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Survey: Estonian companies named the main condition for increasing employee salaries

Опрос: эстонские предприятия назвали главное условие для повышения зарплаты сотрудников

According to a recent survey of small and medium-sized enterprises in Estonia, conducted by Norstat and commissioned by Luminor, 44 percent of enterprises, if they had available funds, would use them to increase employee salaries, giving some priority to both business development and staff training. Wallet. Wallet. Photo: Aivar Aotäht / Sakala

According to a recent survey of small and medium-sized enterprises in Estonia, conducted by Norstat and commissioned by Luminor, 44 percent of enterprises, if they had available funds, would use them to increase employee salaries, giving some priority to both business development and staff training.

“The purpose of our survey was to find out what the main priorities of enterprises are today. The results reflect well the sentiments emerging from our communications with companies – Estonian companies care about good employees even in difficult times and are ready to contribute to the well-being of their employees if circumstances permit,” said Indrek Julge, head of corporate banking at Luminor Estonia.

“If analysts' expectations that our economy is on the road to recovery are finally realized, then, of course, it is important that the fruits of future growth are shared with workers,” Jülge said. “Although wage growth in Estonia has been noticeable in recent years, even in a downturn, most of it has been eaten up by high inflation.”

When comparing the Baltic countries, it was Estonian company managers who paid the most attention to wages. In Lithuania, 36% of company executives indicated a desire to increase salaries, and in Latvia this share was 30%.

Along with salary increases, 33% of Estonian companies indicated business development as a priority if available resources are available, 21% indicated staff training, and almost a fifth, or 20%, indicated investment in innovation and technology.

According to Indrek Jylge, it is only logical that after a long period of stagnation, entrepreneurs are striving for new growth, and this can be done mainly through investing in new technologies and training employees in this area.

“It is encouraging that, along with large companies, many small and medium-sized enterprises also realize that simply investing in new technology solutions is not enough if their employees do not support innovation,” says the head of corporate banking at Luminor in Estonia. “I think that by watching the successes of others, more and more leaders are realizing that this set of views is the best way to ensure that a business is as efficient and competitive as possible.”

The study also shows that compared to their southern neighbors, Estonian SMEs are in a better financial position, at least according to the managers themselves. “If in Estonia only a tenth of respondents said they had no available funds, then in Latvia and Lithuania this figure is almost twice as high – 17 and 18 percent, respectively,” Julge said.

According to Julge, the last few years have been difficult for entrepreneurs, which explains the cautious outlook on the future: only a quarter of respondents plan to expand their business this year, while 60 percent do not.

“On the other hand, the survey results show that even in difficult times, people are thinking about how to succeed in the future and how to better prepare for the next stage of growth. In this context, it is very important that entrepreneurs find the enthusiasm and courage to look around with open eyes in order to take advantage of the various opportunities offered, for example, by government support or credit products with more favorable conditions,” added Jülge.

Norstat conducted a survey among Baltic companies in April-May this year. On behalf of Luminor Bank, 250 managers of small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 249 employees were surveyed in each country.

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