2 Aug 2023


on Staff Reward and Retention

Adelaide’s Novatech Creative Event Technology continue to lead the production industry with remuneration, allowances, and staff incentives that go far beyond what is standard at other firms. After making sweeping changes to pay and conditions in July 2022 in response to a highly competitive labour market, Novatech have not only kept their innovations in place, but expanded on them.

Against a background in which base salaries have been increased by 10% over two years, Novatech have increased the rates for all casual workers while offering increased overtime eligibility for all.

Their unique ‘Production Shift Allowance’, which rewards head office staff that work on-site on live productions in addition to their normal duties, has been raised from 30% to 35% for Project Managers and from 10% to 15% for technicians.

To support new parents working in production, Novatech now pay $4000 New Family Member Support to any staff member with a new baby joining the household. To help keep everyone healthy, Novatech will reimburse gym and sporting club memberships under their Physical Health Incentive Scheme.

Joining their already extensive Reward and Recognition programme, which gives employees discounts across thousands of stores and allows for ad-hoc gifting to employees who have excelled, is Reward and Recognition Leave, which allows for up to two weeks extra annual leave per year, based on service duration.

Keeping their worker’s skills relevant and up-to-date is Novatech’s Professional Development Fund. Any staff member can apply to have external professional development courses, conferences, or events funded by the company.

These initiatives, plus ongoing programmes such as Time Off In Lieu being paid out at a higher weekly threshold of hours, have seen production wages increase by 30% on average, with the highest increase being 50%.

Novatech have achieved all of this without raising their prices to any of their clients, or increasing charged out labour rates this year. This has been achieved, in part, by significant investment in new systems and processes over the past three years, streamlining and passing efficiencies gained to their customers.

In the fiercely competitive battle to find, hire, and retain staff, Novatech’s employee-friendly policies are an example for other companies to follow. In addition to helping lure technicians to move to Novatech’s Adelaide base, a ‘lifestyle superpower’ capital city compared to Melbourne and Sydney, they promote mental and physical health in an industry that famously struggles with both.

“The last 12 months have proven that the changes we adopted in 2022 were not only the right thing to do, they are sustainable, profitable, and a win-win for both us and our workers,” confirms Leko Novakovic, Managing Director of Novatech. “We introduced these changes in response to the spiralling cost of living, and it only got worse after successive interest rate rises. We’re happy to say we’ve kept ahead of the challenges of the last 12 months and are going even further to look after our greatest asset, which is our people, all while continuing to deliver world-class production across Australia.”


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