Better work conditions: Why now is the perfect time to ask for them

If you’re ready to put some balance back in your work/life equilibrium, we’ve got good news.

There’s never been a better time to get more from your 9 to 5. With borders closed and job ads at an all-time high, the negotiating power now sits with employees.  

The latest Workforce Insights Report from recruiter PERSOLKELLY shows our priorities have changed with the flexibility to work remotely, health and wellbeing support and increased salary all top considerations for job seekers or employees. 

No matter what makes up your dream scenario – be it more time with the kids or a bump to your pay – there’s no question that now is the time to ask for it. But what’s the best way to have this conversation with your employer without things turning sour?

Wendy Hewson, General Manager of PERSOLKELLY shares her top tips:

  1. Be prepared – think about what you really want beforehand, be it a few days working from home, a salary increase, or flexible hours

  2. Show your commitment – tell them why you want to stay long term and what you like about the company to prove it

Hot tip: when interviewing for a new job do your research, say what you like about the company (beyond the perks!) and why you think you’re a good fit

Wendy Hewson, General Manager Persolkelly NZ
  • Don’t go for the jugular – if seeking a pay rise present this in a professional and polite manner and never use ultimatums whatever you’re asking for

  • Be smart about it – benefits like a company car or a 9-day fortnight for the same pay are more likely to get across the line than a salary jump (much of which would be eaten up by tax anyway!)  

  • Have a plan – show what you are prepared to bring to the table and how you want to progress in the company. Ask “what do I need to do to get to the next step?” or how your boss can help you get there

  • Don’t overplay your hand – know what you’re good at and articulate your achievements and contributions over the last 12 months but be careful not to oversell it

Or if you’re an employer on the other side of the table looking to retain your best people, we’ve got a few tips from Wendy for you too.  

  1. Focus on your culture – engage your best people to lead by example and create a shared sense of responsibility and duty of care

  2. Upskill – retain top talent with growth opportunities, as well as the chance to work on projects of interest 

  3. Get creative – know your employee motivators and remember it’s not always about money. Consider company cars, carparks, commissions, bonuses, flexible hours, remote work, 9-day fortnights, company culture, training, team bonding and more

  4. Focus on employee wellbeing – work/life balance, flexibility etc and be consistent across all staff

  5. Front foot pay-conversations – money is no longer an afterthought for your team or potential candidates 

  6. When hiring have your non-negotiables ready (approx. 1-3 things) and be prepared to move quickly when you meet the right candidate

For more insights into what businesses and employees are prioritising post-pandemic check out the full report here.

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