45% of respondents do not expect an above inflation pay rise in 2012

Almost half (45%) of respondents do not expect to see a pay rise above inflation in 2012, according to research by NorthgateArinso.

The 2012 Global pay optimism index surveyed 1,300 employees across Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States in May 2012.

It found that some of the lowest expectations for wage increases are to be found in the eurozone (55%), while 70% of UK employees are not anticipating an above inflation pay rise. If this expectation is met, it will mean that the majority of employees will actually lose money on their salary in 2012.

More than a third (37%) of workers in Asia Pacific expect above inflation pay increases. This compares to 21% of respondents in Europe and just 8% in the UK.

The research also found that, although pay is the greatest motivator across all levels of organisations, the majority of respondents are interested in other benefits. But more than two-thirds (69%) said that their employer is not adapting by increasing non-pay-related benefits, and only 16% said that their employer has said it will provide more flexible benefits but has not done so.

The most popular non-pay-related benefit that organisations introduced is flexible working, followed by benefits such as massage or yoga classes and personal trainers in the office.

Alex Kemp, chief operating officer at NorthgateArinso, said: “For 2012, pay optimism is centred around Asia Pacific with the realists in the UK, as well as the wider eurozone having low expectations.

“With many organisations across the world still stretched to provide pay rises, business leaders should be asking about other ways to make sure that their talent feel valued.

“After pay, relatively low cost initiatives such as flexible working are hugely prized by employees and these are changes that companies can easily make to show how they value workers.”

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