14 May, 2019

Kenya, Nairobi

  • Mercer’s latest study found meaningful gaps between what workers in these emerging cities value when it comes to deciding where to live and work, and what employers believe are important to them.
  • 83 percent of employees in Nairobi, Kenya fear they may lose their job in the next 5 years

Nairobi, Kenya, 14th May 2019 - Mercer a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career recently met with thought leaders to have an open dialogue about capitalizing on the growth trajectory of emerging megacities in Africa. Mercer presented its findings at an exclusive event, which took place recently at Radisson Blu Upper Hill of Nairobi, Kenya.

Nairobi is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa with a high youth population that forms the majority of the workforce. Thus, it is important for companies and multinationals in mega cities like this to focus on ways to accelerate talent strategies while meeting the needs of workers.

According to Deon de Swardt, Principal Consultant at Mercer, "Not only is it important for employers to promote the transformation by implementing measures that will make an impact and change the mindset, there is also a need to lead multi-stakeholder efforts to address pain points at scale.”

Some of the other highlights of the dialogue centered on guiding principles for rethinking the workforce of the future and how this is critical in building a more sustainable business.

While commenting on the role of artificial intelligence in securing economic opportunities and growth, Pearly Siffel, Strategy, Geographic Expansion Leader International at Mercer explained that "While technology is important, putting people first will better enable organizations to succeed.”

The People First Emerging Megacities report is 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 study also gives a critical insight into the motivations of workers against the backdrop of fierce competition for highly-skilled talent.

Employers believe workers prioritize money and other work-related factors when deciding whether to switch cities. But this isn’t the case. Most important to workers are the human and social factors essential to the quality of life. These include overall life satisfaction, security and safety, and proximity to family and friends. Although workers do rank total income as third, it is the only money factor in the top five.

The study found that 89 percent of workers in Nairobi, Kenya say that having employer-subsidized health and wellness programs is very important to them. 67 percent of workers also rank security, safety, and lack of violence as the top reason to stay in or leave their city.

Although the study’s 15 current and future megacities share some commonalities, some key differences were revealed. Based on performance against the four pillars mentioned above, 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.

Overall, employers believe career and work opportunities, work satisfaction, and pay and bonuses are the most important to their workforce. But even though these elements may be important to attract and keep workers, businesses must also tailor their solutions, approaches and communications to the individual needs of each group to ensure they feel empathetically understood. For instance, white-collar professionals and graduates are particularly interested in career advice and thrive on interventions such as talent assessments.

About Mercer

Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 75,000 colleagues and annualized revenue approaching $17 billion, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, which advises individual and commercial clients of all sizes on insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions; Guy Carpenter, which develops advanced risk, reinsurance and capital strategies that help clients grow profitably and pursue emerging opportunities; and Oliver Wyman, which serves as a critical strategic, economic and brand advisor to private sector and governmental clients. For more information, visit www.mercer-africa.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn Mercer Africa.