Changes to Employee Benefits during a Recession


As we navigate through the challenges of 2024, businesses across the country are grappling with significant obstacles. A primary concern for many business owners is the dual challenge of retaining current staff and attracting new talent and this is leading them to consider making changes to employee benefits.


In an effort to cut costs, some companies are considering reducing employee benefits and limiting what they offer to both existing and prospective employees. While these measures may provide short-term savings, they come with a steep price. Reducing benefits can severely impact employee engagement, making it harder to retain and attract top talent.


Recent insights from Lawson Williams’ biannual New Zealand Staff Turnover Survey (in partnership with HRNZ) shed light on this issue. The survey, which examined the standard benefits provided by businesses in 2023, revealed the top five benefits provided to employees.
Understanding these benefits can help businesses make informed decisions that balance cost savings with employee satisfaction and retention.


Changes to employee benefits - Graph showing the Top 5 benefits provided by businesses in New Zealand - Lawson Williams Staff Turnover Survey 2023.



The survey also examined areas where companies enhanced or introduced new benefits in 2023, with the most significant increases seen in flexible work options and professional development, which grew by 48.5% and 25.5%, respectively.


Changes to employee benefits - Graph showing the most poplar changes to benefits by businesses in the period 2022/2023 in New Zealand - Lawson Williams Staff Turnover Survey 2023.



These findings underscore the importance of not only maintaining but also expanding benefits. Even during financial hardships, businesses should focus on supporting their current staff while enhancing their employer brand. Offering robust benefits plays a crucial role in this branding effort.


If you are considering making changes to employee benefits and you’d like more detailed information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our consultants. We’re here to help!

Contact us for more information.