Businesses have increased the value of their employee benefits compared to last year’s figures.
Research by XpertHR revealed more employees are enjoying higher wages because pay rises awarded in the first month of 2011 are worth more than those given in January 2010.
The data discovered that the average employee pay rise effective in January 2011 increased in value by 2.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent when compared with the median increase over the same period last year.
Many workers experienced a pay freeze during 2009 and 2010 as the recession impacted on company finances and the research suggests that the pay rise increases are a way of rewarding their loyalty in difficult times.
Sheila Attwood, XpertHR pay and benefits editor, said that the report shows that pay rises will be increasing after a couple of years of testing times for employees and businesses.
She said: “We are finally seeing signs that the level of pay awards is picking up. 2010 was characterised by the sheer number of pay freezes made, with almost three in 10 organisations refusing employees a pay rise.
Increasing employee benefits like pay rises is one way to improve morale within a business, which can result in a boost in productivity and lower staff turnover rates.
Businesses with poor productivity, low staff morale and high employee turnover rates may benefit from the services of performance improvement consulting experts.
Performance improvement consulting experts look at how to improve performance whilst increasing morale and service as well as helping managers balance business priorities in the process.
Meanwhile, a related study found that over half of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) thought that freelancers are important to their stability and growth in the current economic climate.
The investigation by OfficeCavalry.com also discovered that 93 per cent of employers believed that freelance workers were a real alternative to hiring permanent staff because they enable an organisation to grow in a more cost-effective way.
Andy Turner, founder of OfficeCavalry.com, said that SME’s were adapting to tough economic times by utilising more flexible ways to grow.
He said: “Together with improved access to finance initiatives to do business with the public sector. We are seeing SMEs opt in favour of a more flexible way to do business; one that is cost-effective, scalable and flexible.”
Furthermore, 52 per cent of businesses thought that freelance employees would make a significant contribution to their workforce in the following five years.