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South Africans are some of the most hard-working in world

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New employment data shows that South African workers are some of the most hard-working in world, with discretionary effort levels double that of the global average.

This is according to CEB, a best practice insight and technology company.

Findings from the company’s latest Global Talent Monitor show that stalled economic growth in South Africa has prompted a steady rise in employees’ willingness to go the extra mile at work – including helping others with heavy workloads and looking for ways to perform more effectively.

The report found that 45% of employees in South Africa who go above and beyond are likely to stay with their employer for the next six-to-12 months.

Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from CEB’s larger Global Labour Market Survey, which is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries, including South Africa.

“Employee perceptions of available job opportunities are still fairly weak, which is not surprising given that economic growth remains low. However, savvy workers and recruiters remain poised to take advantage of opportunities, so companies should not take higher levels of discretionary effort for granted,” said Clare Moncrieff, HR principal executive adviser at CEB.

With S&P Global predicting economic growth of just 1.4% in 2017, South African employee’s expectations around annual bonuses have fallen, closing the expectation-reality pay gap to just 2%.

With the recent introduction of the national minimum wage, workers now place a higher value on the stability of an employer  ahead of the compensation package offered, which is why more than a third of South African workers are opting to stick with their employer, CEB said.

Despite rising effort levels and a more realistic outlook, South African workers are keeping their eye on the jobs market. With 52% of the workforce looking out for employment opportunities, South Africa retains the position of third most active job-seeking nation globally, behind India and Malaysia.

“Whilst workers are staying put for now, we know they are eyeing up other opportunities, so employers cannot afford be complacent about talent. Top performers and high potentials will be the first ones to jump ship as they have the highest expectation of career progression, and are most likely to be poached by other companies. Firms should target these segments to keep them engaged and productive,” Moncrieff said.

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