Workers Want Lifestyle Benefits More than CashBy Deborah Rothberg | Print
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A new study suggests many workers would forego higher salaries in favor of an improved work-life balance and career advancement opportunities.One in three workers want flex schedules as part of their overall compensation, finds the Hudson Employment Index's Transforming Pay Plans 2006 Compensation and Benefits report, released May 17.
"[Workers] are placing much greater value on less tangible, lifestyle-oriented benefits," Peg Buchenroth, managing director of compensation and benefits for Toronto-based Hudson Highland Group said in a statement.
Examining employee attitudes about traditional pay and benefits programs, the survey reveals that while three out of four, or 72 percent, of workers claim to be very satisfied with their compensation, nearly half, or 44 percent, of the same sample say they would change their mix of pay and benefits if they could.
"People are more interested in having a well-balanced life," Buchenroth said.
"Many individuals find elements such as flex-schedules, telecommuting, on-site day care or more personal time to have a greater importance than cash. In fact, employees may forego additional cash in order to have an improved work-life balance or better opportunities for career advancement."
In an interesting schism, 57 percent of employees said they believed that tenure is the determining factor in deciding how much one makes, with only 35 percent of the workforce saying performance influences pay.
However, nearly half (48 percent) of managers said they believe that their organizations pay their top performers the best.
More than one-third, or 37 percent, of workers surveyed reported that they were not paid on par with others who did similar work.
The survey also covered employees' feelings about the health care options their workplaces offer them. 26 percent worked for organizations that do not offer any health care benefits, and 25 percent would be willing to go to work for a company that did not.
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