Family-focused benefits, medical benefits, work-life balance, career development are some of the elements that organisations are doubling down on while devising their new employee rewards schemes, according to a panel of experts.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a reminder that the pandemic is still far from over. The substantial uncertainty is forcing organisations to adapt and embrace change faster than ever in the new world of work. In fact, a lot of organisations are struggling to reinvent the conventional tenets of employee engagement, performance management, and the rewards strategy, to foster a productive and inclusive culture.
Employee rewards is no longer only about compensation; it now factors in new and diverse aspects such as well-being, family care, learning, and flexibility. Companies are now listening to their employees more than ever given that the needs of workers are evolving alongside the priorities of businesses. In the era of mass exodus, several companies are trying to attract talent by paying market-comparable cash and in some cases this is not really paying off.
The template response to people quitting their jobs has been an increase in the financial component of their compensation. But this has failed to stem the tide of resignations, underscoring the need to consider new factors. However, for organisations, striking the right balance between financial and financial rewards that suits the needs of the diverse talent pool while driving business growth in itself is a huge challenge.
Rewards systems that help retain talent
Employees globally have been registering record quitting rates as they get new jobs with better pay and perks and more importantly the flexibility to work from anywhere. And companies are plagued to find the talent they need to support their new business priorities. Even for financially-driven employees, compensation isn’t an enticing incentive anymore. For many, the sense of recognition itself has become a motivating factor to stay with the company, along with other factors such as health care benefits. Working parents need support in terms of flexible working hours and expanded childcare options.
So, how do you package your reward systems with an optimal mix of financial and non-financial elements? For, Tushar Sharma, Head of Rewards, Indian Subcontinent at Philips, who was part of a panel at People Matters TRWC 2021 conference. it’s about ‘meeting priorities of different sets of employees’. Individual needs should drive how you frame your benefits policy, echoes Rupam Singh, Head - Performance and Rewards at JSW Group. But how do you figure out employee needs of your diverse talent pool? According to Bimal Viswam, Director-Talent & Rewards at BYJU'S, listening to employees on a regular basis is key. Companies should rely on both long term value creation like stock options along with short terms rewards to inspire talent, depending on of lifecycle of organisations, adds Bimal.
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In a market like India, the play has been more on the pay side. In the non-financial part of rewards, there are lots of opportunities but it’s tricky. Different organisations follow different policies depending on the needs of different sets of talent. The expectations of tech people can vary from the ones from the sales team side. There are organisations that follow an egalitarian policy that applies to an entry-level employee to the CEO of the company the same way when it comes to rewards policy.
Framing the frameworks for rewards package
Goldman Sachs Group recently announced new benefits for its workers that include a 20-day paid leave for miscarriage. As workers evaluate what they want in terms of rewards, HR leaders need to ensure work culture, career growth, autonomy, and flexibility of work and help design rewards that support an agile workforce. Many organisations are devising long term non-financial reward goals such as employee career development while focusing on short term perks. ‘A lot of organisations are also focusing on what the families of their employees are going to get as part of the larger value propositions to their talent,’ according to Rupam Singh, Vice President & Group Head - Performance & Rewards, JSW Group.
Meeting the invisible needs is crucial in today’s time, Rupam adds. Tushar concurs with Rumam, adding that the segmentation of talent based on lifecycle and skills and framing a tailored package is vital. ‘At Philips, we have flexibilization of benefits to connect the needs of different employees based on different criteria,’ add Tushar. And to make the reward strategy more agile, the company is empowering their managers to look at the ‘needs’ of talent and the impact of their package on a regular basis. So the key levers include organizational maturity, employee journeys (and their experience), work culture and the agility of the reward programs. Finally, it’s more about adapting to changing requirements of employees and tweaking your programs as time and needs change.