Employers may still be pinching pennies and scanning the horizon for the signs of the next recession. But employees are feeling good about the economy and — guess what? — they want more money.
This intelligence is found in the current quarterly report, Global Workforce Insights for Compensation. The report, a product of consulting firm CEB that tracks workplace trends quarterly, found that there has been an increase in employee expectations for bonuses and merit pay in the first quarter of 2014. It's a jump from low expectations employees had throughout 2012 and 2013.
The report also suggests another landscape change occurring among employees. Where health benefits had been a leading driver in seeking a new employer, that factor has slid in importance. In 2009, 21.2 respondents listed it as of major significance. The latest data slipped to 16 percent.
Compensation is of much higher concern, rising in importance among respondents from 36.2 percent to 47.4 percent.
But vacation time showed a distinct uptick in importance, rising from the No. 1 driver in 2009 for 10.4 employees to more than 15 percent in the current survey.
Other details of the survey include:
- On average, employees globally expect a 4.5 percent merit pay increase and a 2.9 percent increase in bonus pay this year. Both numbers increased by nearly 1 percent this quarter after declining considerably between Q2 2012 and Q4 2013. Despite the increase, bonus pay expectations still remain lower than they were one year ago.
- Employees feel comfortable meeting current financial needs but tend to express some concern over their ability to meet unexpected demands. This quarter, both metrics reached their highest level since 2011.
- U.S. employees, compared to those in other nations, are dramatically less likely to consider health benefits a top priority for an offer. A year ago, health benefits was topped only by compensation as a driver of attraction for US employees. In Q1, health benefits ranks fifth — U.S. employees are significantly less likely to rank health benefits as a top priority.