Salary and perks not so important, say Kiwis

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Despite their long-standing appeal, it seems big pay cheques and generous benefits aren’t enough to keep Kiwi employees content anymore – at least according to one new study.

Research conducted by recruitment giant Hays reveals that New Zealand workers are now most motivated by having a sense of purpose at work and being able to see how their contributions are making a difference.

“Employee engagement was traditionally driven by a good salary and attractive benefits, but today most people see these as a given,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

“Instead they look at what an organisation is working towards and known for,” he continues. “Crucially, they want to know that, as an employee, they will understand what they are working towards and how they make a difference, which gives them a greater sense of purpose.”

This greater sense of purpose is reflected in the fact that 94 per cent of employees deem it important or very important to have a clear understanding of how their role helps the organisation achieve its business objectives.

Notably, 26 per cent admitted they would look for a job if they felt their current position didn’t offer this sense of understanding and a further 51 per cent said they “might” look elsewhere.

On a more positive note, 65 per cent of employees said they would go above and beyond if they understood how their role drives business success and a further 29 per cent would “maybe” do the same.

“Employees who understand what they are working towards feel a greater sense of purpose and that’s a powerful driver of engagement,” says Deligiannis. “They feel they are making a difference and are working towards something that matters.

“They’re also far more likely to support the organisation’s objectives because they understand them. They’re given ownership in the organisation’s success since they know what is expected of them and what their part is in achieving the desired outcome.”

Deligiannis went on to warn that organisations which fail to communicate employees’ role in achieving overall business success risk creating an atmosphere of uncertainty where senior managers and executives are seen to rule from above.

“A ‘them and us’ culture is created,” he explains.

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