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Only 33% of Australian employees happy with their current benefits

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Salary increases on the rise but workers feel they deserve more

Although salary increases are rising, only 33% of Australian employees are happy with their current benefits. This is according to recruitment company, Hays.

Hays believes that benefits can help bridge the salary expectation gap and aid staff attraction. According to their latest Salary Guide, 35% of employers have improved benefits and working practices to entice more staff.

The data also showed that allowing more than 20 days’ annual leave is one of the most sought-after employee benefits. This year’s data shows that the benefit is desired by 55% of job seekers, compared to 30% last year. The most desired benefit, according to Hays, is training, at 57%. Interestingly, while 87% of employers offer training as a benefit, only 23% provide more than the minimum legal requirement for leave.

Next on the list of top five benefits are:

  • ongoing learning & development (53%)
  • mental and physical health and wellbeing programs (38%)
  • formal career paths (38%)

Flexible working is not on the list of highly prized benefits, likely because although it was a top benefit pre-pandemic, it is now the expected norm.

Professionals are advised to consider the complete value exchange – even if salaries are not meeting expectations, workers should consider whether the benefits they receive enhance the complete value exchange they receive for their skills and experience.

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, commented: “With a salary expectation gap evident, offering the benefits employees value can help reward and retain top talent in a competitive labour market.”

“The pandemic prompted many people to prioritise their work-life balance and mental health, 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.”

“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, 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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