A new study has found that employees in Nairobi rank affordable housing as the most important factor when deciding where to live and work. This is followed by safety and security, air and water quality, transportation and traffic, and finally life satisfaction.
Entitled “People first: driving growth in emerging megacities” the study surveyed 7,200 workers and 577 employers in 15 current and future megacities across seven countries, namely Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco and Nigeria. As defined by the United Nations, these 15 cities will have a combined population of 150 million people by 2030 and share strong, projected GDP.
Kenya ranks affordable housing, safety and security, and air and water quality as the most important factors when deciding where to live and work
Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. has announced the results of an extensive study that examines the needs of workers in the world’s fastest-growing cities across four key factors – human, health, money and work.
The 15 cities included in the study have a population between three and 15 million people, strong projected GDP and population growth for the next decade, and more than $4 billion of foreign direct investment annually. The respondents were surveyed via a mix of online and face-to-face interviews from July to August 2018.
“With this in mind, governments and large businesses have a role to play in making cities more attractive in meeting the top needs of employees,” says Francis Omanyala, Associate at Mercer Africa.
The study provides critical insight into the motivations of workers against the backdrop of fierce competition for highly-skilled talent. It also provides practical advice for companies and municipalities to help them accelerate their talent strategies and realize commercial gains.
“There are unprecedented opportunities in growth markets, yet they come with inherent challenges. The rapid growth of next-generation cities sees them poised to leapfrog larger markets but, in order to do so, they need to attract and keep highly-skilled people,” said Martine Ferland, Group President at Mercer.
“We learned that employers misunderstand what motivates people to move to a city and stay there. Moreover, cities are not performing well when it comes to addressing many of the more human and social factors that are listed as important among key employee groups. This dynamic creates natural tensions between what people value most and a city’s ability to deliver,” Ms. Ferland added.
The study explored 20 critical factors across four people-based pillars – human, health, money and work. Respondents were asked to rank five factors, based on how important they were in affecting their decision to stay in or leave a city. The most compelling finding was that for cities and businesses to attract the right talent to do the work of the future, human and social factors are the most important.
Although the study’s 15 current and future megacities share some commonalities, some key differences were revealed. Based on performance against the four pillars of human, health, money and work, the cities were grouped into advanced, progressing or approaching in terms of whether they meet worker’s expectations. Advanced cities score well in all four factors, with a small-to-medium gap between workers’ expectations and the city’s performance.
Cities classified as progressing have a mid-size gap between expectations and performance. Nairobi is ranked among approaching cities which receive low scores across all four dimensions, with the biggest gap in expectations versus city’s performance, and the lowest general life satisfaction among the three groups.
“We believe one of the most important imperatives emerging from the study is the need for effective public-private partnerships to facilitate the necessary improvements,” said Mr. Anderson. “To accelerate progress at scale and create the environments in which workers and their families can thrive, and in order to underpin sustainable economic growth for everyone, companies and governments must work together to address the future needs of the employees they are trying to attract.”