Most New Zealanders would take a small pay rise rather than gamble on getting a bigger performance bonus, according to the results of a new survey of workplace incentives.

More than 81 per cent surveyed preferred a guaranteed 5 per cent pay rise over the option of a 10 per cent performance basis, says SEEK online job search.

When applied to the average annual salary advertised on which is $74,965, this thinking would achieve an increase of $3748.25 for the employee who chose the pay rise and $7496.50 for the one who achieved a performance bonus.
That's an extra $3748.25 in the pocket for someone willing to back their own capabilities.

One in five New Zealanders have a bonus available as part of the remuneration package and expect on average $6606.80 a year.


The survey shows 24 per cent use it to pay credit cards, 23 per cent invest or save and 12 per cent use it to pay for a holiday.

Seek New Zealand general manager Jane Faulding said it seemed that a 10 per cent bonus was not enough but if the bonus was 20 per cent, the survey found that 49 per cent would take it.

"With a continued trend of low wage growth in New Zealand, it is possible that the lure of a bonus may prove more attractive to job seekers going forward," she said.
"The average annual salary grew by just 2.3 per cent on year to June 2015 in New Zealand."

She said the answer to having happy and high-performing employees lay in getting the right balance between cash incentives and perks.

Robert Walters specialist recruiting director James Dalrymple said New Zealand professionals tend to focus on negotiating the best possible fixed-term salary package and benefits.

These may include a combination of base salary and superannuation as well as benefits and company vehicle and vehicle allowance, car parking, subsidies and insurance.

-Staff reporter