How work-life balance and career development are vital non-financial benefits

In addition to compensation and benefits, employees today also seek a highly-valued balance between the work and recreational elements of their lives. Workplace stress and burnout, caused by heavy workloads, long hours, and restrictive policies are causing employees to leave in search of opportunities that better align with their personal priorities.

Employees therefore seek greater flexibility in their working arrangements to enable them to maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives.

How work-life balance and career development are vital non-financial benefits

Flexibility became increasingly important during the Covid-19 pandemic, with studies demonstrating that it helped boost productivity, job satisfaction, and overall wellbeing in many workforces.

Many companies have chosen to implement remote work, work-from-home setups, and other alternative arrangements, such as a four-day working week, reduced work hours, and flexible, output-based engagements. These job terms have proven to be successful, and as a result are likely to become a permanent feature of the modern workplace.

Moreover, flexible benefits have gained popularity among employees. These allow employees to select how they receive the value of their total reward package, thereby providing them with greater control over their benefits. As the global workforce becomes more diverse, with Generation Z expected to account for a quarter of Asia-Pacific’s population by 2025, flexible benefits or choice programmes are becoming more popular among employers in all sectors.

Professional development also in demand

Some companies lose top talent not because they are not paying enough, or because they do not offer competitive benefits. But according to a survey by McKinsey, lack of career advancement and development opportunities (41%), uncaring and uninspiring leaders (34%), and lack of meaningful work (31%) are among the top reasons why employees plan to leave.

This suggests that compensation and benefits alone, and even flexible work schedules, are insufficient to attract and retain talent. Employees desire a sustainable career path and expect employers to cultivate an environment that fosters continual learning, challenges, and recognition.

To address these concerns, HR leaders must not neglect regular performance reviews, which provide an opportunity for both employers and employees to identify areas for improvement, set strategic action plans, and determine needs for promotion and training programmes to bridge gaps in employees’ skill sets and experiences. Investing in learning and development is crucial to equip the workforce with the skills necessary for future competitiveness in a rapidly changing environment.

Employers who want to retain their top talent should offer various learning and development opportunities, including in-house and external training programmes, local and international conferences, and specialised or graduate courses. Succession planning is also an effective way to foster a mentorship culture and develop modern leadership skills.



Read the full The Innovation Rules: How Compensation and Benefits Strategies are Evolving in 2023 report here.

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