Flexible hours more desirable to employees than recognition

If your employees are unhappy in the office, it is because of the inflexible working hours more than not getting appreciation. They are increasingly giving more importance to non-monetary compensation like flexible hours and recognition over salary and bonus, a report says.

According to the compensation and benefits report published by Top Employers Institute, salary and bonus continue to lose importance as compared to non-monetary elements.

The survey was based on a sample size of 600 companies in 96 countries.

“While salary is still hugely important, non-monetary elements like flexible hours, learning and development and recognition have become decisive factors in job offers and employee retention,” Top Employers Institute CEO David Plink said.

Around 37% of companies surveyed globally are already using the ‘cafeteria plan’ approach in which a mix of benefits, incentives and allowances that make up the Total Rewards model are put before employees to pick or choose.

“Non-cash related benefits have a history of increasing and decreasing relevance but the recent growth in importance suggests it is an irreversible trend,” Plink added. As talent mobility is particularly high in India and company loyalty is low, embracing the ‘Total Rewards’ philosophy is specifically relevant in the country to attract and retain employees, the report said.

The study said specifically in India the compensation and benefits need to be tailored to the different demographic groups of employees. The most popular benefit across all demographics is company health care programs to compensate for the increased costs of medical care.

The survey noted that many companies still struggle with the shift from primarily monetary compensation to a more individual and holistic approach of compensating employees, because many rewards gaining in importance – such as flexible working conditions and development opportunities – are difficult to quantify.

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