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Pay Isn’t The Key To Keeping Kiwi Workers


Pay Isn’t The Key To Keeping Kiwi Workers – It’s Work-Life Balance And Career Development

New Zealand’s leading remuneration consultants say more money isn’t the key to keeping Kiwi workers – it’s improving their work-life balance and supporting their careers.

dsd Consulting, which has more than 40 years experience in remuneration and rewards management, has just launched REMonTAP – an in-depth remuneration and market trends survey of 65 top New Zealand companies.

Companies taking part in the research, which will be conducted twice a year, include Fletcher Building, Fonterra, Air New Zealand, AgResearch, ASB, Pumpkin Patch, Sky City Entertainment Group, Lion Nathan, McDonalds, Television New Zealand, Vector, Vero, Yellow Pages and Restaurant Brands. Between them, they provided information on more than 12,000 people.

The findings show that pay is just one component of the rewards companies offer their people.

“Sure the money is important, but being paid fairly compared to others is a given for most employees. What really makes a difference is what you are prepared to do to support them as individuals,” says dsd director Susan Doughty.

“We talk about the four Fs as being the key to what employees value – that’s finance, future, fun and features. It’s the combination of pay with a range of other factors – both financial and non-financial - that determines whether your staff will stay or not.” says another dsd director Una Diver.

Those other factors can include:
• Development opportunities
• Career management
• Work-life balance
• Flexible working options
• Career breaks
• Extra parental leave
• On-site gyms, massage and/or childcare
• “Duvet” days
• Working for a stable organisation.

“Companies need to realise that, for many New Zealanders, their career and work-life balance is increasingly important. They want to work and be appreciated for what they do but they also want to be able to spend time with their families and pursuing their other interests,” says Doughty.

“Bosses also need to accept that Generation Y staff don’t stay in jobs more than three or four years, so old-fashioned notions like long-service bonuses just don’t appeal to them. The reality is you need to think differently to remain interesting to your work force especially when unemployment is so low and jobs are there for the taking,” said dsd’s third director Kira Schaffler.

The research shows that employers are starting to focus their attention in these areas. While most still offer a traditional smorgasbord of benefits, more than 50% are investing heavily in top “engagement areas” such as career development, leadership and talent management.

And, recognising that Kiwis want that work-life balance, 57% of organisations are focusing heavily on solutions in this area.

Other findings from dsd Consulting’s first REMonTAP survey of 65 New Zealand companies include:
• One company had upped annual leave to five weeks for all staff, one had introduced an extra five “work-life balance” days to be taken individually during the year and four allowed employees to purchase additional leave.
• About a quarter offered career breaks, additional parental leave and retention bonuses.
• Three quarters offered leadership training, attendance at conferences, employee assistance programmes and flu vaccinations.
• 52 organisations had variable pay schemes related to performance, including profit sharing, bonuses, incentives and commission.
• 60% offered flexible working options and gave gift or movie vouchers as rewards.
• 9% helped staff pay off their student loans, 10% had an on-site gym and 21% provided on-site massages.
• Three companies offered staff discounts, two had a “refer a friend” bonus scheme and two gave staff shares in the company.
• And just one organisation gave their employees the day off on their birthday – thus sparing them the “cake with colleagues” annual ordeal.

- ends -


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