Benefits provision is the most important reward issue for the year ahead, research by Personnel Today‘s sister publication Employment Review has revealed.
This article was originally published on 12 March 2008 and is not updated.
The survey of 132 organisations – employing 588,133 employees, including 360 specialist staff to deal with reward and pensions issues – found that four in 10 (40.9%) said benefits would be the top priority, including reviewing flexible and voluntary packages.
Other reward activities that were rated as high priorities for the year ahead included job evaluation and regrading exercises, bonus and incentive schemes, and harmonisation of terms and conditions.
Benefits also topped the list of the most time-consuming activities undertaken by the reward team or HR department over the past year, cited by more than one-quarter (26.5%) of respondents. Other reward activities taking up a lot of time over the past 12 months include the annual pay review and job evaluation exercises.
When asked what the single biggest reward challenge would be in the year ahead, responses included:
- Harmonisation – aligning pay and benefits packages for merged companies, as well as reducing pay anomalies across the organisation.
- Cost controls – trying to keep hold of the level of the annual pay review, as well as ensuring that overall payroll costs are controlled.
- Pay and grading structures – undertaking job evaluation exercises to feed into pay and grading structure reviews.
- Getting the reward package right – including using the concept of total reward to communicate the value of the reward package to staff, offering a package to attract and retain the right staff, and benchmarking to stay in line with competitors.
About four in 10 (41.7%) of responding organisations have a specialist team or department to deal with employee reward and in while most of the rest reward is dealt with by the HR department.