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Supporting Workers’ Financial Needs — How One Company Saw a 23% Increase in Worker Satisfaction

A Case Study

Increasing wages alone does not always lead to improved financial wellbeing for workers. While employers should undoubtedly pay a living wage, they should also consider providing workers with additional support. The purchasing power of an employer is far greater than that of an individual worker and therefore employers can often provide non-salary benefits that have disproportional value to workers. Workers know this, and researchers have found that employees overestimate the value of benefits, perceiving them as 40 percent of total compensation, even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the figure at about 31 percent.

In Vietnam, as elsewhere in world, inflation is on the rise and economic times are hard for both workers and businesses. The global economic downturn has been particularly challenging for Vietnam’s apparel and footwear industry, with suppliers facing reduced orders and revenues. Workers are also struggling; wages have not kept up with inflation and with high unemployment rates, workers are supporting more family members than ever and paying more for necessities.