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Employers increasingly offering fewer non-financial benefits

The top three non-financial benefits that employees want are flexible work practices, career progression opportunities and ongoing learning and development, but the number of employers offering these has fallen year-on-year, according to new research.

Employers increasingly offering fewer non-financial benefits
Nick Deligiannis
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According to the 2019-20 Hays Salary Guide, 83 per cent of employers now offer flexible work practices, down from 84 per cent last year; 70 per cent offer ongoing learning and development, down from 73 per cent, and 62 per cent provide career progression opportunities, down from 66 per cent.

The offering of financial support for study and payment of employees’ own device usage charges at work have also taken a hit, the global recruitment firm added.

Only three non-financial benefits are offered by more employers this year compared to last: health and wellness programs are now provided by 42 per cent of employers, up from 41 per cent; 21 per cent now offer staff over 20 days’ annual leave, up from 19 per cent, and 8 per cent give staff a day off for their birthday, up from 7 per cent.

“Non-financial benefits can help bridge the salary expectation gap, allowing employers to reward staff when they don’t have the salary budget to do so,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

“The overall drop in the number of employers offering the top benefits that employees actually want is concerning. It will add to candidate attraction and retention challenges, which are already heightened in response to subdued wage growth.”

As a case in point, Mr Deligiannis pointed to rising turnover, which increased for 33 per cent of employers over the last 12 months.

Moreover, data from the Hays Salary Guide shows that 53 per cent of employees who are currently looking or planning to look for a new job in the next 12 months say a lack of promotional opportunities is one reason behind their job search.

Also motivating job searches is a lack of new challenges (42 per cent), an uncompetitive salary (41 per cent), poor training and development (27 per cent) and poor work-life balance (also 27 per cent).

Elsewhere, the survey found that just 44 per cent of professionals are “very satisfied” or “extremely satisfied with their current level of work-life balance.

Mr Deligiannis said that this could be because employers need to think outside the box when deciding on the flexible benefits they can offer.

“With flexibility now seen as standard, employers must think beyond compressed working weeks or staggered start and finish times to stand out and attract and retain the top talent. Think about what other genuine work-life balance solutions you can offer to appeal to a wider range of candidates.”

“For instance, while 75 per cent of employers offer flexible working hours or compressed working weeks, other popular flexible work practices include part-time employment (73 per cent), flex-place, such as working from home or an alternative location (66 per cent), flexible leave options, such as purchased leave (36 per cent), job sharing (26 per cent), career breaks (16 per cent) and phased retirements (14 per cent).”

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Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is a senior writer for Lawyers Weekly and Wellness Daily at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in early 2018, Jerome is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales and, prior to joining the team in early 2018, he worked in both commercial and governmental legal roles and has worked as a public speaker and consultant to law firms, universities and high schools across the country and internationally. He is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines self-help book series and is an adjunct lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

Jerome graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry).

You can email Jerome at: [email protected] 

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