Global Talent Update – June 2024

EUROPE

Hungary’s labour market shows signs of renewed strength as the downward momentum seems to have come to an end. However, the road ahead remains bumpy as sectoral divergences persist and stubbornly strong wage growth raises the possibility of inflationary risks. As the Hungarian economy emerges from recession, the state of the labour market is improving somewhat at the level of the national economy. This could herald a sustained positive trend ahead.

The current 68% participation rate is an all-time high. Given that the unemployment rate for women is falling more dynamically, it is likely that they are the main demographic returning to work. The suspicion remains that livelihood issues are driving the return of families to dual-earner status. This may be facilitated by employer flexibility, with more flexible working hours and even working from home several days a week becoming more common.

In the coming months, the labour market will be shaped by two forces. On the one hand, seasonal employment will increase as summer approaches, which should help to sustain the slow improvement in interest rates. On the other hand, the slump in industry is leading to working time rationalisation in the face of falling orders. This mainly means more flexible use of working hours, but redundancies are already being made in some parts of the sector. A significant improvement in the Hungarian labour market data is expected in the second half of the year, provided that the favourable trends in the domestic market continue.

Read more at Hungary’s labour market shows signs of renewed strength | ING Think.

ASIA PACIFIC

Distinct cultural dimensions and work values characterize the differences between Western and Thai cultures. Western cultures prioritise efficiency, productivity and individual achievement. Conversely, Thai work culture embodies a set of values focusing on warmth, flexibility, and harmony. It’s marked by a collective ethos that prioritizes relationships and well-being over outright productivity. In Thailand, avoiding confrontation and maintaining social harmony are crucial. Direct warnings about mistakes are rare, as there’s a desire not to hurt someone’s feelings. Competition is not as pronounced; instead, doing one’s best within a cooperative framework is the norm.

In Thai work culture, communication tends to be indirect and nuanced. This approach is rooted in a desire to maintain social harmony. When expressing disagreement or offering feedback, Thai colleagues might opt for a more tactful or less direct method. This indirectness helps preserve respect and group cohesion, ensuring no one loses face during interactions. It’s a reflection of the emphasis on relationships and community prevalent in Thai society. Understanding this subtlety is key if you’re navigating the Thai workplace, as what isn’t said is often just as important as what is.

Direct criticism or blunt feedback is avoided as it can cause embarrassment and harm relationships. Instead, messages are conveyed in a manner that preserves the dignity of all parties involved. Understanding this cultural aspect is crucial for fostering productive working relationships in Thailand.

Read more at Navigating the differences between Thai and Western work cultures | Thaiger.

AFRICA

In Nigeria, nursing plays a crucial role in delivering healthcare services and improving health outcomes. However, the profession faces significant challenges, including inadequate resources, limited professional development opportunities, and infrastructure deficiencies. By addressing these challenges and investing in nursing, Nigeria can strengthen its healthcare system, improve the well-being of its population and trigger transformative enhancements in healthcare delivery, economic advancement, peace, and societal welfare.

Numerous global studies underscore the economic impact of nursing care, revealing that every dollar invested in nursing yields substantial returns in terms of improved health outcomes and cost savings. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that increasing nursing investment could lead to a nine-fold return on investment. However, in Nigeria, the potential of nursing to drive economic and health improvements is stifled by a myriad of practical challenges.

The lack of quality and patient safety standards in Nigerian healthcare presents significant challenges, including inadequate regulatory frameworks, limited resources, accountability gaps, and workforce challenges. This leads to patient harm, diminished trust, and economic burdens. Solutions involve strengthening regulatory oversight, investing in infrastructure and resources, promoting professional development, fostering a culture of safety, and engaging stakeholders.

Nurses play a crucial role in improving quality and patient safety through advocacy, education, adherence to standards, and collaboration in healthcare delivery. Investment in nurses enhances their capacity to deliver safe, effective care, thereby improving health outcomes and building trust in the healthcare system. By prioritising quality and patient safety and investing in nurses, Nigeria can create a healthcare system that provides equitable, patient-centred care to all its citizens.

Read more at State of nursing in Nigeria’s healthcare system: Unlocking the economic power of care | Nigerian Tribune.

SOUTH AMERICA

Colombia has initiated a significant reduction in the workweek, a policy set to evolve from July 2023 through 2026. This strategic decision marks a transformative shift in Colombia’s approach to labour, aiming to balance work demands with personal life. The process of workday reduction in Colombia began with the workweek being reduced to 47 hours from 48 hours. This step is the first in a series of reductions, targeting a 42-hour workweek by 2026. The gradual nature of this policy is designed to allow Colombian businesses to adjust their operations without compromising productivity and profitability.

While the workday reduction in Colombia is seen as a positive development for employees, it has raised concerns among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. The Colombian government, through the Ministry of Labor, is set to engage with unions to address challenges and ensure a smooth transition. The law also provides flexibility in work hours distribution and includes specific provisions for hazardous jobs and adolescent workers, prioritizing their safety and health.

While the concept of reduced work hours aligns with global trends, Colombia’s specific economic and technological context presents unique challenges. The potential for increased unemployment and economic strain are concerns that need careful consideration during this transition.

Read more at Colombia Advances with Workweek Reduction Initiative | Colombia One.