If proof were needed that tried and trusted management maxims no longer apply, just take a look at what’s happening to one traditional lever of choice: the pay rise.
Once it was the answer to many an engagement ill. But not recently it seems. A slew of data reveals staff are increasingly willing to eschew pay in favour of having more personal time instead. Recent IWG research found that 72% of office workers would now prefer long-term flexibility rather than going back to the office and getting an immediate 10% pay rise. In 2014, most people opted to take the money, with only 43% of employees polled saying they would choose flexibility over a pay rise in a survey by Unify.
But in an about turn from years of low inflation and barely-there interest rates, latest figures suggest price rises are back – and with a vengeance. August’s figures showed the largest Consumer Prices Index jump on record to 3.2%, with inflation now at its highest since 2012. It suggests pay could once more become paramount – but could staff be misplaced if they think it will simply return just because they want it again?