Tag: Higher salaries

Two-thirds of workers think work-life balance is more valuable than pay

Despite increasing inflation and the UK’s cost-of-living crisis, a new survey suggests that employees value work-life balance more than pay.

The survey by HR and payroll software provider CIPHR polled over 1,000 UK workers about the most important job aspects. The results revealed that 70% of women and 65% of men consider work-life balance more important than pay and employee benefits combined.

According to the research, the top 20 most important aspects of a job, ranked by popularity, are:

  • Work-life balance (67%)
  • Pay and benefits – total rewards package (59%)
  • Job security (57%)
  • Job satisfaction (53%)
  • Healthy work environment (42%)
  • Recognition: feeling valued and appreciated (37%)
  • Feeling safe at work (36%)
  • Feeling included / belonging at work (33%)
  • Right to disconnect from work outside of usual working hours (26%)
  • Promotion opportunities / career progression (25%)
  • Job autonomy – trusted to do a job without being micromanaged (24%)
  • Clear goals and targets (23%)
  • Correct tools for the job (20%)
  • Job purpose and variety (20%)
  • Learning and development initiatives (18%)
  • Social connection (18%)
  • Team-oriented culture (17%)
  • Transparent leadership (15%)
  • Fewer meetings (9%)
  • Regular coaching and feedback (9%)

Interestingly, flexibility in where employees were allowed to work affected the results, with work-life balance being the most-valued job aspect for 79% of remote workers compared to 66% of workers who are either partly remote or who never work from home.

Similarly, the right to disconnect from work – and not feel obliged to do any unpaid work-related tasks outside of contracted hours was also a priority for employees who work remotely, compared to those who don’t (36% vs. 25%).

The results indicated that office- or workplace-based staff see greater value in their physical workspace and working among others. Top priorities among these employees include:

  • Healthy work environment (47%)
  • Feeling safe at work (40%)
  • Feeling included and belonging at work (38%)

Employees with hybrid working arrangements generally seem to place equal importance on how pay and benefits (56%), job security (55%), and job satisfaction (55%) interrelate.

Two-fifths of these workers agree that recognition and feeling valued and appreciated by their employers rank more highly than a healthy work environment (41% vs. 39%).

Further data analysis indicates that survey respondents in leadership and senior management team (SMT) roles are likelier to work remotely than those in non-SMT positions (70% vs. 50%). These workers also have different job priorities than the rest of the workforce, with pay and benefits being the fourth most important aspect of a job, at 46%. Work-life balance (60%), job satisfaction (52%), and job security (51%) were at the top of the list.

Regarding age and career longevity, 72% of 24-to-44-year-olds favoured work-life balance over 51% of 18-to-24-year-olds. People kicking off or ending their careers were more likely to place job satisfaction ahead of job security, with 45% of 18-to-24-year-olds and 65% of over 55s preferring to have a job that they enjoy, even if it’s not completely secure.

For respondents aged 45 to 54, 56% said job security was more important than pay and rewards packages (52%).

Across industries, the results vary. People in the finance and insurance sectors are more likely to prize pay and benefits over work-life balance (60% compared to 58%, respectively). In the IT and software industry, job security beats pay and benefits and work-life balance (58% compared to 54% and 54%). Manufacturing workers rate work-life balance and pay and benefits equally (63%).

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at CIPHR, commented: “CIPHR’s latest findings highlight that salary often isn’t the key driver that many people think it is. People rarely have just one single aspect of a job that matters most to them: there are always a variety of factors that govern whether an individual will join, stay, or leave an organisation, and these will vary depending on where they are with their career at the time.

“Everyone has their own idea of what work-life balance looks like to them. For some, it means looking for more flexibility at work – such as flexible hours, a four-day week, or remote working – while for others it’s an aspiration that helps shape their career choices, the type of roles they want, and the employers they want to work for. It’s certainly not a new concept, but there’s no doubt that the pandemic has spurred many people to re-evaluate their work-life priorities and change how they want to spend their time at work.

“While employers are still navigating what this means in the long term, they do need to recognise that if they are not meeting their staff’s current needs and priorities – particularly around any core job aspects that they want and value – it’s likely that another organisation will.

“Take the time to actively listen to your workforce – perhaps by running a survey similar to this one – to find out what’s important to them, and map these results against employee demographics, life stages, locations and department. An integrated HR tech stack, with a sophisticated HR system, such as CIPHR HR, at its centre, will help you gain this holistic view of your people data.

“It won’t always be possible to tick every box but if you can act on the feedback where possible, it will help improve employee experience and engagement at all levels. Do nothing, and you’re likely to lose staff in the long run.”

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Lack of salary increases and growth opportunities identified as top issues

Two new reports published by 360Learning have indicated that the Learning and Development sector has some challenges to deal with. The reports revealed that 42% of UK L&D professionals had not received a pay rise in recent months, and a further 23% believe they do not have opportunities to develop at work.

The reports, which look at salaries, progression, and satisfaction in corporate Learning and Development (L&D) teams across the US and UK, have the following findings:

In the UK:

  • The most common annual salary range was found to be between £30-£39k a year
  • The average salary comes in at £31.6k
  • People working in voluntary sectors were likely to earn less than £39k
  • People in the private sector had the best chance of earning more than £80k
  • 25% of L&D Managers earned between £50-£59k
  • Administrators in the L&D environment earned the least at below £39k

In the US:

  • The most common salary range was $70-$100k
  • The mean salary across all roles was much higher than the UK average, at $91.2k
  • 41% of L&D Managers earned more than $100k
  • Instructional Designers and Learning Specialists in the L&D environment earned the least, at less than $70k

The gender pay gap is also clear in the results with:

  • One-third of UK women earn less than the national average (£31,285) compared to only a fifth of men
  • Half of the women in the UK earned less than £39k, compared to only 36% of men
  • Only a quarter of women said they earn more than £40k, versus 41% of men in similar roles

When looking at reasons for lack of advancement, in the UK, 6% of women report that childcare and family are stopping them from growing at work, compared to just 1% of men.

In the US, 4% of people cite personal or family reasons for preventing advancement.

The studies also looked at salary satisfaction. Interestingly, despite gender and role disparities, 53% of L&D professionals in the UK and US were satisfied with their salaries, with the satisfaction increasing per age bracket.

In the UK:

  • 56% of men and 55% of women were satisfied with their earnings
  • 58% of men and 59% of women between 25 and 45 were also happy with their incomes.
  • 42% of UK professionals haven’t had a pay rise in more than 12 months
  • Of the professionals who had not had a pay rise, 54% admitted that they’re not comfortable asking for one
  • Among the professionals who did receive pay rises, 52% were below the rate of inflation, with 45% as low as 1%-3% – half the rate of inflation

In the US:

  • 80% of professionals have had a raise in the past two years
  • 20% have had no raise at all or last had a raise three or more years ago
  • If they have had a pay rise, 38% saw a 1-3% increase
  • 10% of professionals had enjoyed a salary increase of 10% or more over the past 12 months. 41% were “comfortable” or “very comfortable” about asking for pay rises

As far as the impact of education and career experience on salary is concerned, the survey found that 74% of higher salaries across the UK went to people aged over 45; however, 73% of the over 45s surveyed had been in the L&D industry for less than a year.

It would appear that qualifications do not have much influence on compensation. Most of the UK respondents don’t have an L&D-related degree. Of the respondents who earned more than £70k a year – only 7% had degrees or higher. However, in the highest salary bracket, only 2% of people without an L&D-related degree earn more than £80,000 compared to 6% of respondents who do. Clearly,  L&D degrees can lead to higher salaries when it comes to senior roles.

In the US, where wages were higher than $70k, there were almost equal numbers of people with L&D degrees and those without, indicating that on-the-job training via mentors, upskilling, and learning management systems can be an effective route to progression.

The survey provided insights into the roles of mentors in earning potential. For example, the respondents who had a salary of more than $100k a year were more likely to have mentors than those earning lower salaries. Similarly, professionals with a 4% or higher salary increase in the previous 12 months were also likely to have had a mentor.

Generally speaking, mentorship numbers are higher in the US than in the UK. Of the US respondents, 65% of professionals agreed that they benefitted from mentoring, while only 47% in the UK said the same. These numbers could correlate with the fact that 20% of male and 21% of female L&D professionals in the UK feel that they lack opportunities to progress in their careers.

With 4% of US respondents and 22% of UK respondents saying they want to leave L&D, it is essential that L&D professionals feel empowered to effectively provide training and support to other employees.

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Confidence in the market at a three-year high

According to the Hays Emiratisation Salary Guide 2022, UAE nationals are feeling optimistic about their salary prospects this year with the majority expecting their pay to increase over the next 12 months.

In the survey, respondents were asked what they expected to happen to their salary this year with 50% of Emiratis saying they anticipated an increase – up from 43% who said the same last year while 48% anticipate their salary to remain the same as in 2021. A mere 2% said they expected a decrease.

Grace Eldridge, Business Manager of Hays Emiratisation division commented: “This is the first time since running our annual salary survey that we have seen expectations for salary increases outweigh those expecting their salary to remain the same year-on-year within the Emirati community.”

“While professionals’ expectations are always slightly inflated above actual market trends, we do think these expectations are relatively realistic. Confidence in the market is at a three-year high, with business activity generally above and beyond pre-pandemic levels in the UAE. As a result, we expect a higher number of salary increases to be awarded this year than the past two years,” adds Grace.

Results from the report found that 74% of employers in the UAE plan to increase salaries in 2022, compared to 36% who did in 2021.

How much are salaries likely to increase?

The report found that 32% of Emiratis received a pay increase last year, which was lower than the 44% of expats who were also given pay increases. However, the average uplift in pay was higher for the Emirati community, who were mostly awarded an increase of between 5 and 10%, compared with the expat community, where the most common was an uplift of less than 5%.

According to Hays, in 2022, of those UAE nationals who expect a pay rise, the majority will again anticipate an increase of between 5 and 10%, while the majority of employers are planning to increase salaries by less than 5%.

Grace added: “When we refer to pay rises and trends, it’s important to note that these are not typically awarded on a company-wide basis. Instead, as our report shows, pay rises are more commonly offered on an individual basis as a result of a professional either ‘starting a new job with a new company’ or an ‘individual performance related pay increase’ and we expect the same again this year.”

“Our advice to professionals who believe they are deserved of a pay rise, is to be prepared to ask for one. They must manage their negotiation formally and sensibly; in light of the value they bring to the organisation. Those who sit and wait from a pay rise may be disappointed,” concluded Grace.

 

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The roar of the war on talent continues as employees are switching jobs at record numbers and workforces continue to shrink. Together, these events have created an environment in which business and HR leaders are having to play catch-up. Today’s labor market, regardless of business type or location, is now faced with more job openings than available workers.

These market pressures are creating never-before-seen urgency around talent.

And for now, most businesses are reacting with the one tool that they can easily access: money. While wages in general haven’t skyrocketed as much as they have in hospitality and retail, a high salary remains one solid way to entice key employees to stay and to lure employees to their organization. And once you change that, there’s no going back. Unfortunately, the money bucket is not bottomless and SMEs don’t have access to the funds to support such high increases. The current cycle in the market can only go on for so long and leaders will need to act for the future in addition to reacting in the present. Here are three things to help drive retention in your organization.

Here are three key ways to attract and retain talent in the current marker:

  1. Ensure pay equity.
  2. Increase workplace flexibility
  3. Create a high-attention culture.

In the short-term, many organizations will continue to address talent shortages by increasing wages. At some time in the not-so-far-off future, the organizational tolerance for digging into the checkbook will wane. We don’t need to wonder what to do next. We know we also need to invest in proactive, long-term solutions that keep people from even entertaining leaving. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Start with embedding the practice of check-ins into your organization. Check-ins aren’t the only thing, but they are the fastest thing when it comes to creating a culture where people feel connected and less compelled to leave.

 

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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