With multiple generations in the workforce, greater flexibility in reward offerings is a must. Why? Because employees are at different points in their lives. Some have young families; some have pre-teens with crippling dental bills. Some are empty nesters with benefits they don’t use, yet still have holes in their savings plans. Given all that, it’s critical that benefits and rewards are appropriate to each generation, in each situation.
At the same time, HR departments are expected to do more with less – including doing more to support and reward people, with less in the pot. In order to do this, HR professionals need to understand which benefits are most valued, how important the benefits are, and how they relate to the individual. This begins to build a blueprint for a reward strategy that can be employee-centric and cost effective.
Opposing forces are at play here. One of a corporation’s biggest expenses is the cost – in salaries, benefits, and rewards – of human capital. Yet, of course, people are also the firm’s most important asset, contributing through their productivity to profit margins. Why not strive for a more satisfied and engaged workforce that, when all is said and done, will generate more money for the business?
Conventional wisdom says that to make more, you have to spend more. But in this case, it’s more a question of spending wisely and letting human behaviour do the rest for you!
Understanding your total rewards data (TR) can help. Before we jump into the analytics you need to have three elements of data. These elements combined will form a great foundation for insight into how best to structure your rewards programs:
1. Just ask your people.
Start by better understanding your employees’ attitudes to the rewards currently being offered. Through surveys, intranet discussions, or simple manager-employee informal chats, you can build better insight into how your workforce is segmented by cohort. That gives you the ability to get your communications with various groups tighter and more on target.
Take for example a company that provides gym membership for employees from coast to coast, but sees that in one province uptake of the gym membership is not as high as the rest of the country. Could the reason be as simple as that the gym just doesn’t have a presence in that location? If you don’t ask how do you know?
By marrying this demographic and rewards data, you’re in a better position to offer the right rewards to the right people.
2. Create cost efficiencies for HR and finance.
Learn how your employees value their rewards, to make better decisions on HR spending. Once you know what employees like and dislike, you can begin to tailor the benefits based not only on cost but on perceived value by employees. You can also use this information to also work with the vendors to gain better pricing. Process automation can facilitate daily updates to rewards and benefits data for real time spending insight. That gives Finance much clearer and more accurate insight into these costs to help organizations save money.
3. Forecast the future of rewards.
Learn how to offer a personalized reward programs to millennials and the upcoming Gen Z. Get like-minded organizations working from the same platforms and methodologies. This can build benchmarked and aggregated benefits data that can be compared plan for plan across generations, industries and locations. The rewards “culture” is evolving, not only in Canada but around the world – you need to stay on top of the trends.
These three steps will help you maximize your TR data to create greater employee engagement and generate a better ROI for your organization. If you’re just producing a TR statement and not using the data, you’re missing the bigger picture.