HR must provide missing link to reward awareness

HR and reward professionals hold the key to improving employers’
communication with staff about pay, pensions and benefits.

That was the main theme to emerge from the annual Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development (CIPD) Reward Conference which took place last week
in London.

Addressing delegates at the conference, CIPD assistant director-general
Duncan Brown said that too many employees rely on colleagues and the company
‘grapevine’ to find out about changes in benefits and rewards.

"This is an issue that HR needs to pick up on. Staff have got to
understand about pay and reward issues so they can make decisions about their
‘conditions of association’ with the company.

"We have to provide this missing link so employees actually understand
what is happening to them and how it relates to the organisation."

Brown said the goal for HR was to enhance employees’ perceived value of what
their benefits and rewards are worth, without increasing costs and at the same
time avoiding the downside of administrative complexities.

He pinpointed flexible benefit schemes as an increasingly popular area, but
warned that employers should undertake a feasibility study and build a business
case before implementing such a scheme.

He went on to say that reward practices are more likely to evolve rather
than radically change, and many professionals were responding to the challenge
"slowly and carefully".

The CIPD also announced it is to create a Certificate in Reward Management,
recognising that reward has established itself as a specialist subject in its
own right within HR.

Mark Childs, CIPD vice-president reward, said: "It limits the opportunity
for reward to be hijacked by number crunchers and invites generalists to accept
that having some basic competency in reward management is an essential element
in being a well-rounded HR professional."

By Mike Berry

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