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Australians pulling bigger workloads but the pay packet doesn’t match, according to Hudson
Sydney, Australia – 01 February 2013 – Employees are taking the strain as Australian workplaces tackle the tough economic environment, with 77.2% of employees saying they are taking on more responsibilities but over half (55.9%) say they have not been financially rewarded for this, according to Hudson Salary & Employment Insights 2013. Similarly, more than half (54.7%) feel that they are either not adequately rewarded for their contribution to the business or that their high level of performance warrants a pay rise but is not being recognised.1
The report shows that employees are taking on greater workloads with only 15.6% of employers always replacing roles if a team member leaves, with the majority of employers distributing the work amongst the remaining team, while four in every five employers (80.0%) say their teams now have to do more with less.
The current economic conditions are causing real challenges for employers, with 80.3% experiencing increased pressure on budgets, 63.4% facing more stringent headcount approval processes and 62.0% managing greater workloads. As a red flag to employers, more than half (56.8%) of employees surveyed said they were looking for a new role, and of those looking to move nearly two-thirds (64.2%) said they expected to move within the next six months.
Pay is critical for job seekers, with 22.2% citing an increase in pay as the most important factor in their next role. It is also the biggest motivator for employees to stay in their current position, with 43.4% of job seekers saying they would remain in their current role if given a salary increase. Most employers (62.5%) intend to award pay increases of 2-3% for 2013, with retaining high performers the main reason, followed by ensuring pay parity.
However, 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. Employee benefits also play a significant role in the salary package with flexible working hours, bonuses and income protection insurance being the top three choices offered by employers.
“It’s clear that what matters most to people right now is their pay packet, and for employers getting remuneration right is of paramount importance. Employers that don’t ensure pay parity with competitors are at risk of losing both high performers and the best candidates. So a compelling salary proposition should be a primary consideration,” said Mark Steyn, CEO Hudson Asia Pacific.
Hudson recommends that when budgets are tight, employers should consider prioritising spending and ensure that reward and recognition programs incentivise high performance. Particular focus should be paid to rewarding those employees in critical roles, which may be hard to replace.
“During tough times like these employers may be better served increasing base salaries, scaling back benefits that are not always highly valued and looking at lower-cost ways of boosting staff morale and engagement. It’s also 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,” said Steyn.
Interestingly, and in spite of the difficult operating environment, 68.9% of employees report that they feel the same or higher levels of optimism compared to a year ago and almost half (46.6%) say they feel more engaged at work than this time last year, while only 25.0% feel less engaged.
“When it comes to helping businesses survive during an economic slowdown, it’s people who are committed to the company’s vision and who fit the culture that are most likely to thrive and help achieve business goals,” concluded Steyn.
Click here to read the Salary & Employment Insights 2013 - Australia 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 3,529 employers and 4,525 employees in Australia