While employees in many European countries hold little hope of seeing their salaries rise to match inflation, research has found Australians and workers in the Asia Pacific are feeling optimistic when it comes to their pay packet.
The 2012 Global Pay Optimism Index found almost half of workers worldwide consider they will be hit by a pay cut this year, believing there is little chance of an above inflation wage increase.
The Eurozone and the UK had the lowest expectations for wage increases, with 70 percent of Brits not anticipating an above inflation rise.
According to the report, over a third of Australians and those in the Asia-Pacific report having seen positive signs pointing toward above inflation increases, compared to 21 percent of those in Europe and just 8.1 percent of those in the UK.
NorthgateArinso Australia and New Zealand managing director David Page believes the optimism in Asia-Pacific reflects the ongoing economic strength of the region.
“In Australia especially we’ve benefited from a resource-based economic firewall; it can be seen to have deflected and diminished the severity of the flow-on impact of the GFC experienced by other economic regions,” Page said.
“So, for 2012, pay optimism is centred on Asia Pacific especially when compared with the UK and wider Eurozone where there are much lower expectations. With many businesses across the world still stretched to provide pay rises, business leaders should be seeking alternative ways to ensure their talent feels valued,” he added.
The study found those overseas fearing pay cuts would be willing to receive other benefits in the place of monetary rewards. More than a third of workers revealed the recession has forced them to stay in their jobs, suggesting staff rewards and loyalty would be the key for their retention. But this sentiment appears to be falling on deaf ears, as over two-thirds of respondents said their employers aren’t adapting to the economic downturn by increasing non-pay related benefits.
Less than a quarter said they were told about new flexible benefits but are yet to see them happen.
“After pay, relatively low cost initiatives such as flexible working arrangements are hugely prized by employees and these are changes that companies can easily make to show how they value workers,” advises Page.
The most popular non pay related benefit that companies could introduce is flexi-working followed by employee benefits including; massages, yoga classes or personal trainers in the office.