Understanding Brazil’s Workforce in a Troubled Time

Understanding Brazil’s Workforce in a Troubled Time

          
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Understanding Brazil’s Workforce in a Troubled Time

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    Given their country’s ongoing economic woes, it may not be possible for Brazilian companies to use compensation as a lever to motivate employees. The good news is that they may not have to.

    What Brazilian workers care about most on the job is being appreciated for the work that they do, followed by learning and career development, work-life balance, and relationships with colleagues and superiors. In the value that they place on “soft” versus compensation-related workplace factors, Brazilians are a prime example of a trend that has emerged globally. (See Exhibit 1.) In fact, nothing compensation related is among the top ten factors that contribute to Brazilians’ satisfaction at work, according to a joint survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and The Network.

    exhibit

    Felipe Tavares is a good example. He was relatively new to the workplace when his high score on a public-service exam earned him a job offer from a government bank in Rio de Janeiro. At the time, Tavares was working long hours in the treasury department of a private bank, a stressful job that didn’t leave much time for anything else. Tavares jumped at the government bank’s offer, which was stable, paid well, and—most important—gave him more personal time. Now 32, Tavares has married and started a family—and he has not sacrificed professional success, having been promoted several times. “It made all the difference,” Tavares says of his current work situation. “It just suits a married lifestyle better.”

    Our insights into Brazilian attitudes emerge from a global survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group and The Network in the spring of 2014. This year, amidst a struggling Brazilian economy, BCG revisited the survey data—which included more than 11,000 Brazilian responses—to develop a further understanding that might be useful to employers. We also conducted fresh interviews with a variety of workers in Brazil.

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