Survey: Would you cut your base salary to potentially earn more in a performance-related bonus?

It seems Kiwis are more willing to bet on themselves than our Australian neighbours, with a new survey by recruiting company Hays showing that 68per cent of New Zealanders would take a base salary cut for the opportunity to potentially earn more through performance-based bonuses, compared to 59 per cent of Aussies.

In an online poll of 1,510 people, Hays found that 60 per cent of New Zealanders would take a base salary cut of up to 20 per cent in order to receive a bonus based on their performance. A further eight per cent would take a cut of more than 20 per cent for that same opportunity, Hays says in a statement.

The final 32per cent prefer not to roll the dice and would not cut their base salary in order to potentially earn more through a bonus based on performance.

Interestingly, it seems New Zealanders are more secure than Australians in their belief that their performance could earn them more dollars. The same poll was run in Australia, where 46per cent of respondents said they would take a base salary cut of up to 20 per cent in order to receive a bonus based on their performance, while a further 13per cent would be willing to take a base salary cut above that level.

The final 41per cent of Australians, compared to 32 per cent of New Zealanders, were not willing to take a base salary cut for the chance to earn more in a performance-based bonus.

This suggests that Australians are more risk-averse when it comes to salary packages than Kiwis are.  

“Recognition for good work is a key component of staff retention, and for New Zealanders at-risk pay is a way to provide that recognition through their compensation package,” says Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand.

“It does make sense that employees who have been loyal to their employer through challenging times now want to share financially in the rewards of a more prosperous economy.

“Showing that they are happy to reduce their base income for the chance to potentially receive more in a bonus based on their performance also suggests that New Zealanders are prepared to accept an element of risk. This typically only occurs when economic optimism is high.

“It is surprising that Kiwis seem to be more willing to bet on themselves than our Australian cousins. We tend to think of Australians as far more bullish and confident, particularly on the sporting field. However when it comes to the world of work, it is New Zealanders who are more confident in their performance and want their overall compensation package to reflect their results. “

 

The poll was conducted on hays.net.nz and hays.com.au in January and February 2015.

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