PwC: What Employees Expect From Their Hungarian Workplace


Company culture, work organization, and upskilling are the top ingredients for building future-proof organizations, according to the findings of PwC Hungary’s Employee Preference Survey 2021. Base pay remains the leading motivation for all generations, but while the young appreciate control over their time, senior colleagues find the leadership style of their direct superior exceptionally important.

PwC Hungary conducted its annual Employee Preference Survey for the fifth time with the same purpose as always: to help organizations adjust their HR policies, processes, and practices to the new realities, and to recruit and retain talent better.

Evidence-based results of such polls can positively affect brand building as well. Data hints that a strong employer brand brings two times lower costs per hire and almost one-third less employee turnover.

Responses sometimes reveal how differently certain things are perceived at the workplace. It is very telling, for instance, that when it comes to judging whether companies successfully address employee mental health, there’s a massive gap between perceptions. Whereas 84% of CFOs believe it’s a mission completed, just 31% of employees share the same view, an alarming sign for HR departments.

PwC Hungary’s online survey shed light on many more aspects of employment. It sought to understand what motivates people, what they expect from their employers, what drives employer brands and what brand impressions exist.

With more than 29,400 new respondents this year, 102,000 preference profiles were collected from all over Hungary from different age groups, from age 16 upwards. As many as 55 items were measured in the survey.

Representatives of the 19-28 age group gave similar answers as in previous years regarding their top three priorities. They still value base pay, flexible work schedule, and work schedule predictability the most. Good colleagues and challenging and interesting work made it to the top five, with leadership ranked six. Experienced employees consider the personality of their immediate superiors even more important and ranked this factor third.

This shows that the pandemic substantially reshaped young people’s attitudes toward workplaces. The new situation clearly strengthened the role of corporate culture, which is critical not only to a better employee experience but also to a successful and appealing employer branding.

The survey data indicates that upskilling is something that employers are expected to handle, including improving soft skills and business training and facilitating further academic education.

Zoltán Örkényi, manager of People & Organization at PwC Hungary’s HR consulting services, said, “Employees are aware that automation and the changing nature of work have brought about an environment in which developing their skills is indispensable to staying competitive. The majority of employees are open to acquiring new competencies or even undergoing complete retraining. Therefore, the question regarding the responsibility for upskilling urgently needs to be answered.”

Interestingly, diversity and inclusion are at the bottom of the list, whilst the idea of a sabbatical witnessed the biggest fall of all: once among the leading factors, now it is barely given any significance by younger generations.

A thought-provoking conclusion of this part of the survey is that aspects connected with responsibility seem to be losing attractiveness. Younger colleagues are fully satisfied as long as they get their money, keep control over working hours, and are compensated for overtime. The rest bears less significance.

The option of working from home landed among the top 10 job preferences for the first time this year. People over 28 have the greatest need for this form of work. Young employees think it’s still important to spend at least some time in the office for learning and building relationships; yet, they also expect working from home to be an option.

Whereas 72% of employees would work remotely at least two days a week, 68% of employers would like to see their employees at least three times a week.

Róbert Bencze, director of People & Organization, warned that organizations must adapt to the new expectations.

“They must rethink the proportion of home days to office days, or the concept of flexibility within one working day, and they must understand that their employees require different arrangements and methods for working and relationship building,” he said.

“Expectations towards management have also grown: employees expect higher transparency, as well as open, honest, and credible communication,” he added.

PwC’s Most Attractive Employer 2021 Award industry category winners

Although PwC’s survey targets all generations, the Most Attractive Employer Award is still given by the votes of respondents aged between 16-28, based on open-ended survey responses. PwC says the awards were based on responses received during a campaign between September 1-October 31, 2020. Over 10,000 such responses were recorded.

PwC’s Most Attractive Employer 2021 Overall Winner:

OTP Bank

Automotive manufacturers

1. Audi Hungaria

2. Mercedes-Benz

3. BMW

Energy and public utilities

1. MOL Magyarország

2. MÁV

3. MVM Csoport


1. Coca Cola

2. Procter & Gamble

3. Hell Energy


1. Bosch Csoport


3. National Instruments


1. Richter Gedeon

2. Egis



1. OTP Bank

2. Morgan Stanley

3. K&H


1. Aldi Magyarország


3. Lidl Magyarország


1. British Petroleum (BP)

2. GE

3. Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions


1. Microsoft Magyarország

2. Samsung


Telecommunications and media

1. Magyar Telekom

2. RTL Magyarország

3. Vodafone

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of November 19, 2021.

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