Joe Stockman / Amy O’Rourke
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Embargoed until 05 FEBRUARY, 2013
New Zealand employees shouldering greater workloads, but salaries don’t match
Retaining high performers in tough economic times is crucial for enhanced productivity, according to Hudson
Auckland, New Zealand – 05 February 2013 – New Zealand workplaces are under increasing pressure as employers seek to do more with less. As a result, employees are shouldering more responsibility and working longer hours, and many want greater rewards. The challenge for employers is to formally recognise and reward employees for commitment, loyalty and increased workload whilst balancing the books, according to Hudson Salary & Employment Insights 2013.1
Tough economic conditions are putting pressure on employers to manage their budgets tightly across all areas of business, including in the areas of hiring and retention. Just 21.1% of employers say they always replace roles when a team member leaves, with 67.2% distributing the workload amongst the remaining team members instead.
As a consequence, 77.0% of employees they have taken on greater or new responsibilities. Close to half (41.6%) reported they are more stressed than a year ago and over half (56.4%) of employees are actively or passively looking for new roles.
An increase in pay was cited as the most important consideration when changing jobs by 22.8% by employees and whilst most employers (70.9%) plan to award modest pay rises of 2-3% in 2013, this was mainly motivated by a desire to retain high performers. Those employers not rewarding high performers (57.1%) were understandably worried about losing them.
“With employees motivated by pay and budgets remaining tight, employers should prioritise spending and ensure rewards and benefits incentivise and retain high performers,” says Roman Rogers, Executive General Manager, Hudson New Zealand.
“Employers need to strike the balance between rewarding staff and managing financial pressures. Where roles aren’t being replaced, that’s putting pressure on the current team and is not sustainable in the long term. Consequently, employers need to protect their position and take steps to retain high performers, as high-staff churn is counter-productive.”
Despite the increase in workloads and responsibilities and lack of financial rewards – employee morale levels are high. This anomaly may be explained by businesses doing better when it comes to communicating their strategies and plan to employees in difficult times – leading to higher engagement and optimism.
Whilst the pay packet is clearly the priority, other employment factors are also very important to today’s workforce, including having a role they are interested in, being in a work culture that makes them happy and improving their overall career opportunities. Where financial rewards are not an option, companies should focus on recognition, as it makes commercial sense to let employees know they are valued.
“We know that strong staff engagement is needed for staff retention, so where budgets are tight, meaningful reward and recognition programmes can play a significant role in the salary package with flexible working hours, bonuses and subsidised health benefits being the top three benefits offered by employers,” says Rogers.
“It’s important to include regular and honest communication with managers and positive feedback on work or projects, to ensure team members are aware of business challenges and objectives, and feel involved and motivated.”
“If employees understand their efforts will be recognised and rewarded, they are more likely to be engaged, work productively and contribute to a positive company culture than can survive challenging economic times. It’s good to see employers heeding this advice, as it will aid them in mitigating economic challenges in 2013,” concluded Rogers.
Click here to read the Salary & Employment Insights 2013 - New Zealand Executive Summary.
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Hudson is a global talent solutions company with expertise in leadership and specialised recruitment, contracting solutions, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management, outplacement and eDiscovery. We help our clients and candidates succeed by leveraging our expertise, deep industry and market knowledge, and proprietary assessment tools and techniques. With more than 2,000 people in 20 countries, and relationships with millions of specialised professionals, we bring an unparalleled ability to match talent with opportunities by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for our clients. We combine broad geographic presence, world-class talent solutions and a tailored, consultative approach to help businesses and professionals achieve higher performance and outstanding results. More information is available at Hudson.com.
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1 Hudson surveyed 1392 employers and 1328 employees in New Zealand.