Maltese managers prize longer hours, find recruitment hard

Managers’ survey: 36% report working in companies with four tiers of management where control is more important

In Malta control is considered more important than autonomy
In Malta control is considered more important than autonomy

Maltese managers are among the most likely in the European Union to consider working longer hours as important, and finding it hard to source skilled staff according to a Europe-wide survey.

The data from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions interviewed 145 Maltese managers in October and December 2020, finding Maltese respondents most likely to be working in companies with four tiers of management structures.

The number of hierarchical levels at the workplace represents the balance between workers’ need for autonomy, and “managerial needs for control of the production process and of the organisation of workforce”.

This suggests that in Malta control is considered more important than autonomy.

The incidence of establishments with four or more hierarchical levels is highest in Malta (36%) and Cyprus (28%), while the incidence of one or two hierarchical layers is highest in Denmark (44%) and Sweden (36%). In Slovakia (67%), Croatia and Czechia (65%), an organisational structure involving three layers is most common.

60% of establishments in Europe are organised in three hierarchical levels, 24% in one or two levels, and the remaining 16% have four or more levels.

The study also suggests that Maltese managers were more likely to consider staying at work as more important than those in other countries. The proportion of establishments where willingness to stay longer when work demands was important is highest in Cyprus (90%) and Malta (89%) and lowest in the Netherlands (42%) and Estonia (48%).

Throughout Europe working longer to meet work demands is most likely to be considered important in construction (76%), and least likely in financial services (68%). Managers in small establishments are slightly more likely to consider staying longer important for a positive evaluation (73%) than managers in medium-sized or large establishments (both 70%).

Maltese managers were among those mostly likely to find it hard to source workers with the necessary skills. The percentage of establishments finding it difficult to find candidates with the desired skills was highest in Slovakia (92%), Romania (90%) and Malta (88%). The incidence of establishments reporting that it is not very or not at all difficult to find candidates is highest in Denmark (44%), Greece (43%) and Slovenia (36%).

Managers in Malta (100%) and Cyprus (96%) were also most likely to report that their business environment was competitive, while those in Croatia (22%) and Luxembourg (23%) were most likely to report an uncompetitive environment.

Malta reports one of the lowest proportions of establishment with employee representation in management structures. The proportion of large establishments with employee representation is highest in Belgium (98%), Finland and France (both 96%) and lowest in Malta (24%) and Greece (25%).

Luxembourg (87%) and France (86%) have the highest proportion of medium-sized establishments with an employee representation, and Greece (7%), Latvia and Malta (both 9%) have the lowest.