Company cars best motivator for Lithuanians

  • 2008-12-10
  • By Adam Mullett

PERK: Allowing employees to use company cars is a growing trend in Lithuania, where job benefits generally do not account for as much of the employment package as in Western Europe.

VILNIUS - With tough economic times in store for Lithuania, new research has found that a company car will be the leading employee motivation instrument businesses in the country use to retain staff.
The study conducted this summer by the international consultancy Hay Group showed that around 96 percent of private companies already offer professionals cars as a benefit for work and personal needs.
Currently benefits in Lithuania generally do not play a very large role in the overall package that employees receive. Neda Songinaite, Hay Group CEO for the Baltic states, told The Baltic Times that it is normally around 15 percent of the total package 's a relatively small amount when compared to other countries.

"In a more mature market [in Western Europe], these benefits would be a larger part of the package and they would come from a wider range of choices. They could be up to 30 percent of the whole package," she said.
"In Lithuania there is no tradition of benefits 's people expect only the base salary 's so there is no market of this yet."

Despite giving good benefits, employers will have to do more to keep good employees. Business process consultant Edita Nemira from Euro Sprendimai said that the working atmosphere is equally or more important.
"People need to say what benefits they need from the company 's this is going to be the second biggest motivation. But it doesn't mean that this will keep people at the company 's the last company I worked at started with 11 staff. After six months half of them had left because the management didn't create the right atmosphere required to keep a good team," Nemira said.

Songinaite agrees with Nemira, but says the two must go hand in hand before a good team can be retained.
"One way or another, companies aim to retain employees. In order to retain people you need to have a good atmosphere and a good working climate, but if the rewards are not enough, the staff will start to look elsewhere anyway," she said.
In Estonia, almost 100 percent of companies use company cars as a motivating tool. Latvia ranks the third in the region with a 90 percent trend.

Throughout the economic crisis dawning on Lithuania, benefits will be a key strategy for staff retention when budgets for cash remuneration become tighter.
"The current economic situation has increased the pressure in the business sector, the motivation instruments, including the benefits additional to the basic remuneration, will remain important for the companies in order to retain the best employees," Songinaite said.

About 49 percent of Lithuania's companies offer their employees a chance to take part in sports or cultural activities, 99 percent offer various training opportunities and 47 percent offer additional health benefits.
The study of Hay Group included the data on more than 400 companies in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.