The War for Talent rages on, and with our economy having returned to the growth mode, demand for people is on the rise as well, especially in certain “hot” labour market segments. Attracting and retaining the people you need is challenging at the best of times, but as competition for all the people with the right stuff heats up, it is critical for employers to think about the “whole picture” in terms of what they provide employees in return for their productivity engagement and loyalty. It isn’t just about the pay rate any more.
In the “good old days” employers had the “upper hand” in labour markets, and could find the people they needed by providing internally determined, cost-based pay rates and little else. Compensation was a simpler discipline. But as the “upper hand” has in the past couple of decades moved over to well- trained, highly skilled employees, employers must become more innovative. Young people entering the workforce nowadays are concerned about more than just a fair rate of pay. They are concerned with “work-life balance”, and with having flexibility in their working arrangements to allow them to handle personal or family duties as they arise. They are seeking positive, healthy working environments, fulfilling assignments, inspirational leadership and good career opportunities. They are attracted to tolerant workplaces with amenities, learning opportunities, and personal as well as professional support mechanisms.
So what an employer “offers” employees is nowadays a much wider consideration, the word compensations has a wider definition. Trends in compensation these days appear to be toward multi- faceted offerings that are more “pay for performance” oriented, offering a serious upside in compensation for serious over-achievement, and a flexible list of benefits from which employees can select what works best for them. Online presence and a very positive “brand” as an “employer of choice” have become core strategies, not optional ones. Employers need to be open to new approaches, and willing to cast aside traditional compensation “taboos” in the face of a rapidly evolving reality in the labour market.
Below is a partial list of compensation elements that have become remarkably typical today:
As mentioned above, this list is not exhaustive, and certainly many employers could add their own unique thoughts to the above menu.
Of course, even if everything on the above list is offered and provided, employees are unlikely to stick around for a long time in a negative work environment where they cannot have a say, and cannot have any influence on the work they do, where leadership is more “stick than carrot”, where discrimination and harassment exist, and where positive performance and career management are poor, absent or unfair.
Take a look at your own workplace and at your compensation practices, and ask yourself, with regared to my goal of keeping great employees:
”Am I an Employer of Choice?”
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