There are a number of decisions that HR and business leaders need to make when it comes to rewarding their employees. How do you personalize rewards according to the workforce demographics? How can you scale up personalization? How do you decide on the behaviors that you need to reward? An expert panel reflected on these these questions at the People Matters Total Rewards and Wellness Conclave.
Priya Krishnan, CEO, KLAY Prep Schools and DayCare, Shamita Chatterjee, Senior VP & Global Head – Total Rewards, Infosys, Gautam Anand, Chief People Officer, Airel and Harshvendra Soin, Chief People Officer, Tech Mahindra. The panel was moderated by Ester Martinez, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, People Matters.
Here are the key insights from the panel:
1. Segment employees to drive goals
The problem of ‘designing for scale’ and now ‘designing for individual employees’ has been a big challenge for fast growing companies. Shamita from Infosys said the company follows a three pronged approach. One for millennial employees – where the focus is on collaboration in a way that it engenders learning. The second is for mid-career professionals where the focus is on performance. And the third for leaders where the focus is driving behaviors that show co-ownership, and vision.
Stressing on behaviors like collaboration for rewards would, at times, mean scaling down on performance and vice versa, Shamita said.
2. Experiment and keep it simple
One of the challenges with compensation and benefits is that it can get complicated and long winded. Harshvendra noted that today’s millennials’ expectations are far more than what companies offer. And with the changing world of work with gig economy, it is important to experiment and make sure the rewards strategies are simple for them to follow.
3. Need-based and interest based rewards work:
Knowing at which stage the employee is at, and showing that you care is important. At KLAY, the company has a majority female workforce with a distributed network of employees. The company encourages need based group and rewards. A millennial may be more open to accepting a gym membership, while a working mother may need childcare support. The company also encourages employees to form interest groups like film clubs, biking groups etc., and are assigned budgets to support them.
4. Be willing to pay for the skills
It is important to understand your employee’s passion and pay for the skills. Gautam from Airtel spoke about the need to individualize rewards as there are a growing crop of young leaders. For ex: After hiring from prestigious B-Schools, in case a candidate acquires new skills say in Blockchain in the next two to three years, the company must be willing to pay for it. Otherwise, they will move to competition.
While designing rewards it is also important to keep in mind which factors are intrinsic and which are extrinsic to KRAs, Shamita said. So, it’s not just the type of reward that’s important, but also think of innovative programs to foster a great workplace culture.