Given that three quarters (74.4 per cent) of businesses surveyed in a recent My Business poll are not planning to increase employee wages by more than inflation in the year ahead, employee benefits are expected to play a much greater role in both recruiting new staff and retaining existing ones.
Instead of cash, employers looking to entice valuable staff to stay should look to the amount of annual leave they provide, according to recruitment firm Hays.
Of the 1,118 workers surveyed, 59 per cent said they wanted a job that offers more than the standard 20 days of annual, and 55 per cent want to be given the day off for their birthday.
However, the number of people actually enjoying these benefits from their current employer is much small – 29 per cent receive more than 20 days’ leave, and just 6 per cent automatically receive a day off for their birthday.
Flexible working is almost unanimously desired and expected by workers, according to the survey, which found 70 per cent already enjoy flexibility in their working situation, while a further 24 per cent want it. Just 6 per cent said they are not interested in this as a work perk.
“A cautious approach to salary increases prevails, triggering a much greater focus from employees on the benefits available to them in their current or potential new role,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.
“Employees want benefits that are relevant and add value since salary increases are sedate. With headcounts increasing, employers also need to review the benefits on offer as part of their attraction and retention strategy,” he said.
Among other employee benefits surveyed, Hays found that:
- 44 per cent want access to health and wellness programs
- 38 per cent would benefit from financial support to study
- 37 per cent want to be reimbursed for usage charges on their own devices incurred for work
- 35 per cent want ongoing training and development
- 34 per cent would enjoy free or subsidised food
- 29 per cent would like access to on-site childcare, despite just 1 per cent of people currently receiving this