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Highly Educated Workers Focus groups – May 2007. Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Method Focus groups are an established method within market.

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Presentation on theme: "Highly Educated Workers Focus groups – May 2007. Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Method Focus groups are an established method within market."— Presentation transcript:

1 Highly Educated Workers Focus groups – May 2007

2 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Method Focus groups are an established method within market research and are built around the discussion of up to 10 people about a certain subject. The results of focus groups are detailed and descriptive in regards to the views of the participants. Information of this kind are especially useful in marketing and when finding and working with new ideas. The goal is never to generalize from the results. The goal is to find a common or a red thread in the discussion that:  Gives indication regarding the particular situation.  Gives marketers insight into the mind of the consumer.  Creates an opportunity to walk in the consumers footsteps.

3 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Goals The main goals of the focus groups were to examine:  The way in which university educated workers whose origin is not Icelandic experience living and working in Iceland.  How can more support be put in place to ease the transition of workers with this profile to Iceland  In what ways more workers could be attracted to come to Iceland. The discussion frame was divided into a number of parts including:  Background information.  What are the best and worst things about living in Iceland.  Similarities and differences in terms of company culture and communication.  Support in place by companies and the government to help workers adjust to society.  Suggestions for improvements and suggestions for attracting people to Iceland

4 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Procedure Participants were contacted through Human resource managers from a list of companies provided by Invest.is. HR managers were sent an and those that responded provided a list of contacts for those employees that fit the profile. The asked for a list of people who were university educated and from a non-icelandic origin. The companies that were contacted and those who responded are on the next slide. The potential participants were then contacted by and asked if they would like to participate. Moderation of the group discussion and report writing was done by Gudny Isaksen (MA Psychology) Discussions were viewed by representatives from Invest.is and Alþjóðahús

5 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Responded Glitnir Kaupþing Orkustofnun CCP ISOR Línuhönnun Össur Lyf og heilsa Lyfja Skýrr Hitaveita Suðurnesja Lazy Town Iceland Ground Services Enex Flugstöð Leifs Eiríkssonar SPRON Sparisjóðurinn í Kópavogi Sparisjóðurinn í Keflavík Did not respond Actavis Landspítalinn Grund Eimskip Samskip Húsasmiðjan BYKO Sjóvá Heilsust. Suðurnesja Síminn Flugstöð LE NLFÍ Stoð Marel Orkuveitan Betware DECODE

6 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Participants The participants were split into groups according to family status. The first group included those who had a spouse and/or children living in Iceland with them. The second group was composed of people who are single. There were ten participants in the first group (family) and four in the second (non-family). There were some differences in the athmosphere of the groups with the first being very chatty and lively while the second being less open and not as lively. The distribution of countries was wide and in the larger group none of the participants in the family group shared an original nationality whilst two in the second came from the same country. Participants were from Britain, Poland, Russia, China, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Togo, United States of America, Colombia, Norway, France and Serbia.

7 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Participants – Family group/ Group 1  Male (37). Software engineer with children. Nationality: British. Citizenship: British. Lived in Iceland for 8 years.  Female (28). Civil/structural engineer. Nationality: Polish. Citizenship: Polish. Lived in Iceland for 2,5 years.  Male (33). Financial analyst with 2 children. Nationality: German. Citizenship: German. Lived in Iceland 6 years.  Female (32). Localization producer, online gaming. Nationality: Chinese/Icelandic. Citizenship: Icelandic.  Male (34). Economist, specialist in accounting with one child. Nationality: Togo. Citizenship: Togo – West Africa. Lived in Iceland 2 years.  Female (29). Chief accountant. Nationality: Russian. Citizenship: Russian. Lived in Iceland 4,5 years.  Male (39). Geologist with 1 child. Nationality: Danish. Citizenship: Danish. Lived in Iceland 7 years.  Male (38). Executive director of International Equities with 1 child. Nationality: USA. Citizenship: USA. Lived in Iceland for 8 months.  Male (31). Civil Engineer with 1 child. Nationality: Colombian. Citizenship: Colombian. Lived in Iceland for 2,5 years.  Male (28). Lawyer who works in international financing with 1 child. Nationality: Norwegian. Citizenship: Norwegian.

8 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Participants – Single group/Group 2  Female (35). Project manager – transmission lines. Nationality: French. Citizenship: French. Lived in Iceland for 4 years.  Male (36). Project manager. Nationality: Danish. Citizenship: Danish. Lived in Iceland for 1 year.  Male (24). Marketing manager, S & E Europe, online gaming. Nationality: Serbian. Citizenship: Serbian (although he has applied for an Icelandic citizenship. Lived in Iceland for 7 years.  Female (33). Geologist. Nationality: Danish. Citizenship: Danish. Lived in Iceland for 6 years.

9 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO The Red Thread

10 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO The Red Thread The participants are a part of a group that is not often heard. They are well educated and well paid and as such do not recieve much attention. In general the participants were very positive about the country. They stressed how the small size allowed them more opportunity and advancement. Networks are an important and integral part of Icelandic society. They are impossible to access both in terms of career and personal life. This needs to be addressed in the current business environment. Icelandic is a difficult language but most felt it necessary to learn it in order to understand the society and get closer to the people, perhaps necessary to access networks. Attracting new workers is largely based on getting information about available jobs and about the country to the correct population. Some Icelandic companies are very successful in assisting new workers in terms of adjustment. Participants discussed what helped and gave examples based on their experiences.

11 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO The Red Thread A few basic issues resurfaced repeadedly throughout the discussion in terms of attracting and integrating workers. Attracting workers – business level  Emphasize the option of having responsibility and opportunities. The small size creates opportunity not afforded in most other places. You can advance very quickly.  Emphasize good working conditions.  Make it easier for those who are interested in coming to work here to find a job before they arrive. The participants warn people not to come to Iceland without a job. Get the job positions out there.  Lay out a potential career path at the outset so that there is a feeling of where you stand. This relates to networks and the experience of being excluded from what is going on.  It was clear that for many safety, quality health care and good conditions to raise children mattered and these were raised as positives over and over again  Mention the widespread knowledge of English in Iceland

12 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO What are the best things about living in Iceland? Work environment Opportunity and advancement were seen as the major positives about the work environment.  More opportunity  You can advance very quickly  Business moves fast and progress is fast  Work culture is good, the atmosphere is good at work  Good working conditions  There are high salaries compared to other parts of the world  Good income

13 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO What are the worst things about living in Iceland? Work environment and communication Participants were focused on networks that hamper their ability to move within the company as well as affect their ability to move between companies.  Existing networks of people that you cannot get into  Limited work options because of the language  Networks to find work are impossible to access  Aversion to confrontation  Laissez faire attitude towards business  You need to prove yourself all over again  They can be uncivilized and agressive

14 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO The Red Thread Integrating workers – business level Offer internal support at the outset; the experiences of the participants indicated that the following was helpful:  Have a support system in place that could include a person who has experienced a move recently. Help is needed to obtain all the necessities of life. This includes how to find a doctor, to buy a car, get insurance etc.  Assist them in creating their own networks. They experience a very closed system of networks that is impossible to break into. Participants described a willingness to network with others in the same position and some felt it was helpful to be able to connect with others who speak their language within the company.  Offer in house Icelandic lessons or make it available otherwise with the support of the company.  Get familiar with how other companies manage this process

15 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Participants described the assistance that they received or found at work when integrating into the system and found helpful.  When I came everything was new, and of course problems with housing, and problems with everything basically. First tax return and things like that. They helped me. – group 1  It was just kindness. There was no meeting and a man planned to baby-sit me, no I don’t think so! – group 1  I had few people that were interested in speaking German with me. The funny thing is that it helped in a sense, I suddenly knew few more people in the big building. It does not make you feel so alone. It is nice knowing someone in different departments within the company.-group 1  I was invited for dinner, and home to meet the family. It was very informal. I think now it was just a kick start, learning how to live in Iceland, it was very useful. They stopped it at a certain point, it was just at the beginning, they just felt it was the right thing to do just to get me used to or acquainted. –group 1 How some businesses helped in integration

16 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO What are the best things about living in Iceland? Safety, health care, social security  Small, convenient, safe, friendly, flexible,  No crime  High quality of life  Living here is secure  Political situation creates stability and safety  Social security and general welfare  Health care is top of the line Family friendly, freedom  Great future for my daugther  Freedom (for me and my children)  Opportunity to do a variety of things  Relaxed athmosphere – not too stressful  Water and electricity is cheap

17 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO What are the best things about living in Iceland? People Icelandic people are seen as friendly and open. They are positive towards those who seem to be making an effort to integrate for example by learning Icelandic.  Icelandic people are open and friendly, it is a very open country  Icelandic people are positive towards people who are learning the language  Small population  Everyone speaks English

18 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO What are the best things about living in Iceland? Society and freedom  Liberty  No discrimination  High standard of living Nature and evironment  Magnificent nature  Scenic  Quiet, peaceful  No pollution  The water is pure and air is fresh

19 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO The Red Thread: Suggestions deduced from discussion Some suggestions for attracting and integrating were deduced from the aggregate discussion.  Be acutely aware of the impact of networks, both on a career and personal level on those who do not belong to those networks  Offer to fly potentials back home once or twice a year. Also make sure that they are aware of offers and deals that can be made online on flights.  The participants reported that they do not enjoy the hassle of having to fly to visit people they care about so it could be made easier to find those trips and manage taking time off work.  If there is someone working at the company whose Icelandic is not perfect – USE ENGLISH in all communication that is distributed at least at these levels:  To all employees (may regard events for example)  In anything that this person may need to read (present or future)

20 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO The Red Thread Suggestions at the governmental level:  Offer tax credits the first year (perhaps related to stock options)  Better language instruction: Both quality and quantity. Instruction should be focused on speaking to begin with and there should be more selection and institutions that offer Icelandic instruction.  Pay for Icelandic instruction  Participants felt that the instability of the currency makes it less feasable to invest unless you are committed (for example through family) to stay here for longer periods

21 Invest.is / focus groups / May 2007 LOGO Nánari upplýsingar veitir Guðný Rut Isaksen Símanúmer


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