In a recent remuneration survey conducted by professional workplace consultants, Mercer, they reported that 93% of Australian businesses plan to increase staff salaries in 2022.
Our experience through the pandemic has demonstrated that money isn’t enough to attract and retain top talent. Companies who have recognised this and in turn increased their staff benefits have a higher attraction and retention rate as a result.
The impact of Australia’s Covid-related lockdowns, border closures and low migration has significantly reduced the pool of new talent for businesses, resulting in a highly competitive candidate market. As a result of a less candidates being active in the market, companies now must be competitive in attracting and retaining their employees, or they run the risk of them going elsewhere.
Putting remuneration aside, here are the top 5 employee perks for 2022 that are engaging and enticing job seekers:
1. Hybrid working model
Without a doubt, this is the #1 perk. A full-time work-from-home (WFH) model doesn’t work for all businesses, individuals and position types, and our experience is that candidates aren’t asking for this. However, they want some degree of flexibility – which the hybrid model provides. Hybrid working is a combination of office and remote working, allowing employees the flexibility to work when and where they are most productive.
2. Personal leave
In addition to the mandated 4 weeks annual leave for full-time employees, companies are increasing their offering, which is proving to be a huge appeal to job seekers. ‘Workcations’ are personally my favourite, providing employees with 50% of paid leave to work 50% of their work week while on holidays. Although this may not suit all job seekers, other leave perks include:
- Paid 5 weeks annual leave
- Paid RDO’s that increase over time of employment i.e. 1 year employment = 1 additional day off every 6 months; 2 years employment = 1 additional day off every 3 months; 3+ years employment = 1 additional day off every month
- Paid leave on your birthday
- Paid day/s off over Christmas and New Year period
- Unpaid career break for up to 6 months, allowing time to travel or re-set and return to your current role
3. Health and wellbeing
Compared to the past, where companies barely offered an annual gym membership, the health and wellbeing perks that companies are now offering are a huge incentive to both prospective and existing employees. Prospective employees are given a glimpse of how they will be valued and supported as an employee, as well as the employer giving a true reflection of how they live their company values. Some of the best include:
- Employee Assistance Program
- Health and wellbeing training and courses
- Domestic violence leave and support
- Health insurance (employees, marital partners and children)
- Salary insurance
- Memberships to sports, events and programs
- Nutritional snacks and/or meals provided in office or sent to home
- Travel discounts
- Meditation and yoga classes (on-line or in the office)
- Vouchers for wellbeing e.g. physio, chiro, nutritionist
4. School holiday programs
These holidays come around so quickly and create a huge impact on families and businesses who juggle between working and supervising children. An increasing number of larger organisations provide school holiday programs for their employees and their children, creating less impact on family, personal and company pressure. Smaller businesses who may not have the numbers to create their own programs can find a range of school holiday programs through their local council, community groups and leisure businesses or team up with other small businesses, allowing their staff members a little bit of reprieve which can at times be a stressful period managing the work life/family life juggling act.
5. Parental and carers leave
In addition to the standard legislative requirements, many companies offer paid (or a portion) parental leave for eligible employees with options to differ and/or extend their leave as a primary or secondary carer. Many organisations are paying all superannuation contributions for up to 12 months for primary carers.
While not all companies have the capacity or resources to provide all these perks, they can be used as a great starting point in assessing what can be done to attract and retain staff in 2022 and beyond.