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Thanks to Employee Surveys, PwC Australia Discovers the Startling Truth That Money Motivates Their People

Australian Financial Review is reporting today that PwC Australia is digging deep into their pockets and expanding the bonus pool based on input from employees who shocked the firm by making it clear that money is what motivates them above all else.

PwC will increase the pay of its 8000-strong staff at a faster rate between formal promotions and double to 80 per cent the proportion of staff who can earn bonuses, under new benefits designed to retain and attract employees.

The firm will also cut the number of remuneration bands from thousands to hundreds, which will then be applied consistently across the organisation.

“We’ve launched our new strategy in response to the feedback our people gave us in our recent total reward and employee engagement surveys. Fixed and variable pay was ranked as their most valued reward, followed by the opportunity for career progression and professional development,” said PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour.

Under the new plan, pay increases will be higher between promotions however at the cost of a smaller increase come promotion time. In other words, it’s the same pay increase over time, just spread out so that you aren’t getting such a large bump at promotion time. As everyone knows from studying time value of money in FAR, you’d obviously rather have a dollar today than a dollar tomorrow.

Here’s an example given by the firm:

A PwC professional could expect their pay to increase by five per cent a year over three years before receiving an eight per cent bump when they were promoted to a new rank in the fourth year. Previously, they would have received three per cent pay increases for three years before a larger 14 per cent increase when they were promoted in the fourth year.

Either way, the pay would have increased by 25 per cent, from the theoretical $75,000 to $94,000, over the four years.

In a post on LinkedIn, PwC Australia covered the $15 million investment it is making in training and education as part of the overall strategy to set itself apart from other firms in the ongoing war for talent.

We’re proud to launch ‘PwC Academy’, a unique learning and development opportunity for our 8,000-strong Australian workforce. We’ve designed the Academy in consultation with people across all levels of the business, ensuring a world-class, fit-for-purpose program to build skills.

Through ‘PwC Academy’, our staff will build credentials—working towards an MBA-equivalent qualification—and develop leadership skills in a range of areas including environmental, social and governance (ESG), and wellbeing.

‘PwC Academy’ is part of our ‘Total Reward’ strategy, designed to attract, retain and motivate our people. Other new rewards and initiatives include a ‘New Balanced Lifestyle Benefit’, enhanced scope for taking time off for physical and mental health, more ‘floating’ holidays, and access to a range of deals and discounts.

Interpret the suspicious quotations however you like.

Like everywhere else, Australia is desperate for accounting professionals. So much so that they recently added accountants, taxation accountants, management accountants, external auditors and internal auditors to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), meaning visa applications are prioritized for those individuals. This, says CPA Australia, creates “a pipeline of accounting talent which will stand the nation in good stead.”

You may also be interested in the AFR consulting salary guide. It only covers consulting (obviously) but gives you an idea of how PwC Australia stacks up to its competitors. PwC (and Deloitte) confirmed the data included in the report, while KPMG and EY denied AFR’s request to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Thanks to Employee Surveys, PwC Australia Discovers the Startling Truth That Money Motivates Their People

  1. Let me get this right: PwC employees prefer to earn an increase of (5×3)+8=23% over four years instead of a (3×3)+14=23% over four years. Sounds like they’re due for a maths refresher. Why are you suggesting the firm is going to have to dig deep to find the additional funds?

    1. As mentioned in the article, part of this overall initiative includes putting $15 mil into training and expanding the bonus pool to more employees.

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