We are underpaid, Kenyan workers say in new survey

Delegates during the Talent Agenda Series Conference in Nairobi. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG
Delegates during the Talent Agenda Series Conference in Nairobi. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG  

Three fifths of Kenyan workers feel underpaid as opposed to 53 per cent for the rest of Africa, according to a new study.

The revelations are contained in the first pan-African study of employer attractiveness and talent attraction conducted by Global Career Company and Willis Towers Watson.

The study was released at the Talent Agenda Series Conference in Nairobi yesterday.

The two-day event attracted more than 100 human resource directors from various companies.

The research shows only 40 per cent of Kenyan workers feel they are fairly paid for work compared to 54 per cent globally and 47 per cent in the continent.


“Base pay, the ability to make an impact, learn skills, job security and enjoying a work-life balance are the cornerstones of a meaningful value proposition to attract talent in Kenya,” said Global Career managing director Alex Mugan.

In terms of opportunity, 41 per cent of employees feel they have development prospects compared to 48 per cent in Africa and 62 per cent globally.

“Fewer people feel they have access to training (36 per cent) versus global (56 per cent) and Africa (42 per cent). Fewer people felt good opportunities for advancement were provided, with 31 per cent in Kenya feeling well provided for against 39 per cent across Africa,” the study indicated.

Some 71 per cent of employees in Kenya rated training and development as very important and most want clearly defined career pathways.

Work-life balance is valued higher in Kenya than in any other African country and ability to make an impact is significantly higher ranked in Africa than in comparative global studies.

“Job security is markedly more important to locally based talent than to the East African diaspora.

“Mission, vision and values don’t make top five in Kenya, in fact, it’s ranked lower here than any other market,” said Mr Mugan.