NZ businesses considering ‘super perks’ to attract and retain staff

Business leaders could be to provide ‘super’ perks to attract talent and retain staff, including unlimited annual leave, according to a new study.

The World of Work Survey commissioned by Frog Recruitment questioned senior managers of almost 61,000 employees from New Zealand organisations across retail, education, manufacturing, insurance and not-for-profits, about what they would offer staff.

The majority (65 per cent) said they would likely offer unlimited annual leave to staff, while 15 per cent said unlimited travel budget and a further 10 per cent were attracted to the idea of offering options for fertility treatments or time off to care for a pet.

According to Frog Recruitment managing director Jane Kennelly the biggest priority for employers today is attracting and retaining staff – with 83 per cent of managers surveyed saying this was a key concern. 

“Despite their concerns, only a third had put initiatives in place to address the situation. It shows that while a workplace plan might sound good in theory, translating this to an efficient, talent focussed and practical solution is missing for most organisations,” said Kennelly. 

“Amongst the initiatives reported were better pay, flexible hours, remote working situations and increased sick leave, with one company extending that leave entitlement to include looking after sick pets (paw-turnity) and elderly parents.

“Internationally, ‘super perks’ is common place for many top organisations – New Zealand employers need to pay attention if they wish to reduce their talent shortage.”

According to Kennelly, with lines blurring between personal life and work life, it is no longer acceptable for an employer to pay lip service to work life balance. 

“As employers, we need to acknowledge that work is one part of a well-adjusted life and the more content an employee, the more productive he or she will be,” Kennelly said. 


In terms of business practices, 86 per cent of employers surveyed acknowledge the importance of social responsibility – with two-thirds of management looking to their staff for guidance on where to focus social efforts. 

Almost a third of the companies surveyed support childrens and youth charities, while 23 per cent focus on sustainable initiatives. 

And while the range of social initiatives businesses support is vast, the common thread is that these companies align themselves with something linked to their values, according to Kennelly.

“[Social responsibility] gives the company a purposeful and tangible way of expressing these values. It also provides an important connection between staff, customers and the business,” Kennelly said. 

“If we can get more Kiwi businesses engaged with such work-related and social benefits for their employees, we’ll see a more fulfilled and stable workforce.”

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