workers as the baby boomers retire and to retain skilled employees as part of a phased retirement program.

Of the five rewards of work – affiliation, work content, career, benefits, and pay – younger employees rated pay the lowest in importance, with 50% ranking it as “very important” or “extremely important,” the report said.

Workers over age 40 also rated work content as having the highest importance, but benefits ranked second. Not surprisingly, when drilling down to specifics of each reward of work, the over 40 age group placed the most importance on the level of retirement benefits.

Overall favorability ratings for the five rewards of work showed younger workers view their current jobs more favorably than do workers over age 40. Employees under age 40 were noticeably more satisfied with pay than older workers, but were less satisfied with how pay and performance are related in their organizations, according to the report.

When asked about specific qualities of the affiliation ROW, the study found younger workers were more likely than older workers to feel their organization really cares about their well-being (62% v.47%).

Segal provides employers with a framework for using ROW to attract and retain skilled employees.

The report is here .