Only 33% of employees are satisfied with their current benefits

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Published: 16 June, 2022
Just 33% of New Zealand employees are satisfied with their current benefits, according to recruiting experts Hays.
This follows news that the value of salary increases is rising, yet New Zealanders feel their performance and the demand for their skills merits more.
According to Hays, benefits can bridge this divide. “With a salary expectation gap evident, offering the benefits employees value can help reward and retain top talent in a competitive labour market,” says Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.
Benefits also aid staff attraction. According to the Hays Salary Guide 22/23, over one-third (35%) of employers have improved benefits and working practices to entice more staff.
Over 20 days’ annual leave prioritised
Hays’s data shows the provision of more than 20 days’ annual leave has soared up the list of desired employee benefits, sought by 55% of jobseekers compared to 30% one year prior. It now sits behind only training (sought by 57%) as employees’ most valued benefit.
However, while 81% of employers offer training, only 23% provide more than the minimum legal requirement of annual leave.
“The pandemic prompted many people to prioritise their work-life balance and mental health,” says Adam. “To care for their health and wellbeing they now want a job that offers more than customary annual leave.
“If a person’s time is as valuable as money, additional annual leave can add significantly to their overall package.”
Rounding out the top five benefits sought are ongoing learning & development (53%), mental and physical health and wellbeing programs (38%) and formal career paths (also 38%).
“For employers looking to modernise their benefits portfolio to attract, reward and retain staff, it’s important to reconcile your offering with what employees value,” says Adam. “Training and additional annual leave are obvious improvement points. So is the provision of formal career paths, which 38% of employees want but only 20% of employers offer.”
Benefits offered vs benefits sought
Employers who offer this benefit Benefit Employees who want this benefit
81% Training – either internal or external 57%
23% Over 20 days' annual leave 55%
57% Ongoing learning and development 53%
54% Mental and physical health and wellbeing programs 38%
20% Formal career paths 38%
39% Company car, car allowance or onsite parking 33%
17% Budget for home office setup or supplies 33%
43% Financial support for professional study 29%
14% Share incentives 29%
39% Payment of professional membership fees 28%
36% Paid leave for professional study 22%
22% Payment of usage charges for employee-owned devices used at work, or salary sacrifice 20%
Shifting expectations: Flexible working
Absent from the list of common benefits is flexible working. According to Adam, while flexible working was considered a highly prized benefit pre-COVID-19, it is now an expected norm.
“For jobs that can be performed outside a central workplace, skilled professionals expect to work in a hybrid arrangement,” he said. “After more than two years of hybrid working, it’s no longer considered a benefit that can attract and engage staff but rather a minimum ordinary entitlement.”
Advice for professionals: consider the complete value exchange
According to Adam, if your salary increase fails to live up to expectations, benefits can enhance the complete value exchange you receive for your skills and experience.
“If your salary increase falls short of expectations, consider what else you can ask for. In particular, think of your long-term career objectives. Additional benefits such as training, formal career paths and mental and physical health and wellbeing programs, for instance, could lead to a promotion and higher compensation long-term than a small raise here and now.”

Download the Hays Salary Guide

The Hays Salary Guide is based on a survey of over 4,400 organisations (including 1,222 in New Zealand), and more than 4,800 skilled professionals (including 1,279 in New Zealand). Download your copy by visiting www.hays.net.nz/salary-guide.
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For further information please contact Kathryn Crowden at kathryn.crowden@hays.com.au or Clare Zacka at clare.zacka@hays.com.au.

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For further information please contact Kathryn Crowden at kathryn.crowden@hays.com.au, Clare Zacka at clare.zacka@hays.com.au or Adam Shapley at adam.shapley@hays.net.nz or +64 (0) 9 375 9424.
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